Monthly Archives: February 2012

Last Summer’s Foundation Garden

Summer 2011 was a rough one for gardening. Severe drought plagued south Texas; it wasn’t just dry, record heat compounded the problems.  This was the year I decided to grow a few things for the first time.  As an aside, this is how my luck goes, so stay tuned as I mess with power tools, firearms and what not…  bound to get interesting.

I tried cilantro, basil, oregano, tomatoes and jalapenos.

The oregano was a non starter, the seeds germinated leggy and got worse from there.

This little experiment was planted along an east facing brick wall.  The soil was pretty much just clay with some sand I mixed in from where the swing set used to be.  I put my starts and seedlings in the ground, mulched with grass clippings and stood back with pride.  That was around April.

I kept the mulch deep, like 8 inches deep.  After tiring of watering with a coffee can, I buried a soaker hose under the mulch.  That worked out pretty good.  Everything grew well.

Started getting tomato and jalapeno blossoms, then the tomato plants started looking sick.  I diagnosed it as three different things, but looking back, I think the location didn’t get enough sun and tomatoes just don’t like wet feet, the pepper plants didn’t seem to care.

The pepper plants were a huge success, lots of frozen jalapenos put up.  My dad and friends got quite a few.  Believe it or not, it is February 16th and those two plants are still putting on peppers.

I began putting kitchen scraps directly under the mulch and putting earthworms in the bed.  The soil is looking more like soil and the afternoon shade probably kept everything alive.



Filed under Gardening

The Self Sufficient in the Suburbs Blog

Hello, my name is Phil.  I am starting this adventure to learn how to provide for my family’s needs with very few resources.  The scope of projects that we will tackle will be broad and focus on saving money and being as self-sufficient as possible.

Just three generations ago our country’s families provided for themselves in almost every way. They needed and craved community, but weren’t reliant on complete strangers for everyday NEEDS like food, water, shelter and security. My goal is to convert my home on a postage stamp lot into a homestead that provides for my needs rather than just another bill that I have to go to work to pay for.

I will mess it up but it will be exciting and educational.

All of this will take place on a small suburban lot south of Houston, TX.

Now I understand some people believe that it is impossible to be 100% self-sufficient, maybe so.  My goal is to see how much can be achieved living in town.

God bless.

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