Watch out little peach tree! Several of the fruit trees my hubby planted last winter are now blooming. I think it might be too early! The last frost has not arrived yet, I fear! The old-timers go by the mesquite trees, and those trees have not begun to put on green leaves yet. They remain dormant.
Here is a photo of a blackberry plant that my husband planted a few weeks ago, and the next photo is of a blackberry plant planted last year about this same time. It is amazing what a year’s growth amounts to! Wow! Maybe, we’ll get a handful of berries this year! I can’t wait until I can make a fresh, blackberry cobbler! mmmmmm, good!
Here is a photo of a fruit tree planted a year ago, and the next photo is of a fruit tree planted this year. I just can’t believe they have grown this much in a year, especially with the Texas drought going on. Due to the dedication of my husband to keeping the trees alive, he watered them twice a day, every day last summer, and he did it by hand with a water hose, the trees grew by leaps and bounds.
I’ve been neglecting my blog because I am caught up in the web of One Act Play at the high school. I’m the director, and that position takes the time of a football coach, but the extra money for all the hours is not there, of course. I accepted long ago that the great state of Texas values football more than just about anything! I like it too, so I do what I do because I love theatre.
Today, on the mountain, it is raining, a heavy but slow, soaking rain. After last year’s drought in Texas, we are more appreciative of any rain. I suspect that this rain will make the Texas Bluebonnets, the state flower, come on strong, and we will have some great bluebonnet photos to show you in about a month. Today, water is running away from the house and into the tanks. We are praising God!
I was hoping that one could inherit a green thumb, but I don’t think I got my mother’s. She could make anything grow, and it would be the biggest, most beautiful plant you’ve ever seen. Did I mention her ivy plants? She got two little ivy plants from someone. In a blink, they were climbing up peat posts inserted into the flower-pots, and soon they were about 5 feet tall. We named them “Beowulf” and “Grendel”, names from the famous Anglo-Saxon poem.
My little tomato plants look rather pathetic. Someone commented on my blog that I should move them to a south window asap! I’m directionally challenged! When I was a kid, Daddy would make us all ride horses when he wanted to round-up the cattle or sheep or goats. He would tell each person which direction to go and where to bring the animals back to. He would often say something like, “Patsy, ride to the south fence and push everything toward the north corner.” He soon learned I had NO idea which fence was the south fence or where the north corner was. I would usually run into my brother or one of the hands because I was lost. I was useless. I always wondered why he kept me riding, but perhaps, he was a teacher at heart, and he didn’t want to give up trying to teach me.
I digress. I put the tomato plants in the kitchen window, thinking they were in a south window. Nope, that’s a west window! My son came over and said, “Mom! get your plants to a south window!” Bingo! It dawned on me. Now, they are in a south window, but they are still spindly. They have turned a darker green, and the stems have turned a reddish color. I don’t have a grow-light, and we’ve had very little sunshine this week, and I’m not home during the day to move them around. Perhaps I should invest in a grow light.
Those plants above are the seedlings from the seeds I planted 3 weeks ago tomorrow, Sunday. They are finally making the “real” tomato leaves. What do you tomato experts think?
Below are my new seedlings my son and I planted a week ago tomorrow. He gave me some of his seeds from his “League of Nations” garden. They just sprouted this week. It should be fun to see how these “different” tomato plants fare here at the Mountain Pasture. You can check out tomato seeds with “stories” behind them and tomato seeds that do well in foreign countries at the tomato man’s website: http://tomatofest.com/
Yum, yum! Can’t wait for supper tonight! How nice it is to have electricity and a freezer and be able to preserve those yellow, summer squash from the garden. I just got some out to thaw for supper tonight. The package states the amount, but actually I have used out of this package before, so if that doesn’t look like 2 1/2 cups, it’s probably not! These will simmer for a while with salt, pepper and butter and will taste nearly as delicious as when they were first picked from Grant’s garden last July.
It’s time to get your seedlings started and begin tilling your garden space if you live in Central Texas. My father-in-law, who lives down in the Texas Valley, reports that he already has some nice-sized tomato plants that he is anxious to set out. He, too, must worry about a freeze, but I’m guessing our freeze here in the Central part of the state will come much later than his freeze. I was out and about this morning in the country, and I can hardly believe how green the landscape is. The winter grasses and weeds seemed to have turned green overnight, but we are expecting temperature in the low to mid twenties tonight, so don’t put those plants out yet!
If you’re in Central Texas, it’s time to plant new trees! My hubby traveled over to Womack’s nursery near Comanche, Texas, today and brought back some oak trees, pecan trees, and apple trees. Thanks to Mama and Father Hall for a nice gift certificate! Below you see the oak trees going into the ground up on top of the mountain. The apple and pecan trees will go in the ground at the bottom of the hill, or at least, I’m assuming they will, but I don’t really know because I’ve been off all day thrift store shopping for the school play.
These are bare root trees, so they are easy to handle and transport. Last year, Hubby planted 14 bare root fruit and pecan trees, and they all survived even during the severe Texas drought, so we are sold!
First of all, my last blog post was intended for the student blog that my junior English class is writing at school. Cheyenne and Brooklyn wrote the piece, and somehow, their dingbat teacher posted it on her personal blog, instead of their blog! Oh well, it’s so good that I decided to leave it!
If you live in Central Texas, it’s time to get your seeds planted so that you will have plants to transfer to your garden after the last frost. You still have time to grow plants from seeds. I took the lazy man’s way out for a few plants and bought one of those nifty little containers at Wal-Mart that come with “dirt” that expands/grows when you add the water! What will they think of next? Absolutely anyone can handle planting seeds with these containers.
I started with two kinds of tomato seeds, Cherry and Beefsteak, but I plan to try some different varieties when my son brings some of his seeds to share with me. He has ordered a variety of different seeds that are grown in different countries around the world. He’ll call his garden “The League of Nations”. Our garden doesn’t have a name yet, other than, “Grant’s Garden”. That’s because he actually does all of the work.
I must admit though that I felt like a first grader watching the container every day to see if my seeds had sprouted. It took 4 days! Sooo exciting.
That second photo is when I just had to take the lid off to “see” for myself what was going on in there! I planted 3 seeds to each little “pod” of soil.
…and on the 5th day, they looked like this:
Oh yeah, there were no sunrise photos this morning because the sky was full of beautiful clouds which looked as if they were going to dump a truck load of rain on us, but they fizzled out as the day progressed. Hoping for some rain tonight!
Tuesday morning as I headed to school from our house in the country, I saw the most beautiful fog I think I’ve ever seen. I had my little camera with me, but the photos I got really don’t do it justice. As my husband said, “The hills looked like islands, floating on a sea of fog.” Driving ten miles in to the school where I teach isn’t any fun in fog, but it really wasn’t too bad. How and why did I get to be so lucky to see such beautiful sights every day?!
If you live in the country, your mind should be turning toward gardening and planting because spring will soon be upon us. My cousin has already tilled the soil in preparation for his spring vegetable garden. We will garden in a small way, but we are still eating yellow and zucchini squash out of our freezer that I put up last summer, as well as okra. All vegetables taste so much better fresh from the garden!
Daughter Stephanie gave me an herb garden for Christmas, but I haven’t gotten it planted yet. This will be my very first herb garden, so I’ll keep you informed as to all I learn about herb gardening.
Then, we also have to get some flower and shrub gardens going. This past week we got some flower beds trimmed out with large pieces of stone. Some of the stones weighed about 100 pounds each. Good thing we had some strong men to lift those rocks! Now, to get dirt in the beds and plants in the dirt. So, so ready for spring!
We will also head over to Womack’s nursery, near Comanche, Texas, and purchase some more fruit trees with Grant’s Christmas gift certificate. We are thinking of trying some apple trees. Has anyone ever grown apples here in Central Texas? Last winter we planted pecan, plum, pear, peach, and apricot trees, as well as antique blackberry vines and spineless blackberry vines. I’m getting hungry just thinking about all the fruit we’ll have one day! Maybe the grand-kids will be old enough to pick by the time the trees make fruit!