A Different Kind of Christmas Box

New winter bed

Still a little slow around the garden. But while reading of people buried by snow in the northeast and elsewhere, I’m thankful we here in Austin have a year-round growing season. This weekend I got off my butt and acted like it.

I built another 36″ x 60″ x 12″ raised bed out of lumber from Home Depot (gift card burning a hole in my pocket) and filled it with soil and compost I brought back from my parent’s yard. Had to supplement, though, with some of my own compost from the bottom of my pile. I shouldn’t be surprised at this point, but I am always delighted when I dig down to the very bottom and find lovely rich compost.

In the box, I planted two varieties of radishes and two varieties of lettuce. All are suited for this time of year, and hopefully I’ll see some germination in 5-10 days. The radishes are “french breakfast” (row 1), and “cherry belle” (row 2). The lettuces are “leaf / red sails” (row 3) and “butterhead / tom thumb” (row 4). Both the radishes claim they’ll be ready for harvesting in about 28 days, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Both the lettuces claim 45-50 days. All the seed is from Botanical Interests courtesy my parents (a Christmas gift).

I have space for another row of something in the back. Since I sited this box against my porch, there is a ready-made trellis for climbing beans or peas. I’m thinking peas. I also have wood for a second box, but not the 14 cubic feet of dirt to go in it. So the second box will wait a little bit.

I also worked a lot of shredded leaves and pine needles into some of the soil in the back part of my yard, near the back fence. I dug a lot of damnable bermuda grass rhizomes out, as well as a metric ton of straggler daisy. I’m considering trying potatoes in this area, though we’ll see if I can work the soil a little more before then to where I feel it’s ready.

I also thinned my carrot seedlings after a few pointers from Dad and his fifth graders. They are all now dutifully thinned to one inch, and I’ll never plant the seed that thick again. (I did take some of the thinned seedlings and planted them in between my too-widely-spaced rows. We’ll see how those do.)

Lastly, I just wanted to share a photo of my little gardener-in-training, helping his grandpa pick oranges on Christmas Day in Houston.

Picking oranges with grandpa

Not unlike another photo I know.

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