One of the things I have grown to love about living in the southwest, is the long growing season. Sugar peas can be planted just after my Valentine’s Day birthday as the last frost here is around the third week in March. Our first frost of the season was the week before Thanksgiving last year – which meant we had home grown tomatoes (ripened in the windowsill) with our Christmas dinner.
Here is what our garden area looked like the day we moved in, during the last week in June 2012. Those bushes on the right had thorns and the corner to the left was covered with virginia creeper. And the green you see was full of prickers and thorny weeds that needed to be mown, then sprayed, then reseeded with grass.
The following spring, we installed a fence to keep our livestock at bay. You can see the rows I had turned over to remove rocks (you wouldn’t believe how well Texas soil grows rocks!) and created a labyrinth of soaker hoses for irrigation. – March 2013.
The next picture is two years later in March of this year (2015) – Broccoli and Cauliflower are happy on the far left. Rosemary and lavender are slowly waking up. I built a new bench out of pallets and filled the two large planters with compost. Two varieties of lettuce planted along the border of the patio. Sugar peas planted in the row with a primitive wattle fence. Turned over two rows on the right for the first time.
This was May of 2015. From left to right – Newly planted row of zucchini, raspberries past bloom with fruit set, lavender is almost to full bloom, newly built shade pergola to hold grape vines, lettuce still growing, cotton planted along the back wall, oleanders in full bloom, tomatoes planted and caged, peppers planted, potatoes are blooming, okra is up to 6 leaves, morning glories are slowly starting to climb the fences.
This was yesterday after weeding a month’s growth and covering paths with grass clippings – July 2015. Zucchini is happy to receive some fresh rabbit poop from a fellow 4H family. Rosemary, Lavender, and Lemon Balm all could use a haircut and harvest. Grapes are slowly grabbing hold of the pergola lattice. Cotton about mid thigh high along the back wall. Tomatoes fruiting slowly and growth is beginning to meet in the middle of the support trellis, no eggplant fruit yet. Peppers are happy and producing a couple each day. Potato plant died back so I trimmed the growth and left the tubers underground to dig as we need them on the menu. Morning glories are lush and happily covering the border fence.
This has also been a wonderful dimension for for our children to learn about agriculture in a hands on way in addition to our homeschooling.
Do you have a place to grow things like flowers and vegetables?
What hobbies do you like to do for your sanity?