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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Early Spring In The Hill Country

It's early spring! What a joyous time of year to celebrate green life.  Young herblings are taking hold, wildflowers are ever present and the earth is ready for new plant life.  Our fields are full of vibrant purple verbena that are just now opening their blooms.  I can hardly wait when they are in full bloom.  Last fall, I planted a wildflower mix in the back bed of the garden.  Shown here: Baby Blue Eyes.

Herbhusband and I worked most of the day in the garden today.  We were busy amending the soil, building new raised beds, planting new veggies and herbs and loving the sweet spring sunshine! We use drip irrigation in all of our beds.  In the Texas heat, it keeps the plants well hydrated and reduces water waste. 

Yesterday, I spent a good part of the day at Antique Rose Emporium enjoying all the lovely roses, herbs and veggies. 
I was drawn to pak choy, spring cabbage, Chinese cabbage, dill, fennel, orange mint, lemon balm, jalapeno, artichoke, lettuce, and so much more! I especially had a hard time narrowing down which heirloom tomatoes to plant - I probably ended up getting too many, but that's just fine by me!

I ended up selecting my very favorite high performing heirlooms: black cherry, juliet, black plum and brown berry. These are the most prolific producers and do so well throughout the summer and fall - they are just abundant and beautiful.

My shopping wagon runneth over! I knew when I couldn't fit one more herbling I had to end my scouting adventure.

It's an herbal love affair in early spring - all the new green growth and colorful blossoms are so enticing.  My roses are also budding and blooming.  The first one to bloom in the garden this year is Valentine.  The deep red blooms are a welcome sight!

Here's a list of some of my favorite herbs and veggies to plant this time of year in the Texas Hill Country:
 - onions
 - garlic
 - chives
 - dill
 - fennel
 - lettuce
 - pok choy
 - spring cabbage
 - Chinese cabbage
 - artichoke
 - parsley
 - cilantro
 - mint (any)
 - radishes
 - sage
 - roses
 - calendula
 - yarrow
 - lavender
 - rosemary

I ended up purchasing almost everything on this list (and what I didn't purchase I've been growing from seed in the greenhouse).

Amending the soil with molasses, worm castings, organic blood meal, and compost is extremely beneficial - spending time amending the soil will save you so much heartache and stress down the road.  The healthier the soil, the healthier the beneficial microbes are that fend away hurtful insects and larva.  Plus, plant roots are happier with healthy soil and happy roots = healthy prolific herbs and veggies!

I'm sad the weekend is over - how I will long for Friday when I can spend more time tending to the garden beds.  In the meantime, spring flowers are a welcome sight.  Hurray Spring!

1 comment:

The Contessa said...

You inspire me. I know I can't grow everything you do because dry West Texas isn't the Hill Country and we don't have your climate. But I am ready to get started in the garden. Thank you.