Adventures in the Dirt

Spring 2020 As I mentioned in my last “Adventures in the Dirt” post, I’m giving the gardening thing another go. I’m all in this year, planting as much as possible and trying several new things. I’d love to share how my garden is growing with you! Pictured above is a Marigold. I’ve never grown them before, so when it started coming up I wondered if it was a weed (we have some pretty weeds in central Texas). As it grew bigger I decided it wasn’t like any weed I’d ever seen, so I took my plant identifying app to it, and sure enough – it was a Marigold! Yay! A couple of other new flowers I’m attempting to grow are Sunflowers and Nasturtium. Flowers are a little more of a challenge for me. The Nasturtium is struggling a little as you can see in this picture. I’m attempting to resolve it’s issues.
The sunflowers are doing fairly well. I think it’s about time to stake them. I planted two seeds in each space and they all sprouted. I attempted to transplant one and so far, it’s not doing great. I’m waiting to see if it bounces back before I move any of the others.

I’m also attempting tomatoes in pots with Basil as a companion. The Basil is looking beautiful!
The netting over the top is part of a squirrel guard my sweetie made for me. Squirrels are a huge problem in my yard. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to replant because of those little buggers! So, my ever creative husband built these “squirrel guards” out of PVC pipe, deer netting, and zip ties. The smaller one in the background is wood. He originally made two like that for the smaller containers a couple of years ago. The big one below was just made a few days ago. I love them! They’re all super light and easy to move around. Best of all, they keep the squirrels out of my plants!

There’s another tomato and Basil pot at the other end. The black containers are; beans and peas, carrots and onion, Beefsteak tomato, and Spinach and strawberries. Strawberries are very difficult to grow from seed, so I’ve ordered some plants just in case. Spinach is a cool weather plant. Since things are starting to heat up around here already, the spinach may not get very far. The raised bed in the background is a cinder block one that hasn’t been used in a couple of years. At the time of the above picture, it just had weeds in it. Yesterday, however, we turned it into this:
I had Arugula, lettuce, and Swiss Chard growing in pots and decided to give them a little more room and see how they do. The pot on the ledge is a pepper plant and I’m hoping to put him in the ground pretty soon too.

I have another raised bed where the Nasturtium and Marigold live with some lettuce, a failed attempt at turnips, and some newly planted cucumber. My hubby is just starting to build a combination squirrel guard/cucumber trellis. The netting on this one will have a Velcro closure that I can open and close when I need to work in there instead of having to lift it off. That wouldn’t work so well for the cucumbers.
The little guard sitting in the bed right now is protecting my cucumbers which have just started to pop!
I’ve had great success with cucumbers in the past. I’m hoping this year will be successful as well. Cucumbers are one of my sweetie’s favorites.

I have several other things growing in pots; Chrysanthemums in bloom,

some Sweet Basil and Peppermint (2 peppermint plants),

more Italian Basil (we love Basil),

some English Thyme,

a little Calendula just starting,

and this surprise planter. I put several flowers and herbs in here. Then, a cute little squirrel came and dug a bunch of it up. I have no idea what was left and now that Rich put another of his guards on it, I’ll have a chance to find out!

One of my most exciting additions to the garden (two actually) is a Lilac bush and a Gardenia! Gardenias are my absolute favorite flower and Lilacs are a close second! I’ve wanted to grow them for years, but was always too intimidated. This year I decided to go for it. They have both rewarded me with one little bloom.

It will be a few years before they bloom seriously, but this was very exciting for me. I’m planning to ask Rich to make guards for them too.

A couple more pics before you go:
A little visitor to our backyard, and the new raised bed that we’re hoping to finish once we can get dirt to fill it.
The original plan was to have a co-op garden with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids. This stage of construction on the raised bed is as far as we got before the world went crazy and “stay-at-home” orders were issued. I’m hoping maybe we can make this a fall garden bed.

Phew! That was a lot! I guess I’m feeling a little ambitious this year! Not to mention having plenty of time on my hands. I hope you are all staying safe and find plenty of things to fill your life with joy despite current events. May the peace of Christ reign in your hearts!