Close up of Asiatic Lily buds in dark mulch (with logo overlay)

Garden Update: March 2019

Well, the weather hasn’t changed much in the last month, which means our garden also hasn’t shown much improvement. Except for the weeds. The weeds are always there, no matter what the weather is doing!

And seriously, this weather in Houston has been miserable. It’s been about 50-60F and raining every day. The entire yard is soaked and won’t dry out. The grass needs to be mowed but it would leave big ruts in the ground if we tried to push the mower over the wet grass. Or, so I’m told; mowing the lawn is Justin’s job!

I was not a happy Texan when I saw that post on facebook Wednesday. This is also why we have not planted anything new in the garden just yet. I found out recently that we are Zone 8b and it’s suggested to wait until after St. Patrick’s Day, which is exactly what we are going to do.

In the meantime, while we wait to plant our garden, we are still trying to (halfheartedly) keep the garden beds in a decent shape. With all of the rain, we haven’t been able to spend much time outside lately.

Herb Garden

Our indoor herbs are still growing well. When we get more seeds soon, I plan on expanding the number of herbs we have growing. I have also learned that the mint needs to be watered more often than once a week because it thrives in very wet soil. I typically water all of the plants on Thursday, but have been adding a Monday watering to the mint.

About every two weeks, I try to clean out the herbs. No matter how much I care for them, the herbs tend to have a few stalks that die off. So, that’s when I like to get rid of any dead parts and trim the herbs back if needed. By keeping them clean, they grow better.

Fruit & Vegetable Garden

There’s still nothing but weeds in the garden beds. Tomorrow we are going to go to the home improvement store and possibly the garden center to buy seeds. Then, we may start some of them inside and plant the rest in the ground in a few weeks.

The blackberry bush isn’t looking so great right now, but supposedly it should produce a lot of berries this year. We have had both of the original plants for over two years, and the second year is best for berries. Justin mentioned getting another one to plant elsewhere, but I’m not convinced. I like the blackberries when we get them, but I don’t like how it looks when it isn’t full. We’ll see what happens.

Yep, that orange tree is still there. When we were talking about the garden just the other day, Justin mentioned pulling it out. Again. But it’s still there. We are planning to do a lot of yard work to prep the garden and yard for spring this weekend, so maybe it’ll happen then.

Back Yard & Front Yard Plants

Even though the weather doesn’t feel very tropical lately, most of our tropical plants are starting to make a comeback already. The banana trees don’t have any pups sprouting yet, but they do have a few leaves growing from the top.

The beds in the back yard are full of weeds, but we don’t worry too much about those. Usually, once the plants all grow in thick, they choke out the weeds. Especially the canna lilies, which do have some plants already breaking through the ground.

The ginger bushes haven’t fully recovered from the last frost, so I’m hoping the freeze next week doesn’t kill them off. But, we like to leave the dead leaves on top until we know there won’t be any more frost because it protects the green leaves underneath.

One thing that did surprise me was just how many of the Asiatic lilies are coming back already! Those weren’t there last month when I did my garden update at the beginning of February. Hopefully, since they aren’t too tall yet, the freeze next week won’t hurt them.

What’s New in the Garden?

Well, there aren’t many new plants just yet, except a few of the sprouts I already mentioned: canna lilies, Asiatic lilies, banana plants. But, we have gotten more serious about our compost bins. Instead of the two smaller ones, we now have one double bin and one single tumbler. Justin’s parents wanted to try composting as well so bought the other small one from us when we got the double tumbler.

The single tumbler is almost full and ready to really start composting. Because of the rain, we need to add more browns to the compost to help it dry out before it becomes mush. I’ve been saving all cardboard and tear it up to add. I have a bucket with 4 cereal boxes ready to place in here this afternoon!

We also got a counter-top compost bin. This one isn’t for long-term composting, but it’s a place to store a few days worth until it’s brought to the bins outside. We had been using a mixing bowl (which works perfectly fine) but I wanted something that would look a little nicer in the kitchen. So, as a birthday gift to myself, I ordered this last week!

Current Favorite Garden Products

Garden/Outdoor To-Do List

We have a lot we want to try to get done in the garden and our outdoor area in general this month. We plan to do some of the prep work this weekend, and the actual planting will be in two weeks once we aren’t worried about frost or freeze warnings.

  • Pull weeds from garden beds
  • Trim bushes in the front yard
  • Take out the orange tree
  • Finalize what we want to grow
  • Purchase seeds
  • Start plants indoors if needed
  • Continue to work on the balance of compost
  • Mow the lawn
  • Lay fertilizer and fire-ant repellant (they are really bad here)
  • Lay more bricks near the trash, recycle, and compost bins
  • Remove the small gardens that the boys used
  • New plants for hanging planters on the front porch
  • New fern for the decorative pot in the front flower bed
  • Plants for the large pots on either side of the outdoor couch

Your Turn

  • Are you as ready for winter to be over as I am?
  • What’s your favorite herb to cook with?
  • If you could grow any food in your yard, regardless of what zone you are in, what would it be?
  • What’s your favorite type of flower?

13 thoughts on “Garden Update: March 2019”

  1. Thank you so much for all the great tips!! my favourite place is outdoors and the garden is great to keep active. My kids loved it growing up! And we still have our worm farm!

    1. I haven’t tried a worm farm yet. I think our weather is too swingy for them. We get down to the low-30s in the winter some nights and well over 100 during the day in the summer.

  2. I, too, am ready for winter to be over. I’m in Nebraska and the snow this year has been equal parts wonderful and awful. I’m anticipating an early spring so we can also begin our garden. Right now, it’s about 2 feet under snow.

    1. I wouldn’t even know what to do with that much snow! Hopefully, this cold weather clears out soon for all of us.

  3. This information is useful to me. My husband likes to plant herb plants inside the house, but each plant always dies even though we have fertilized and watered it every day. I didn’t know the cleanliness of plants is also important for them.

    1. It mostly depends on the plant, some are hardier than others. I do find, though, that my herbs do better when they are trimmed and clean.

  4. Wow, what a wonderful garden. I want to start a garden but I live in an apartment in a city where space is limited. Maybe I should start a balcony garden?

    1. You could definitely have one on your balcony. Look up ideas for “container gardens” online and you’ll find a lot of ideas.

  5. Despite the weather, you have amazing garden and I like the banana plants. Also, I’m sure the weather will be fixed soon!

    1. Unfortunately, we got another freeze last night and are expected to tonight. I think the banana plants are going to bear the brunt of it.

    1. It is, but in the end, it’s worth it to me to be able to have a lush, green yard and eat fresh food when we want it.

  6. Oh my goodness, it’s been cold in Texas.. stay warm! I’m also ready for winter to be over already! Wishing your garden the best!

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