Tiny little details

When using a macro lens you have to have steady hands or use a tripod.

I tend to try to take the pictures by hand and lately have had a little less success with this. It might be time for me to drag out the tripod or monopod.

This shot shows off the tiny details of a knockout rose bloom. These roses start blooming in early March and bloom their hearts out all year long. They require very little maintenance and I truly love them.

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Hydroponic Gardening

I have planted the first seeds in the rockwool that are for the inside plants.

This time of year it is so hot for lettuce, spinach, cabbage and swiss chard but if you grow them indoors hydroponically it is a win win situation. Those are the seeds I just planted.

I have ordered many supplies for the big greenhouse outside we are waiting for the plastic to arrive. The kind I ordered is 10 mil. woven clear plastic it has a longer life span than the regular clear in fact I think it is 7 years compared to 4.

We are also doing shade cloth since Texas is so hot it will allow for better ventilation. The shade cloth will go first then the woven plastic and we can raise the plastic up and open the screen doors to ventilate the greenhouse.

We will be doing several types of hydroponics the dutch buckets and the Kratky method are two and we may even do a third.

I have to get a load of sand delivered and then the pond liner that is 22 mil. will go over that because this hydroponic set up is a sterile environment there will be no dirt inside of this greenhouse. Only water, buckets, container, plants grown from seeds, and nutrients.

I will post pictures as things start happening hopefully in the next few weeks.

The colors of Crepe Myrtles

Here are some of our crepe myrtles.

We only have one purple one and one red one we have numerous of the pink fushia ones and one white one.

I really do not know how many we have but I think it is around 10 -12 of them. Some are big as a tree because they are much older.

I love crepe myrtle time.

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Watermelon time

Do you know how to pick out a good watermelon?

First of all, thump the melon you want to get sort of a hollow sound from the thump.

Secondly look for one that has a creamy beige underside this means it was on the ground long enough to ripen. You do not want it to be white it must be cream colored.

If the watermelons still on the vine look for a curling of where the vine is attached.

We do not plant our watermelons we have a dirt pile we toss them on upside down this keeps the birds from eating the seeds and allows the melon to rot and create mulch for the fallen seeds. I only buy Texas watermelons at the store because they seem to be the best to grow in our area.

This is our first year to have watermelons during the right season most of the time we have them in December.

Our biggest watermelon so far weighed a whopping 32.6 pounds it is the one in the pictures below. This watermelon had just been picked so it was not washed off yet it still had some dirt on it.

As you can see when it was cut the color was a bright red and it was sweet.

This was watermelon number 2 and Sunday we picked number 3. So far number 1 and 3 have been the sweetest and they came off the same side of the dirt pile but we are not sure it if was the same vine or not. Watermelon vines grow like crazy and can spread as much as 10 feet or more from the actual start of the plant.

We cut them up and put them in ziplock bags in the refrigerator they stay good for 5 or 6 days and they get ice cold which is my favorite way to eat watermelon.

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Silvery wandering jew

Silvery wandering jew is by far one of my favorite plants.

You can have it in a hanging basket or a container and let it cascade over the side and crawl to the ground. It can be planted directly in the ground and it spreads really fast.

The leaves shimmer in a silvery purple stripe on the front and solid purple on the back and many times there will be leaves turned both directions which only adds to the beauty of this plant.

I planted some in the ground last year in a few different spots in the backyard and we had one freeze so it froze but I noticed it is already coming back.

To make a new plant you can pinch off a piece and stick it in a pot or the ground and it takes off no roots are needed. I really love that. I find it prefers morning sun, evening sun or partial shade rather than full sun.

I went to the local nursery and bought two hanging baskets of it this past week for $9.00 each. This plant is a big bang for your buck.

It actually looks quite beautiful mixed in a container with something taller and some flowers.

Towards the end of March, I decided to fix a tall container of begonias and silvery wandering jew for the front and it turned out quite well.

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