Archive for May, 2010

my plumerias!

Today I am introducing you to my plumeria plants.  ‘You have plumeria plants too?’, you ask?  Yes, in fact I do.  I decided to wait until they were completely out of hibernation and had their leaves before revealing them to you, my blog readers.  They looked mighty pathetic before….like a stick garden.  I’m sure my neighbors have really enjoyed looking at the pre-leaf plumeria sticks in my front yard where they will live until fall.  Well, now the mighty plumeria have leaves, and hopefully flowers soon. 

here she is, the mother of all my plumeria plants (literally). More stems ready for their own pots - who wants a cutting?

You should know that my plumeria garden (I call it a garden because it consists of 7 separate plants – it’s getting out of control) all came from one plant.  That one plant came from a cutting of my parents plumeria plant in Houston.  The plumeria is a magical plant that can reproduce through cuttings.  It also has seeds, but those are rather elusive.  One of my plants produced a seed pod once, and I nurtured the seed pod for 9 months (yes, it takes the same amount of time to successfully grow a plumeria seed as it does a human baby) and they did not grow.  Maybe they would have had a better chance if it hadn’t been severe weather season in North Texas and they had not been thrown across the backyard by a huge gust of wind.  Not to self next time a seed pod emerges – keep the seedlings somewhere sheltered.

Last year these beauties produced no flowers.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Not one single flower.  I see what looks like the start of a flower cluster on one plant, so I’m thinking flowery thoughts and giving them lots of encouragement (and plant food).

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my onion harvest

This is my first time to grow actual onions, with the bulbs and everything, so I was pretty excited.   All of the tops of the white onions I planted fell over and started to look dead, and the bulbs were sticking out of the ground, so I figured they were done.  I pulled them up and let them sit in the garden for 2 days.

onions in the garden after just being harvested

Then I brought them in and cleaned them.  Most are pretty small, but I’m pretty proud of the couple of medium sized onions.  Too bad it’s only a small bowl full, because I love onions and will go through these in no time.

me holding the onion harvest

I still have some red onions in the ground, so we’ll see how those turn out.

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pasta with garden veggies

Turns out I had a few other things ready for pickin’ in my garden this week:  1 small white onion, 1 garden salsa pepper (hot!) and fresh basil.

white onion, garden salsa pepper and fresh basil

Only missing a few ingredients to make a killer pasta dish.  Since my tomatoes are still ripening, canned will have to do today.  But I still feel satisfied to have 3 of my own grown ingredients in this dish.  Here’s the breakdown for this easy dinner:

  • 1 small-medium yellow or white onion, chopped (or whatever is growing in your garden – this recipe is very flexible)
  • 1 pepper, chopped – again, your choice of variety.  We like spicy (and the garden salsa pepper made this dish spicy!)
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. turkey sausage (optional, and could also use chicken – whatever you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 7 oz pasta – whatever shape you like

Bring a pot of water to a boil for your pasta.  Cook pasta per package directions.  Saute onion, garlic and pepper in a medium skillet in a little olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.   Then add wine and simmer until half the wine is evaporated.

Pour a glass of wine for yourself, and sip while you finish making dinner.

Add the can of tomatoes (with juice), sausage, chopped basil and salt and pepper

Let this simmer for about 10 minutes – it will thicken slightly.  Drain the pasta once cooked and add to the pan with the sauce.  Mix well.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (or not, it’s your dinner after all), and dig in. 

bon apetit!

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look at all those beans

Yesterday I harvested the first veggies from my garden for the year – green beans.  These are some good-looking beans if I do say so myself (and I do).  They’re from my bush bean plants.  I think I have about 6 bush bean plants, which is half of what I planned to have, but the seeds didn’t all sprout.  So, looks like I’m going to need some new bean recipes.  Recipes that only require 6 or 8 beans instead of an entire bowl full. 

Without further ado, here they are, the fabulous, organic, green beans from my backyard garden. 

yup, 8 big bad green beans. I am QUITE the gardener.

TA-DA!  Impressive, huh?

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Dad’s garden

So apparently I inherited my love for growing veggies from my dad.  He lives about 300 miles south of me in Kingwood, TX, just outside of Houston.  We always talk about how our gardens are doing and what’s growing.  Since he’s so much further south, he was able to plant about a month before me, and his garden is doing fabulous.  Clearly from the pics, he loves to grow tomatoes (as do I – what’s not to love about homegrown tomatoes?!).  He’s hoping for a better crop than last year, and from the looks of it, I think he’ll get it. 

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flowers, flowers everywhere, but not a veggie to pick

 Week 3
It’s been perfect veggie growing weather at my house.  Not much rain unfortunately, but low to mid 80s for the past week and my plants are loving it!  So far everything is looking nice and healthy – no diseases or bugs that I can see.  Here’s the pics for the week – I’ll let them do the talking.
The tomato zone, week 3. Lots of growth this week, and lots of little tomatoes popping up.

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everything is blooming – week 2

My plants are finally starting to take off.  Up until this point, their growth has been slow, but they seem like they are about to all shoot up.  I have lots of stuff blooming, and my first few tomatoes have revealed themselves. 

view of the garden, standing in the tomato zone the tomato and pepper zone. Soon this should look like a jungle.

Yesterday everything got a healthy dose of liquid seaweed – yum.  That will be my primary fertilizer all year.  Last year I mixed up a big jug of Garrett Juice as well, but I haven’t needed that yet.  It helps with diseased plants and some insects, and is organic.  And of course, just like the seaweed, is super stinky. 

Green zebra heirloom tomato plant. This plant is doing well. I LOVED this variety last year, and the plant produced a lot.

Homestead tomato plant. This plant is the smallest tomato still, but has 2 tomatoes already! Go homestead go!

Sweet 100 tomato plant. I'm trying this guy out in a pot because I ran out of room in the garden.

Garden salsa pepper plant - my fastest growing pepper plant. If you look very closely, you can see the first little pepper on it.

And here are some pics of my giant (and some not so giant) herbs that I didn’t post last week:

Cilantro - I planted this from seed in the fall, and it grew really slowly all winter, and then shot up about 2 months ago. It's out of control now.

these chives are left over from last year - they lasted through the winter, and have taken off this spring. I like the flowers - really pretty.

my basil is starting to grow pretty fast. If it gets anywhere as big as last year, it will soon by taking over this area!

I planted 2 kinds of flowers in the veggie garden this year to help pollinate and keep bugs away – marigolds and sunflowers.

I planted several sunflowers thought the garden this year to help with pollination and bugs. I read that aphids love sunflowers so will stay away from other plants if you have them.

 And here’s everything else that’s growing: 

I'm thinking this guy is going to take off in the next week or so. I hope so - I want to make zucchini bread!

1 row of shalots, next to a flowering thyme plant

potatoes getting bigger everyday!

my onion plants are starting to flower. These are red and sweet yellow varieties.

Happy Gardening!

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