1015 Onion Bloom

This was our first year for onions and this was our only onion bloom it is a 10/15 onion.

Not all onions bloom and the bloom is where the seeds are at. If you get no blooms you either buy more seeds or onion sets for the next planting.

These blooms are similar looking to garlic blooms just different color flowers. These two pics were taken 2 different days so you can see the progress of the changing flowers.

All gardens have beauty even before the harvest.

Onions Galore

We have been growing onions for the first time this year.

There are yellow, red, bunch onions as well as 1015 onions a Texas Favorite. What we have learned is you need to thin out or move onions especially the red ones because they quickly become over crowded.

Here are are few pics of them bursting up out of the dirt in the raised beds and one picture of the pretty stalks.

Onions are ready to pick when the stalks turn yellow and fall over these are getting really close. Thank goodness we have family that love onions.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” ( Audrey Hepburn).

Potting bench progress

My potting bench is started and I am quite excited about having this thing.

I always pot and repot my stuff in different containers and I am always buying new stuff to plant in containers and rooting stuff for containers.

Jack made this bench 8ft x 2ft with a sink, faucet, and a dirt area where you do not have to waste your dirt you sweep it back into the container. There is a lower shelf for larger pots and supplies. There are hooks on the back for hanging my garden tools and a shelf to put some extra small pots and supplies.

Pics will be coming soon.

Life is good in Texas and springtime is on its way.

The yard and garden

We spent the day working in the backyard and part of the front.

The yard seriously needs some rehab since the freeze everything is getting cut back and will have new buds soon enough.

We ran the leaf rake pull behind the lawnmower thingy and dumped it 6 times from leaves in the front yard. He then places the leaves between the rows in the garden and as they decompose the dirt gets raked up on the rows.

On top of that, we planted 22 tomato plants, bell pepper plants, seeds for yellow squash, zucchini squash, cucumbers, and potatoes. We still have some hot peppers to get planted and some marigold flowers to keep bugs away as well as some basil to plant between the tomato plants to enhance the flavor of the tomatoes.

We already have onions that survived the freeze and are growing well. We even have some cabbage that made it.

Jack did get a new area for Okra but we are not planting as much as last year I got so tired of picking okra.

I went to 3 garden centers over the last week looking for Vinca flowers and there are none to be found yet. I wanted the Vinca because they bloom from now until freeze. They never look wilted or windblown. I did see the Dianthus and may end up with some more of those they are pretty hardy as well.

He tilled one of the raised beds by the barn and there was 15″ earthworms in there they were HUGE. They make the dirt perfect for planting vegetables.

When springtime rolls around we never stop I am always needing some color in the yard and Jack is always anxious to get the garden planted. Today I am using one of the free photos we have access to on WordPress.

We have spring fever in Texas and today was a beautiful day.

Photo by Laureen Raftopulos on Pexels.com

Aloe Vera Bloom

Years ago my mom gave me some of her big Aloe Vera. This was a very old plant but I am not sure how old.

A few years ago it bloomed then again last year and now there are blooms all over several plants this year.

I have about 8 pots of the Aloe Vera scattered around the backyard plus Jack has about 30 pots in the greenhouse that are ready to be sold.

They are suppose to bloom 1 x a year but I think there are a lot of factors that go into them blooming.

Aloe Vera is very easy to grow and it likes to be neglected and not over watered.

Our two youngest granddaughters who are 6 years old Karina and Sophia love plants so I have given them several of the plants we had rooted. They have airplane plants, ivy, and aloe vera and they have quite the green thumbs like their mom does. They keep them on an Ikea Cart and roll them in and out of the sunshine indoors and sometimes they take them out on the front porch.

A simple plant that has several medicinal uses creates such a beautiful bloom even if it is only one time a year.

Greens in garden

We have green cabbage, napa cabbage, swiss chard, and mustard greens just to name a few things in our green arsenal this fall.

This was our first time eating & growing Napa cabbage it’s a different type of cabbage. We made cabbage rolls with part of it and roasted the rest in the oven with olive oil and red pepper. It’s a stringy cabbage compared to the regular cabbage.

I love eating regular cabbage raw with salt on it but not the Napa the texture is to different. Its more soft like a lettuce and its curly leafed.

Jack has decided he would like to try and find a few neighbors who want to share in the work and share the yield of our garden. Kind of like a neighborhood garden but with fewer people.

He truly enjoys the garden and we are still planting in the ground, several different types of raised beds and buckets.

Here are a few pictures first up is regular cabbage as you can see the leaves are starting to turn in a make a head. Then there are mustard greens and swiss chard.

Life is green right now at The Lira Gardens.

The fall garden

Jack has been busy getting the gardens ready to plant.

He plants in the regular garden the raised gardens and the greenhouse.

Currently lots of lettuce, cabbage, spinach, collard greens, mustard greens, and swiss chard.

I have no idea what else will be planted I do not even try to guess it anymore.

I just want my gourd seeds planted and my loofa seeds.

We have been giving everything away since the COVID19 Pandemic we felt like it was our way to give back to the community.

This fall our plans are to sell some vegetables.

Hopefully, I will have some pics in the next month.

 

Dill Pickle Relish

I wanted to try and make some dill pickle relish.

It is a pain in the butt to do because after you use the food processor to chop the cucumbers they have to soak in  canning salt for 5 hours. Then you have to drain them, rinse them, drain again, rinse and repeat.

When you are on the last time you have to get all the water out of them. This means using cheesecloth and the strainer and squeezing the water out of them. The water just keeps coming out of them. After that part is over the rest is pretty easy.

We made  10  – 1/2 pint jars and these jars are really the perfect size for relish.

We have been giving away cucumbers to family, friends and neighbors but we have had to branch out into the local community and share and have given away an additional 200 cucumbers. We have probably picked 500 cucumbers this summer.

Our plants are producing  30-35 a day so this will not end for a while. We have another 12 people on the waiting list to get some free cucumbers.

Sharing our home grown vegetables with the comminity is what life is all about. A little kindness can go along way and maybe inspire others to do the same.

We are canning away at the Lira house and putting up zucchini and yellow squash in the freezer. Soon it will be corn, okra and green beans.

The moment you realize  your freezer is full of vegetables from the garden you grew and now its time to buy a second freezer.

Now that’s a cool feeling!

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Salsa

We canned our first salsa from our homegrown tomatoes.

I do not like salsa but Jack loves it and he likes it hot so this has plenty of jalapenos in it from the garden.

We made 3 pints total 2 in pint jars and 2 in 1/2 pint jars.

I know my grandmother would be so proud of me. Every year she canned figs preserves, Jelly, tomato relish, pears, lots of her famous sweet pickles, peppers, and much more.

They say when your garden produces an abundance of vegetables your life is in perfect balance.

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The tomato crop is producing

Jack has over 100 tomato plants planted most were suckers he pulled off other plants that he rooted in the greenhouse.

The plants are for the most part spaced out so that all the tomatoes production is not at the same time. The first batch was planted then 3 weeks later the next and 3-4 weeks later the last ones. We should have good tomatoes for awhile.

We are planning on grilling some to put in the freezer for sauce since I love to make homemade sauce. I try and keep at least 2 gallons made up so I can just take it out and then it’s ready to go for whatever Italian food I am cooking.

We will also be canning some salsa since he has plenty of jalapenos to go in it.

These tomatoes are from the last 6 days. Talk about good there are no vine-ripe grocery tomatoes that can touch the flavor of fresh tomatoes. They make your taste buds go wild they are so good. The yellow ones are called Lemon Boy some of the red ones are Better Boy and some are Celebrity. Then we have the small sweet 100s. Our other types are not producing yet.

We have picked about 60 tomatoes so far.

My dad would love to see this garden and he would love getting some of these good tomatoes and vegetables.

The satisfaction of accomplishment one gets from growing vegetables in a garden is immeasurable.

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