Sunday, June 21, 2015

Heat Lovers

It is the middle of June, so the temperatures are in the 90s every day in Houston. Luckily, most of the things I have growing out there are heat lovers. I still water things more often than I thought I would before moving here but I'm used to watering so that isn't a bad thing--there isn't a drought here so I feel ok irrigating with my soakers and in the mornings.

My key lime has many tiny fruits, with the largest being about the size of a quarter (see photo #1 below). Also below: a Violet Jasper tomato on the vine, sweet potatoes, and multiple figs on one branch of my little potted fig tree. Figs do very well here: I have over a dozen on the one tree! Buchanan's Native Plants (a local nursery) has some good tips for growing figs. I picked up one of their handouts, but they also have good info here.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Texas Insects ID

The garden is growing up a storm in Houston, and does not seem to be worse for wear after our big flood. My pumpkin has taken over the secret garden (my walled garden area), as you can see in the photo below where the cat is disappearing beneath the leaves. I have numerous tomatoes (all green) and my fig tree has almost a dozen figs. Each is about the size of a quarter. Sweet potatoes, peppers, and most of the other plants look healthy.

I say most because some, including half of the regular potatoes, have been eaten by the snails. I find the tiny snails on the leaves, so I am pretty sure that's what did them in. I may be able to salvage some baby potatoes from the 2 plants, and I am looking into how to prevent the same damage on the two plants I have in a separate bed.

I've noticed a few moth larvae (possibly Diamondback moths) but they are easy enough to pick off and they don't return quickly. I also have the tiny orange-red insects (see photo) all over my pumpkin plant. They don't seem to do any harm (yet) but they gather on the small fruits.

I need a better book on insect identification for the Houston area. In the meantime I've been checking A&M's website on entomology.