Curing An Extra Itchy Case Of The Gardening Stupids

I would bet that most gardeners have a list of a few things that they do, out of habit, that are counterproductive. For me it’s gardening without gloves or long sleeves. I almost never wear gloves or long sleeves. I love to work the soil with my hands, I weed bare handed and I harvest…

Shrub-A-Dub-Dub What To Do With Imperfect Fruit

While we had plenty of rain this year for my vegetables it was a poor year for fruit. We got so much rain this year that the peaches all aborted and the limbs oozed sap trying to find a way to compensate for the deluge. My persimmon also dropped most of its fruit in response…

How To Get Your Kids To Finish Their Homemade School Lunches.

I make my kid’s school lunches, and I have made them for the last 9 years. It doesn’t matter what you send, though, if they don’t eat it. So! How do you make sure they eat what you send, so that their bodies are ready for daily exercise and learning? I have a few pointers…

Low Maintenance, Highly Productive, Annual, Summer Vegetables.

The things I grow in summer are things that I don’t have to baby. Today our “feel like” temperature was 103 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m not interested in doing manual labor in that sort of heat (Although, I did. I was out in that heat for about an hour and a half yesterday weeding and pulling…

Be The Bee! How And When Hand Pollinating Makes Sense.

We had a nice long winter, down here in Texas, that had enough chill hours for my fruit trees. Unfortunately, our bee population in the spring is pretty sparse. I had some hardships that made it impossible to get out and pollinate my pear tree. After I watched all of the small fruit abort I…

How I Restored My Antique Iron: Two Methods

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,…

Reaping The Rewards Of Spring Planning

This month is heavy on the picking and light on the work. Why? Because I worked hard in the spring to create this exact scenario. Water-wise, deep beds have yielded incredible amounts of produce. See how we built them here: Hugelkultur, Keyhole Gardens: Bridging Ideas and here: Mother’s Day Raised Hugelkultur Bed! Instructions for creating…

Mother’s Day Raised Hugelkultur Bed!

This is a great time of year to plan and build raised beds. This is how I built my raised beds and I have given them no supplemental watering in the last two years of San Antonio heat. I’ve had bumper crops with almost no input outside of planting and occasional weeding! This has been…

Ants, Aphids, Honeydew And Sooty Mold

Sooty mold is usually what tips gardeners off that there’s an aphid issue. The mold is black, ugly and can slow down growth by blocking light to the leaves of plants. In general the mold itself is not a huge problem, but it’s definitely an indication that you have a problem with two intertwined insect…

Planting In A Raised Bed: Getting Around Hardening Off

I live in Texas. Things get hot fast and our springs are usually very hot, windy and dry. Putting out transplants is tough. If you are using grow lights and have sprouted your seed indoors (or if you bought from a nursery that grew inside a greenhouse): your plants are not going to like immediate…