Rachel H Kay Blog

Tags: gardening

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Year Four, Pests, Heat & Cats

This years spring garden was not as successful as the previous years, even with the best planning there are still unexpected setbacks that while annoying, can still be learned from.

I began my spring garden planning in February, figuring out which plants I was going to grow from seed and which ones I would buy from the Houston Garden Center. This year I didn’t need as many plants because some of them successfully wintered over, and others luckily grew back. My Hyssop plants all grew back, which was really great, because every summer I look forward to making my fruit smoothies with the leaves, giving my smoothies a nice minty/licorice flavor. I didn’t get around to making any jam or syrup this year, but I really did enjoy my smoothies. I also had a few pepper plants survive the winter, mostly because they were sheltered on our back porch. My mint in my melon patch took off, so much that I had to prune a lot of it back, and my fennel really grew. It was taller than my PVC trellis that surrounds my melon patch. In the spring it was beautiful, with tons of yellow flowers. I didn’t harvest the fennel, I mostly used it for companion planting to help ward off pests, which seemed to help a lot during the spring.

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Garden Recovery After Harvey

Harvey was a very devastating storm. I saw places around me that flooded, which have never flooded before. Even my own neighborhood had water in the streets. Kids were out with their floats swimming when we got a short break from the rain for a bit. Although I wouldn't recommend it. The bayou that surrounds my neighborhood went way, way over its banks, and into the streets.

The weirdest part about Harvey was that areas that have never flooded did, and areas that usually flood, well, some of them didn't. What made this storm such a disaster was due to those areas not being prepared for flooding. Of course no one knew those areas would flood. I watched the news in shock all those days during the storm. Freeways, neighborhoods, businesses, flooded out. Some of those businesses had been around for many years. So much disaster.

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Companion Planting

In my previous post " Year Three Expanding Cucumber Variations", I mentioned companion planting. In this post I'm going to explain what companion planting is, and how it can benefit your garden. Companion planting is planting different plants in one area, a garden bed, or a plant pot, in order for those plants to enhance each other's growth, or to help protect each other from various pests.

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Year Three Expanding Cucumber Variations

This year is our third year growing vegetables. We now have three garden beds, a melon patch, three lettuce beds made out of old laundry baskets, and various plants in large plant pots. This year is also our most expanded year in vegetable variations. What I mean by that is instead of just growing cucumbers this year for example, we're growing four different kinds of cucumbers. This includes lemon cucumbers, boston pickling cucumbers, space master cucumbers, cucamelons, and your basic cucumber. All sprouted from seed, indoors, which I began in February this year. I already had the basic cucumber seeds, but the other seeds I got from Seedsnow.com. They were having a sale at the time, so I got a bunch of different vegetable and herb seeds, probably about 20 different seed packs, for around $35.00, which is a great bargain compared to buying already sprouted plants. You should definitely check them out. They have a huge selection of heirloom seeds, and you don't have to spend a lot to get a lot either.

Each variety of cucumbers has a different look, taste, and use. I don't need to explain the need to grow a basic cucumber, but have you ever grown a lemon cucumber?

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Building Our Third Garden Bed

Since I'm trying a few different variations this year, I needed a new garden bed for my lemon cucumbers and Boston pickling cucumbers. So my son and I decided to build a new garden bed so we could then transplant them once they were ready. The idea of building this new bed came from my son's failed attempt at building another garden bed last year.

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About Me

Hi there. I'm Rachel Kay, a Web Developer, Illustrator, & Designer, whose hobby is to be creative and artistic, while freelancing as a Web Developer building creative, modern websites.

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