Friday, May 8, 2015

West TX trip pics...Garden update.....(rain,rain...GO Away!)

RAIN RAIN RAIN in NE Texas..!! (when will it ease up?)

Forecast here doesn't show any full sunny days for the next 10 days...either thundershowers, overcast or partly cloudy at best. It's muggy as hell out today, skeeters swarming like flies unless there is a breeze blowing. I'm getting low on "OFF" spray, have to use that stuff EVERY time you step out side. Grass (what little I have - really just weeds) needs mowing twice a week nearly.

Last time I checked somewhere online....ALL the NE Texas lakes are full or 85% full - and that was 2-3 weeks ago. Bet they are all full now. Out in Central/West TX....not so much.

Funny how the main stream TV news channels locally freak out when we have a drought, but then when we are running way over yearly rainfall totals and lakes are brimming full....they don't even mention this fact. (not a scary enough news topic to keep us all stirred up, I reckon?) But I don't even watch MSM's mostly guv BS fed to us all.

Here are a few garden pics.

 Here are my strawberries in potting soil experiment....middle bag is "garden soil"...pretty lame. All planted within 2 days of each other. And, as you see, planted too close together. But we get a few strawberries each day....less since the sun went away a couple weeks ago.
 I have a crap-load of small to medium sized healthy green tomatoes...guess we oughta pluck a few for a nice pan of Fried Green Maters..?? I think it will take some UV Rays to get them to turn red eventually.
 Sort of an overall pic here of the main garden area. May 8 status...(surprised these pics even turned out with all the skeeters around my head.)
 This is my little area of Native TX grass mix....$100 for a 10# bag....fenced off to keep barbedo ewe out and rabbits too.
 Zukees and bell and banana peppers here.
2 rows of red potatoes....I think?....forgot what I bought and planted back around March 1. Before the ice and snow that hit us twice the first week of March.
Two long rows of onions, planted March 1....coming along pretty well.

And now...a few pics from a trip out west last week...

 Ocotillo plants...some leafed out...others next to them not leafed out.??
 Sunset...MOON set at 7AM one morning looking at west horizon and zoomed in.
Sunrise over Nine Points Mesa.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weber midget grill and more garden progress.

I found a good deal on a low level BBQ grill a few days ago. And I figured I'd have to dig a hole to stand in while using it, or modify the grill somehow. The grilling surface was about 3" higher than my kneecap.

I dug a shallow ring around a young Red Oak tree in the yard, and filled it with a few shovels of alpaca poop. Maybe it will grow faster this year.....we will see.

Garden is coming along pretty well, and we have had a good deal of rain in North TX over the last month, and more coming in the next few days. 
Same shot about 40 days later.
My new dog MoJo...part blue heeler, smart feller

And our other dog...she's kinda ratty lookin'....Lizzy

My Texas native grass mix....mostly buffalo grass it seems...fenced off to keep rabbits and Lizzy out.

Dat's all folks.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Still kickin....more or less.

Been over a year since I've updated this silly blogger thang, but here goes...!

Retired from work (not 62 yet, but getting there), just got tired of the big mega- corporate employee life. It used to be fun and easy to build apartment projects, but between corp insurance risks, accounting dept freak-out fears, lousy design teams, slickster development associates, and ever growing and over-reaching municipalities' rules and seem to spend more time protecting your back side than just simply building future slums! That 60 mile -Each Way- commute across DFW to Dallas wasn't fun either. Tried to depart in Oct, but bosses asked me to stay until after Jan one, so I did. Friendly split and no hard feelings on either side.

Anyway, the last 3 trips out west last fall resulted in 2/3 of those trips being in crappy, cold, windy, rainy, drizzly, miserable weather. Spending a week inside huddled around a propane heater playing fun for a day or so, then not so much. I mean you can only drown so much misery in a bottle of good bourbon, then you just wake up the next day feeling lousy, and still huddled around an LP heat source.

Been piddling with getting a decent sized garden started here west of DFW on the back/lower part of my hard-scrabble 3 acres. Previous attempts at Square Foot gardening near the house had mixed results, easy to get to, but summer heat eventually knocks out the producing of any veggies. Upper half of my place is rocky, scrubby, "Where the west begins" type land. Bottom, lower half was a thick tangle of tall skinny trees and undergrowth that a whipsnake snake slathered in Crisco couldn't get through. But I found some guys that had a service that could clear brush with a Bobcat and a front end attachment like a huge wood chipper about 7' wide, that was loud as hell, flung big wood chips as big as a foot ball 100 feet around, and could grind up trees up to about 3-4" diameter and just walk thru a forest like I had. I told them leave the good trees, and take out the rest. Ended up with me having to go back in afterwards and chainsawing down a few more to open it up, but over all very happy with the newly usable open land area. And the soil down there after years of leaves rotting was really nice and crumbly. So I found a seemingly good garden area, and have been fencing it off to keep deer, rabbits, etc out. Had to run a long hose down there, but I'm on well, with so far good water table, so watering shouldn't be an issue.

Snow, ice, sleet and cold has been delaying me after a few teasing weeks of 75-80 degrees in early/mid Feb. (shoulda known)...But 3" of snow 5 days into March? Al Gore, even though he invented the internet, seems to be off with these cold winters - esp up north.

red area is onion rows, future stuff in yellow box tilled up and ready
rented a mini-excavator to get tree stobs and roots out - worked "okay"
pickup load of alpaca poop compost - supposed to be top notch for gardens

sideways pic of potatoes planted just today
$300 nearly new pawn shop treasure that makes that soil like brown sugar (I hope)
Got two rows of onions in prior to last weeks snow and ice 5 day long event

Fenced in area...not fully fenced yet, but soon..!! with gates. Lucky it's easy digging down here.

Okay...that's all I got for now. need to get some more things into the ground tomorrow....MORE RAIN COMING SUNDAY/MONDAY..!! but at least the cold is gone seems.

Used the little excavator to dig a couple of holes for fruit trees, gotta get to Wally World for some now, their shipment finally came in a few days ago.

And gotta chop down a few of those lingering trees...too much shade for most veggies.