Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Early Spring in an Austin Urban Garden March 27, 2011

I’m thankful for today,  the cooler weather, and the possibility of rain, which we sorely need around these parts.  My gardens are looking great, and I’m hopeful for some successes and fewer heartaches than last Spring, during which my crops were plagued by stinkbugs, leaf footed bugs, leaf cutters and an unrelenting either Mockingbird or Squirrel.  All is calm on all of these fronts, yet I remain cautiously optimistic, because they seemingly show up overnight.  I’m very enthusiastic about my fruit trees, all covered in blossoms and being visited by a bee daily.

The onions that had been bolting a breakneck speed, seem to have stopped, and are starting to bulb above ground.  I will have no shortage of rather large 1015’s this Spring, Summer and Fall.  The smaller, bolted onions have all been pulled, and I’m drying some for storage.


onions drying


Once they form their harder outer skin, I’ll store them in a cool dark place and use them as needed for the next 6 to 8 months, or however long they last.  I’ll do the same with the big ones when they let me know they are ready to be pulled by falling over.


Onions hanging in there


I took advantage of the available space in the other onion bed, to plant 2 jalapeno peppers and an Israeli Melon.  I predict the rest of the onions will be done in a couple of weeks and am looking forward to the space.

The big garden in the back yard is doing well too.  From left to right in the picture, are leeks, lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, and strawberries.


Big garden


I’m hopeful at the already abundant tomato production.


Stupice Tomatoes

Early Girl


The 4×8 foot garden behind the big garden is equally as full – I’m hoping not too full.  Through some creative planting, I managed to fill it with snap peas, corn, carrots, leeks, and potatoes.  If potatoes don’t make you feel like a roaring success, nothing will.  They come up big, grow fast, are dark and healthy looking, then provide you with a big crop, if all goes well.


4x8 foot garden


On the side of the house is the re-purposed garden, which I have made a dedicated tomato garden.  No matter how much food my gardens produce, I always judge my success as a gardener, by the tomatoes.  This is a 3×8 foot garden.  As I did last year, for education reasons, I planted tomatoes in Earthboxes for comparison.  This garden was unaffected by pests last year, so I’m hopeful that is the case again.


Just tomatoes

I’m very tempted to drop a few watermelon seeds in that bed, but I haven’t done so yet.  There is a fat Celebrity tomato in the center plant that should be my first ripe fruit of the season in a couple of weeks.


Right now, I couldn’t be happier or more hopeful about the status of my gardens.  But, with heat the pests come, so I’m not going to rest on my laurels just yet.