Gardening season is here

I have been missing in blogland, finding only a short bit of time to quick read a few blogs here and there . You all know I started working outside the farm about a year ago. Back in the Interior Design Industry. Well I can say its been fun and its been not fun LOL.

 Behind on EVERYTHING is about where are most always LOL. Not something we are liking to much. Before I enjoyed doing the mowing, gardening, house cleaning (ok so I didn't enjoy cleaning house but I did it), kept Keeper brushed and clean. I canned,  did other projects that needed doing. Painting etc. I took care of the girls (chickens and their coop.. I took care of the goats and their barn....Then poof that all stopped. I spent the first few months of working feeling like everything was spinning out of control LOL. I thought ok I know both people work outside the home and still take care of their home in our case farm. But for the life of me I was having a hard time with it.  I wound up at first working pretty much full time not part time as planned so that didn't help... I drive 60 miles round trip to work and back. So that takes time... We are making some changes, all should be sorted out soon :o) .. I gained a whole new appreciation for DH working and trying to do things here and he has said he knew I did a lot here but he had no idea exactly how much till it wasn't being done anymore LOL  and now realizes just how much I did. So I guess in that respect it has been a eye opener for both of us. 

I have a question on by invitation only blogs... Maybe one of you guys can help me ... I  used to read a sewing blog called Mushywear. I enjoyed it very much. I tried to go to read it recently and it said it was for invited readers only to contact the blog author. mmm well since I don't have a email address and it won't let me get to the blog to ask to join..... anyone know how to get to the blog author to ask to read the blog?  Mushy if by chance you see this post please email me :O)

This time of year is so nice. Its green and we are not super hot yet this year. We are sadly still 6" behind on rain. But this is Texas and that seems to be our normal.  I have almost got all of the garden in. I am hoping for bumper crops as last year was a bust. I heard that from so many people last year.. Plants and few veggies.. seemed to be the theme... I canned a few tomatoes and some pickles and that was it. Oh I did get a lot of blackberries off the Kiowas :O)...froze those.

We had a VERY late freeze this year... I was out covering nearly 200 seedlings with old nursery pots, luckily I had a lot of hay in the rows already as I use hay to mulch deep every year. It really helps to retain moisture, keep the plants cooler and no weeding for me.. I only lost 4-5 plants to the freeze.. I was very happy :o)... the hoop frames we built a few years  back have been super. We had been given some shade cloth if you guys remember in pieces and I sewed it into huge pieces to cover each hoop frame. It was 75% shade cloth. I would put it on when we started hitting that 100 degrees plus daily business we do here for sometimes months on end. The plants did very well. Well sewing thread has a hard time holding up to Texas heat and to rain etc. so the shade cloths usually needed repair each year. Soooo this year we have invested in new shade cloth. We ordered 50% shade cloth which the plants will like even better I think. I can put it on as early as I want and not worry about it. Its wide enough to cover without seaming it together its 20 feet wide and we will cut it the lengths in one big piece to fit each hoop frame. No sewing and no more repairs on all those seams. I am totally sold on using hoop frames over my garden rows. It also cuts back on the amount of water I have to use. I can keep my garden going a lot longer. Plants just can't hold up to 100 degrees plus daily without burning up. Especially when by that time of year you can't buy a drop of rain here.

 Zucchini, I am trying caging them this year. I read about this. Saves space and they make just as good supposedly. Since I have given up a few rows to permanent plantings like the raspberries & blackberries. I thought well let me try this. I have soaker hose under the hay in all the rows. That has been really good. Saves me hand watering and I waste less water. 

Tomatoes, some of my tomatoes are bigger some smaller, some so small you cant see them but they are there down in the hay :O)

just like this little pepper fella.. he is snug as a bug. This is one reason I was lucky and didn't loose all my seedlings when we got the freeze! I covered them all with old nursery pots and pulled hay on top of the pots

Below are Kiowa blackberries. Last year they grew so much they took over the entire black walk area you see in front of them! They are not thornless. They have HUGE thorns. But they make giant tasty berries. Just huge berries, so fun to pick and eat.I cut them way back and have them tied up till we can get a trellis in. Umm yes in theory the trellis should have gone in first LOL.  The pots you see I am using to help straighten the canes from when they had grown forward. We just need to get a trellis built now. Some T post and wire and they will be good to go.

These are thornless blackberries. They were a bit harder to get started but are now doing really good. Again no trellis. I have them tied up. DH will put in some T post and wire for trellis as soon as he can get to it. But since they have no thorns these are not bad to deal with.

Two rows of raspberries, they are in the beginner stage. I put these in last year. I have not got all the haying done on these yet. Need to fill in. I don't know how these will ultimately do. You don't see a lot of raspberries here. But so far these are trying hard. I was not sure they made it as they looked so dead after winter lol... I haven't grown raspberries before this... I pruned them like I thought I understood too but I think in reality I pruned some canes I should not have. Well live and learn. It will just give them more time to work on their roots :O)....I probably should have only put in one row till I saw what they would do here, but well I ran onto a bunch of plants on megga clearance and well as you see I have two rows LOL they do have trellis.

Do you guys remember the fruit orchard... It started out like this 
then we added KnockOut roses around it for a fence and a few more trees, gates in the front. Couple years later it looks like this

The roses grew in really fast to make a lovely fence around it. This was our second and third attempt on some fruit trees. I guess we just had to find the right spot. Plus we have learned a lot and one thing is mulch, mulch, mulch. Its the only way to keep anything watered here and it helps create the dirt you want. Keeps the roots cooler. We have about 12" of wood chips under the hay you see, well I should say did. They have begun to decompose and we don't have any more right now so hay went down. When the county tree trimmers are in the area you can get them to dump wood chips at your place for you. Hay works really well too. You just have to pile it deep as it decomposes a bit faster. It makes the nicest dirt. Hay is much easier to get.

 Iris so easy to grow. So pretty :O)

That turned into a long post,  that concludes my garden tour for today :O)


sandra hagan said...

a lovely garden of Iris and veggies and berries. tomatoes are a staple for me, bell peppers too, both berries are favorites. i think the orchard is growing fairly fast.

it is always more clear, another's path, when we walk in their moccasins.

i'm sure the changes will benefit you both.

i missed Keeper. hope he is well and happy.

good job Texan and hubs and Keeper too!

Sandy said...


Hey Girl, good to see you back!!!

All of your plants, berries, roses, greenhouse, and orchard look so healthy. Got to love spring, it's that time of year when things just blooming, and were off to a new start for plentiful harvests.
Give Keeper a scratch behind the ears, hope to see more of you :-)

Patty Woodland said...

We have soaker hoses on everything and it helps tremendously. Saves on time and water.

Glad to see you back!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Great to see you. You'll be happy to hear I planted a few things this week, and I'm trying your tip about the radishes and squashes together.
My garden last summer was a bust too.
It's so hard to balance it all. I hope the changes make things easier for you!

Terry said...

Texan! I'm so glad to read your blog again. Glad all is well - I bet you're super at interior design.
Your gardens look great!

Kev Alviti said...

Glad you're back! and good to see your garden is looking so good. It's funny to see the completely different sets of problems you have to face compared to what we grow with over here!

TexWisGirl said...

i've thought of you a lot - especially when i see folks working in their gardens. i don't know how you keep up with things - and obviously you've struggled. hope keeper and the goats and chickens are managing, though. :)

Carolyn said...

You have the most wonderful and productive garden. I'm full of admiration for your green thumb!