Oct. 10th, 2009 01:04 pm
[identity profile]
Worked a tiny bit outside in the omg-it's-cold this morning. We put up a  temporary top to the end of the chicken pen (the garden_ladies motto: better half ass than not at all) to give them some dry area the next time it rains. (I was very worried about my ladies last night, all damp from rain when the temperature dropped like a stone).

Then we poked around the garden. This has definitely been a "live and learn" sort of year.

*The tomatoes on the side of the house: nothing. no blossoms, no fruit. The ones in the driveway: working their asses off.

Lesson learned: Sometimes if something isn't doing well, you just need to try a different spot. Don't be so attached to your chosen location you aren't willing to start over.

*If you have quarterly pest control on your house, please note that certain plants will not appreciate what happens if you spot ants inside and the pest people treat the outside perimeter of the house. While the okra doesn't care, many kinds of squash will be massively unhappy with the results.

Lesson learned: next year, most plants get put at least 6-8 feet from the edge of the house, to allow for pest treatment.

*Many of the plants are doing better now that the heat has dropped off and the rains have come, even in the face of weird temperature fluctuations. Meanwhile some friends had a garden doing much better than ours which was semi-shaded by grape vine. And another acquaintance in town had much better luck than we did with his tomatoes, basil etc....and was using a steady drip irrigation system. 

Lesson learned: Summer in Texas is now harsh harsh harsh. Very high temps and months on end of drought are not what even "Texas adapted" plants are used to. Since I personally think we are seeing the effect of global warming, and not just some once-a-decade drought, perhaps it is time to start adapting some techniques from traditionally harsher climates (I tend to think Africa, b/c I'm most familiar with some of the systems tried there) during the summer.  Hopefully we can take a shot at semi-shade gardening next year, as well as a more steady drip irrigation system.

*I have spent this year thinking of myself as the "money management" for the garden, and GS as the "effort and expertise". Perhaps it is time to renegotiate. I say this because, quite frankly, we are looking more and more like a long term sort of affair (crosses fingers and knocks on wood to distract self from inner commitment-phobic panic)....and because this morning I took great joy in helping her pick beans from the garden, and wasn't bored and antsy while she talked about the squash, melons etc. I think I would like to be a bit more hands on, and not just in the "I do the fencing" sort of way. Add in the fact that our budget has shifted in such a way that if we *want* to have money for things, we are going to have to work together to achieve that goal.....and, well, might be time to take another look at our assigned functions.

Lesson learned: just as in a garden, a home and a relationship can often function better if everyone's roles aren't too strictly segregated.

And now, the beans!

[identity profile]
It is summer here...100 or more degrees most days, and dry dry dry. Drought all around us, and burn bans for, as far as I can tell, most if not all of Texas.

In fact, we are having our first rain in MONTHS as I type this.

We dutifully went out in it naked to say thanks, of course. Honestly, it felt like my skin was soaking it in..... I can't bear to dry off, so I'm sitting here dripping as I type. :P

Our sprinkler system has a leak, and I can't fix it until the temperature drops to 80 degrees so the glue will set. What this means is that we have not been watering anything but the garden. It wasn't our intention, but it seems we are doing the "native and adapted stress test" on our yard. I did this with my overly-landscaped first house as well, for a year, I did not water. If it died, we pulled it out. This eliminated all the "baby me" plants from the yard. It wasn't a conscious choice to do so this time, as it was then, but since we are halfway through the summer...hey, why not carry it all the way?

We have also learned, as we deal with trees-leafed-out-for-summer shade, that while the side yard is excellent for winter crops, it does doodly in the summer...not enough sun. The trees committing this anti-garden shade crime are large and old, and make what will be the only remaining kid-play-space lawn area they stay. (Plus, they are trees! duh! not something to remove on a whim) This requires some small revamp of our plans.

Better to learn it now than later, huh? :)

And now, I go to enjoy the rain a bit more before we have to run our errands this afternoon...I wish we could delay them, I want to just lay around and be grateful for a while while I breath the ions deep into my lungs.

As a side note, it physically hurts me to see all the water flowing out of our gutters...rain barrels are definitely at the top of the "saving money toward" list.....


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Suburban Permaculture Project

May 2011



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