Keeping the Sweet Life Garden

Gardening in Texas                                                                                    February 2022

Hey my Sweet Lifers! I love to plant seeds and watch them grow and share my knowledge about herbs, flowers and of course veggies with anyone who will listen. I have a pretty patch of veggies, flowers and herbs going year round and that is one of the best parts about living in Texas. We can grow all year long and have sustainability right from our yards! 
At each season there’s always things to do and digging in the dirt is my therapy! February is a great month to start growing and the most important thing you need to do is make sure you have prepared your soil. It’s like building a house in that your foundation has to be right in order for everything to thrive. Then it’s really a matter of figuring out what you like to eat and how your garden will serve both you and the wildlife and the sprinkle your seeds and watch things grow! 
There are three general types of gardens. The Herbal Garden which will provide you with not only fabulous seasonings and spices for your dishes, but also serves to help create your apothecary for home remedies. Many herbs are companion plants that also serve to protect vegetables from common pests. Planting them alongside your vegetables allows them to help you while letting them do what they do best. The second type of garden is The Vegetable Garden which is pretty self explanatory; the real task in creating one of these is how much to plant to sustain your family and planting things that you eat regularly. The third type of garden is The Cutting Garden which is composed of flowers from both seeds and bulbs to use in salads and in making arrangements to decorate your home. Many flowers are used in apothecary as well and in making bath and beauty to enjoy and gift. Over the next several months I will be showing you how and when to grow in each of the different gardens as well as suggestions for what to do with the fruits and flowers of your labor. 
February in the Herbal Garden it is time to start seeds. These should be done in small containers that can then be transferred directly into the garden after the last frost. Because I also do a lot of cooking I actually plant all of the main herbs and keep those going year round. You will want to think about what you like to eat and let that dictate what you grow. If you love Italian foods then you’ll most def want parsley, both curly and flat leafed, oregano and thyme as an example. If you already have herbs growing, cutting them back regularly and adding nutrients to the soil is a must and converting your clippings to dried herbs restocks your pantry all the time. You can also sprinkle them in ice cube trays filled with olive oil and freeze them to pop into soups, stews and sauces. 
In the Vegetable Garden, colder crops grow better now such as Swiss chard, Peas, Onions, Lettuces, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Kale, Beets, Mustard Greens, Collards, Carrots, Turnips, Radishes, Spinach, Cauliflower and Broccoli. For the Brassica’s, keeping them pest free can be done by planting the companion herb Rue. 
In the Cutting Garden it is time to sprinkle seeds of Zinnias, Poppies, Dahlia’s. Tulips and Daffodil and Dahlia and Lilly bulbs can be put in as well, although in my garden the deer have dug up and eaten bulbs and those that do bloom they have come along and munched on the blooms so I just toss seeds into composted prepped spaces and keep them watered. This has provided me with a sea of blooms to use in arrangements and the buzzing wildlife seem to really enjoy dedicated spaces for blooming plants. I like it best to have an area close to the vegetable beds so that the butterflies and bees are fed and they then meander over next door to pollinate the cucumbers, tomatoes etc. This has worked very well and looks much nicer. Each type of garden brings so much joy and has lessons in patience and perseverance. I encourage you to just pick something and get growing! 

You’ll find what I’m growing both from starter’s and from seeds by following me on the channel! Here’s a link to that so go subscribe and enjoy!

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