Saturday Garden Update – May 1, 2021

It’s May Day! I have memories of celebrating May Day as a kid, winding ribbons around a May pole, but I honestly don’t remember why. Relics of an era past, something my elementary school teachers wanted us to learn but wasn’t important in our current era, so I’ve pushed the information out of my brain.

I’m also singing in my head, “April showers bring May flowers!” Except I live in Texas now, and rain season usually starts in well, February or March, honestly. This year has been quite dry until this week. In true fashion though, we’re getting all our rain at once.

Our house has a sort of “weather bubble” around it, so we tend to watch weather happen around us rather than actually experience it. North of town received some serious golf-ball sized hail two or three times this week. A major city south of us received some hail stones bigger than my hand. I’m not kidding. I saw photos of them from more than one source. It was crazy.

I’m thankful we didn’t get the hail though. When I started seeing the reports from San Antonio, I seriously considered running outside to pull my baby trees up to the porch to protect them. Fortunately, the storm skirted us and dropped all its leftover baby hail north of us instead. My trees simply received the rain they badly needed. And they are showing their joy because of it!

Variegated Pink Lemon tree

I really think this lemon tree has grown six inches since we put the stakes in a couple weeks ago. I’m going to have to tie it up again. None of the other trees have grown as much, except maybe the blueberries, which are bushes, and the apples, which are older and in the ground.

Emerald blueberries

Speaking of blueberries, a couple of the bushes had berries on them when we bought them, and they’ve been ripening. So far we like the Emerald blueberries best. They are so sweet!

Anna apple tree

The Anna apple tree is finally playing catch up to its big sister the Golden Dorset, which you can almost see in the background. Anna doesn’t have the benefit of being in a raised bed with lots of better soil and four feet from the sprinkler system, plus the root system was much smaller than the Golden Dorset when I purchased them as bare root trees last year. She’s still growing, though, and she is starting to look really good.

Barbados cherry tree

The Barbados cherry is another tree I’m starting to be happy with this week. All my new trees responded really well immediately after we repotted them, but the cherry seemed to almost get worse. Its leaves looked as if it had a leaf miner or some kind of infection (because it appeared even on new leaves, when they bothered to appear), and its leaf coverage was minimal. I wasn’t sure what to do. I had fed it the citrus food I gave the orange and lemon trees, and I wondered if I burned it. I fed it liquid seaweed with no effect. I read it didn’t like wet feet, and since it’s in a ceramic pot, I watered it less, thinking maybe it held its water better than the others. I pruned the tips of its branches, wondering if that would inspire it to grow. Then it rained, and I start seeing new growth on the branches and new leaves. Finally. I need to find a nitrogen based fertilizer. The lightning obviously helped.

San Marzano tomatoes

It probably helped my tomato babies, too. If it ever stops raining, I need to get out there and treat these guys for spider mites. But at least now they don’t look like they’re about to die on me.

Speaking of dying, remember that tomatillo I was so excited about last week? A few hours after I published the post, it fell over and died. Just flat and wilty, no life. Ugh. I pushed some dirt up around its stem. Maybe it had some good roots that would grow? Then it rained. The thing is perking back up again. It really can’t decide if it’s alive or dead. The rest of the bed looks tremendous though. I wish the bees would leave the front yard and come start pollinating the back yard!

The front bed

The front yard really does look fabulous though. I can see why the bees like hanging out up there. Nearly everything in this photo was cut back to the ground in February after the freeze. I am so pleased with how it has recovered.

And that is this week’s garden wrap up!

Oh! One more bonus! If it ever stops raining, we’re going to stain our fence. We started power washing it before it rained. It was pretty dirty. Power washing is tiring. We took turns. 😉

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