Spiced Almond Trees!

Pro-tip: if you don’t buy your cooking spices in bulk, you should. It is so much less expensive that way. I just filled my nearly empty bottle of parsley for twelve cents. Twelve cents! Actually, less than that because Central Market is having a sale on their bulk spices – everything is 25% off right now. That was a nice surprise.

So today started with a trip to Central Market because I took inventory of my spice cabinet and realized I was getting dangerously low on more than a couple of things since I’d been doing curbside pickup at my local grocery store lately instead of going in. Usually I would pick up a spice or two on each trip, but since I wasn’t going in, my spices were getting low. My spice cabinet was feeling it. Central Market has a bigger selection of spices, so I thought I wouldn’t completely wipe them out if I went and restocked my spice cabinet there than at my usual local H-E-B (which is the bomb, by the way, just the bulk spices are a bit skimpy these days).

I was right. I spent about thirty minutes filling up little bags. It was like being at the grown up version of a candy store.

All the pretty colors and smells!

I got a bit of a scolding because apparently I didn’t get the turmeric sealed completely, and it spilled all over my mom’s grapes. This is why we wash our fruits and vegetables before we eat them, Mom. You never know what people have spilled on them. It’s not always as visible as turmeric.

Anyway, the spices were completely ignored as soon as I walked in the door, though. My almond trees had arrived! A week or so ago, I had ordered two almond trees from Willis Orchard: a Texas Mission Almond and a Nonpareil Almond. I got both in the 3-4′ bare root size. They were wrapped very well in a nice, sturdy box.

I’m officially out of allowable yard space for my trees, so I intend to try these out in grow bags. I want to eventually try some (ideally, dwarf) citrus trees this Spring, too. I think we’ve decided on lemons. Also, we apparently need a bay laurel. Bulk bay leaves are hard to find these days! Anyway, back to the almonds. I threw in a layer of river rock in the bottom for drainage, and made a hodge podge of soils I had left over from last Fall: a bit of bagged Texas top soil, some Happy Frog potting soil, and Kellogg garden soil. These two particular almond varieties aren’t too particular about their soil, so long as it’s loose and well-draining. They like hot, dry summers (ding!), and mild winters (ding!). (Although, I may need to watch them the first couple years. I’m a little concerned about tonight, actually. Maybe I should have contained my excitement.) I’ve also read I may need to paint the trunks the first couple of years to prevent sunburn, but that won’t be a problem either. I can do that later. I also put them behind the dog-fence, and raised them up on an old pallet we received last year. That back path gets pretty wet when it rains, so this will help keep the bags from getting too waterlogged and fungus-covered like the pepper bags did last year, I hope. So now, I introduce to you, my new almond trees!

They really look like they’re leaning quite a bit in these photos, but I’m not sure why. They didn’t look like that quite so much in person. I’ll have to take another good look at them tomorrow. This section is also where my sweet potatoes were last year, and it’s overdue for another covering of mulch, so that area really needs some good attention. It’s really ugly right now.

But in a few years, it is going to be So Fabulous!

And my spices did eventually get put away. 😉 My cabinet is very happy again.

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