Digging In

Insight into garden design, photography and growing life.

July 27, 2010

death of a good shovel, RIP

This spading fork worked hard. Very hard. It allowed me to bust and turn clay into lovely amended raised beds and dig out plants no matter how much it rained. It worked so much better than a spade in my black clay. I could not have built my new garden without this tool. But it could not last. It lost its head to too much labor.
Rest in peace, good shovel.

beginning the dog days

It has been hot for a while. That's fine. It's summer in Texas, wouldn't expect different. I keep reminding myself this is the first summer for ALL of the plants I planted. Of course every gardener fights an ongoing battle for perfection/plant health. Hot & dry means higher water bills and now spider mites (I'm pretty sure) and leaf miners (possibly).

What I've been doing now:
1. Watering, new soaker hoses and a slow-dripping hose
2. Fertilizing (not recommended during the dead of summer but better late the never)
3. Adding Super-Thrive in w/my liquid fertilizer, hoping this helps perk up the very sad redbud and lessens the stress on the newly planted

What I've learned:
1. Grass REALLY does like fertilizer. If I keep this up, I might have a lawn my husband will be proud of - but he doesn't realize this just means more mowing.
2. I need to maintain my yard tools & lawn equipment better. The combo of inaccurate drop spreader and way more hurricane rain than anticipated completely negated the first lawn fertilization application. Application rates make a HUGE difference, very visible after a quick test.
3. I've got a lot of plants. Imagining each one as a baby demands a lot of attention. I shouldn't get any more. But a birthday coupon from the nursery is burning a hole in my pocket. It's too hot to plant. I should buy compost instead. The lawn, thus the hubby, will be happier.

FYI: still no design commitment for the "kitchen garden" area. But my current yield of three tiny orange cherry tomatoes (pot-raised and ignored, cannot believe they are still alive) were quite yummy. Two larger red tomatoes succumbed to grasshoppers and heat.

Seriously, I only wanted a veggie garden to relive the childhood memories of sun-warmed, home-grown tomatoes. Turns out Texas isn't the easiest place to raise 'em. A challenge. Great.