Friday, July 23, 2010

On the Road Again

Dear Friends and Readers,
Today marks the last day that I will be posting for two weeks. I know that you are all going to miss me. I am going to a land where cell phones and internet either don't exist or are on dial up which makes posting very slow. When I return, I will have lots of pictures of Big Sky Country, the kiddo, and animals, plus lots of stories about the trip.

Until then!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

That's Hot

My poor, poor garden. Summers in Texas are no good for anyone. It has been alternating between sizzling hot and drenching rain. Days like these make one yearn for the relative niceness of oh, say October. Even my very hardy herbs are taking a beating. I feel bad for them. But here at Jessamine Gardens, if you can't take the heat, get outta the garden. Only the strong survive. There are several plants that are the stars of the garden this summer. They are taking a licking and still going.

1. Sweet potatoes-They love the combination of rain and heat. I have seen more growth in the last couple of weeks than I have since I planted them.

2. Lemon grass- A passalong plant from a plant exchange. When I planted it, it was about 6" high. It is about 3' tall now. It could probably eat my preschooler if I let it. I can't wait to cut it and use it to cook with.

4. Bell Peppers-Still producing. When I checked them yesterday, there was one small ripe one, but two more showing promise. I'm going to leave them until Friday afternoon to see how big they'll get.

5. Cucumbers-Growing, making potential pickles like crazy. I picked a giant one yesterday to save for seed and there were two more growing.

6. Okra-A summer staple. Mine have been slow to take off, but I think all the rain finally jumpstarted them.

These guys will probably keep churning until the weather gets cold. And that makes me happy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Scientific Approach to Gardening

As most of you know, or figured out, I'm a scientist. Not your stereotypical white lab coat, thick glasses, and pocket protector type. But the hipper, spends-her-days-outdoors, wears jeans, and walks around in sturdy (steel-toed) hiking boots kind of scientist. Oh, and occasionally, they let me play with heavy machinery, which makes me very, very happy (but you knew that). This also involves careful observations of my surroundings, drill cuttings, etc. I fill up pages and pages in my field notebook with them so I don't have to remember. Which is why I need to transfer this habit to my gardening.

I was standing in the kitchen yesterday, looking out at my waterlogged garden. Thankfully, a little insight and fast draining soil spared my garden from the worst of the pitfalls. I was also trying to remember when the corn was planted. I finally came up with the date, but it could have been easily avoided by WRITING it down. I am just not organized enough to be able to make it into the computer and type it. Although the blog helps. :)

So here is my plan. This fall, I am going to buy a Rite in the Rain notebook and pen. I am going to take it out to the garden and write down what is going on out there! Lets see how I do...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rain, Rain Go AWAY!

Well, at least my water bill will thank me. My tomatoes, on the other hand, have been exploding like fireworks all weekend. There is only so much water they will hold. They certainly were not expecting the 8" of rain we got in three days. Nor the 5" that we are predicted to get over the next two days. I guess it begs the old adage "when it rains, it pours." The Houston area made up its entire rainfall defiect in four days.

This is also the reason, along with the holiday, that the blog has been quiet for a few days. One does not traipse out to the garden in the midst of a downpour. One's three year old does not play outside when it is wet and muddy. And one's family has had a serious case of cabin fever. The rain stopped for two days. Long enough to run outside, grab a zucchini or two, and dash back in. We did get to watch fireworks. They were fantastic and Anthony loved them. And then this morning, it started raining again. Yay.