Adventures in the Dirt – 2022 Edition

So, you may have noticed that there were no gardening posts last year – or you may not have. Either way, this year will be different. Last year a thing called COVID happened to me just as spring and gardening time were upon me. I managed to squeeze in a few herbs by the time I was up and around, but overall I had no garden last year. I’m really hoping to make up for it this year by starting early and strong!

Veggie bed covered in deer netting

This is my cinder block raised bed. I planted Broccoli, Spinach, Kale, and Rutabaga from seed. We have a bit of a squirrel problem, so my husband and I constructed these covers out of PVC pipe and deer netting. They’re easily removed and work really well.

Below is a picture of another raised bed. You can’t see it real well in the picture, but it’s surrounded by a tall version of the cover above. Even this one, I can remove and put back myself because it’s so lightweight. In this bed I have; lettuce, carrots, spinach, and turnips. In a bit, there will be cucumbers at the end climbing up that trellis that you can see a little bit of. This picture was taken in the late afternoon/early evening. It gets full sun the rest of the day.

Veggie bed in the late afternoon.

I’m adding a few fun, decorative touches this year as well. Like this trellis with our initial in it for the jasmine, and Mr. Rabbit standing guard.

“L” for Lenz
Mr. Rabbit

I am not, by any means, an expert gardener. I mostly put things in the ground and see what happens. I do try to make sure that the things I plant together are good companions. I’m not afraid to try doing things a little differently from year-to-year.

For instance, the bed that Mr. Rabbit is in is usually reserved for herbs. I have some perennials in there that are working on coming back right now. This year, however, I got brave. I found the aforementioned jasmine and decided it would look lovely at the head of my herb garden. I researched companion plants for it, but didn’t find a lot of information, so I decided to give it a go.

Pink Jasmine that reminds me of home.

Right next to the Jasmine, or pretty close anyway, I decided to place a Texas Bluebonnet that I found at the nursery. I tried planting these from seed once, but they didn’t take. They’re a wildflower that doesn’t really bloom for very long so I didn’t think it would hurt to put it in there. It seems fairly happy so far.

Texas Bluebonnet – state flower and symbol of our new home . . . for the past 15 years.

In addition to these beds, I also have some tubs that I’ve used for years and had wonderful success with. One of them got a new installation of peppermint and two others have Swiss chard, and shallots and onions. I’m reserving the fourth for tomatoes.

Peppermint tub

I am obsessed with chocolate mint. Yes, my friends, CHOCOLATE mint! And it’s as wonderful as it sounds. I have always had trouble finding it, but this year I found it at Home Depot online. Strange, I know, but my normal seed vendors didn’t have it. So, here it is in all it’s glory and I have three pots of it! I don’t grow mint in the ground because it is incredibly invasive and would take over the yard.

One of three chocolate mint plants.

I haven’t even begun to mention all my potted plants on the deck; chocolate mint coleus (I told you I was obsessed with chocolate mint), holy basil, Jerusalem sage, purple fountain grass, cinnamon basil, columbine, purple basil (I’m a little obsessed with Basil as well), snapdragons, cosmos, and a creeping Jenny. I’ll post pics of those when they’re done recovering from winter, and when the seedlings are a little bigger.

I am really hoping for the best garden yet this year. Texas is really a great place for gardening because the growing season is so long. There are even crops that can be grown through winter and are even better once they’ve gone through a frost. I’m having fun no matter what and just like every other year, it’ll be an adventure and we’ll see what happens!

Happy growing! 👩🏻‍🌾

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