Herself's Houston Garden

Conservation through cultivation

Busy, busy

The schizophrenic weather has had me carting plants in, plants out, plants in.  They went out for the last time yesterday, it’s every plant for himself after this.

I went to both the Conroe Master Gardener plant sale and Mercer’s March Mart last month.  I didn’t buy as much as usual.  I was looking for more tropical plants, but the recent weather is making me wonder about the wisdom of planting lots of tropicals.

I have several Lunch bunches at Mercer penciled into my calendar, as well as Jerry’s Jungle the 17th and 18th , Florescence the 21st and 22nd, The Houston Orchid show 24/25/26 and The Woodlands Garden Club “I’ts a small, small world” flower show the 29th. So things are busy. There is also The Texas Forest Expo the 24->26 this month I’m not yet sure if I’ll make that event or not. I just received a note telling me that Hope Farms Gardens will be open weekends from 4/25 till 5/24. I’ve never been but it has been highly recommended to me.

I finally put a compost bin in the yard last week, and have been busy filling it and tearing out more of the front lawn.

When it’s been too cold to work in the yard I’ve been reading lots about gardening and industrialized food supply ( The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals). If you eat or garden you’ll want to read this book.

I’m hoping to do more propagation and some more challenging gardening projects this year. I already hack computers, it’s time to start hacking the garden, and botany, and biology. The future lies in that direction.

New things I learned this week:

Time release fertilizers do not break down when the ground is below 55’F and when it is hot here they break down immediately burning plants.  Only use time release fertilizers in the spring and fall.  Stick to more traditional fertilizers in the summer and winter.

2 teaspoons of molasses per gallon of water makes a good fertilizer.  In addition it keeps fire ants out of the garden.

Spring and snakes in the garden go together.  Snakes to watch for are:

Copperhead: Copperheads all have brown rings shaped like Hersey’s kisses along them

Corals: Black, thin yellow, red, thin yellow band in that order

Cotton Mouth:  Black line with white line top and bottom across eyes like a mask.

While you won’t likely die from a snake bite from these guys it’s still a good idea to go to the hospital and get checked out.