Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What to do in your garden on a rainy day

So it's been raining. That's good! But you here hoping to do some gardening. You still can! Here are our favorite ideas for the garden when it is raining.

1. Spray beneficial nematodes! They control yucky pests like ticks and fleas.
2. Plant seeds! Your garden needs the most water right after you plant seeds. We currently have a backyard of dirt so we took this opportunity to throw out some grass seeds. Good choices on rainy days are big fat seeds like beans, peas or squash because they need to be soaked to germinate.
3. Sheet mulch a new garden bed. When it rains a whole lot your sheet mulch will decompose faster. We are sheet mulching a new garden bed and when it is not quite so wet we are going to throw a bunch of dirt on top of it all and plant it up.
4. Check the drainage around your house. Where is the rain soaking into your house, where it is not soaking your garden? How are your rain barrels holding up? Need to upgrade your barrels? Need more or need them in a different spot? Investigate.
5. Plan out what to do on your next sunny garden day. Or you can do my favorite garden task and order more seeds. MUST HAVE ALL THE SEEDS. 

Not staying on garden paths +eating dirt= Rule Breaker

WARNING: Don't walk on your growing space or dig when it is wet. Just don't do it! Good soil is like light cake, airy with holes for water and space pockets. Walking or digging around collapses your dirt making your soil-cake rubbery, and then, when it dries, hard as a rock. This is esp. bad if you have hard clay soil as many of us in Central and South Texas do. So as you go about your garden tasks-remember to stay on your pathways.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Birth of a Restaurant Garden

For my last post in the local restaurant garden series, let's check out a garden in process. Green Vegetarian is opening a new location in the Pearl Brewery in February! Exciting stuff. The Pearl Brewery is one of my absolute favorite parts of town; interactive art on the Riverwalk, Farmer's Market on Saturday Mornings and my favorite local bookstore, The Twig. Before Javier Gonzalez came in to put in the food garden, the space was landscaped with the usual shopping center bushes, trees and rocks. Let's go on a little photo tour of three stages in the life this garden. I will give you an update in a month when the restaurant opens!

Before-Pre-Stage 1

Before- Do you see Herb garden potential?

Baby Garden:Stage 1

One Month In:Stage 2

One Month In

Herb Garden

Teenage Garden

A garden is always a work in progress. Coming soon! Stage three.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Kitchen Gardener

Photo by Xelina Flores Photography

Big News! Such big news. The Dirtiest Family in the World has (mostly) relocated to Austin! Javi and I are both from the capital city area and always planned to return someday. And that someday has come. I have such a special place in my heart for San Antonio and all it has given us. I am proud that Yard to Table has helped over 100 people and families put in new gardens or revamp their existing growing space. That's over 100 people who are now eating fresh produce out of their own backyard! I just love that. We have also been honored to work with preschools, elementary schools, high schools and local non-profits to help pass on the knowledge and joy of growing food to the next generation. We love specializing in the local restaurant gardens that feed the city and will continue our work with many of the restaurants here in San Antonio. It has been such an amazing journey. We are so grateful for every one of you.
Dirtiest Kid in the World and Her Nana at the Capital: Photo by John W. Gonzalez

This is not the end of our journey but a new beginning. Yard to Table has transitioned into The Kitchen Gardener located in Austin, Texas. It is still us- just a little North. If you need a new veggie garden in 2013 or know someone who does- please consider The Kitchen Gardener!

You can email The Kitchen Gardener at or call Javier Gonzalez at (512) 632-9235. You can also follow us on facebook here. We will be focusing on restaurant gardens, raised bed installations, and maintenance for medium to large gardens (150 square feet and above). Our full website will be coming soon with more information and a price list for raised beds.

Thank you again for all your support. I am looking forward to sharing this new path with you in the new year.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year's Resolution: Grow Your Own Food

Did you make a resolution to eat healthier, or lose weight or grow your own food or to spend more time outside or to start your first or 50th garden in 2013? We can help! I know it is in vogue to hate New Year's Resolutions because everyone fails and there is no point blahdi blah blah but I love them. The new year is filled with so much promise. What WON'T we do? Let's resolve to eat more salads and soups and host more potlucks and renegade garden more vacate lots. So what can you plant in your Central or South Texas Garden in January?

In Early to Mid-January you can plant:
Lettuce, Spinach, Radishes, Fava Beans, Artichoke Crowns and Asparagus Crowns

Now is also the best time of year to plant fruit trees! (*Tender Trees like Citrus and Figs do better when planted in Mid-Late Feb.) So get your stone fruit trees now! They need to be established with strong roots before the blazing heat of Summer. Happy 2013!