Gail of Green Living


What’s New in My Organic Garden?
Blueberries in December!

Blueberries in December!

What’s new in my garden?  Blueberry blooms and blueberries; that’s what!  Never mind it is December, but we have had few cool days in Houston, and I guess these bushes are really happy.  If we have a threat of freeze, you know I will take care of them!

Ripe tomatoes in December!

Ripe tomatoes in December!

The Better Bush tomato vines never died in the summer.  With blooms all over them, I didn’t have the heart to get rid of them.  And now in December, we have a few really nice tomatoes to enjoy!

Kale

Siberian Kale

This is a very tender-leafed variety and it is quite delicious steamed or stir-fried in olive oil with a little garlic.

Mustard Greens

Mustard Greens

I only planted three small plants, which grow quickly, so I can pick enough each week to enjoy.

Buttercrunch Lettuce and Black-seeded Simpson lettuce

Buttercrunch Lettuce and Black-seeded Simpson Lettuce

I have never grown lettuce before, and it is so easy, I am kicking myself for not doing it earlier!  The seeds sprout in just a few days, and the leaves are very tender and tasty.  The plants do not like our warm days; I have to cool them with water when the temperature rises in the 80’s.  But for a winter vegetable, it is a winner!

Spent Grain

Spent Grain

My son and his friend brew craft beer, and he offered a bucket of “spent grain” for my compost pile.  It’s supposed to be an excellent addition to the mix.  It is the leftover malt and adjuncts after the mash has extracted most of the sugars, proteins, and nutrients from the barley.  It certainly qualifies as a new addition to my winter garden!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring Garden Mid-Term

Cucumbers on Trellis

This morning I gave my garden a Mid-Term exam.  The Straight 8 Cucumbers are finding the trellis very well, I think, and there are a couple of cucumbers developing under all that foliage.  My challenge here is having the south exposure in summer is going to cause a lot of heat radiating off the patio.  The plant had a couple of afternoon melt-downs this last week with mid-80 temperatures.

Sweet Millions

I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite so many cherry tomatoes on one stem.  I was counting 17 this morning!  Sweet Millions is not a variety that should be in a pot, but here it is anyway!

Pinto Beans

We had a small serving of pinto beans a few days ago, and they were delicious and very tender.  I picked quite a few this morning, and with another day or two, we can have enough to eat again.  They won’t last much longer, so I’m glad I started them a month ago!  I haven’t seen green, young pinto beans for sale in a long, long time.

Better Bush Tomatoes

This Better Bush plant has the strongest, stoutest stems I have ever seen on a tomato.  This makes it absolutely perfect for containers.  Look how dense the foliage is.  I see a few tomatoes in there, but I have no idea how this variety tastes yet.  The plant gets an A+!

Early Girl Bush

The Early Girl Bush variety sets blooms at cooler temperatures so it is understandable that it would be loaded with fruit already.  The stems are strong, and they are holding up a lot of fruit already.  I’ve never tasted these either.

Onions

I’m afraid the Onions get a D-!  Two days ago, there were some red onions and white onions growing in this pot, but today I noticed an army of pill bugs have finished off most of the tops!  I’m going to see if I can get rid of the army and see if the green tops will return.  They may have eaten the bulb below the soil, but I didn’t check.

How would you grade your garden at this point?



Early Spring Garden–Real Food

Mustard Greens

We are enjoying fresh Mustard Greens at least once a week.  When the leaves are picked before they become the size of a dinner plate, they are so tender and full of flavor.  It’s about 15 minutes from this picture to the dinner table.  Talk about healthy fast-food!

Collard Greens

Collard Greens are also very tender when picked leaf by leaf at an early stage.  They need to cook just a few more minutes, and the flavor is so much better than even the organic greens at the supermarket.  I have experienced no bugs and both kinds of greens have more than paid for themselves already!

Better Bush Tomatoes

Someone finally told me there is no way to control a six-foot tomato plant in a pot!  You are supposed to grow “bush” varieties in pots.  So here we go with Better Bush Tomatoes!  They do have stocky stems and the foliage is more compact.  I planted four of these, and I’ll let you know how the fruit tastes.

Early Girl Bush

Early Girl Bush is the other variety of bush-tomatoes I’m growing.  They don’t seem so stocky, but they have already started showing signs of blooming.  They are early!

More veggies are planted and will be mentioned in the next post.  Get your garden started, Houston!