Tag Archives: city gardening

Our Urban Garden,Year 2: The Texas Miracle

15 Mar

After The Winter that Wasn’t, we started our garden early this year. Year 2 of our small, urban garden is well on its way to producing a bounty of wonderful eats. Let’s hope it isn’t as hot as last summer. I consider it a Texas Miracle when anything grows during the summer months, let alone vegetables.

This past winter we grew broccoli, spinach, arugula, brussels sprouts, and lettuce. Our loose leaf lettuce grew all winter long, and now that it’s warm we are drowning in the greens.

A small portion of the lettuce we grew this winter

We weren’t quick enough on harvesting some of the broccoli before it bloomed, but it’s attracted tons of bees–which is a very good thing.

I had no idea broccoli made such pretty flowers

Last year we mostly transplanted vegetables we bought from a local nursery. This year we’ve decided to live life on the edge and start from seed.

We planted: carrots, green beans, peas, okra, and peppers. The carrots and peas have sprung, the green beans as well (though some of the seedlings look like they’ve been chewed on), and the peppers are coming along nicely.

One of our first green bean plants to sprout

Tiny tendril on the peas

Then there’s the okra . . . Last year we bought five okra plants and they thrived in our Summer That Never Ended. I ate okra at least once a week up through October. It’s a good thing I love okra, because Michael, sweet Yankee that he is, can’t stand the stuff.

It looks like we may have only one okra plant that’s sprouted so far. Disappointing, but we can always buy some plants if need be.

Our only okra plant to sprout

Ever the optimist, Michael thinks we can grow strawberries here. He feels the same way about homegrown strawberries as I do about tomatoes: ain’t nothin’ better. His strawberries got off to a rough start last summer. After surviving the hottest, longest summer on record, the dogs pretty much trampled them to death.

This year we have a dog fence and seven surviving strawberry plants. Six have flowers and small berries, and the other has new leaves. I can’t believe how many berries have appeared!

An ever so slight blush of red on our first strawberries

This year I want to be a little more proactive against pests and get rid of them before they become a problem (and I’m not talking about the neighbors or dogs). And I want to keep everything organic.

I also want to plant some zucchini. Last year we planted three plants, which quickly took over the entire garden and produced enough food to feed the entire street. Inexplicably, all three plants developed a blight or bug and died within three days. I mourned, but Michael was glad our Zucchini Problem solved itself.

What did we learn from our first attempt at gardening last summer? Things want to grow. Even in Texas. Even in the hottest, longest summer on record. We started our garden with little to no knowledge and things grew anyway.

A true Texas miracle.

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