Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Early May in an Austin Urban Garden May 4, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — austinurbangardens @ 12:04 pm
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It’s May 4, 2014 and my Spring gardens are progressing well, although the strange late cold weather got me off to a late start.  The dryness has brought on a pesky challenge in my gardens – Spider Mites.  I believe I’ve had them in the past, but late in the Summer, when the tomato plants are winding down anyway.  Before I realized I had them this time, they were on everything, and had already devastated some Fingerling Potato plants.

Spider mite damage

Spider mite damage

I sprayed everything in the garden with Neem Oil last week and have been spraying everything with a hard stream of water every few days to try to control them. I believe they are under control, for now.   They will shred everything in their path and devastate the plants if you don’t manage them.

There are onions everywhere, bolted ones that are still in the ground, and need to be pulled, freshly dug ones curing in the sun, newly cured ones waiting to be bagged up and stored.

Bolted onions

Bolted onions

 

Drying onions

Drying onions

 

Dried Onions ready to store

Dried Onions ready to store 

 

In spite of my early panic that they would all bolt and I wouldn’t have any to store, I ended up with plenty.  I store them in a mesh bag in my utility room and they will keep for months.  I’ll still be eating the bolted ones for another month, as they need to be refrigerated and eaten soon, then I’ll have the stored ones until Fall.

The tomatillos are starting to form their little lanterns.  I love growing tomatillos, they are so unique and I have a great recipe for water bath canned salsa verde.

Tomatillo

Tomatillo

The Serrano Peppers and Poblanos are doing great, and I’m harvesting Serranos already.  No jalapeños yet, but I’m anxiously awaiting some.

Serranos

Serranos

 

Some of the tomatoes have set fruit, but not all.  I’m excited about the Jaune Flamme variety, that I’ve never grown before.  They will ripen into medium sized, orange colored tomatoes, and they seem to be good producers, because there are several clusters like these on one plant.

Jaune Flamme Tomato

Jaune Flamme Tomato

 

The Better Boy is a reliable producer year after year.

Better Boy

Better Boy

 

There are small tomatoes on the other heirlooms, and some Celebrity tomatoes as well, but not a lot yet.

I fed the tomatoes and peppers with Rabbit Hill  Tomato and Pepper Food early on, the followed up with MicroLife Humates Plus, and then Microlife Multi Purpose Fertilizer last week.   Everybody is certainly well fed.

Rabbit  Hill Tomato and Pepper Food

Rabbit Hill Tomato and Pepper Food

MicroLife Humates Plus

MicroLife Humates Plus

 

MicroLive Multi-Purpose

MicroLive Multi-Purpose

The MicroLife products are new to me – a tip from my gardening hero Renee Studebaker.  I got them at Zinger Hardware and so far have been extremely happy with these products.

The peanut experiment has not failed yet, but they did suffer from the Spider Mites.  Several of the plants have bloomed, which is a good sign, although they still have a couple months to go before there are peanuts.

Peanut Flower

Peanut Flower

There are a few potato plants, that will be ready for harvest in a couple of weeks.  There are lots and lots of weeds in the two beds where the onions were and are.  Sometimes it is hard to get excited about weeding.  But,  I should clean those out and get some cucumbers and maybe some watermelons in the ground.  My water bill just gets higher and higher, despite the drip irrigation, and it  might just be more cost effective to let the farmers grow the cukes and melons.

Remember that one night where the temperature got down to 19 degrees?  That was the night the cover on my potted citrus trees blew off.  I lost a well established Meyer Lemon and Mexican Lime.  They are putting on leaves again, but I don’t know if they will ever set fruit again.  I purchased a little lemon tree and another lime tree, that both need to be repotted.  They are covered with little lemons and limes and fragrant flowers.

Lemons

Lemons

 

The herb bed has gone wild, with a hostile Oregano takeover, and several things have gone to seed.  That will be my project this evening, after the heat has gone, to free the Thyme from its shade, thin the Oregano, and probably pull up the Cilantro.  It’s buried in there somewhere, along with the Tarragon, and Mexican Mint Marigold.

Herbs gone wild!

Herbs gone wild!

 

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