Monday, May 31, 2010

Squash versus the Squash Vine Borer

In our neck of the woods, the squash vine borer is endemic, fast, and lethal.  No method, whether natural or napalm,  can withstand the borer if he wants your squash.  Many experienced gardeners have given up on certain varieties of squash altogether. 

For some reason, the borer hasn't found my garden yet so I'm growing squash like mad while I can. What kind of squash is in the garden this year? Butternut, yellow, calabacita, and yellow zucchini, spaghetti, in that order.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Perennial Artichokes

Pity my severely neglected garden.  Between Dad's illness and two new kids, I've barely paid it any attention. I planted about half of the things I intended to plant; everything has been planted a little bit late; weeds have taken over most of the beds; watering has been sporadic.

Fortunately, the weather has been just a about perfect this spring and summer -- lots of rain, sunny, no cruel heat waves just yet.  And our soil is in great shape from several years of turkey manure amendments and mountains of compost.  Best of all, the permaculture beds are pretty much taking care of themselves.  So far, I've found a few plants that are either more or less perennial or reliably reseed themselves in our climate:  cilantro, basil, kale, leeks, chard, and several lettuces.  It doesn't sound like much but add a few easy-to-grow varieties of squash, tomatoes, peppers, and such, and we've had a more than adequate harvest this summer, with hardly any attention to the garden.

It's only recently that I realized artichokes would love our climate.  And they do love it!  We had a couple of hard freezes last year that I thought had killed them off.  But the original two plants came right back, more vigorous than ever.  And those that I let go to seed sent their babies to the original bed and all over the surrounding field.  Where once we two artichokes are now about fifteen healthy plants.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Life versus Blogging

Life has been richly complicated since I last posted anything at all.  My dad got sick and had to come live with us for a while.  It was serious; he was tough and determined to get better; he got a lot better and went to live with my brother and sister-in-law.

And then....

We adopted two children.

So life is richly, richly complicated and I haven't made time to blog.

In the meanwhile, the wildflowers decided to have their best season in years.  We had a Bluebonnet explosion to welcome the children.

Welcome to central Texas, babies!  We hope you like it here.