I usually grow my vining melons on a trellis. Trellising makes them easy to care for and the plants themselves are healthier. Getting melon vines off the ground keeps the powdery mildew under control and I can easily spray the leaves when the inevitable aphid explosion comes. Since I like to research things, and I'm … Continue reading Melon Trellising
Flowers are beautiful examples of sexual reproduction. We gather them, we create bouquets, we stick our noses into a plant's sex organs and take a deep breath of intoxicating fragrance. The idea of sex (at least when we look at our own species) seems to be incredibly more complex and inherently immature. I will point … Continue reading Be The Bee! How And When Hand Pollinating Makes Sense.
Right now I am finishing up the main chores I have left until our summer is in full swing. Our days are already in the 80's and 90's but we are still cooling off at night (and when it rains) so it's not officially summer weather for us. I have to hurry to get everything … Continue reading Pre-summer Checklist
Cardboard and paper trash is a gardener's treasure! This is a Hugelkulter/Keyhole cross, garden bed. I have grown in beds of this design for close to 10 years and I love them! I can grow an endless amount of things in these beds. This is a banana in the background and okra up front. Overwintered … Continue reading Building The Perfect Raised Beds
Sweet potatoes, beet roots (These are chiogga beets. White, yellow or striped beets have a milder flavor than solid red beets), beet greens and spring onions This is my recipe for using up spring veggies before the heat of summer ends their season. I grew all the veggies except the sweet potatoes (which are not … Continue reading Moroccan Sweet Potato Fritters with Ras El Hanout Yogurt Sauce
Both of my grandmother's had cast iron collections. These were things they either purchased in Kansas or are my family's heirlooms. My family on a road trip to Washington DC. My granny on my mom's side married a jerk, (to say it mildly) after my grandpa died. He made her get rid of her antiques, … Continue reading How I Restored My Antique Iron: Two Methods
This Easter we went to our family's low country shrimp boil in San Antonio. I love the food every year! This year though, was a bit different. I discovered last year that I can't eat wheat. I've developed an allergy to it, and it's pretty serious. I'm not gluten intolerant, either. I can eat other … Continue reading Best Damn Rainbow Fruit Skewers And Dip Out There!
Black pearl oyster mushrooms from field and forest. I was perusing some of my favorite nursery catalogs this winter and saw mushroom spawn. I have wanted to try growing my own mushrooms for years but never got around to doing it. This year I decided was different. I looked around online for a company that … Continue reading Growing Your Own Mushrooms.
It's spring in south Texas! It has been unusually cold. The last two nights froze and we've had many nights like that since our first freeze of the season. This is really unusual. In zone 8b we usually have nice weather peppered with freezes. Not this year, though. Spring has sprung down here! Usually I … Continue reading Garden Planning
This is the fourth and final installment of my beginner gardening tutorial. For this class I decided to list some of my favorite books and growing aides. The book list is by no means exhaustive but I have some that have truly helped me form the backbone of my gardening approach. These products have definitely … Continue reading Beginning Gardener: Class 4-Walking You Through What You Need To Know
This is the third part of a four part online course. It’s free and if you would like to know more go to the top of this page and click on the Gardening Basics tab. Or you can get the first and second parts of this course here: Beginning Gardener (part 1) and Beginning Gardener … Continue reading Beginning Gardener: Class 3-Walking You Through What You Need To Know
Learning to garden takes time. It's also helpful to have a seasoned gardener show you how to garden in your area. If you don't have someone on hand: you now have me! I may not live where you do (and it makes a huge difference if you are growing in a different area) but I … Continue reading Beginning Gardener: Class 2-Walking You Through What You Need To Know
Spring is on the way! It's time to brush up on your gardening skills and learn about new gardening ideas. This year I thought I'd get back to basics and start publishing pieces of my gardening advice from my page: Gardening Basics. For the novice gardener: read on and stay tuned! This is pretty much … Continue reading Beginner Gardeners: Walking You Through What You Need To Know
I have a confession: I am a messy gardener. I have been gardening for decades and I have been collecting seeds all along my journey. I have attempted to organize before. But invariably, half way through the season my carefully cataloged seed packets are a big honking mess. I have tried different ways to organize … Continue reading Conquering Seed Packet Clutter
Every once in a while I end up on Pinterest. I try not to do it often, because it's like going to an all you can eat buffet: I think I can eat (or do) way more than reality will allow me to. On one of my visits to Pinterest I saw some melted pony … Continue reading Melted Perler Bead and Pony Bead Craft Projects
Fire cider is something I've been aware of for approximately ten years. It's some potent stuff, and my family turns to it when there's illness in our home. I started my home remedy journey with this fantastic book: Natural Health, Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier I have been using this as my "home … Continue reading Fire Cider: Immunity Booster
While we were in Colorado there was a trend to rip out anything that was growing and replace it with a gravel landscape. Every time I saw someone ripping out their grass to do this: I wanted to throttle them. Here is why: rock is not low maintenance. I understand those who don't garden are … Continue reading Please Don’t Rock Your Yard!
I have been growing bananas for several years now. Mainly, I grow Gros Michel which is a full sized, fruiting, antique banana. The first few winters: I brought them into my front entry that could accommodate the 12+ foot bananas and kept them in pots with grow lights on them. They didn't like it. They … Continue reading Putting Bananas To Bed For Zone 8b Winter
Elderberry syrup (also called sambucus) is a fantastic home remedy for colds! The syrup is really tasty (if it's done right) but it's very expensive. The brand we have at the moment. We have a middle schooler and an elementary school student in our home. They both had their tonsils out last year because we … Continue reading Are You Interested In Growing Elderberries?
A bag of cranberries and an orange. This recipe is from my mother in law. All of my husband's family loves it and everyone I've introduced it to loves it as well (including my mother, who abandoned her version of cranberry salad for this recipe. It's that good!) Quarter a whole orange (include the rind … Continue reading The Very Best Cranberry Salad