Bad Soil from Local Vendor

This September, I purchased 24 yards of organic ready to use garden soil from EZ Landscape Solutions in Pipe creek for $1000. Since they do not stock pile it, I had to trust that what the will give me is what they said it would be.  I could not do any tests.  I have purchased from before with a similar issue but since it was not as much $$ on my end, I told them there was a problem and fixed it myself. I only got a sorry.. This is the second time they have done this to me personally.

When I first received it, it looked heavy with wood chips, but if enough compost was mixed with it, it should be fine. Well I installed raised beds and put this soil into these beds. It is a in hoop/green house so my growing season could be longer.  My garden practices are well thought out and I have been growing something most of my life.  I even go by the Almanac to make sure that there is no unknown issues.

The seeds sprouted normally but right after they sprouted they stopped growing.  Seeds can sprout in a totally non-soil and it does not need any nutrients until the seedlings are about a few days to a week old. BUT then they need food, they are hungry.  As I was busy with life, I thought to myself.. boy these seeds are taking their sweet time to grow.  Well, finally I took a better look and did a home test and found 0% nitrates. That is what makes things grow among other nutrients. I added some liquid “Has-to-grow” by Medina, but it still did not respond, So I called the “EZ landscape solutions” and told them there was a big problem. Their 1st answer was that “I AM THE ONLY ONE TO COMPLAIN”   Sad that is what came out of her mouth.

I said “we should do a soil test” meaning I was wanting to work with them. The owner told me I could do a soil test if I wanted to, but there was nothing she would do and finally since she made it very clear she was not going to help me, I hung up.

I sent a sample to Texas A&M and they returned the results with 0% Nitrate and extremely low in Phosphate and high PH,  also a issue.

I called the owner Nov. 15 2016 shortly after lunch and I told her the test results and  I expected her to resolve this or I would take further action. She quickly told me she would hire a trial attorney. I guess she has never been down this road before.

The quickest and best way to get a customer is to help them fix a problem and fastest way to loose all your customers is to do the opposite. VERY SAD…

I guess the results will come out in court.  What a waist of everyone’s time for just a little “compost”

I will also be doing a test for chemicals.. This will be very expensive..

Fall Gardens

The Fall Gardens for Texas are on their way.  I am keeping my green beans and tomatoes alive. I have pruned my tomato’s back lots and as soon as it get cooler, they will start their second harvest.  I have not started to fertilize yet.. I am going to wait for another week or so. Too much water will be required.  BUT all of them have got some coffee.. ya. that will keep them awake.

In the next few weeks it is time to start the seeds for broccoli, cauliflower and kale. but shade and lots of water will still be required.

This fall, I will get a large strawberry bed and plant in Sept ish.

My Figs are the only fruit I have currently.

Next year my blackberry production should be excellent. So will lots of my other fruit trees. They all grew lots this year with the excellent rain we had in the spring time.

Surprisingly, my arugula has done very well all summer. It is stronger than when it is cooler, but that is ok also.

My heat tolerant tomato’s that I got seed from Texas University are doing good. My sweet potatoes and okra are also doing well. as expected.

This is also the time to prune your peach trees.  BUT don’t do it too hard, or they will revolt!! If you have a question, it is easier to ask vs see the consequences,  so call or email me if you are not sure.

Spring has sprung!

This spring has been a odd one and the for sure last freeze came right at Easter. I have no proof, but I am sure the moon has something to do with it.  This past year lots has happened for me, so pardon my lack of posts.  I am offering my produce at 2 farmers markets. One here in Bandera Thursday from 8-11 am and at Exit 505 Farmers market in Kerrville.

This past winter and early spring lots of things grew well, but now is full force spring and summer is just around the corner.

I have Tomatoes, Peppers, all kinds of squash, cucumbers, green and yellow beans, summer spinach that is just starting to grow and produce. BUT I do have radishes, spinach, kale, artichoke, beets, swiss chard, peas and much more to offer.

I have some additions to my garden/farm.. 5 baby goats and 2 are girls. I wanted a heard of 3-4 nannies and now I have them all.  Im Bottle feeding 3 of them.  Mom did not want to take 2 and I supplement the 3rd if she wants some.  Check out my facebook page with the photos.

There are 5 goats. One is covered up.

There are 5 goats. One is covered up.

Fall/Winter Gardens

It is that time of year again that the summer garden will move to a fall/winter garden.  It is one of my favorite times to grow veggies. All the dark green veggies, broccoli, etc grow with less water needs and less heat and bugs.. yaaa.

I have started broccoli, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, and spinach. It is easier to start some the lettuce and spinach in their own beds, but the broccoli, cauliflower and kale, I start in small 1″ trays in coconut fiber.

 

March 21, Hands on Pruning class

Here is a awesome article that was written about a class I am teaching Saturday!

Viticulture field day in Vanderpool March 21

A hands-on pruning class will be offered as part of the viticulture field day to be held from 10 am-4 pm Saturday, March 21, at the Lost Maples Winery at Polvadeau Vineyards in Vanderpool.
The vineyard and winery are at 34986 Farm-to-Market Road 187, approximately one mile south of Lost Maples State Park and two Read Article:

 

Do you need any Fruiting Trees

peachsAvailable NOW: Very low on inventory.

Peaches, Pluot, Champanel Grape plant, and 2 varieties of Blackberry, Chickasaw and Rosenborough

plums

 

 

 

strawberry

 

 

Strawberry – (Sequoia)

  •    1-10 – $3.25 each plant
  •    11-25 – $2.99 each plant
  •    26-50 – $2.50 each plant
  •    call for pricing for above 50/order

 

Grape Plants
Black Spanish 2 year 1 gall $ 6.95 bare root

Blanc Du Bois 1 year $6.95 bare root

Champanel 1 year $6.95 bare root

Kale Recipe ideas

Kale Salad good for a whole week!!
Small ripped up kale – remove center of the leaf
Shredded carrots
Red onion,
Red Cabbage sliced
Dried Fruit (Dried cranberry is what I use) OR you can use fresh fruit like Mango, Pineapple but then it needs to be eaten withing a few days
Sunflower seeds (Salted)
Pumpkin seeds (Salted)
Sesame Seed Oil
MIX all ingredients together and let sit for 24 hrs (with dried fruit) and then enjoy all week! Reason I used salted seeds is that Kale loves to grab the salt so you can get batches of “salty” and not salty” kale if you sprinkle salt onto the salad.

Kale Chips
Whole Kale leaves shredded into BIG chunks. melt coconut oil or olive oil and sparingly coat (massage with your hand) the leaves. Lay them out on a cookie sheet spread out,
Add a healthy salt (very little) on-top
Bake at 350 until crispy. This goes fast! so caution not to burn them. Everyone enjoys this!

Creamed Kale Soup
Take 1 large onion, fry until brown in coconut oil or bacon fat.
add 1 large bag of Kale shredded
1 thumb size shredded or cut up fine ginger (optional)
Saute and then add your favorite stock
Cook until tender. Let cool,
blend until smooth and then put back into your pot, add 1 cup of whipping cream. Season to taste.
Add meat to it or leave it as is.

Strawberries and Grapes?

If you are looking for Strawberry and Grape plants, you have found them!  I have over 3000 Sequoia Strawberry plants looking for a new home or two and quote a number of the Black Spanish Grape plants.  Both grow excellent here in our Central Texas Hill Country.   Also I have a handful of Thompson Seedless Grape plants.  Grow them with a grain of love.. they are not meant for here, but mine have done well.

Sequoia Strawberry Plant

Sequoia Strawberry Plant

 

Strawberry plants $3.50/plant in a pot.

Strawberry plants – Bare Root $1.50 each.  10/bundle.

 

Pick up or I can ship.

 

 

 

 

Cuttings becoming plants

Cuttings becoming plants

 

To purchase the Black Spanish Grapes, please click here to order.

 

 

Asparagus Plants

Oh Asparagus, Oh Asparagus, How do I care for you?

Well in general they are easy to care for if you do a few things right to start with.  I started all of masparagusy by seed. The variety that does well here in Central Texas is called “Mary Washington Williams”

do/don’ts

1)  Don’t plant where there is any weeds, keep it weed free

2)  Do water it well, it naturally grows in marshy area’s but too much is also not good.

3) Don’t harvest the 1st 2 years, ok, snitch a few spears, but that is all.  The plant better be really healthy if you leave them alone.

Prepare a planting bed by digging out unsuitable soil and replacing it with an organic mixture of 1/3 sand, 1/3 soil, and 1/3 sphagnum moss, compost or potting soil. Plant the asparagus 18 to 24 inches apart in a trench with the crown (buds) 6 inches below the ground level, but with only a thin layer of earth over them. As the growing season progresses, gradually fill in the trench.

Divide asparagus roots during the winter after the tops have been removed. The tops will freeze in North Texas, but in many areas of South Texas they will have to be cut back to produce a crop next year. During this time the roots can be divided easily into individual plants for replanting. So here in central Texas, it is time to cut them back now (It is end of November)

If you have questions, ask!

Artichokes are the stars of the edible landscape!

ArtichokeThey are beautiful to look at and provide a long living edible veggie. Why not put them in your front yard vs flowers?

Here is how to protect them so they will last you 6-10 years.

If you protect your artichokes from frost (at their root level) they will come back in the spring.

Central Hill Country Texas is between 7b and 8b. (Bandera, Kerr, Kendall, Bexar, Medina Counties) http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/

* Cut the stalks of the artichokes down to about 4-6 inches.

* Bring the stalks together and tie them to hold them upright and protect the crown.

* Add 4 to 6 inches of compost around the base of each plant.

* Then, layer 8-10 inches of straw or leaves on top of the compost.

If you expecting a sharp drop in temperature? Cover each artichoke plant with a cardboard box or a Styrofoam cooler, and add straw or leaves inside the box. Remove the box when the temperature returns to normal.