This past Friday, I took my high school one-act play students to Bandera, TX. On the way there, we saw bluebonnets in bloom between Llano and Fredericksburg. I thought that those blooms were way ahead of our personal bluebonnets, but no, not at all. Saturday afternoon, we drove around the Mountain Pasture, and there they were, just beginning to peak their little blue bonnets out of the green plants. Above and below are photos of the first ones of the year here at our place in Central Texas. We welcome you, bluebonnets and spring!
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.
The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas. The blossoms resemble the bonnets of pioneer women. We have an abundance of the plants here at the Mountain Pasture. Summer before last, a friend gathered some seeds from our prolific plants. She planted them. They haven’t come up. She is distressed.
I was reading about bluebonnets today, and the success rate in planting seeds is 60%, and sometimes they don’t produce blooms for two years if they do come up. The plants are survivors, and they are very careful about protecting themselves. It is best to plant the seeds in the fall in soil that has good drainage. Some recommend that a person scar the seeds before planting them and barely cover them with soil. There are many recommendations on the Internet for planting bluebonnet seeds.
Sheep and goats eat bluebonnet plants as quickly as they poke their heads out, but cattle don’t care for the plants. I think we’ll have a fairly good crop this year. Below are some photos of the current state of the plants at the Mountain Pasture. Can’t wait to see them in bloom!
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.
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!