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.