Friday, September 26, 2008

Photolog: September

Every last Friday of the month will be a retrospective Photolog, this will be a time to lay out the consecutive pictures and compare the growth that has happened all month. It's also an easy blog for me and it satisfies some of my reader's curiosity. Gardening takes an immense amount of patience. This last month the only thing I harvested was the first few okra. Next month, I might find myself giving away tomatoes there are so many. All I know is that this has been one heck of a drawn out and dry summer, and I am ready for the leaves to change. The sun will now be shining more so on the southern hemisphere for the next six months, and I say let them have it. I will celebrate the first cold front by planting leafy greens!

This weekend I will be taking a break from my studies to go and enjoy Austin City Limits. I will tell you all about it on Monday!





Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

We live in an amazing time, and this video makes me smile. Isn't Stevie the greatest?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Photolog 9/19/2008

Man I love photolog Fridays! It really helps to see the growth from week to week! Tomorrow morning I am going to attend Bob Webster's fall vegetable gardening seminar at his Shades of Green nursery. I am betting that I will be the youngest person there.

New this week:
+ Composted buggered corn
+ Planted broccoli
+ Planted cauliflower
+ Harvested first okra

Waiting for those black-eyed pea pods to turn brown... maybe this week!

Snap peas are beginning to grab hold of the trellis (as well as each other) 

today's harvest: Okra

This afternoon I picked the first harvest of the fall garden. I sliced them up and sautéed them in vegetable oil and minced garlic. Delicious.

Okra is actually one of the easiest vegetables in the world to grow. It's drought and heat tolerant, it grows in sandy or clay soil, and it is self-pollinating despite the beautiful flowers. It continuously produces, so you will want at least five plants, and as long as you keep picking the young pods, it keeps on making more. It's originally from Ethiopia, so it laughs in the face of what we consider to be "hot" weather here in south Texas.

I am going to plant more of it with the spring garden in April, and it will likely be the only plant I can harvest before, during, and after the July-August heat.

For now I am enjoying the flowers and looking forward to seeing how many pods they will make before it gets too cold. Gumbo anyone?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Buggered Corn

The corn has literally been buggered to death

Okra flower

For the past three weeks, my corn has been steadily consumed by tiny caterpillars, and I have been too busy with school to do anything about it. The little buggers were deep down in the stalk eating the new leaves before they even unravelled! There were certain measures I was prepared to go to in order to protect the delicate stalks. I suppose I could have sprayed them with any combination of my organic pesticides, but most of the corn just wasn't doing well enough to warrant such extremes. This afternoon I pulled it all up and buried it in the compost. The corn roast party has officially been delayed until the spring harvest. Bugger!

I am also worried about the okra. It's doing great for the moment, blooming and making pods, but it will probably be the first to go when the really cool weather comes. It will be interesting to see how much longer I have until I have to pull that up too. I think I will wait until it either completely stops growing or I find something better suited to cold temperatures.

I am not all that disappointed since the garden space where the corn was has now been filled with a more suiting (and more healthy) fall-weather crop. Broccoli and cauliflower have joined the lineup, and in a couple weeks so will mesclun lettuce.

Newly transplanted Broccoli and Cauliflower

Friday, September 12, 2008

Photolog 9/12/2008

Wow look at all the growth! Let's hope we get a nice soaking from Ike!

New this week:
+Black eyed peas have flowered and are making pods
+All the snap peas have sprouted
+First okra fruit has set!

Snap Pea sprouts

Black-eyed pea pods

Okra pod

Friday, September 5, 2008

Photolog: 9/5/08

Photolog, it's a post you will probably see every week that has up to date pics of what's going on in the garden. These blogs are mostly for myself so I can prove that things are indeed growing. I figure I should post them because there might be someone else out there who might be excited by the fact that my tomato plants are growing 4 inches in a week...

New this week:
+Everything is now mulched with Hardwood Mulch (except the tomatoes, which still have plenty of straw)
+Planted Garlic
+Planted Spinach (might be a little early)
+Planted Snow Peas
+Planted Snap Peas
+Hung red Christmas ornaments on the tomatoes to fool the birds

Snap Pea sprout
Juliet grape tomatoes!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

one man's trash is another man's treasure

This past Labor Day weekend the sound of ten thousand lawnmowers echoed across the neighborhoods of San Antonio. Recent rains had caused our grass to grow so unruly that only a three day weekend of yard work could counter such an insult. Grown men of all trades put on their grass-stained tennies and went about walking every square foot of their yards. Ahead of them and into the tall grass they would thrust a noisy contraption as they had toxic fumes blown into their faces. The smart men would leave the grass clippings where they fell to help return the nutrients to their lawn, but the foolish ones would rather bag their victory and put it on the curb. 

Unbeknownst to them, they would be visited that evening by the neighborhood's organic gardener and his wife...