The Garden: Lots of Green. Lots of Rain.

by Shawnda on April 4, 2012

in Garden

Blueberries

It’s the first week of April! Have you been able to start your garden this year?

Here, the temperatures are hovering in the mid/high-80s and rainfall has been plentiful (a big, fat Praise the Lord! for that one). Nearly everything in the garden and backyard is green!

Except the Pink Lemon Tree. But I’m hoping some aggressive pruning will bring it back from the brink.

It has been absolutely gorgeous lately. Much grilling has happened. I would pay big, big, big bucks for this kind of weather year round.

And I’d take on a 13th and 14th job to pay for a mosquito-less version of this kind of weather, year round.

This week’s garden plan involves some light weeding in the garden boxes, caging the two larger tomatoes, pruning the pink lemon tree, and transferring the blueberry bushes to a more permanent home in-ground in the sad, empty, neglected bed near the deep end of the pool. Oh, and seriously heavy weeding of sad, empty, neglected bed near the deep end of the pool.

On/Around the patio

Grapefruit Lemon

Key Lime (2)
Mexican Lime
Pink Lemon
Grapefruit
Meyer Lemon
Eureka Lemon
Blueberries (4)
Pomegranate
Fig
Avocado
Carrots

Carrots

Last year, I really struggled with getting the carrots to grow past seedling stage. The first signs of life appeared this week, in my large pot of homebrew compost and rainbow-colored carrot seeds. The carrots have been put on notice – they either survive or get replaced with an eggplant or one of the rogue oregano plants.

Our citrus are potted, dwarf varieties but we’re in the middle of a backyard project to make room for a few of them in-ground. We’ve seen a few of them hit their ceilings as far as what a potted root system can support above ground. We want them to continue to flourish. My margarita habit depends on them :)

Backyard & Garden Boxes

Plum Tree

Our white peach tree, the youngest, lost the single peach it was growing. It’s still a little young but should be more established in the next 2-3 years. I’ve been hand-pollenating the blossoms as they open on peach tree #2, a June Gold – the bees didn’t return after the citrus trees blooms wilted. I got a late start with the plum tree but did manage to pollinate a few of the last blossoms and did spot at least two plums.

Plum Tree

Our bee situation was pretty sad last year due to the drought and probably the overall general decline in bee population. Things looked promising with impressive bee activity when all the citrus trees were in bloom.

Box #1 Strawberries! All strawberries! The 2-year old resident strawberry picker got to pick her first backyard strawberry this week.

Strawberries

Box #2 A few pea plants, 3 cauliflower, 1 watermelon, cherry tomato (died, needs replacing), a tomatillo, and a slicing tomato.

Tomatillo

Box #3 Herbs: green and purple basil, green onions, Texas sweet onions, chives, lavender, oregano, thyme, and sage.

Box #4 Lots of green beans, yellow pear tomato (died, needs replacing), serrano, Roma tomato, and I spotted some tiny stray basil plants popping up where I grew basil last year.

Tomato and Basil

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emily @ She Makes and Bakes April 4, 2012 at 10:52 am

I am in love with your backyard. All those fruit trees (sigh), and you top it off with a pool? Granted, you need a pool more in Texas than I need one in Colorado. I wish we could start planting yet, but it’s really not “safe” until Mother’s day…another 1.5 months. Can you ship me some produce??

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2 Jami April 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

I’m so impressed with your garden! I have major planting fears…seeing your success is so inspirational! Could you post a picture of the “big picture”? I’d love to see how you laid the space out. I think I’m ready to take my first planting steps…even if it’s just herbs…I just need face my fears and do it.

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3 foodiebride April 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Jami – this is a picture from last year that will give you an idea: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5145/5808873529_07e3be49ba_z.jpg

There are 4 boxes, in a simple 2×2 layout in the “alley” of backyard behind the garage. Directly behind me are the plum and 2 peach trees, behind/to the right is the pool and patio where most everything else lives in pots.

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4 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm

What a stunning garden you’ve cultivated and a yummy looking list of crops! The rain in Texas has been good to us so far this year, so let’s hope I can start a little garden of my own!

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5 Laura April 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Look at how big your limes have gotten in a couple of weeks! Everything looks great. I want to come drink margaritas on your patio!

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6 Kristy April 5, 2012 at 8:58 am

All this talk of citrus and veggies and herbs makes me want to roll around in your garden boxes. It also makes me feel very, very lazy.

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7 Ashley L April 5, 2012 at 9:15 am

I am so jealous of your garden! It’s still not quite time to plant in Oregon, although we have lots started in the greenhouse. Wish we could successfully grow citrus trees here, I would go crazy!

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8 StephanieJ April 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Does your lime tree have thorns? When we bought our house they told us that we had two lime trees planted around the pool, but we have no limes and huge thorns! I’m skeptical.

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9 foodiebride April 5, 2012 at 3:47 pm

One lime tree does, one does not. Have they ever bloomed? We get 3-4 bloom/fruit cycles a year. The person we got our first citrus trees from stressed feeding them monthly with a citrus-specific fertilizer (we use Vigoro) and watering daily (daily during non-winter) to ensure production.

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10 Amanda April 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

So fun! How long did it take you to feel like you had some real gardening skills? I can’t wait until I live somewhere with enough yard for a garden!

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11 ruflove April 11, 2012 at 11:09 am

Oh, I’m so jealous of your garden/yard. Until we moved last month, we didn’t get sunlight at our place. I tried a few herbs but they just didn’t thrive. Now in our new place, we get tons of sun and have a huge yard. My husband put in a 10′ x 4′ planting box for me last weekend. I’m so excited but we still have two more weeks before we officially plant.

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12 Angie R. April 11, 2012 at 11:47 am

Ok, you have really got my gardening bug going with your garden posts and I want to go beyond the pots and try to do the gardening boxes. Did you build the boxes yourself, and would you be able to pass along the specifics for doing so? Also, I noticed there was some type of “flooring” around the boxes. You should do a Garden Box 101 post! :) But any specifics you could pass along on doing the boxes would be awesome. Feel free to email me if you need to.

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13 foodiebride April 11, 2012 at 1:41 pm

“We” built the boxes :) Jason used 2×6′s cut to 4-ft length and then just screwed them together with the drill. We put them down and filled them with “Mel’s Mix” (from the Square Foot Gardener book). The interior of each box is just shy of 4-ft square. When we built them last year, we put down a pricey weed barrier that was completely useless – the grass overtook it in no time, despite our best efforts. I recommend saving your money there.

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