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Love those Texas Gardens


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That is a really cool site. I didn't know such a thing existed. My nephew is really into giving away food baskets and will groove on this.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Me neither. I found it while stumbling around online searches for appropriate bottles - for the first batch of Tabasco sauce.

Perfect for the small orders. Hope your nephew enjoys it too, fifi.

My Anaheim pepper plants look like they should be in a gardening book. Some are four feet tall and lush as a hedge! Picked a bunch o' peps off them this morning. Jalapenos too and those plants are twice as big as a week ago! And a shirtful of baby eggplant from the Jap plants. :cool:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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  • 4 weeks later...

End of season is here, almost. I seem to keep saying this but we now have about two dozen more (still green) tomatoes that are between golf ball and baseball size! So I'll keep enjoying them as long as the weather holds out. :biggrin:

Weather.

Which is what this post is about. My silver thyme and lemon thyme are absolutely beautiful. I've always had them in pots before (they are successful in pots which is why I kept growing them in containers). However, this year I plunked them in the ground and they have been the best yet in flavor and growth.

What do I do now? How do you winter over your thyme? Cut them back to harvest all I can before a freeze hits us -- eventually? Then do I need to cover them? Or leave them more intact and dig them up and container them?

Any recommendations?

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Judith, my lemon thyme keeps coming back in the herb garden I have here. I do harvest some for the winter, but it gets better and better each year. The same with my tarragon in the pot and the mint in pots and the rosemary never goes dormant. I use it all winter. Also, the sage is the original plant from 3 years ago. The chives seem to come back, both the garlic and the regular. So once planted, it seems with some herbs, you are set. The parsley, basil and dill I do have to replant.

I am in Tulsa so your location should not be a problem.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Judith,  my lemon thyme keeps coming back in the herb garden I have here.  I do harvest some for the winter, but it gets better and better each year.  The same with my tarragon in the pot and the mint in pots and the rosemary never goes dormant.  I use it all winter.  Also, the sage is the original plant from 3 years ago.  The chives seem to come back, both the garlic and the regular.  So once planted, it seems with some herbs, you are set.  The parsley, basil and dill I do have to replant.

I am in Tulsa so your location should not be a problem.

Thanks, joiei! Please join us often here. Your winters are definitely rougher than ours! So that is good news for my thyme, as the cold temps were my concern for that Mediterranean herb. The oregano should be fine then also.

My two rosemarys (about the size of a VW bug!) have no problems with weather here. I have enough rosemary to supply the neighborhood! :laugh: Garlic and onion chives do well also, no difficulty with them in the front bed. My mint I set in a bed this spring and it's starting to fill in nicely now. I was planning to cut it back and see how it does in the spring.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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I know I'm not in Texas. I know. Believe me, I know.

Nevertheless, I am on the Gulf Coast (14 miles from the Gulf) and we pretty much never have a hard freeze, maybe every 4 or 5 years. So sometimes, things that should be dead, hang around and produce far longer than one would think that they should.

Case in point: I have a vegetable garden that is out of sight, out of mind, kind of in the shade and it is really only good for a spring garden. When I cleaned it out in August, I had some bell pepper plants that we still developing fruit, so I left them-and promptly forgot about them.

Well, yesterday afternoon I was taking some stuff out to the burn pile (next to the garden) and lo and behold, there were about twenty peppers hanging, most of them turning or already red, and the plants are covered in flowers. It looks like they kicked in for a second life out of stubborness. I have been growing peppers for years, but have never seen bell pepper plants begin to produce a second time better than they did the first go round. If we don't have a freeze (currently seems unlikely, it is 80F here today), I am going to get 50 or 60 peppers off of some plants that I completely forgot about.

As far as rosemary goes, I have a bush by my front gate that is, really, 4 feet tall and probably 6 feet in circumference. The thing is huge. Everybody in town knows where it is and it is not uncommon to look out the front door and see someone who I don't even know out there with a pair of clippers. I'm always glad to let them have it as I figure if they are willing to steal rosemary that they are probably just desperate culinary fiends looking for a fix, and who am I to judge others? :wink:

In New Orleans, where it really pretty much never freezes, rosemary that is slightly protected (under eaves or inside a walled garden for example, will grow to some pretty huge proportions). When taking a stroll through the back half of the French Quarter or through the garden areas of Uptown, if you keep an eye out and your nose open, you can spot some freakishly large rosemary planted a very long time ago. I love that smell. Along with sweet olive, it's probably my favorite garden smell in this part of the South.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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We know not you're not really here, Mayhaw Man, but we love to have you visit! :biggrin:

You do stay warmer than we do here in Central TX. Some years our time at 32 F or below is measured in hours -- year before last the official almanac for Austin was freeze time: 35 minutes. :laugh: We do get a bit chillier out here between the lakes, and have seen snow/ice when in-town Austin didn't, but that is still very rare for us.

Your rosemarys sound like mine. One is larger than the other -- older by about 4 years -- which makes it about 10 now -- 5'x8'. The other was a bit of a baby, full and bushy but only about 18" high and a foot around, when we bought the place almost six years ago. Now it's the size of yours. They are on the upper level of the yard at opposite ends of the veg plot, otherwise I would also be glad to have secret snippers come by. :laugh: You are a generous culinary soul.

What a bonus to have have the bells rebound like that!

Yeah, about peppers -- my Anas and jalapenoes have taken off again too, with even more blooms. I just gathered up a small basket of those this week. And the Tabasco peps produce until the first freeze is upon us -- at which point I stumble on out there and grab off every single one no matter the color development to throw in more garlic/salted vinegar. Just can't have too much of that around! :shock::wink: Adds such a nice kick to marinades and sauces for the bbq too, as well as for on table sprinkling.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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My oregano must be close to ten years old now - I just prune it harshly come February, and a few times throughout the year and it rapidly spreads to a three-foot wide swath. My thyme sits out there just waiting to be snipped for a winter soup - lentil's one of my favorite matches. It too gets pruned back before spring hits - and I think I've only protected it once or twice when it got down to single digits. Just be sure to water them all well before a hard freeze and most of your herbs should survive. I guess the over-thirteen inches I've had this week will keep most of them going for a while....

Edited by memesuze (log)
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My oregano must be close to ten years old now - I just prune it harshly come February, and a few times throughout the year and it rapidly spreads to a three-foot wide swath. My thyme sits out there just waiting to be snipped for a winter soup - lentil's one of my favorite matches. It too gets pruned back before spring hits - and I think I've only protected it once or twice when it got down to single digits. Just be sure to water them all well before a hard freeze and most of your herbs should survive. I guess the over-thirteen inches I've had this week will keep most of them going for a while....

Thanks, memesuze. :biggrin: Those are encouraging words for my green babies.

Wow! We've had rain, but you've had RAIN! :shock: Don't float off!

Me, too! I love lentils with thyme -- essential. I look forward to plucking both thymes fresh in the dead of winter as I can the rosemary.

And this lemon thyme especially brightens carrots, green beans too, and fish! :wub:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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  • 2 weeks later...
Tomato tango music anyone? 

Just bought some creole seeds off Ebay---seriously, it's the best birthday gift a gal can give herself!

So, you lucky gal, when are you starting these magic seeds? Have you grown these before, jess? I haven't -- but would love to! May need to check out ebay myself. I wouldn't have thought of that for seeds -- good tip. :wink:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Bemoaning the fact that I never got around to planting my herb pots, it does occur to me that this time of year, rosemary in various forms is everywhere in the garden centers. They have cute little Christmas tree shapes, topiaries, baskets and all kinds of established plants. These would make great gifts for cooking friends or, in my case, for me!!! I seem to use rosemary more for fall and winter dishes than at other times of the year. Maybe that is because rosemary survives in our Texas gardens long after the basils and many other herbs are gone so that is what I have traditionally had growing. I am currently noodling on a chicken and rosemary stew concept.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Bemoaning the fact that I never got around to planting my herb pots, it does occur to me that this time of year, rosemary in various forms is everywhere in the garden centers. They have cute little Christmas tree shapes, topiaries, baskets and all kinds of established plants. These would make great gifts for cooking friends or, in my case, for me!!! I seem to use rosemary more for fall and winter dishes than at other times of the year. Maybe that is because rosemary survives in our Texas gardens long after the basils and many other herbs are gone so that is what I have traditionally had growing. I am currently noodling on a chicken and rosemary stew concept.

Get thee some rosemary, fifi! :biggrin:

I love it that's it's an "evergreen" and never goes down around here. I have stuck cuts of rosemary from my (truly TX size) bushes in bottles of water to enjoy the fragrance and aroma in the kitchen and had them root right up.

I love rosemary most when it's cool like this. Stews, soups and roasting -- especially chicken -- just seem to call out to me.

Let us know what you noodle out.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Tomato tango music anyone? 

Just bought some creole seeds off Ebay---seriously, it's the best birthday gift a gal can give herself!

So, you lucky gal, when are you starting these magic seeds? Have you grown these before, jess? I haven't -- but would love to! May need to check out ebay myself. I wouldn't have thought of that for seeds -- good tip. :wink:

Typically, I start seeds after a brief procrastination period somewhen in late Dec. This year I thought I might start earlier to get hardier specimen in the ground, but I'd hate for them to get windy-legged and pale from too much too soon. What do you think is the best time for seed starting in these parts? And is anyone trying onion sets or seeds this winter? I'd like to start some leeks, and have no earthly as to what to do or expect.

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Tomato tango music anyone? 

Just bought some creole seeds off Ebay---seriously, it's the best birthday gift a gal can give herself!

So, you lucky gal, when are you starting these magic seeds? Have you grown these before, jess? I haven't -- but would love to! May need to check out ebay myself. I wouldn't have thought of that for seeds -- good tip. :wink:

Typically, I start seeds after a brief procrastination period somewhen in late Dec. This year I thought I might start earlier to get hardier specimen in the ground, but I'd hate for them to get windy-legged and pale from too much too soon. What do you think is the best time for seed starting in these parts? And is anyone trying onion sets or seeds this winter? I'd like to start some leeks, and have no earthly as to what to do or expect.

I don't know if starting the tomatoes earlier will really benefit them, jess. I usually try to start any seeds about the first of the year for early crop sets. And tomatoes usually go out in our garden about the end of May (due to that damn sneaky last frost we usually have about the 30th. :angry: )

As far as the leeks go -- I want to put some in this year also. My neighbors have grown beautiful and delicious leeks -- they are generous garden souls, my arboretum neighbors! I will ask them what they recommend. I think they go in fairly early but will get back with that.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to share this. I just got the coolest Christmas gift ever in the history of the world. We exchanged gifts and had a tamale eating session tonight (last night?) because we are all scattering to the four winds for actual Christmas. My nephew gave me . . . get this . . . a piece of prickly pear cactus. Now, this is not just any prickly pear. It is a piece of one he found while on a hunting trip last week to this really big ranch east of El Paso. This sucker is PURPLE! And along the top of the paddles, the spines are about three inches long. He knows that I have this fixation on purple plants of all sorts so when he stumbled across this thing, he immediately "appropriated" some of it. He even scooped up a couple of buckets of the soil it was growing in.

We spent some time speculating on where it would look best at the new house. The main challenge will be planting it somewhere raised so that it won't drown. This is one weird prickly pear. Now we are intensely curious about the fruit it might produce. We reminisced about making the prickly pear jelly, picking the fruit with tongs, not entirely avoiding the spines, the session with the tweezers.

This thing is just beautful. I am all wiggly about getting it rooted and growing. You would think I just got a new puppy. :biggrin:

I will post a picture of this prize soon.

So . . . We have weird ideas about gifts. My nephew's favorite was my bags of alder and cherry wood for smoking. :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I have to share this. I just got the coolest Christmas gift ever in the history of the world. We exchanged gifts and had a tamale eating session tonight (last night?) because we are all scattering to the four winds for actual Christmas. My nephew gave me . . . get this . . . a piece of prickly pear cactus. Now, this is not just any prickly pear. It is a piece of one he found while on a hunting trip last week to this really big ranch east of El Paso. This sucker is PURPLE! And along the top of the paddles, the spines are about three inches long. He knows that I have this fixation on purple plants of all sorts so when he stumbled across this thing, he immediately "appropriated" some of it. He even scooped up a couple of buckets of the soil it was growing in.

We spent some time speculating on where it would look best at the new house. The main challenge will be planting it somewhere raised so that it won't drown. This is one weird prickly pear. Now we are intensely curious about the fruit it might produce. We reminisced about making the prickly pear jelly, picking the fruit with tongs, not entirely avoiding the spines, the session with the tweezers.

This thing is just beautful. I am all wiggly about getting it rooted and growing. You would think I just got a new puppy. :biggrin:

I will post a picture of this prize soon.

So . . . We have weird ideas about gifts. My nephew's favorite was my bags of alder and cherry wood for smoking. :biggrin:

Were we separated at birth? :raz::laugh: I'd fit right in your family!

Very cool gift, fifi, a gold star for the nephew. :biggrin:

I want to see pics of your new purple prickly pear.

Say that ten times. :laugh:

Did I miss a tamalada post, fifi? Or are you just eating secret tamales? :raz:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Did I miss a tamalada post, fifi? Or are you just eating secret tamales?  :raz:

Nope. No secret tamalada. We cheat. Someone makes a run to Dona Tere. :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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fifi, if you have one of the pricklies with a yellow bloom, you have got one of the rarest of opuntias to come across. Don't baby it, whatever you do. Stick it in some substandard soil with drainage and leave it be. I kid you not! Cactus thrive on neglect, and kudos to nephew for bringin' you that ground.

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fifi, if you have one of the pricklies with a yellow bloom, you have got one of the rarest of opuntias to come across. Don't baby it, whatever you do. Stick it in some substandard soil with drainage and leave it be. I kid you not! Cactus thrive on neglect, and kudos to nephew for bringin' you that ground.

Oh goody. Now I have another curiosity to baby along until it blooms to see what I have. The damned green blobs that we picked up on the beach three years ago have yet to bloom and I still don't know what they are. Even the botanist at the Museum of Natural History doesn't know. Now I have to wait and see if this thing blooms yellow. OY!

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I just received my 2005 catalog from Wilhite Seeds in Poolville, Texas, and I wanted to share these folks as a good source for a lot of stout, excellent quality seeds. Their online address is www.willhiteseed.com.

Among their seeds are:

Porter Pink and Porter Improved

Cowhorn Okra (the old-fashioned variety that does not get tough)

Many water and other melons

Several pages of vegetables under a heading of Indian Sub-Continent and Asian varieties, which includes some very nice eggplants, as well as an Indian Chile called Tejaswini that is intriguing. Yard long beans, hakucho early green soybeans, and bitter melons (gourds?). Their onion sets are very good, and I'll be ordering some of the longday varieties.

What I like about Wilhite is that the price of the seed packets includes the shipping. I thought this might interest the folks who do the Indian and Meditterean cooking, because the eggplant varieties are very different.

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Thanks, Mabelline! Prices are very good too, considering the amount they give you. Argh, I have to stop looking at seed catalogs because I don't have time to plant everything I want!

What are you guys planning on growing in your veggie gardens this year? If you received black cherry tomato seeds from me, I regret to say that the ones I've been sprouting are not doing so well, so hopefully, there will be a better batch next year.

Here's to a great new gardening year!

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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You're very welcome! I love these folks, because I used to drive out to their place in Poolville, and they were always accomidating and had good clean seed.

I think I'll be going full house for a garden this year (at last!) because I don't know that we shall ever be able to buy our property...I have arranged for two acres outside Billings that has accessible water and fencing. I hope I will stay healthy enough to do it this year. So in the meantime, I'll be listing like a frenzied first time gardener. At this time I know I'll be putting substantial corn in. I feel a primal need to stand out in the corn and hear the squeaks and slithers while it grows! How I have missed dirty fingernails!!

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Thanks, Mabelline!  Prices are very good too, considering the amount they give you.  Argh, I have to stop looking at seed catalogs because I don't have time to plant everything I want!

What are you guys planning on growing in your veggie gardens this year?  If you received black cherry tomato seeds from me, I regret to say that the ones I've been sprouting are not doing so well, so hopefully, there will be a better batch next year.

Here's to a great new gardening year!

Yes! And I'm planting some of everything you sent to me, jschyun! :biggrin: It's all worth a shot.

Plus tomatoes, lots of tomatoes, as usual, and eggplant, squash -- so I'd love to see that new Wilhite catalog Mabelline. Do they have a web site? Or do you have an address for them? (I've got to look up where Poolville is. :blink: )

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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