Monday, April 30, 2012

Harvest Monday - 30 April 2012

I am participating in my first Harvest Monday! Over the last two years I have watched every one's posts just waiting for the day I could add a harvest. The day has finally come. I have a harvest.

I was able to harvest my lettuces twice this week. I do not have a scale, but both times I filled up one of my large kitchen bowls. I don't know how long I will have lettuce since our summers are usually in the upper 90's and low 100's. I am working on a shade structure for their bed. I just hope it keeps the plants and ground cool enough. I would like to be able to grow lettuce all summer.

Harvest #1 - A large bowl of mixed lettuce. It was a wonderful salad!

Harvest #2 - I almost forgot to get a picture of this bunch. Oops!  

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to show off, visit Daphne's Dandelions and join in!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Walk Around the Garden - 24 April 2012

Tonight I did a walk through my yard and I actually had plants to look at. It was wonderful!

My Asparagus that I moved from our last house. I was so happy when they came back this year.

This little guy showed up in the front flower bed this week. I do not know how it made it to the but it was a welcomed surprise! I don't know if I will move it to the backyard Asparagus bed or just let it stay where it is.

Cabbage, Spinach, and Broccoli
Yukon Gold Potatoes - It is already time for me to add more soil and compost around the plants. I am just unsure about how to do it. Do I need to bury the leaves?


Spaghetti Squash

Swiss Chard

Onion Bed #1

Onion Bed #2

Tomato - They are growing so fast.

Tam Jalapeno - It should be a mild hot pepper.

Part of my Salad Mix.  

More Lettuce.

My Garlic - I have three different varieties planted. Elephant Garlic, Early Pioneer, and a mystery garlic that I bought at the farmers market.
Now for my favorite new plant - Buffalo Grass! Yes. That is right. I have grass in my backyard. I know it is hard to see but, if you look really hard at the picture below, you will find two plants. And you can see a close up of my terrible dirt after I added a lot of compost. I will feel better when it is covered with grass.

Two baby buffalo grass plants! Today was just day 6 after planting the seeds and the normal germination period is 10 - 14 days. So by this time next week I should be able to find a lot more!
I have really enjoyed tracking the progress of my yard. I looked back at some older pictures and can really see the improvements we have made. I can not wait to see how it looks in a few more months.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sick Kid and Planting

Alex started running a fever last night so I am running on no sleep. The fever keeps coming back and he is a very cranky little guy. He says (As good as a two year old can) that it is his throat. If he isn't better in the morning, I will make an appointment and see his pediatrician.

I have gotten some things planted in the garden this weekend but I don't have any pictures. I planted the corn, spaghetti squash, white acorn squash, yellow squash, zucchinis, two kinds of okra, two kinds of eggplants, and Armenian cucumbers. I also prepared the rest of the planting beds by mixing in more rabbit manure/compost and alfalfa compost. Maybe tonight I can finish all the planting and move on to the grass tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

17 April 2012

It seems like every time I finish one project, I start two more. I decided today that it was time to plant our grass in the backyard. I chose to plant Buffalo Grass since it is native, drought tolerant, and stays about 6 inches tall without mowing it every week. All of that is great, but the main reason I planted Buffalo Grass is for Tank. Tank is my 75 pound tortoise who mows my back yard and keeps me company when I garden. I have had him for about 8 years and can not picture my yard without him. 
This is an older picture. He was about 55 lbs at this time.
So I started to till and level the east side of the back yard. I only finished a spot 12' x 20'. It took a while to remove all the rocks, roots, and trash from the soil. I could not believe all the trash that was buried in our yard. After broadcasting the seeds, raking them in, and spreading a thin layer of compost over the area - I built a little fence. I did not want to hear Dallas saying "I forgot" when I caught him on the new grass. He is the King of "I forgot." 
East side of the yard.
 The front flower bed is now covered in two inches of cotton burr compost. I ran out of compost with only 4 square feet to go. At least it is behind the bird bath and my garlic! Next I need to finish the path. Maybe next week.

 I went home for Easter and brought back a huge, over crowded pot of Aloe. I dumped the Aloe out on the porch and started potting it. It was all plant and very little dirt. It took a couple of hours to finish but I ended up with more Aloe than I planned. Two large pots will be put into the cactus/rock garden for the summer and I guess all the others will find new homes.

I am really wondering if I will be able to sit back and enjoy my garden anytime soon.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wind, Wind, and More Wind

Yesterday we had wind gusts over 55 mph along with our sustained wind at about 35 mph. Our wind will continue for another day so we are stuck in the house.

Since my garden is off limits, I thought I would show my new favorite house plants - Phalaenopsis Orchids. My dear hubby bought me two beautiful orchids for valentines day. They were flowering and so pretty. I went into panic mode. I just knew something so beautiful would be hard to care for in our dry New Mexico environment. I started reading about how to care for orchids and found out they are really not that hard. They need to be on a schedule for watering and fertilizing. Their lighting needs are really simple and my south facing kitchen window is perfect for them. My first two orchids are still flowering and just started putting on a new leaf. Two weeks ago I bought another orchid. I am hooked!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

11 April 2012

Today was beautiful and I spent most of the morning in the backyard. I added compost to three raised beds and used my tiller to mix it all in. Then I sifted through the dirt and removed as many rocks and roots as I could. Then I started planting my tomatoes, peppers, and marigolds. I still need to make my plant labels but their cups will work for today. I planted a total of 23 tomatoes and 15 peppers.
Bed 1

Bed 2

Bed 3
 I am a little surprised but it looks like most of my Asparagus survived the move. Now I need to order some more to replace the female plants. Maybe I can do it this fall. I will add a layer of compost/mulch over this bed sometime soon.
 The potato bed had a rough weekend. Roxie decided it was a wonderful place to dig and sleep when she broke out of her yard. I tried to repair the damage and watered it. Today I noticed my baby potato plants! It looks like most of them are starting to come up. I was also able to plant my first sweet potato in the front flower bed. I am mainly planting it to be a living mulch but it would be great if it actually grew a potato or two.
Sweet Potato
I still have so much to do but I am starting to feel like my yard is more than just an empty lot.

Monday, April 9, 2012

9 April 2012

I feel like I have been run over by a truck. OK...Maybe it isn't that bad, but I do hurt all over. Yesterday David left for his TDY. He will be gone until the end of the month or maybe until next month. I really don't mind him going, but right now was not the best time. We have too many projects to do and I am only one person.

Since I am Me, I started on the To Do list today. Why put it off? I was outside at 9:30 this morning and I finally called it a day at 5:30. I am so tired. I did get to mark a lot off of the list and that makes me really happy.

I started out the day planting a few more flowers in the front flower bed. I still need a lot more plants but it is starting to look better. I transplanted an Amarillo from my Mom's house, along with a few more Mexican Petunias. Then I repotted an Air Plane plant to sit on top of my antique milk canister. I tried for almost 20 minutes to get the lid off so I could slide a terracotta pot down inside it. It would look better. But for some reason I have the only one that will not open. So I pulled out the bailing wire and attached a small pot to the top. Now I will plant a few small flowers to help hide the black pot. Not exactly what I wanted but it will have to do. 
Dallas finally decided to plant his flower pot. He chose his favorite flowers - Marigolds and Dusty Miller. He loves them. This year I was able to slip an extra Basil Plant into the mix. I don't really know if he noticed it or not. Hopefully he will let it stay.

 After reorganizing all of my seedlings I started working on the back yard. The first thing I did was rebuild the huge bed by the house. I wanted the bed 3 feet wide but my Hubby decided to build it 6 feet wide. It was just too big to do anything with. Since he is gone, I cut it down to size. I can now reach the back of the bed without climbing into it. Then I started adding compost and planting my little seedlings. This bed has sweet basil, celery, parsley, cilantro, mustard greens,  and a few leaf lettuces. I plan on trying to plant carrots again in the front of this bed. My first attempt did not work. The wind destroyed everything.

Sweet Basil


Leaf Lettuce

Mustard Greens
 Then I started cleaning up the larger half of the bed. I will cut this bed down to size after I harvest my Onions. I have a few lettuces in the bed but it has almost 500 onions. We eat a lot of onions.
More Leaf Lettuce

The first lettuce I planted this year.

 Next I moved to the bed West of our Peach Tree. I had already dug in the compost. I just leveled the bed and planted my Broccoli, Cabbage, and Spinach. I hope the spinach does better being sown outside than it did under the grow lights. It is planted in the middle of the bed. I am hoping it will be ready to pick before the broccoli and cabbage need the space.


I have decided I will never by a new house again. The back yard is going to kill me. After everything I had already done, I decided to start leveling the yard. I really want to plant the grass seed soon. I was able to finish most of the yard, but I still need to spread out the compost and till the yard. Then level everything again. And finally plant. I don't think I will ever get finished!

I think tomorrow I will clean the house and maybe read a book. I have my doubts though. The weather is to nice to stay indoors.