Monthly Archives: March 2012

Breakfast quick

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Small croissants cut in half, with ham or turkey, and cheddar. Placed in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They also reheat well

Morning glories and moonflowers

This doesn’t look like much, but it is a tray of morning glory and moonflowers. I’m starting these in peat pots because I put a weed product on the lawn that stops germination. So I can’t direct so them.

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The moonflowers say they don’t transplant well so I chose peat pots so I can transplant them.

Garden wise….

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The sugar snaps and bush beans are going strong.

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If you look closely the sugar snaps are sending tendrils up and circling the garden twine. They are so cute.

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Yesterday I went through and added more seeds to some squares to give a staggered crop and also to make up for seedlings that aren’t doing well. I’m blaming fire ants. More on that later.

The other garden plot is also doing well.

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The oregano is coming up fast, and the cabbage is starting to shape into a head.

Sugar snap trellis

It seems like my sugar snap sprouted and got a couple of inches tall overnight. We mowed the yard on Sunday and I went out to look at them in the evening and all of a sudden they were all shooting up.

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They started putting out the climbing tendrils and I knew I needed something in the garden that they could climb onto. Enter a creative use of an extra tomato cage I bought.

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I wound some garden twine around the levels making a small makeshift trellis that fit my square perfect.

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Spring!

Technically tomorrow is the first official day of Spring from the looks of things around here it’s already here. There isn’t really a lot to do garden wise except watch the seeds sprout.

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The cucumbers I directly planted are coming up.

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So are the sugar snaps, bush beans, and bush pickling cucumbers.

I also finally got tomato cages.

The pictures are kinda funky cause we have storms coming in and I hope they don’t obliterate the garden.

3 levels of lazer cat

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Catnip at work.

Catnip

I posted earlier today about having a catnip plant. If like me you are a cat person you have no doubt bought pre-bag dried catnip from either the grocery store or a pet store. I did for the longest time, until one day last year I was in a nursery & saw an actual catnip plant. Intrigued I of course had to buy said catnip plant…

You literally can almost not kill this plant. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of the original catnip plant that we purchased a little while after we bought our house. This is because I left it out on our front porch and a vagrant neighbor cat molested it to death. By that I mean it knocked it off our porch rail and broke its container. The plant survived neglect, house cat maulings, and high Texas heat and cold In fact it seemed to love all of the above conditions.

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The first picture is one of our tuxedo cats named Pinky the second is the other Tuxedo aptly named The Blob. I have not been able to get a successful picture of our third cat a.k.a. heathen kitten. All three of our precious little bastards I mean babies are rescues. As time goes on you can expect to see random pictures of cat cuteness and or links to them doing dumb things like chasing their own tail.

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For example that is Blob attempting to distract me from posting this particular message. In case you’re wondering this is in fact typical behavior.

Square foot gardening week 2.9

I know it’s a little late in the week…

Last weekend started out completely nasty, cold and wet. Then one of my friends had their 30th birthday party (hello hangover!). Sunday started out a little damp and wet but ended being gloriously warm day. I decided to go ahead and transplant the tomatoes into the garden last weekend.

Today I was off work and decided this morning to head to one of my favorite Austin garden centers. I got two pepper plants, a catnip plant, and a mint plant.

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That is two mint (an apple mint, and a regular mint) plants a catnip plant (our cars LOVE it) and a container of garlic chives. These are things that I keep in containers because they have a tendency to get away from you if you’re not very careful.

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These are the pepper plants. A jalapeno and a sweet pepper. While I have pepper sprouts starting right now I went ahead and purchased these larger pepper plants just in case I am late in starting the pepper seedlings. This is my first year gardening and I kind of feel like I’m more comfortable when my bases are covered.

As for the rest of my garden all of the sprouts are coming out and looking so cute and fragile and breakable.

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Except the radishes, as you can see in this picture I don’t think much could get deter those things.

The first set of seeds that I directly planted I was very careful to make sure that I only had one see per hole to the point of it almost being maniacal about it. The lesson that I learned is that you don’t have 100% germination rate and sometimes two or even three seeds per hole gives you the option to come back later and thin out the seedlings to ensure that you have the spacing you intend to. It also gives you a nice variety of tender sprouts to add to your salads. Or something to snack on while you’re wandering around your garden beds. I know the snacking persuasion.

Also in my Sunday gardening frenzy I went through and planted our back fence row with a combination of morning glory, Moon flower, and sugar snap pea seeds. I had started some of those seeds and peat pots and I wasn’t really happy with the way that they sort of sprung up about 3 inches tall. When you start seedlings and they sprout that high and get away from you they don’t transplant well as evidenced by this poor cucumber

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You see the one on the left those sprouts are what they call leggy which basically means that the stock shot up to far. And post transplant died. Lesson learned…

I also went through and planted a square of bush beans and sugar snap peas in the garden beds. I’m about to the point where I have my early summer crops in place, now the focus is going to shift to keeping those plants alive as well as doing staggered planting of things that I know I will want more of during the summer. For example I went around the tomato plants and planted more carrot seeds around them so that the tomatoes can shade my carrots, and I’m not relying on one square of carrots to get me through the summer. This is something that I will do with the carrots, spinach, turnips, and beets. I’ll also be looking for a way to slide in some more collard greens and anything else that is pretty much one harvest per plant.

Just something to think about so you’re going through and starting to plant yes you have a whole square that will fit 16 carrots, are you going to eat all 16 of them within maybe say a week and half to two-week period when they’re ready to harvest? In case you’re wondering this is a lesson in hindsight I didn’t follow my own advice.

Bunnies!

Yes I’m aware we’re supposed to be natural enemies. But…. They are SO cute!

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I’m already working to devise some form of protective fencing. That is not too obstructive.

Ahh my sprouts

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This is what happens when you have a very busy week and you set seedlings to sprout.

For me this week has been filled with residual mortgage problems, as well as being short staffed at work.

So I kind of forgot the morning glory, cucumber, bush bean seeds I planted over the weekend. I replanted all of the seedlings in slightly larger peat pots.

The plus side is they all sprouted and look like they will transplant very well into the garden.

Baked Spanish Rice

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That may not look like much but… It’s baked Spanish rice. Yep, those are veggies!

When we first bought out house we had several cook outs of fajitas. One time I burnt the rice on the stove top. Once was all it took. Ever since then I bake it. You can’t really mess it up.

Recipe
1 cup plain rice
2 cups water
1 Knorr Homestyle stock chicken
1 can stewed diced tomatoes Mexican style, or mild rotel don’t drain!
1/2 cup frozen fajita vegetables
The following to taste
-garlic powder
– ground cumin
-dried cilantro or fresh
-Bolner’s Spanish rice seasoning ( if you can’t get this wonderful stuff, add chicken bouillon, cumin, salt, garlic, pepper and a touch of tomato bouillon.
-optional Green Giant mexicorn the vacuum packed one

In a shallow 9×13 pan add enough vegetable or canola oil to cover the bottom. Add rice and everything but water and Homestyle stock. Microwave water and stock then stir in.

Bake at 450 for an hour or at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours. Worse thing that happens is rice is over soft, I’ve never had it come out mushy.

Here is a link about the chicken stock. I LOVE this stuff and keep it on hand at all times.

Want another use for it? Here are a few
– rotisserie chicken, carrots, celery, egg noodles = chicken soup in under 30 minutes.
– keep it on hand instead of a carton of pre-reconstituted chicken broth
-and my personal favorite add one container to the boiling water with potatoes for either mashed potatoes or potato salad