Monday, March 30, 2015

Too short preview....

of the next great zombie show on AMC, Fear the Walking Dead, coming out this summer! Can't wait, anyway.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Garden Notes, March 25, 2015 (Squash Haus)

  • Today I spent almost the entire day out in the garden, but I sure got a lot done.  The old Bean Haus, which is going to be almost all squash this year, is totally planted. I tried to find squash that were fairly small so that they will be able to hang easily. The biggest squash here is the Tromboncino. There are:

  1. Honey Boat Delicata - Baker Creek Seeds (winter squash)
  2. Spaghetti Squash - SeedsNow (winter squash)
  3. Kikuza Squash - Baker Creek Seeds (winter squash)
  4. Tromboncino Squash - Southern Exposure Seeds (summer squash)
  5. Tigger Melons - (old seeds, so we'll see if they come up)
  6. Table Dainty Squash - Baker Creek Seeds (summer squash)
  7. Asparagus Yard Long Pole Beans - SeedsNow

  • Some of these were started in the greenhouse, and others went in as seeds.

  • I used my little tiller on some of this, until the battery died. Then I couldn't get the damned battery out to recharge it, and John wasn't here to assist, so I just used old-fashioned hoe and rake to work in the compost, sand and soil for the rest of it.  Whew!

 Can you see all of the little kale, lettuce and spinach seeds coming up in the front here? I was a little worried about that heavy rain we got last week, but they seemed to have survived and not washed away.
 All of the drip lines are in on the tomatoes.
 The green bush beans are all breaking ground!
 My Alden grapes are entering their 4th year here.  They've all sprouted and look fantastic.  These are not part of John's vineyard grapes, these are on the front of the old garden area, and they are table grapes.
 I planted Dianthus all around the oak tree in front of the pavilion today, also.  I love that these flowers will survive the winter and usually last 2 and sometimes 3 years here!  My travel gnome looks happy to have a new field to stand in, doesn't he?!
As I dug around the dirt, removing the old dead vines from the sweet potato vines I had in there last year, I found several of these huge potatoes!! I don't know why I was surprised, other than to say I thought those landscape sweet potatoes were probably some kind of different strain, but I was wrong! I may take these out to the greenhouse and see what will happen with them.

There's an old molcajete stone there in this bed that I fill with water for the butterflies and bees -- as I was sitting there a black butterfly landed on it! Didn't have the camera ready, though. 

Tomorrow I'm concentrating on the rest of the beds and plants in our yard -- it's time to clean out some beds and fertilize them.  I'm tired already!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Garden Notes, March 23, 2015 (Zucchini, Okra, Gourds)

Today I planted up the left over onion sets and some fabulous shallots that my brother shared with me.  After that, in went the final two plots in Bed #1.  Bed #1-G has:

In Bed #1 H:
Stewart's Zeebest Okra from Baker Creek Seeds
Green Husk Tomatillo from Seed Savers Exchange

Those tomatillo really had to get in the ground.  Those things were huge!

I repotted some of the herbs and gourds that have gotten too big in the greenhouse.  These will go into the ground very soon, but I didn't want them to get root bound.
 Large bottle gourds
 Small gourd mix
Luffa gourd

Sadly I haven't seen anything from the Basket gourds or the Green Speckled Swan gourds.  I'll give them a bit longer, but nothing so far....

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rain, rain...glorious rain!

It rained so hard here on Friday night ... something we haven't seen around here in a very long time.  I'll never complain about rain again in my life after the dry summers we've had in the past few years, but my was a sight to see!
We had to rescue the 11 baby chicks in the old chicken house, it's a bit open to the weather and they're too young to figure out how to get up in the roost room above.  We mucked out there and picked them up into the roost.  They were all fine, just a bit damp.
Saturday morning they were all back down on the ground and pecking around, happy as could be, so all was well.  I had to layer some new hay down for them, though.

We couldn't do a thing in the garden Saturday, but I did take a good picture of the cucumbers.  They took the transplant well and are already looking bigger!
 Ashley on the left, Holland White on the right....
John moved a few of the t-posts around that he had purchased for the automatic water system and found an unwelcome passenger of a black widow spider on one of them, along with her egg sack.
Yes, she's dead! 

That's about all we did outside Saturday.  Hoping for some nice mild sunshine now for the garden.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sue is Getting Married!

I attended a wedding shower for Sue on Friday evening, along with several of her many friends and family.  We are all so happy for Sue and Jimmy -- they are going to be a great couple, a really good match!  The wedding is in April.
 I got to hear some VERY interesting "Sue" stories shared by all of her friends and family. Some I've never heard before!
 Sue opened and read all of her cards.....
 and there was a money tree....$ for their honeymoon!
and of course, plenty of good food!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Upgrades to the JR Forsythe Casa in San Antonio

Since we were downtown this morning, we swung by JR and Ashley's house to see how the renovations are going.  We were only able to see the front, but the new railings on the front was very nice!

There were some repairs to the cement on the front, but I didn't get a good photo.  I hear there's been some more concrete repair in the back.

They will probably be back in SA in April some time, so hopefully we'll get to see all of the new work then!

Meet the Turkeys!

We took a drive into town this morning to Moore's Feed and Seed down on South Flores Street.  John remembers going here with Dad years ago, and he was looking for a particular type of forage mix to plant in the field.  Unfortunately when they went to get it, they were out of stock.  But.....while they were in the back looking I found something awfully cute!
 Meet the new turkeys!! These are Bronze turkeys, and I picked out three so they won't be lonely.  We have no idea if we have boys or girls, and probably won't know until they are between 4-6 months old.  I'm hoping for a breeding pair, at least.  We'll see.
Here's what they should look like when they are fully grown....

Spring Garden Notes, March 19, 2015 (Beets, Cucumbers)

Two more plots went in today. This long Bed #1 is almost done, only two more after this.  Bed #1-E is all beets:
I had created home-made seed tapes with all of the beet seeds earlier this year, so the only thing I had to do was lay them in the rows and cover with soil.

In Bed #1-F is cucumbers that I had started in the greenhouse.  They've gotten so big, they really needed to go into the ground.  We put them on both sides of a trellis, and then more onions on each side, yellow and red.

More to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring Garden Notes, March 18, 2015 (Carrots, Green Beans)

Today we planted Bed #1-C which is the carrots:

The Short N' Sweet and Little Finger seeds I've had a while, so I'm hoping they are still viable.  

I had created the seed mats for all of the carrots in advance, too.  

Then in Bed #1-D I planted all of the bush green beans:

I've planted Calima for several years now, and they are absolutely beautiful, straight as a pencil and delicious. The rest are new to us, so it'll be interesting to see how they do.

That's it for the veggie garden today.  Afterwards, I planted out 8 of the morning glory plants around the pole where we had them last year.  I just love morning glories!

John worked on the automatic watering system.  This is really going to make the garden much easier.

Burying the electric line....
The cabbage plants just look beautiful.  Waiting to see if these will start creating a head. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Better late than never!  Since we found out that John's 18% Irish, and I'm 8% Irish, and my name is PAT, for goodness sake, I'd better start celebrating our holiday!
A little clover from our yard today, after the rain.....these aren't real clover, but its the Texas version!

Movie Review --- The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I loved, loved, loved the first movie in this series, so I just had to see the second one to see what these wonderful, sweet, salty and sometimes crabby people have been up to!  It was impossible not to fall in love with all of them last time and if you haven't seen the first movie, you really owe it to yourself to see it BEFORE you see this one.

The Exotic Marigold Hotel has done very well in the time since the end of the first well that no one leaves and there's only one room to rent out at any one time.  And Sonny (Dev Patel) has
dreams of buying and renovating another hotel.  But meanwhile, he's also getting married, and he's not giving his fiancee the time he needs to.  His character managed to make me love him more, while at the same time becoming the most irritating character I've seen in a long time! ha!

I love all of these older stars, especially Maggie Smith (amazing), Judi Dench and Bill Nighy (isn't he in every movie out there?) ha!  All of them do a beautiful job.  They've added Richard Gere this time.  I've never been a big fan of his, but he did a fine job here.

All in all, a lovely movie with a big, Bollywood style dance finish with everyone taking part.  See the 1st move, then go see this one.  You won't be sorry.

Oh, and you'll get a lesson in how the British like their tea served.  Apparently we've been doing it all wrong in America.

Signs of spring....

The yard has started to come alive!  The elderberries are covered in new leaves, and the one that died back has even sent up a few new sprigs. Hooray!
 There's little tiny peaches on the tree as the blooms start to dry....
 The apple trees are sending out leaves.....
 The Brazos blackberry plant has lots and lots of new leaves, and has spread out even further during the winter....
In the front yard, the bearded iris plants are huge.  No blooms yet, but hopefully soon....
 The agarita is covered in little yellow blooms....
 The forsythia has yellow blooms, too!
 I filled up all of the hummingbird feeders, just in case.  Can't wait to see them come buzzing in!
 And John pulled up an old stump that we've had in our front yard forever, dragging it out to the firepit.  Beneath it are the roots for the tree that was next to it.  As I walked by today, it looked like somebodies legs and knees in there! Yikes!  We have to bring in dirt to cover this sight.
Wonder what Sydney is thinking here?  I'm sure she's just wondering if its edible.

This tiller gets an A+ from me!

I have to say, I've used and used this little tiller, and it's just come through for me every time.  It's battery operated, and I have to remember to charge the battery up, but other then that, it's a breeze to use.  I love that it's not heavy, I can lift it easily and I can use it easily. It digs and digs and digs.

We still have the big tiller that John operates, but I can't manage it.  I feel like I've been beat up every time I try to operate it. This one is just perfect for me, so if you need a small tiller (4 tines), I highly recommend it.

Spring Garden Notes, March 17-2015 (Greens, Peppers, Onions)

I started planting in bed #1 this week, while John's been working on the automatic sprinkler system.  The first bed (#1-A) is small, a few short rows of these greens.  I don't think we need a lot of these for just the two of us.
I put all of these on homemade seed mats this winter, so it was basically a matter of laying them on the damp soil and covering with 1/4" of soil, then watering in.  Easy peasy!

 Behind that is bed #1-B.  In there I have two rows of red onions and two rows of yellow onions.  In the middle are 8 jalapeno peppers, a pablano pepper, and a Big Bertha green pepper.  I didn't start any of these from seed....maybe next year!

All of the greens that I planted in big pots have started sprouting -- this is the red romaine.  They've all started sprouting, except for the radicchio.  I hope those seeds weren't too old, but we'll see.

The cucumbers needed to be potted up, so I chose the best 8 plants and repotted them today.  These are the Ashley cucumbers.  They'll go into the garden next week, weather permitting, but I didn't want them to get root bound.
I also potted up the few sunflower plants that I got from my old seeds.  I'll take whatever I can get! ha!

Meanwhile, the cabbages and peas are all growing nicely. I'm sure the rain is going to help them grow even more. I've never had much luck with these coles in the past, other than one cauliflower plant a couple of years ago, so I'm praying for these!
The Lichi Tomato plant from last spring spent ALL WINTER out in the corner between the garden and the chicken yard.  I could not believe that it seemed impervious to the cold!  I have two volunteers of this plant that I'm going to plant out next to it for this year.  Amazing plant, but covered in spines and spikes.

I took all of my old left over seeds and saved seeds that have gotten too old (pumpkins, squashes, Brussels sprout seeds, cabbage seeds from five years ago, just a lot of old seeds) and combined them in a bag the other day.  Today I tilled and dug up a patch behind the chicken house, then just broadcast them all over, then raked it over. Hopefully the rain will water them.  I'm sure the chickens will pick thru and eat some of it, but hopefully some will grow to give them some sprouts to pick at. I just needed to purge my seed stores.
I'm so happy it's finally gardening season!