Since this year is my first attempt at veggie gardening, I've much to learn. I've never been much for gardening because the soil is thin, hard as nails, full of caliche, water is scarce, and the soil must be heavily amended with good soil and compost. The reason for starting a veggie garden is I'm tired of reading about this vegetable, fruit, etc. is recalled for this reason and that. In addition, food prices are going through the roof. Even the farmer's market is high -- I paid $14 for six tiny, scrawny ears of corn and two pounds of tomatoes. However, to give the woman her due, she had tomatoes, and I've yet to harvest one good tomato from my tomato plants.
I am now a fan of the local radio gardening shows. I've started haunting any and everyone that knows anything about growing stuff, veggies in particular. Last week I learned to use straw as a mulch instead of the red (probably dyed) mulch sold at the local home center. The red mulch looked very pretty surrounding the veggies in the Backyard Botanical Garden. I thought it was a cedar mulch which accounted somewhat for the red, but the more I thought about it the more I realized it had to have been dyed. Hmm, common sense tells me that it is not a good thing to be around your veggies. In addition, red mulch absorbs the heat, which the veggies do not need in Texas summers.
I noticed that Marianne of Onion Creek Farms, a local farm stand in the area, used a light sprinkling of straw around her veggies in the fields. There is plenty of hay around here with the cows and all, so that is the next step in trying to produce more than a few zucchini. The first step was to pull out all the red mulch which was done yesterday. Not to waste, however, the red mulch was placed around some trees.
My dad's tomatoes plants produced many, many tomatoes. Needless to say, I wasn't interested in growing anything at the time and never asked how he did it. :D I am seventy, but you never get to old to ask your parents a thing or two. Now that I am not as smart as I was, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of both my father and mother. To me, it is a celebration of their lives to remember them by wanting to ask a couple of questions. What I am saying is if your parents are still with you, pepper them with questions: they will love it.
Until next time, God bless.