I almost hesitate to say it, for fear of jinxing it somehow, but this has absolutely been my most successful year in the garden thus far. Who knew how much difference a fence, dogs keeping deer away and two additional raised beds would make? Well, I did, of course, and now I have no one [...]
Between the voluminous rain and weather warm-up, the garden is going gangbusters. Flowers abound, promising future fruit. And tomatoes and blackberries are coming along nicely. These are normal-sized tomatoes, but we also have cherries.
All photos by my hubby, who caught all this action on Easter morning.
Yesterday afternoon brought just the latest in a series of powerful thunderstorms that have blown through our area in recent weeks. Even with the power flickering on and off and the weather radio siren blaring on the other side of the house, it was impossible to ignore the view-blurring intensity of the rain coming down. [...]
This year, I've been hemming and hawing about my spring garden, mostly lamenting that I didn't start seeds weeks and weeks ago. "Is it worth starting now?," I've been asking myself. "Maybe I'll just give spring gardening a miss this year." My cousin messaged me on Facebook on the 16th, saying he'd put out tomato plants that [...]
My junior year in college, I somehow wangled my way into doing a semester abroad. It wasn't easy. I had to convince the authorities at the University of Texas that -- since they had a relationship with the study abroad program -- it was 100% appropriate and customary that I could apply my scholarship funds [...]
I had nearly given up on having tomatoes at all this year -- they kept getting munched -- but the fall cool-down is making for tomato heaven. It's cool enough for flowering and pollination, but not cold enough to freeze them. Long may it last! Those purple blossoms are eggplant blooms. So far nothing has [...]
We still have a few weeks until they begin gracing us with eggs, but watching them remains quite entertaining. They like watermelon and do an amazing job of cleaning up the rinds after our children have had their fill. But their favorite treat, by far, is black soldier fly larvae which, luckily for them, happen to [...]
This year, we must have done something right, watermelon-wise, because they are sprawling everywhere, snatching onto every available hold with their super-strong tendrils. A good portion of the plants have overgrown the raised beds, which means I have to watch my step, lest I step on something like that pictured above. And below. It's like [...]
Up in New York, we kept our eyes peeled for the first daffodils, or tulips, or forsythia (I love that word). But, in this part of the country, there's one sure sign of spring. This time of year, you'll see cars pulled over and photos being taken at fields abundant with bluebonnets -- Texas' state [...]
Just a few weeks ago, I was reveling in the cool temperatures of Central Texas fall, when the garden began to flourish again after the punishing heat of the summer. Tomatoes, eggplant, jalapeños and even cucumbers flowered prolifically, while my cool season plantings of bok choy and chard were coming along nicely. That's a sweet [...]
Architecture graduate student Hank Buttita wanted to build a cabin on his grandfather's land. But building codes made the project cost-prohibitive, so he bought an old school bus off Craigslist for $3K and set about making it livable (and beautiful!) to the tune of about $6K in improvements. It even turned out to become his [...]
Is there anything cuter than a baby cucumber? Well, I think a baby watermelon is actually much cuter. And, potentially sweeter. C'mon baby fruits! I've had the hardest time with both of these plants as they apparently need much more water than I'd been giving them (at least in our typical-for-this-time-of-year 100° temps. But now [...]
The last week or so, I've been scouring the Internet for information about potato diseases and pests. What, I wondered, could be causing my potato plants to wilt with leaves eventually turning yellow and brown. Could it be black leg? Blight? Magnesium deficiency? Then I started to do some math and realized that I'd planted [...]
We've had a novel problem since moving to the sticks. It's not unusual to find a bird, sometimes a hummingbird, stuck in our garage. They sometimes can't figure out how to get out (even when the door is open), and fling themselves against the windows. We've even occasionally had to catch them in a net, [...]