Blog posts from June 2013

Lavender that thrives in North Texas

Jun 20, 2013

Lavender plants like dry hot conditions...so it may seem like a no-brainer that Lavender should perform very well in Texas, right? Well, not so...Here in North Texas, we have particularly heavy clay soil that doesn't drain well when wet. This is the kiss of death for most lavender plants. Many Lavender plants don't even make it through their first year planted before they succumb to exces moisture.

Lavender goodwin creek

There are some varieties that perform better than others. I've had particularly good luck with  this 'Goodwin Creek'. Of course, you should alway plant your Lavender "high and dry" meaning plant it in a higher spot in the garden, so it receives better drainage, and don't plant it where it will receive excess irrigation. Plants need to dry between waterings. You can topdress your plants with expanded shale to keep moisture away from the crown of the plant. Always plant in full sun. If you've struggled with growing Lavender in the garden, give it a try in containers.

Lavender is also a favorite of the bees...bonus!

Malabar Spinach: Heat tolerant leafy green

Jun 17, 2013

For those of us that live in warm climates, we can't grow things like spinach and tomatoes at the same time....we actually have to split our edible growing seasons into "winter" and "summer". Spinach and other leafy greens thrive from fall through winter, but quickly bolt as our summer heat comes on. So how do you manage to keep in fresh leafy greens from the garden year round? Look for alternatives to the cool season greens; like Malabar Spinach.

Malabar spinach1

This beautiful warm-season vine produces fleshy edible spinach-like leaves on purple stems all summer long. Now, it doesn't taste exactly like spinach, but that might be a bonus to some at it has a milder flavor. You can use it just the same as you would spinach; by cooking older leaves and using small young leaves in fresh salads. Not to mention, it's a beautiful ornamental. I grow mine on decorative trellises or other supports.

Our Favorite Re-Seeders

Jun 12, 2013

I don't know about you but I'm a big fan of "re-seeders". Those are crops that "come true" from seed and volunteer themselves all over the garden. Now, some re-seeders can be a nuisance, yes, but re-seeding edible crops come in quite handy.  One of my favorite re-seeders is Dill.

Dill seed

My husband has asked me more than once..."so, why did you plant all this Dill again?" To which I always answer "I didn't, it planted itself". I suppose my front garden does contain what might seem to be a ridiculous number of Dill plants at this point, but they're just so pretty...and I happen to love Dill. There are of course other re-seeders in my garden, such as Arugula and Mexican Feather Grass. But none so prolific as the Dill. What are your favorite garden re-seeders?

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