The Excitement of Spring

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Tomato plants are in at the stores, and you will find basil too. Are you ready to start planting Houston?

Last week turned out to be much busier than I thought it would be. Besides work, I ended going to a few gatherings/ meetings. One was to set up a plant exchange event in my neighborhood; we will be calling it “Plant Yourself in the Community”. I have been asked to speak at this event about how landscapes can effect the home.At the Houston Green Scene Mixer, I found myself talking about gardening quite a bit. Particularly we ended discussing fruit trees and vegetables. Even on my inspections, the landscape became a topic. In my own garden, I thought that I would have a quiet week. I was doing some final pruning to clear tree branches growing near my electrical lines and others that came down to hit me when walking by (these being from the neighbor’s trees growing over the fences. I found myself placing quite a few plants in the ground.

    I went wild with seeds. I think that I will have a field of carrots. I am spread carrot seeds to be a border planting around some beds, while another bed had the seeds strewn across the field. I feel that the light green foliage will make a nice edging. I planted bush beans in one long thin bed to one side of the house. This bed already contains bunching onions, and I threw quite a few pepper seeds into that bed for later. These were poblano peppers. No the time for those seeds, but I have so many that I wanted to see if they will grow. Lettuce started in pots went into the garden beds. These will not do well in our heat, but the cooler months of spring are good. Also for fun, I spread cumin, fenugreek, and anato seeds. I am not sure when these should be planted in Houston, but last year they seemed to prefer the less severe heat. Okra seeds went into one bed. Lastly, the trellis fence is complete, so I planted cucumber seeds. On the non-vegetable front, my daughters picked out two types of sunflowers and petunia seeds. (They also want to plant summer squash right now, but I think that this may be best in pots indoors. The secret with seeds and new plantings is keeping the ground moist. I do a light watering every other day.
    My tomato plants which I had started suffered from a squirrel attack. I found that Southwest fertilizer was selling new plants. I also spotted them at other garden centers. I bought around ten plants. My daughters zeroed in a strawberry plants and herbs. I planted the strawberry plants amongst my onions. The roots from the strawberries will not disturb the onions. I am expanding my herb collection. In the past, I focused on certain culinary herbs, but I thought that other herbs for fragrance will delight the girls, and those happened to be the ones that they were picking. My wife is concerned that we have enough mint. Is she planning a mojito party? I assured her that we already have enough mint.
    My coleus cuttings are coming outside. I cannot wait to have these colorful plants around the yard, but I have placed them in pots for the moment. I am trying something new this year. I took cuttings from an antique rose that I have in the front yard for propagation. I like roses, but in the backyard they have suffered the dog. This rose is a small button rose, which has a wonderful light fragrance when you walk by it. I took fresh green canes that had little buds for new leaf growth on them. I pruned off the leaves. I stuck these canes into a moist potting mix. I did not use rooting hormone. I have heard that it is not necessary. I want to see if that is true.
    This is one of the best times of year to be in a Houston garden. My family is taking many of our meals on the patio. The landscaping scene is not quite beautiful yet. We are imagining what will come, which makes us happy.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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