Holding Patterns: Cleaning up and moving things around the yard.

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Not much is happening, so I am still in preparation mode for the new planting season.

We needed the rain. I am glad for the sun. A visitor from Germany reminded me how lucky we are in Houston during the winter months. There is an unease in my bones though. In Chicago as a lad, I could not do anything here in the garden, so I played in the snow. With our weather, I can still enjoy the flowers, but there is not much that I can do that will not succumb to frost. I decided to have everything ready to go, where I could simple set the plants or seeds into the ground, so my task began.

    I went over my mulch and compost piles. I fell victim to an easy trap. I piled the mulch high against the walls of my home. I began pulling mulch and soil away from the foundation. This helps prevent moisture damage and insects. I worked on creating these compost bin/sculptures by taking chicken wire in a tube form around a pole. I have to see what will develop with this idea. I am hoping that I have made a home for more lizards. Maybe vines can grow up the sides.
    A few beds are fallow. I mixed in compost and fresh top soil from another part of the yard. I turned everything well, completing the task by covering the bed with mulch. Usually I do not have too many beds with nothing in them, but my new bed creation program has left open spaces. I am planning out my last new beds this week. My big hope is to be able to plant when there is no more danger of a frost. In the wife thinks I am crazy department, I had to remove an old wood floor from our dining room (a parquet floor). I am using the pieces to make a mulch in two beds. These are solid wood pieces in a bed that has hardy bushes.
    Since trees have been growing, shade is covering beds which had been sunny. I had structures for cucumber, beans and peas in these beds. I took these apart to place in other beds where I will be growing these vegetables. I am fixing these to look better, since these beds are in the front yard. I began building new support systems in other parts of the garden to meet these changes. I need more support systems for many plants with the expanded growing space. The one part of the garden that I have not worked on is the deep shade areas. This may be the time to buy ferns. I need more plants in this area, but I am taking it slow, hoping that I can expand the plantings through cuttings and divisions next year.
    These projects will take me through next week. Nothing exiting, but the payoff for the garden may be great. I am surprised that my composting has expanded so greatly. Not a single sack of garden waste has left the property for many months. This has not been a difficult effort; I guess because I am enjoying myself. I really want to plan out more perennial flowers. That will be the most wonderful endeavor.

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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 yourhoustonhomeinspector.com). For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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