Wednesday, May 15, 2013

2013 Garden, Part 2- Surviving the Cold and Making Cute Garden Markers

Well, the new ground cover and watering system seem to be working well so far.  The plants didn't seem to grow much at first, but now they are taking off!  We had one more cold night we had to get through.  We covered some rows with extra ground cloth and tarps, and we covered some individual plants with buckets.  Of course it didn't get as cold as we expected, but better safe than sorry!
Preparing for the cold with tarps and ground cloth
Tomatoes and pumpkins did well under buckets.

I got an idea for garden markers from Pinterest that was cheap and easy.  I used metal punches and lids from canned food to make individual signs that I then nailed to stakes.  They are a little hard to read from a distance, but I like how they turned out.
Garden markers
More garden markers
"Green beans"
Here's a look at the corn marker in place
Garden with markers in place 5/15/13
Our potatoes and tomatoes are leading the way this year.  We have never tried potatoes, so it's nice to see them doing so well.  And look!  Our first tomato!
Rows of potatoes
Our first tomato of the season!
I guess this would be a good time to list all the stuff we're growing this year:
Bell peppers, jalapeno, green chiles, corn, green beans, okra, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkin, honeydew, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cucumbers.  Whew!  I'm looking forward to seeing how successful we are this year!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

2013 Garden- Part 1, Still Experimenting

Well, we really procrastinated planting our garden this year, but it turns out we were just really smart!  We had 4 cold fronts come through in April that brought freezing temperatures to our area.  We finally got around to some of our planting last weekend, but wouldn't you know, we may have another freeze or two this week.  *sigh*  This is a little crazy for Texas!

Ready to plant!

We have a couple new experiments going this year.  The first is our watering method.  We water with well water that is full of minerals and salts.  We have had problems in the past with these clogging our soaker hoses by the end of the season.  No good!  This year we are trying drip tape with holes every 6 inches.  We'll see how it goes.
Drip tape all connected and laid out.  Some rows get double water.
 Our second experiment involves ground cover.  Last year, we tried a combination of clear plastic and black plastic to see which was better.  Black won.  We also just covered the rows and not the spaces in between with the plans of mowing between the rows.  Well, our plants got too big and took over all the space and made it impossible to mow.  So this year, we are trying a 20 year ground cover and covering more ground.  Some students came out and planted onions and potatoes several weeks ago, so we had to work around those areas.  Hopefully our weeding will be manageable this year.

Ground cover going down.
Ground cover done.

Time to plant!  Josh cut the holes and I followed with seedlings.
Of course Titus is always nearby supervising our work and protecting the wheelbarrow.
Some of the planting done.  More to come!