The Little Janie Beeblossom (Gaura lindheimeri) has begun to bloom. One Beeblossom plant has multiplied due to seeds from last year's flowers sprouting up … without any help from me by the way. Seeing more Balloon Flowers with their distinctive light green leaves beginning to appear. Give them about three weeks and I'll show you why I am so excited … their blue flowers are beautiful and first appear as little green balloons. Bachelor's Buttons continue to bloom … though their 3 foot height is causing some of them to tip over.
I planted 6 Grafted Celebrity Tomatoes on 03-08-20 … followed by 14 Early Girls and 6 Sunmaster Tomatoes on 03-10-20. I also planted 6 Peppers (Gypsy, Jalapeno, Super Chili, Sweet Banana, Habanero Red & Tricked You) on 03-10-20. First tomato sighting on 03-22-20 … a Sunmaster … same as in 2019. Tomatoes are growing like weeds and are overwhelming the surrounding lettuce. Giving away lettuce to neighbors to make room for the Red XL Burpee Tomato cages. Almost have all the tomatoes caged.
Wind screen frames were assembled on 03-02-20 just in case we had a wind event (winds over 20 mph) during the first two weeks the tomatoes & peppers are in. Winds were relatively calm, so I dismantled the wooden frames on 03-22-20 and put them back in the garage attic for next year.
I doubled the amount of lettuce seeds planted indoors on from 6 varieties on 01-05-19 to 12 varieties on 12-21-19. We're talking about sprinkling tiny lettuce seeds into 48 cells … just 4 cells per variety. Not all seeds germinate, but since I'm probably putting 4 to 6 seeds per cell there will be a lot of lettuce … especially since I tried to separate each individual seedling when I transplanted them into the garden on 01-18-20 and 01-20-20. Not much happened the first six weeks as shown by the 03-01-20 pics. But in the last 2 weeks we've seen exponential growth as shown by the 03-15-20 & 03-16-20 pics below.
The weather was relatively mild this winter. So I had to cover my hibiscus, begonias & New Guinea Impatiens only 2 or 3 times this January & February. It's now the first week of March and the threat of a light freeze (temps that dip to 30 to 32 degrees) has passed.
Euryops - Let's start with the Euryops (African Daisies) which have bloomed all winter. They are partially protected from the winter hidden along a fence facing west between the garage and house.
Pansies - In early Nov 2019, I planted Pansies in a raised bed with excellent soil in the backyard and in the front in soil consisting of Houston mud/clay mixed with bark mulch. Needless to say, the backyard pansies did better. Pansies wilt when they run out of water. Also, you need to pinch off dead blooms at least once every two weeks to promote new blooms. These pics are after watering and pinching off dead blooms.
Bachelor's Buttons - This year, I grew Bachelor's Buttons Tall Blend by Botanical Interests from seeds planted indoors on 08-28-19. The seedlings were transplanted into the garden on 10-19-19. They've been slowly growing all winter and survived several light freezes (30-32 degrees). And they're finally starting to bloom!
Little Janie Beeblosssom - The Gaura family Little Janie Beeblossom apparently has spread its seeds from last summer's pink flowers throughout the bed. Nice to see new little plants sprouting up. Hopefully, the Balloon Flowers will be soon to follow!
Snapdragons - My tall snapdragons naturally reseed each year. I added a shorter variety from my good friends at Friendswood Hardware. The tall snapdragons should start to bloom by early April.
Gerbera Daisies - Gerbera Daisies don't like light freezes. They will still bloom during winters in Houston inbetween the light freezes which will set them back. It wasn't a cold winter this year … so here are some of the pretties occasional blooms. This is all about to change as spring has arrived and the Gerbera Daisies for the rest of March, April and May should be at their peak before the summer heat kicks in.
Hibiscus - I moved the Double Hibiscus to my front porch which faces south for the winter to help protect it from the cold. I covered it and my two large pots of Tradewinds Hibiscus several times this winter when temps were forecast to dip below 35 degrees. Hibiscus plants can die if not covered in a light freeze. My Double and the Tradewinds Hibiscus bloomed all winter … even if at a diminished pace. Winter blooms aren't as spectacular as the summer … but blooms last several days as opposed to just one day in the summer heat.