Just get out and do it.

Welcome to my blog, Garden for Your Life! This site will be mostly about my garden, but you can build one just like it in your back yard too. It can be bigger or smaller, just get out and do it. You can do it for fun. Your can do it for your health. You can do it for fresh food in these troubled times. The point is to get out and do it for whatever reason that you need.

Over time I will cover topics like canning and preserving your harvest, soil and beds, bugs, what to plant and when, and much more.

I've been working on this garden on mine and improving on it for over five years now. I will continue doing that for many more. You can too, just get out and do it.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Fall Update!


It's been a while since I've updated my blog.  It's also been a very hot summer with little rain, after the May gully washers, so this years summer garden as a wash.  The best was the potatoes and the tomatoes.  My hot peppers did ok, but the sweet ones did poorly.  Being exhausted making repairs and working in such heat didn't help. The rains have returned, but not near as bad as last May and it's time for the fall planting.

First up replanting some tomatoes!  Sept 2 planting, then came a Beautiful rain!  Several times over the last three weeks!
 The yellow cages are 6 Roma's
Then 2 Brandywine's in the red cages.
The blue cages have sweet millions cherry tomatoes

Lastly the green cages are tomatillos.


This is todays picture! 21 Sept!

 So the squash bugs got more squash than me.  These are Pumpkins to the left and watermelon to the right.  These were seeded the same time as the tomatoes   Below is today!

The next on the list was the Blackberries.  Our one bright spot as we got over 6 gallons of berries now in the freezer!  They were in need of clearing out the dead canes and the bamboo supports of three years were showing lots of wear.  Out they came and were replaced with steel fence post and coated wire rope.  DW intertwined them and fresh rains from God's heavens did the rest! This was done over the weekend of September 5-6 

Today!  They are filling in nicely on the bottoms with new shoots.
Next on the list for winter work is to fully enclose them in a wood frame with bird netting.  I'll have large doors so I can get in, but not those mocking birds that love them as much as we do.  They'll just have to wait their turn.

Now the other crops,  2 kinds of kale, collards, beets and turnips!  All are up but they're gonna need some thinning as DW sows heavy.  

These two beds are set aside for broccoli in a bed and a half with cauliflower for DW in the back half of the second one.  

These beds, after a little more soil and amendments, are going to be turned into permanent herb beds.  Two kinds of herbs per bed, yet to be determined.  

Lastly on the project is getting my new Slovenian Bee hive ready to migrate my bees in the spring.  I really like this hive, so does Roxy.  
 Two entrances in the front. I'll just use the middle one to help keep the honey in the top part of the hive with the queen excluded in the lower part.
 The back opens up for access to the frames.  Time for a colorful paint job and stand.

Poor Sallie Mae and Roxy is so tired from all these inspection duties.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

After the Storms!

Howdy y'all!

Its been a rough time here in the mini ranch/farm homestead.  At the end of May we got hit with a serious storm with over a week of rain. 11 inches hit here over the week.  The last two days were the worst.  My trees in the back couldn't take it anymore.  The Chinese Elm leaned over and lnaded on the chicken run and my house.  The mesquite tree, with two large trunks snapped and was blown to the side.  Both trunks ended up in the garden with one on top of one of my rabbit hutches.  Here's the after the storm pics.

DW,  my Son and his girl friend cut the elm down as I was stuck at the Urgent Care where I work.  The trunks on the mesquite was over 12" thick and over 20 high.  Time to call the tree people.  It took them three hours to cut them down and cart them away.  Next came the stump grinder with a beast of a grinder.  Less than an hour later I had two big piles of mulch and holes in the yard to work with.

In the mean time my bunnies no longer had shade.  Oh did I mention the fence?  A big part blew down a couple of days later.  First a few boards to prop it up. Then a few steel post to support it till the insurance comes through and I can get it replaced.

Oh yea, the rabbits.  The one that caught the tree lost its legs.  The rabbits survived just fine.  Once the tree came off all it really needed was four new legs.  Good for now and secure.  My new hutches are singles and all my doubles will be replaced as they wear out with singles.  Next came some shade from the Texas heat.  I kept them under that mesquite tree for three years now.  Just shade from the tree, electric fans, and ice bottles.

First I set some steel poles and ran wire rope to support the shade tarps.  They're now in 60% shade.
A recent tropical storm dropped an additional 6" of rain and they held up great.   Now for a tree or two.  I found some Dorsett Apple trees to replace the trees that I lost.  They are a tree that thrives in southeast Texas and may produce as many as two crops a year.  I finally got them in and staked for some support till the roots grow out.

I have a little room left so I picked up some Mexican Lime trees and planted them in pots so I can move them under the porch during the winter.  DW wanted a couple of ginger plants so I added a pot for them.

The garden took a big hit when the trees fell into it.  I couldn't get into most of it for a week.  Once the tree came off I could see the damage.  I lost about a third of my plants.  The beds survived with minimal damage.  I just need to replace the fence that kept the dawgs and chicken out of the garden.  I'll just replant a little earlier than usual and it'll be good.  Just have to decide what to plant for the Texas summer.  Lets see what the next few weeks brings out.

Poor Roxy is all worn out.  I agree with her!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The first harvesting has begun!

Howdy y'all,

The rains have let up for a while, 5", so out to the garden I went to check on things.  I quickly pulled in a quart of blackberries and bagged them up for a couple of friends.  We got the garlic out before this weeks rains and it's hanging up to dry.  Beans are going into that bed. The Dill weed has been harvested and dried in our new dehydrator from Cabela's.  Now we are picking the seed heads and drying the seeds.  More than enough for our pickling needs for sure.  All the rest is growing great.  Here's the pictures.

My potatoes are dying back and peeking through the top of the soil.  I harvested some and the new potatoes are the best! The Kale is still surviving although some are in bloom.  Gonna harvest some of those seeds for next year.  

We planted lavender in several places and it's doing great.

We are going to have a bumper crop of blackberries.  I see lots of jam and fruit leathers in my future. 

My tomatoes have exploded out of their cages.  After those fruits on the end get harvested i'll have to trim them back a bit.

There's going to be a lot of cherry and yellow pear tomatoes ready real soon.

My Squash beds and peppers are all green and in flower.  The dill bed is almost done, except for a few seed heads left to cut and dry.  Pickles and cucumbers will replace the dill

There is nothing prettier than tomatillo lanterns hanging.  I can't wait for some fresh Salsa Verde!

Stevia in the front and Lemon balm in the back

Sweet and hot peppers looking great.  The lady next door will be happy when I give her some of those hot peppers for pico!

The rabbits with the fronts open, enjoying the cool air

My newest addition to the farm, eight new American Chinchilla rabbits, born on mothers day.

Three of the girls plus one off to lay a fresh egg.

The last batch before I bag it up for a friend