Sunday, September 21, 2014

Free days to frolic in the garden?!

Not this weekend (I first had to act like a grown up at a conference, then spend quality time with the husband and kids at Legoland-Dallas and the hotel pool. Legoland Dallas is not really a Legoland by the way- more like a mall attraction. The kids had fun though).

This week I have a few days off, and I'm happily thinking about garden projects.. I'll have to play clean-up at first (mowing, raking up all the mulch my chickens kick from the beds onto the crushed granite driveway). But, after that's done, I'll get to start laying out plans for new beds. I'm experimenting with smothering the St Augustine, layering organic material in the hopes that in the spring I can dig up the bed and plant less water hungry plants like I did in the front. The chickens have scratched up the edges of the newpaper/shredded hardwood mulch I placed on one spot, so I think I will try cardboard on the next area (after spraying a vinegar/epson salt/dish soap solution on the few shoots of grass trying to break through on the original area).  I'm too.. cheap/lazy/antisocial to hire a crew to dig out the grass so I'll try it this way this fall..

The front (which I dug out this spring) is looking infinitely happier after the rain:

It feels like the lantanas and salvias have finally stretched their spring-planted roots and decided to stick around for a while! The zinnias have regrouped, too, putting on a new set of blooms for the fall..

Of course, with the rain the nutsedge grass has popped up again- time to weed! I wonder if it has any benefits?

Nut sedge is annoying, but that may be a bluebonnet seedling in the bottom! I threw out many packets, after freezing some and putting them in near boiling water, just freezing and thawing the others. The back back is littered in sudden seedlings (probably of the indian blanket and black-eyed susans that grew this spring, but maybe also the winecup, evening primrose and horsemint seeds I threw out a few weeks ago, just before the rains). 

We visited cousins in Burleson this weekend- San Diego transplants that have settled in uneasily in the odd estate-like suburbs of Ft Worth. Apparently their HOA sends them letters every month commenting on their deficiencies ("No chickens, no weeds!".. This family would rather enjoy life than mow their lawn and they get in trouble for it..). They started a garden last year, but have let the bermuda weeds kind of take over this summer. I'm jealous of the fact that they have still managed to get an amazing crop of veggies! We drove home with an enormous watermelon, a bag of tomatoes and three spaghetti squash. The difference in latitude (and depth of soil!) must be just enough to keep them productive.

Spaghetti squash.. dinner for later this week.

Seriously- a volunteer watermelon vine that has grown 20 feet long!

Just a little weedy :) My cousin warned me to watch out for snakes.. We had a caprese salad from the tomatoes tonight..

Happy fall everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I've tried to find the benefits to nut sedge and simply cannot. It won't even fill in evenly as a ground cover when you leave it to it's own devices. The deer won't eat it - and they eat nearly ANYthing, so I've declared nut sedge officially botanica non grata.

    That does look like a bluebonnet seedling - so exciting to see the starts of this coming Spring's beauty don't you think? I put out larkspur and clammyweed and Indian blanket seed so far and I'm hoping some of what I'm seeing after our rains are those seedlings (as opposed to more weeds!).