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Posts Tagged ‘Lasagna Gardening’

My Spring Flower Garden

And yes, I am woefully behind in posting! My apologies, I’ve been kinda busy. Not to fear, however; yours truly has been feverishly (well, OK, maybe not that feverishly) working on her spring garden! However, without much work and a lot of spring rain, relatively cool temperatures (for Texas) and sun, my flower garden has just exploded with color and beauty. The pic above doesn’t do my garden justice, but you get the drift.

The veggie garden is, of course, underway. I’ve been pulling out plants from my fall/winter garden that were going to seed and I’ve been prepping the raised beds. This weekend I look forward to planting summer lettuce, bok choy, and basil, and will be giving it the old college try again for yellow squash and butternut squash (and try to be even more vigilant for the evil Squash Vine Borer) and all kinds of beans (got bean innoculant this time, so I hope my bean crop this year will be much better than last’s).

And, yes, my famous Malabar Spinach is in full swing, with two seedlings coming up in the Malabar bed, and three coming up in seedling pots. I’ll probably be giving a couple of plants to loved ones this year because even one plant just explodes into hundreds of delicious and beautiful leaves, and I don’t need five plants just for me! I’ve also got a bunch of volunteer Thai Basil coming up in the spot in front of the Malabar bed where I’d planted the basil last year, so I won’t have to plant any of that myself, thanks to Mama Nature’s help!

Closeup of Compost Tomatoes

What about tomatoes, you ask? After all, it is a perennial summer favorite of just about every gardener worth their salt, you say. Well, funny you should ask! Earlier this spring, I moved my compost pile but instead of bagging up the compost that I had in the old pile, I forgot about it and left it where it was. I had previously noticed that there were several small weeds growing in the old pile, but last weekend looked at it more carefully, and low and behold – in addition to what are truly weeds, I have about 25 tomato seedlings popping up out of the old compost pile! While I don’t remember it, I must have thrown chopped tomato with some seeds into my compost, because these are almost undoubtedly tomato plants! I’m very excited about that, and it spares me from having to actually buy any tomato plants.

However, I’m not sure what kind of tomatoes I’m going to have – these could be seeds from last year’s crop, or regular-sized or roma tomatoes I bought from the store, or maybe even a mixed array. It will be interesting to see what comes up! My mom also gave me a hanging cherry tomato plant for Easter, so it looks like my tomato bases have been more than covered!

Also, I have just planted several berry plants along my fence near the main flower bed. My sweetie (who is also a gardener) gave me two blackberry plants and two blueberry plants for Valentine’s Day – best Valentine’s gift EVAR (well, for a gardener like me, anyway). I waited until after Easter to plant them, because we kept getting freezing, or close to freezing, temps late into what I call our Texas spring (which usually starts in February). I also planted another blueberry plant I already had, and I finally planted my Goji Berry plant that I’ve had in a pot for about 3 or 4 years now. All of the berry plants are doing well in their new locales, and I look forward to having various berries later this summer.

Speaking of berries, I was amazed to find that most of the strawberry plants from last year survived our many hard winter freezes despite me not covering them up. I replanted them in a big stainless steel tub utilizing the Lasagna Gardening method (more on that later). And I already have several strawberries ripening! Very exciting!

And finally, I have some asparagus crowns that I need to plant this weekend as well. These were also a Valentine’s gift from my sweetie. However, I’ve had the crowns so long that they’ve already sprouted a coupla stalks! I could have planted them earlier, but since they are a long-living, perennial veggie, I’ve had a difficult time deciding where to put them. Finally decided I’d put them in my little raised bed next to the house where I’d planted butternut squash last year. I’ll probably plant either lettuce or baby carrots with it, or I might transplant a couple of tomato plants from the compost pile, since tomato and asparagus are suppose to be excellent companions (though lettuce and carrots do well with it too). Of course, I’ll have to wait a year or two before I can enjoy my harvest, but that’s OK. I do love me some asparagus!

Well, I guess that’s about it for my little update. I am going to try harder to keep this blog updated more frequently, though, you know – promises, promises! But I will try. In any case, if you’ve never been here before, please check out my other postings, cuz you might find some useful gardening and cooking info, at least I hope you do!

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This morning, whilst beginning my day at ye olde soul-sucking job, I was, of course, cruising the Internet instead of working (“Bad Zippy, Bad Girl!”). Salon.com happens to be one of the sites I visit throughout the day, even though I often get annoyed by much of Salon’s whiny intellectuals skeptical over any damn thing that can’t be easily grasped by the five senses and overly earnest liberal do-gooders who would as soon flagellate themselves as to throw away a single plastic bag. See, once in my young life I tried to be a whiny intellectual but decided I’d have more fun being a dang fool enjoying the heck out of life. I’m even known to talk to the Big Dude/Dudette in the Sky a lot, too, though I’ve come to have little use for religion. I’ve also in my young life been a liberal do-gooder flagellating myself, but that’s no fun either, and, well, life is short.

Unfortunately, my verbage isn’t, so let me wind up my wind-baggedness and wind my way around to my points. However, before you castigate me as some Texas redneck sitting on the banks of the Colorado scratching my fat arse, lemme tell ya, I do engage in critical thinking from time to time, I do recycle, I love animals and don’t eat em (well except for a fishy or two now and then), I try to do good to my fellow sentient beings (and often fail at the task), and I pretty much vote Democrat, so there. It’s just that Salon gets a little too carried away with itself, and sometimes the writers and the readers get either pretty dang mean-spirited or self-flagellating, more so in the last several years. Sometimes I just have to quit reading it for a while, but I usually come back, at least to scan the blurbs on the home page, read Keef and his K Chronicles (I love that dude), check on Carol Lay’s wacky alternate universe, read the beloved Opus and occasionally see if Cary Tennis’ advice is poetically spot-on or just wordy and has no point. Oh ya, and I read Stephanie Z’s movie critiques, cuz usually she is right on in her reviews.

Anywho, so I’m reading Salon, and find that they have instituted a nifty little feature series called Pinched: Tales From An Economic Downturn and today’s article is on growing yer own recession garden. You can read it right here. It’s a great article, about how the author decided to quit giving Whole Paycheck so much of his paycheck and started a garden to save money, and discovered its many faceted joys, other than saving money. I loved it.

Then I started reading the reader comments. Ugh, the whiny intellectuals started on their negative rants early this a.m.!  (Cue whiny, intellectual nasily voice): It’s too expensive, it’s too much work, you don’t really save any money, you people who are gardening are idiots fer trying and yer idiocy is polluting the gene pool yada yada yada ad nauseum.

Well, ya bet yer pal Ms. Zippy got in on the action! I don’t often post to forums, but gardening and self-sufficient living has become such a passion for me that I just had to put in my two cents and let peeps know that not only is it not that expensive, it’s also not that difficult, especially if you try some of the less conventional techniques such as SFG, lasagna gardening, Mittleider gardening and even cheap hydroponics! That, and start out with some stuff that’s easy to grow, and save seeds from produce and bulk beans and grains ya buy at Wholieristic Than Thou Foods or yer local organic food source.

I don’t want to reiterate the whole post in this here blog, but in future blog posts I want to expand on the things I said in the Salon post. (If ya wanna read in its entire, click here).

One of the main purposes of this blog (besides letting me ramble relentlessly, unfettered, and unhinged) is to show you, dear reader, that it is possible to do things to live more self-sufficiently, such as gardening, and it is possible to do it at a fairly low cost and fairly easily.

That’s not to say it isn’t a challenge at times (wait til my heart-breaking post coming up on the resurgence of the evil terrorist squash vine borer in my beloved butternut squash), but it is rewarding. To enjoy one’s own basil in one’s own homemade pesto is sublime, to eat one’s beautiful, easy-to-grow and prolific Malabar spinach, stir-fried in olive oil with onions is divine. And the fun I’ve had watching my green babies pop their little heads out of the soil and grow with a vengeance, and encountering various critters such as geckos crawling over the Malabar and eating bugs, and frogs making little dens in my potted plants, is worth any effort I’ve put into these endeavors. I’ve just gone nuts over gardening, I can’t hep it!

And while I’m certainly no expert, you get to tag along with me on this blog and see how I conduct this experiment in self-sufficient living, learn from my mistakes and get the advantage of some of the research I have done. Of course, you’ve already witnessed some of my experiments and challenges, but I will continue to do more experiments, do more research, and post on all of that so that you can learn too, maybe avoid some of my mistakes and find an easier path to self-sufficient living.

Stay tuned for future posts – coming up soon: yes, we’re gonna get to the promised posting on the fall greens I’ve started – mustard, kale, bok choy and spinach, and they’re already taking off (dadgum good thing my fave veggies are greens)! We’ll also have the heart-rendering, tearjerker post on the evil squash vine borer, of course. And yes, I have completed my experiment on chia-brown rice bread and have come up with a yummy, wheat-free recipe that tastes (to me anyway) like whole wheat bread, and is great for a gluten-free or wheat-free diet.

So tune in, don’t drop out and keep those comments and emails coming – I love to hear from ya!

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