New Year’s Garden

New Year's Garden

New Year’s Garden

One of my favorite things about living in Texas (and maybe the only thing that makes up for the excruciating summers) is my ability to grow peas all winter long. Peas have always been my favorite, especially sugar snaps. And this is the first time in the 4 years I’ve lived in Austin that I actually have a real plot of dirt. I may not own it; it’s in a community garden, but I can see it from my window and it’s mine for at last a year.

014Back in September, or was it October, I first turned over the dirt and planted 2 kinds of peas, beets, lettuce, kale, and flowers from seed and 2 kinds of broccoli, 3 kinds of Brussels sprouts, and 1 cauliflower from plants. Plus there are several little garlic plants, and since then I’ve had quite a few cilantro volunteers and some leafy green that looks like it migrated over from my Chinese neighbor’s garden. I have no idea what it is.

003The two kinds of peas I got are about as dissimilar as they can be. One is a shell pea called Tom Thumb. The plants grow a whopping 8 inches tall and produce full-sized peas that drag the ground. Owen and I have already been picking peas off these plants for about a month. They’re still going, but I think the cold snap we’ve had has been hard on them. The other variety are sugar snaps that are supposed to grow 8 foot tall vines! Certainly they are spilling over the tops of my tomato cages. They’re just now blooming.

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The lettuce and kale are going strong, but we keep forgetting about them and buying more at the grocery store.  The cauliflower was immediately eaten up by bugs, and I left it there as a sacrifice.  The broccoli is producing small heads.  No news from the Brussels spouts.  The 3 varieties are very different.  I’m hoping at least one of them will actually have some sprouts.

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Apparently, in Texas, you plant strawberries in January, so I may need to update again after a trip to the nursery.

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