>Mystery of the Dying Cucumber Plants

> Looking for input on some dying cucumber plants.

These were planted in the vegetable garden one week ago from transplants. The transplants were very healthy and green in my greenhouse for 1 week prior to planting. Bought at a local nursery- Straight Eight variety. They were planted last Monday into a good mixture of Hill Country Garden Soil from Natural Gardener and Ladybug Turkey Compost, both labeled as good for vegetable gardens.

This morning, Tuesday, I noticed some of the leaves were yellowing and browning, eveen totally drying up. Some stems are shrivelling up. Soil is damp from the rains, but not soaking and no standing water. Hardwood mulch is around the plants. I dug up one of the pants and did not see any mishapen roots.
Give it your best shot if you think you might know what is affecting them.

Here are some pictures. Guess away!

Posted by Picasa

>Essential Blog for all Texas gardeners

>Hey everyone, just wanted to call your attention to a great new blog run by the Travis County Extension office: Central Texas Horticulture blog This blog has great seasonal posts about what is going on in our area, planting tips, events, etc. All of the Travis County Master Gardener events get announced there so if you subscribe either thorough a reader or through your email, you’ll get notified when the MGs have free public seminars coming up. Skip Richter, Extension Director and familiar face from Central Texas Gardener on KLRU, does the horticultural posts, which means you just can’t go wrong with the info you are getting from there.

>March Bloom Day 2009

>The weather was cold and rainy when I took these pictures on Friday, but I was vindicated today as the afternoon turned into a gorgeous 60ish sunny day where we could play outside. But even with the cold of the past few days, we have had such a mild winter. We were just taking at the Extension office about how so many things that normally die back to the ground have not done so this year so people are confused about how to prune things, because they aren;t used to them still being alive.

So, trotting around my garden this week, I saw my yellow, orange and red gerbera daisies. These guys have been blooming during almost the whole winter. I had no idea of this when I bought them a year ago, not expecting them to last more than a season.

We also have all of our bluebonnets coming out now. I saw these in the garden and imediately thought of my learning fromlast year’s Garden Blogger’s Spring Fling that once a bluebonnet is pollinated, it’s lower lip of the bloom turns magenta.

Euryops have beenblooming for a few weeks now, with no hard feeze to freeze them back to th ground, so I think I’ll let them go as they wish and then prune them later if they get too leggy.
Finally, a shot of my dianthus with the swiss chard mixed in. I just love these deep colors.

Otherwise blooming in my garden:

A few assorted roses
Argentina butterfly bush
a few bulbine

In the vegetable garden:

Potatoes just emerging from the ground
lettuce looking great
peas and cuke seds just emerging
strawberries gfoing strong

Happy bloom day!

Posted by Picasa

>Seed madness

>On Monday, I was overtaken with seed madness. I had just finished planting the school vegetable garden (more on that later once the pictures get downloaded) and I came home all covered in dirt. What else can I do, as long as I’m already dirty? Anything to plant?

Side note:
I wonder if other gardeners are like me that they buy random seeds, or are given them by kind gardening friends, and they sit in the drawer awaiting the right time to plant them?

I opened a drawer in my gardening cabinet and saw all the wondrous seeds that have been hiding there, awaiting the infamous “after last frost” period of the year when seeds can go in. I carried them all to the backyard and began to spread them around. In my seed madness, I planted the following:
Cosmos Bright Lights
Cosmos Sensation
Aster Totem Pole Mix
Dianthus Double Gaiety
Scabiosa Tall Double Giant Imperial
Cornflower Jubilee Gem
Marigold Sweet n’ Yellow
Morning Glory Crimson Rambler

Many of these came from seed packets that get brought to Master Gardner meetings and are up for grabs, so I have no idea how many of them will do in my conditions or their quality. But a gardening girl can’t pass up free seeds, can she?

Now my problem is distinguishing what little seedlings coming up are weeds versus plants I’m not familiar with. I fear I have been pulling up some of the seedlings from Zanthan‘s Larkspur seeds that she passed on to me last year, thinking they were weeds. Looked up pictures of those this morning so I would be more familiar next time I am out weeding and can leave them be. Poppies? I am afraid I can’t tell the difference between poppy seedlings and thistle weeds. Plus, I think I have a few kinds of poppy seeds planted (I went on a bit of a poppy binge) so they don’t all look alike.

God help me after this rain, when things are going to start sprouting like mad..

>Go back to school in March!

>We have some great classes happening in March here in Austin sponsored by the Travis County Master Gardeners. Here’s the skinny…

How to Grow a Great Lawn
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Zilker Botanical Garden

With Spring just around the corner, it’s a great time to learn about growing a healthy lawn. Master Gardener Susan Decker teams up with Denise Delaney from the City of Austin’s GrowGreen program to give you the latest information on the care and feeding of your lawn. Topics will include choosing the right turf for your site, irrigation, fertilization, proper mowing technique, and disease diagnosis and treatment. This class is free and does not require reservations.

Growing a Spring Vegetable Garden
March 18, 2009
Zilker Botanical Garden

Enjoy juicy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and delectable green beans straight from your garden. Baskets of okra and armloads of squash can be grown in your garden! Learn how to plant and maintain a spring vegetable garden from Master Gardener Patty Leander, who will share her expertise on vegetable varieties that perform well in Central Texas, recommended planting times, and composting. This seminar is loaded with basic facts and helpful ideas, useful to both new and experienced vegetable gardeners. This seminar is free, open to the public and does not require reservations. Please arrive early as this is one of our most popular seminars.

>In the Clear?

>As the weather has continued to stay warm- in fact right now it is an aoutrageously warm 84 degrees outside-we Austin gardeners are getting edgy. Can we plant our veggies yet? I’ve been scoping out vegetable selections for weeks now and have mine all ready to go in either seed or plant form.

Well, I finally checked the 10 day forecast today and it looks like nothing colder than around the low to mid fifties through next weekend so I think we might have the green light to plant and be free of frost risk. Of course, in hindsight, we could have planted about a month ago and been free from frost risk. I wonder if anyone took the chance?

I’m going all in. Tomatoes, cukes, squash and beans will get planted tomorrow.