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Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

All Bees Welcome

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After a very long winter (by Texas standards), Spring has finally arrived!

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The bulbs … Tulips, Narcissus and Hyacinths

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Irises

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Front bed — Betony and Lantana. Nestled up against the house, this lantana bloomed all winter

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Bluebonnets — mine are a little late, but coming along

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Wisteria

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My first Mountain Laurel bloom ever!

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Yucca Bloom

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The veggies — tomatoes and peppers are planted. A few winter veggies are still going, and I’m letting things bolt for the bees

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Citrus

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Even the chickens know it is spring. Here are two sitting on eggs. One is using an old rabbit nesting box. We’ll have to keep an eye on her, as she’s about ¬†feet up in the air.

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Today ended up much chillier than I anticipated, and with the drizzle, I wasn’t feeling too motivated to garden.

I took pictures instead (and attended a hands-on a bee class – post to come later)

My MIL worked tirelessly last weekend and this Saturday helping me clean up around the yard. Last weekend was the vegetable garden.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Onions, Carrots, Lettuce, Melons, Squash, Peppers

Onions, Carrots, Lettuce, Melons, Squash, Peppers

Newly planted pepper bed

Newly planted pepper bed

First Squash - pass-along from Ms. Black, my daughter's FFA teacher

First Squash – pass-along from Ms. Black, my daughter’s FFA teacher

First Tomato

First Tomato

Beans and corn planted yesterday

Beans and corn planted yesterday

Yesterday was the back yard, weeding, raking, and general cleanup.

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Finally got my garden gates back from the powder coater, just in time for my climbing rose to take off.

Finally got my garden gates back from the powder coater, just in time for my climbing rose to take off.

Grape Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth

California Poppy - I miss these from Phoenix, and finally have my own

California Poppy – I miss these from Phoenix, and finally have my own

Next I took a tour outside the fence, trying to capture wildflowers

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Our lambs grazing in the background

Our lambs grazing in the background

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My garden helpers — These guys follow me around everywhere. The guineas are usually in 3s, but today she was off wandering.

Carl

Carl

Guinea Hen

Guinea Hen

Checking on some of the poultry …

Our 3 peafowl, we don't know the sex yet, no full tails until 2 years of age

Our 3 peafowl, we don’t know the sex yet, no full tails until 2 years of age

Gobbling with me ... a favorite pasttime

Gobbling with me … a favorite pasttime

Waiting for scratch?

Waiting for scratch?

And on to the orchard

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First peach!

First peach!

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>Citrus Status

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The citrus trees are varying in stages from a handful of shoots (due to barely escaping the winter), to ripening fruit, to sweet smelling buds.

Lemonquat.
I was about to give up on the fruit, but it does seem to be softening, so I’ll give it more time, especially since the tree is producing buds even with the existing fruit.

Lemonquat

Satsuma

Mexican Lime.
I decided this winter that all citrus in the yard would have to survive the winter or they would be replaced. Even though the mexican lime is in a pot I decided not to cover it or bring it inside. I fully expected this tree to bite the dust, but instead it is doing better than any of the others.
I am very confused, but happy!
The meyer lemon and pineapple orange have a few new branches. The kumquat has new leaves, but no buds yet.

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I mentioned as one of my spring goals that I wanted to find a limequat tree. I didn’t have much luck and just crossed it off the list. Last week at The Natural Gardener I didn’t find a limequat tree, but I did find a lemonquat. I think that’s close enough. Turns out they were having a 40% off sale on all trees, so I picked up three citrus trees. All are Texas hardy, so I can plant them right in the ground. This is a requirement, since I already have the fun of moving my Meyer Lemon and Mexican Lime in and out.

Lemonquat

Pineapple Orange (dwarf)

Otwari Satsuma (dwarf)
Meyer Lemon, just starting to ripen

Mexican Lime.
These taste more like an orange than a lime. I’m not sure if that is normal,
but they are extremely tasty.
I got a very useful tip from one of the workers at The Natural Gardener. She showed me a shoot that was coming up from the base one of the trees. It looked very green and healthy, but the leaves were a bit different, three parts to it, rather than the one big leaf of the tree. She said these would suck up all of the tree’s energy and should be plucked off. I recognized them from my lemon tree. This year the lime has been doing much better than the lemon and I wasn’t sure why. Turns out it was these shoots. I plucked them off this week (a few were so big I had to cut them) and the lemon tree is thriving.

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Tulips are my favorite flower and I finally planted some last fall. They started sprouting weeks ago, but didn’t flower until this morning. I’m not sure if the flower is supposed to be so close the ground, but I’m not complaining. I planted a total of 10 ( 2 different types) , all of which have sprouted, but only 1 flower so far.

The dewberry plant is flowering. You’re not supposed to get any berries the first year, but I just may get a few. The blackberries are just about to flower as well.

I planted both nasturtium and marigold from seed a week or two ago. I haven’t had any luck with the marigolds, but almost all of the nasturtiums came up. I didn’t get a chance today, but plan on running drip lines to them as well.

After giving up on the marigolds coming up, I picked up 6 yesterday. These worked so well last year at keeping the horn worms away that I just can’t do without them.
At the farmers market this weekend a guy was selling banana trees. My husband has been wanting on forever so I finally gave in. I ripped out some ruelllias that I wasn’t too fond of and put the tree in a nice corner spot. This location will block the north wind and hopefully keep the tree alive. The type is “Gran Nain”. This is the same as the commercial variety. From what I’ve been reading it should do fine with our weather. The only trick will be keeping the soil moist.

I noticed that a few of the veggies are looking a little rough. The squash is a little yellow in the leaves and the okra has some white veins and just overall looks unhappy. I have all of the veggies on the same drip system, and figure that the amount I’m giving the tomatoes is just too much for the other plants. I attached some 2GPH emitters to the tomatoes, so they’ll receive twice as much water as the other plants. I also attached some on-off switches to the okra, so I can give them even less water, if necessary.

The same guy who was selling the banana tree also had columbine. I picked up two, the standard yellow, which is a Texas native and a very pretty purple and yellow. I planted these in the back corner of the yard where there isn’t much sun. My only concern is the soil. I read that columbine prefers sandy well-drained soil and my soil is clay.

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