Category Archives: Gardening

Compost Test Update

Houston, we have germination!

It only took a week for these bush bean seeds to pop up, so far so good.  If the compost doesn’t burn up the roots, I should have quite a bit of green beans coming.  I chose beans to test the bed because Damon from Greenhorn Gardening recommended that you should start new beds with beans or another legume in his podcast. The seeds were inoculated before planting.  Also on another podcast I listen to, Jack at The Survival Podcast, suggests them to test to see if there are any herbicides in the compost because beans seem to be more susceptible to them. We shall see.

The compost mix has quite a bit of wood chips in it, almost makes it look like mulch,  especially after a few waterings. I will mulch this bed with either straw or grass clippings when the plants get bigger.  The other beds are already mulched with shredded leaves.

I am really enjoying gardening, for me it’s just one of the things in life that feels right.  I am growing part of what my family needs for food and I like that.  There’s plans for adding laying hens, rabbits and maybe fish to the backyard food cycle.  I will try to use some permaculture principles and experiment. Of course I want to do it all at once, but I know I should keep a manageable number of projects going while I am learning new stuff.

Thank God for podcasts, I have learned a lot about numerous topics while doing other tasks.  Don’t tell my boss.

Thanks and God Bless.

This post is part of Friday’s Photo on Your Gardening Friend



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Compost Delivery

For my birthday my brother-in-law had four yards of organic compost delivered from The Soil Supermarket.  He took particular delight in knowing he was getting me a giant pile of poop.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that there was very little manure in the mix.  It was a very thoughtful and timely gift.

The compost, as delivered, seemed to be hot.  So I used some to top dress my beds and made one bed using mostly this compost.  In that bed I have bush bean seeds planted to see if they will germinate.  I figure that I’ll either have a whole mess of beans or a bed ready to go for broccoli and leaf lettuce come fall.

By the way, whoever invented the two wheeled wheel barrow is a stinking genius.  Much more stable, only slightly less nimble.  This one is my brother-in-laws, he’ll probably want it back. Dang-it.

Thank you and God Bless.


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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.


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