I'm not sure how big they're meant to get, but the ones I have in the shade are about 3 ft tall and quite wide. From the 2 pictures, you can see that the shaded one is full of stems and the stalk is quite enormous. The one in full sun is quite mediocre compared to the shaded one. See pictures below.
Harvest of Hardy Yam aerial tubers. These are around the size of a dime. In my climate this plant is not worth growing as a source of food, as it only grows during wet years or with a lot of irrigation. In dry years it doesn't bother coming up at all. And this harvest is just sad.
Digging Zai Holes for my no-irrigation Staples Garden. After they're all dug and fenced I'll be seeding the area thickly with oats, Daikon Radish, and some natives. Next warm season I'll be trying to grow Corn, Beans, and Squash here with no irrigation.
I'm filling each hole with organic material; the first set near the front is filled with material raked from the site, so grass debris and chicken poo. The rest of the holes will probably be filled with used chicken bedding. Before planting I plan to add some good topsoil to each hole.
Gilbert Fritz wrote:Won't the cover crops use up valuable soil moisture?
I live fairly close to her region, so I think I can answer this. Our area is very prone to feast or famine rain events. She's planning a cool season cover crop that will utilize the little bit of fall rain while building soil organic content that can hold onto more moisture in the future. Our typical rainy season is in late spring/ very early summer so by the time she's planting her warm season crops the soil should be well saturated. Most cool season crops die off from our warm season heat before there's much competition for water.
Hi, I have been silently stalking. I live near the highland lakes area, on close to 15 acres. The a**hat before us cut down most trees, so we are trying to add it all back. With growing in central Texas, so much is trial and error.
Right now it trying to get shade, in the garden. The August sun is just too hot, even with the lovely cool August this year. Just wanted to say I have enjoyed seeing your progress.
Thank you, heather. Sorry about your tree situation!
Lately I've been cleaning up the yard and I found a huge armadillo nest under our shed. She must have been building it for years. I'll have to keep an eye on that spot next year to make sure she doesn't rebuild it. Here's the material that was crammed under the shed:
The Luffa ended up doing surprisingly well, and my husband demands I grow them again next year for their humor value. Tonight's freeze will probably kill them, so here are a couple more photos of the silly hanging fruits:
Location: Texas Hill Country Zone 8a : 10 to 15 (F)
Love the luffa pictures. Is tonight's freeze the first? We've had a hard freeze and two good frosts so far. Tonight the wind is awful and the smoke from wildfires to our south make being outside unpleasant.
With forty shades of green, it's hard to be blue.
Garg 'nuair dhùisgear! Virtutis Gloria Merces
Thank you. The loofah vines are now black and dead, the fruits still hanging on. Not sure if I should let them dry on the vine, or harvest them. I'll be saving them for seed, not for sponges.
Today I planted two Plums in the food forest, Bruce and Methley, which are supposed to be relatively drought tolerant. The idea is that they will grow beneath the canopy of Cedar Elms, as the wild Plums do naturally. Unfortunately our Wild Plums were all growing on a bluff which dried out during our severe drought the other year, and I believe they are all dead. These new Plums are planted in an area which gets significant run off in rains, so I hope the soil will remain relatively moist. I will be irrigating them for a few years during establishment, and there may be the possibility of irrigating them through another drought, but that depends on how our well holds out in the future. We're in a good well area, being in a side valley of the major river valley (drawback is we get major flooding).
Thank you! My goal for this cool season is to harvest a few radishes. The warm season will be squash, I think. The next patch, I'm thinking of trying Gabe Brown's 30 varieties of vegetable polyculture.
Gabe also states that he included 20 species of annual flowers and 20 species of cover crops. Not sure I'll be able to afford that many different kinds of seeds. 70 packets of seeds are going to add up to $$. But I'll try as many as I can afford.
This might not be a bad time to gather wild flower seeds. For annual flowers there's also the wildflower packets with mixed varieties. And often nurseries will sell last seasons seeds at a discounted cost. Some plants still have good germination rates at that point.
Thanks! Yes, I think I can get an okay deal by purchasing mixes instead of individual packets. It's not a huge amount of space, so full packages of all those kinds would probably be too many seeds anyway.
I like that idea - doing the Gabe Brown 'grow 30 veggies' thing. I was thinking that I don't have anywhere to do that, but then remembered - we're going to extend the fence at the back (north) end of the present market garden so I can grow a small food forest there. So, this first year, while I'm working on creating soil, and will need ground cover and nurse plants for the trees and shrubs, I could do the 30 veggie thing there! I think it would work great. Plus, it will have at least some yield, as well as be a great insectary if I throw in the mixed flower seeds as well. Great plan! We'll compare notes once everything is planted and growing.
I have so little fenced space to experiment in, I feel I need to cram things into every corner! But I think this strategy is going to be great for getting things going in the food forest, and build up some soil. Plus, I can find out more things that like to grow here, without taking up space in the market garden. There are some peas and beans I want to try out. Plus, like you I'll get some daikon radish in there to get some organic material into my sand pit. Might even toss in some potatoes!
Awesome! A new project to plan for. Off to look through seed catalogs!
I have high but I hope not insane hopes that with these brush dams we'll be able to slow the water enough to save the county road from being washed out in the next big flood. But we have so much to do, we might not get it all done by then. Our flood season is typically in the late Spring or early Summer.
Tracy Wandling wrote:I have so little fenced space to experiment in, I feel I need to cram things into every corner!
If I can get my act together enough to get another area fenced, I think I'll also try the 30 Vegetables experiment in my food forest under the canopy of the large trees, to see if there's a big difference between the sheltered position and the open position. My big challenge will be remembering to keep good notes. I think I should take weekly notes, certainly notes every month anyway.