Our Garden

by Shawnda on April 15, 2011

in Garden

Green beans

While I will always complain about the 613% humidity in August, there are many advantages to living in Texas: Bluebonnets in the spring. Frito pie from the high school concession stand on chilly fall Friday nights. The world’s best smoked brisket. An enviably long growing season

Our last frost date (on paper) is in mid-February. The last several years, The Foodie Groom and I have unsuccessfully planted small vegetable gardens: tomatoes, peppers, basil, cilantro and parsley. The first year, we lost everything to a several week stretch of biblical rain. The second and third years, drought. The fourth year, baby. This year, rather than an another uninspired toe-dip attempt at growing a small veggie garden, we cannon-balled into the deep end. Two days after the last frost date.

Green beans

The Foodie Groom constructed four raised beds and we used the square foot garden approach to maximize production with a minimal footprint. So we won’t (hopefully) have to buy as much compost in the future, we started composting using the bungee cord and garbage-can-with-drilled-holes method. And then I bought eleventy billion seed packets.

Tomatoes – Beef steak, yellow pear, cherry, and 3-4 other heirloom varieties.
Peppers – a variety of spicy peppers and a rainbow of bell peppers (red, green, orange, yellow, and purple)

Chives
Green onions
Garlic
Shallot
Texas sweet onion

Zucchini
Cucumbers
Sweet peas
Green beans
Broccoli
Eggplant
Carrots

Parsley
Thyme
Tarragon
Lavender
Oregano
Cilantro
Basil
Greens – mesclun, red and green romaine, spinach

Watermelon
Strawberries
Butternut squash

Key Lime

Canon ball. And that’s just the raised beds. We have developed a slight fruit tree obsession. Last year, we purchased 4 citrus trees. It’s a wonder they didn’t die on us after months of neglect, little water, and barely any fertilizer. But they made the move to our new house and survived a couple of weeks in the garage during a super cold stretch of January. We have high hopes for this year.

Meyer Lemon (dwarf, potted)
Pink Lemon (dwarf, potted)
Key Lime (2 dwarfs, potted)
Orange (trimmed to dwarf, potted)
Peach (2 in-ground)
Plum (in-ground)
Avocado (in-ground)
Blueberries (4 potted)
Pomegranate (potted)

Peach tree blossom

And after all that, I still have a want list:
Rio Star grapefruit
Fig
Blood orange

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shanon April 16, 2011 at 5:30 am

Oh wow! I am so impressed. After next year, I will hopefully be able to live in a place where I can have my own garden. I might be asking your advice. Your pictures are so beautiful. I am completely inspired. :) I cannot wait to see the progress you make with it.

Shanon

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2 Katie Rose April 16, 2011 at 6:10 am

Definitely an enviably long growing season. You will be able to grow things I could only dream of here in my zone 6 season. Are you doing intensive fruit tree planting like they suggest at http://www.davewilson.com/homegrown/BOC_explained.html . We plan on doing that here and I have figured that I have room for about 20 trees with their methods. I just need to narrow down my choices before my birthday comes around. Here’s to a bountiful season!

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3 Shawnda April 16, 2011 at 10:40 pm

@Katie, Thanks for the link! I’ve never seen that method before but it’s a similar concept to our vegetable garden (maximizing output/variety in smaller spaces).

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4 branny April 16, 2011 at 6:59 am

What a fantastic array of fruits and veggies!

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5 Joanne April 16, 2011 at 10:29 am

Could i be more jealous? Um. No. I can’t wait to see all of the fabulous produce that you…produce!

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6 Amanda April 16, 2011 at 9:36 pm

How exciting! Can’t wait to hear how everything turns out!!

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7 Abbie April 18, 2011 at 9:53 am

How ambitious! I’m anxious to get my garden going, too.

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8 Lisa @ The Cooking Bride April 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

Texas weather is much like Mississippi – warm weather from March until November! We planted a big garden last year and like you – a new baby became the center of our world and eveything died! Hoping to do better this year – already have the herbs planted and looking to plant some tomatoes in the next few weeks.

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9 Lily April 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Best of luck to you! I have a decidedly ungreen thumb which did not keep me from attempting to grow an herb garden last year. It went okay for awhile, but I just couldn’t remember to keep it watered. Living in Florida, well that wasn’t a good thing..ah well, I will most likely try my hand at it again soon. You have inspired me.

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