Saturday, April 27, 2013

Powdery Mildew

Lately, I've noticed a white powdery substance on my squash and beans in the birthday bed. A quick internet search reveals that it is some kind of powdery mildew. I've never experienced this before.

According to the link above, when conditions are just right mold spores in the air can latch onto your plants and ta-da.....this happens.

The good news is that it typically isn't fatal....according to the website. I cut off the powdery pieces and threw them away in the trash (not the compost). We've had a lot of rain lately, so I'm guessing the more humid air may have played a role in this.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Weeds, Weeds and more Weeds

This past weekend, I decided to tackle Garden bed #1 and remove the weeds. This bed was used last year for Tomatoes and the year before for potatoes. It really needs a break. I decided to plant beans and flowers, my M.O. for 2013 it seems. Beans actually put nitrogen back into the soil, so they are great to plant in places where you've previously had heavy nitrogen feeders in years past (such as Tomatoes and Potatoes). I am particularly excited about the flowers though, I'm hoping to see plenty of pollinators this year.

I invested about an hour of weed pulling, before grabbing my garden fork, dislodging the weeds and turning them under like compost. Here is what I planted:

Kentucky Pole Beans
Puprle Coneflower
English Daisy
Woodland Tobacco


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Birthday Bed Update

Beans, Squash and Sunflowers are coming along nicely.  The corn is off to a slow start, but the seed has germinated. YAY! This is my first time growing corn. I believe it prefers hot weather as opposed to our cool spring so far. The Lemon Balm is still growing great!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Growth

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Spring.

Today I found the beans that I had planted last Saturday were emerging from the soil after a good, soaking rain we got. This is Bed #3, which was covered in weeds the past year, but is now home to a variety of beans and pumpkins.

(Bed #3)
I really need to box this bed in to help keep some of the weeds at bay. Also, this afternoon I pulled weeds from Bed #2 (below) and planted more beets. I have some growing on the other side of the bed and their leaves are just so pretty. 

(Bed #2)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friend or Foe?

Last Christmas I was blessed with a plethora of Gardening Books and I read them as fast as I could!
One of these books I might say changed my life. Good Bug Bad Bug by Jessica Walliser is an easy to use, easy to read bug identifier for Gardeners. Since reading through it several months ago, I have begun to notice more bugs in my garden. They were probably always there, but now I seem to notice them more. Also, my immediate response is no longer to kill them!

For example, last week while watering I noticed this little guy chilling out on my sprayer.

My first thought was how cute a lady bug! Then it occurred to me that a lady bug may not be a friend to my garden. Then I noticed that it didn't quite look like a lady bug, almost, but not quite. So I ran into the house, grabbed my book and began flipping through the pictures. Yep, it wasn't a lady bug. Instead it was a Colorado Potato Bug, which is a pest. I was so fascinated by this, I didn't do any thing about the bug. Just flicked him off the hose and continued on.

That may not be how I will handle all pest situations in the future, but for now I'm just excited to know what I'm dealing with. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lemon balm

When I was cleaning the Birthday Bed out last month, I came across a survivor. A plant that had some how made it through our cold, wet North Texas Winter (We had snow and ice this year). I wasn't sure what it actually was and don't remember from last year. In fact, I'm not sure anything even grow in that spot last year. Since then, the rain and sunshine has really helped it grow. I believe its Lemon Balm as it leaves a lemony-minty oil on your hands when you touch it.

I know that I had some Lemon Balm seeds last spring and I planted them somewhere, so it makes sense. I'm just really impressed it grow through winter!

March 2013

April 2013 (center, surrounded by squash)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Homemade Pizza

Today I made homemade pizza for a late lunch. It was the second time I've attempted to make my own flax seed/whole wheat basil crust. I used fresh basil from the store, I'm really looking forward to having my own supply growing soon. My husband thinks the crust needs more while flour and I think it could use more Kosher Salt.
Before Oven

After Oven 
(with vegan cheese and mozzarella cheese on either sides)

Saturday, April 13, 2013


After quite a bit of rain, my garden is off and growing. The Borage in Bed #4 is doing really well. I planted it as a companion for the Tomatoes as it's flowers attract bees.  Also, the flowers are edible!
I can't wait until mine start to flower.

Garden Bed #4

Birthday Garden Bed

The Sunset Runner Beans (front right) are growing fast and bushy. Also, my yellow squash and zucchini are making progress. The Sunflowers (back) have germinated as well. The corn didn't appear to take though. Its old seed from 2011, so I'm not super disappointed. In fact, since we had a frost after I planted them I decided to re-seed again today and see if this time they germinate.  

How is your garden coming along?