Warm Winter Bolt and Plantings

Here’s another loop Texas weather has thrown our way.

Royal Tenderette Broccoli budding

My spinach seedlings have also begun to show buds. I snipped those off and, as seen on my IG feed, put out the rest of the leafy green starts, plus some bunching onions.

I also decided to plant out the nasturtium starts into the backyard garden beds. These are the Alaska, Jewel Mix and Black Velvet nasturtiums that I started indoors back in November.. I’m not sure what caused them start yellowing (too much light and fertilizer perhaps), but I can always start a new batch when January comes around.

With wet cold weather forecasted for the end of the year, I’m not sure if these young starts will make it outdoors. However, I’m just happy to get at least one salad harvest from current plantings.

Winter Veggie Garden Update

There are more veggies scattered throughout the backyard!

I had to find a home for the leftover brussel sprouts and broccoli starts that I purchased from Burpee in October. The cinderblock planters and grow bag where we relocated the lorapetalum seemed ideal.

It’s been nearly a month since these veggies were planted, and they appear to be faring well in their new homes. Although the broccoli and brussel starts nearest the fence line appear to need more sun.

I also random-sowed some fenugreek seed in a pocket next to the unfinished water feature. This spot gets full sun throughout the day. The fenugreek seedlings seem to handle the cold winter nights pretty well.

I still plan to perform much-needed maintenance on the foundation garden beds, but I’ve tasked DH with repairing the border stones before I can resume work on them. I have a pile of compost that needs to be laid, and weeding needs to be performed on the shade bed.

Stock Tank Vegetable Garden Update

Here’s a quick look at how the stock tank vegetable gardens are doing.

I still need to get around to planting my romaine lettuce starts currently sitting in the garage. According to one source, lettuce transplants should have 4 to 6 mature leaves and a well-developed root system before planting out. I’m not sure if temperatures will allow them to survive outdoors, now that we are ranging between mid-30s in the evenings, and 40s-50s during daytime.

Pest Problem

Something is eating holes in my baby bok choy, but leaving the surrounding veggies like the spinach alone. I spotted a ladybeetle hanging out with these pests (going to assume it’s feeding on them). I washed everything off but they came back the next day. So did the ladybeetle. They kinda look like aphids, but these tiny bugs are dark brown, can’t get a really good pic of them; they are turning my bok choy into swiss cheese. I may have to cut these boks down to the roots and start all over if I can’t get rid of them.

They keep coming back but in smaller numbers. I am checking my bok choy regularly now because I’m growing paranoid. Even when temps dipped down in to the low 30s, the buggers hide out under the leaves and in between the stalks. You’d think planting these in a stock tank garden would keep them off the pest radar, but apparently not. I even spotted another caterpillar looper trudging through the cedar mulch.

I plan on starting a new crop of boks soon, but for now, I will keep monitoring how these 2 specimens do. Sadly, I think I’ve lost my appetite for these.

DIY Stock Tank Gardens Part 2

I planted the 2nd stock tank garden bed about 2 weeks after the first, to stagger my production. I changed up the filler material and soil composition to see if ultimately results will comparable to the first tank.

End of the season watermelons went into building the foundational layer of the bed, along with stem and brush cuttings. I dearly hope that I’m not growing a watermelon patch in this tank.

In this bed, I used Raised Garden Bed soil, organic compost, peat moss, coarse vermiculite and perlite in different ratios compared to the first bed. I still broadcast Espoma Garden-tone fertilizer over the surface once it was filled up and ready for planting

As with the other bed, tank #2 has cauliflower, brussel sprouts, broccoli, dill and garlic aplenty. This time, I added bok choy and spinach starts. But of course, there wasn’t enough space to hold all the broccoli and brussel sprout starters I still had waiting in the wings. I’ve been discussing with the DH if we should get 2 more stock tanks to DIY into garden beds, but of course the limiting factor will be patio space.

All planted with the winter garden! I left a 12″ square open for the next batch of bunching onions, spinach and lettuce I’ve started from seed. Meanwhile, I plan on using that bouquet dill shortly.