Garden log: April, 2010

French Lace Rose Angel Face Rose
First Roses to Bloom ~ French Lace and Angel Face

I can’t believe that I am already into my second year of gardening. Last year was my first attempt at raised bed gardening. In retrospect, I have to say it went very well. It was a joy to see small seedlings budding into healthy plants and producing so generously many flowers, vegetables and fruits. We had great spring and summer season last year which contributed to the garden success, and it was more enjoyable because we had my mother and father in-law from Nandyala visiting us. They were enthusiastic, encouraging and very helpful towards my gardening hobby, and did a lot for the well being of plants. Thanks again Attayya and mamayya, if you are reading. I miss your kind presence and I wish you are here this year too.

2009 garden efforts produced a decent vegetable harvest. The plants that did exceptionally well were tomatoes, peppers, okra, brinjal, Indian broad beans, Indian karela, Turai and Red alasanda (asparagus beans). Gongura, Spinach, Chard, methi, mint and coriander also grew well. When it comes to fruit plants, they are still in establishing stage and the harvest was 3 pomegranates, 10 sweet figs and few strawberries and blackberries. We had some winter causalities due to unseasonably cold weather. Mango, guava, seethapalam (custard apple), curry leaf, jasmine varieties, nandivardanam, henna and banana plant did not survive the snowfall to my heartbreak. I can now understand the despair the farmers feel when the hard-earned money, effort and hopes of green future give up on them. I have gently laid plant losses to rest in the compost pile. My only comforting thought was to believe that those plants would live on through the feeding of the next generation by becoming the best compost possible.

I am glad spring is here, giving a new chance for life. Days are getting warm. Seeds are sprouting. It is so beautiful here, I am spending most of the time outdoors tending plant beds. Here are some plants I’ve planted for this year’s growing season.

Some good and old:
Alliums: Red onion and garlic
Beans: Green beans, Peas, Chikkudu(Indian Broadbeans), Okra
Fruits: Blackberries, Cantaloupe, Fig, Grapes, Jamaican Cherry, Mandarin Orange, Papaya, Pomegranate and strawberries (most of the fruit plants are planted last year)
Greens: Chard, Gongura, Fenugreek (methi), Kale, Lettuce, and Spinach
Herbs: Mint (spearmint), Marjoram and Rosemary
Squash: Turai, Lauki(Bottle Gourd), Silk squash, Cucumbers, Karela, Zucchini (yellow and Mexican squash)
Vegetables, Fruit: Corn, Eggplant (purple, long and round variety), Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers.
Vegetables, Root: Potatoes (red), radish (red), Ginger

Some new:
I am planning to grow tamarind, turmeric, mango-ginger and vaamu(ajwan) because ever inquisitive mind wants to know how they fare in Houston weather.

Here are some photos from the backyard:

Tomato Plants Brinjal Seedlings
Tomato Plants …………. Brinjal Plants


Red Radish and Cantaloupe … Mint, Rosemary, Marjoram and Strawberry Plants


Beans, Cucumber, Grape …. Curbside Mint Around the Front yard Plant, Free for Walkers

Kittaya with Lettuce
My Garden Buddy, Dear Kittaya Enjoying the Greens and the Garden Breeze

What are you planning to plant this spring? Any new gardening tips and ideas? I would love to hear from you.

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