Subtropical Zone 9

The vegetable garden is doing OK considering this cold weather. The rain has helped, too. We have quite a few things growing but most of them are stunted or small, and are not making much produce. Yet the garden looks good:
What we’re harvesting are small Big Bertha bell peppers, Satsumas, fennel, thyme, mint, parsley, cilantro, arugula, calamondins, Tuscan kale, Mizuna mustards, speckled Romain lettuce, black seeded Simpson lettuce, and other mixed lettuces. Soon to be harvestable are carrots, radishes, snow peas, and sugar snap peas. Still a little small but will be ready soon are fennel bulbs, broccoli crowns, Asian cabbage, spinach, Chamomile, Jersey Wakefield cabbage, and nasturtium flowers.
Plants from seeds or transplanted are kohlrabi, red Russian kale, Swiss chard, collards, broccoli, carrots, onions of several varieties, and leeks.
There are some fingerling potatoes growing in a burlap sack and strawberries (Florida radiance) are also growing, elevated in a strawberry pot. About one fourth of the strawberries have died. These are bare root from Wabash. Also in the garden are fig cuttings and a few remaining garbanzo beans are blooming.
It amazes me how productive the garden is in winter. Or is it spring already because we have high temperatures in the mid 70’s and lows anywhere from the 40s to the 60s.
Do you remember the rule from school biology class that says for every 10° C rise in temperature cold blooded animals and plants grow twice as fast? I hope I am remembering that correctly. I think about that rule as I watch our vegetables grow slowly.
How is your garden doing?

Laurel Smith, Ph.D.
Founder, Houston Urban Gardeners


7 Responses to “Subtropical Zone 9”
  1. Scott Howard says:

    Laurel, unless you specifically planted true clover seed such as crimson or white clover, I suspect that the “weed” you have is oxalis which is not a legume but it does look like clover. The nut or korn is very deep as you say and difficult to eradicate. Smothering can bring some success.

    Here is a link to getting rid of oxalis

  2. joy lindsey says:

    The pink flowers of oxalis are lovely and tasty on salads, and even the leaves taste exactly like sorrel and can be used instead of sorrel.

  3. Laurel,

    Oxalis is an important late winter nectar and pollen source for bees. They simply love it, and I am always entertained by watching them travel from flower to flower.

  4. sylvia Dekmezian says:

    Scott the website you recommend suggests the use of chemicals such as Round up which is the most carcinogenic product US has come up with.
    The reason Oxalis spreads in the garden has mainly to do with minerals. OXalis indicats low level of calcium and high level of magnesium. It is easy to google and find out what mineral is lacking and treat it for that than use chemicals

  5. Carol Smith says:

    We did go to the centennial garden. The Vegetable and Fruit areas are Wonderful.
    The rest of the areas are a major disappointment that is unless you Love
    Powderpuff trees and gardens of boxwood planted in mass..

  6. Will Sanders says:

    Well, I’ve been making dirt for the last 3 months in a new space (for me)… in one section is 500 bags of leaves, 900 pounds of used coffee grounds (Thanks UH-D and Starbucks!) with 1000 pounds of aged horse manure. In another section is 300 bags of grass clippings, left in the bag to deteriorate from sun cooking for 2 months. Then I mixed in 1000 pounds of dead veg/fruit (Thanks FoodORama!) and 1000 pounds of aged-horse manure. Been turning it once a week. It’s almost done !!!!

    Started up 800 kale seeds in trays two weeks ago… Got some plans for chinese herbs…

    I gotta tell ya – this ‘reclamation gardening’ stuff is fun !

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