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It is important that you look at some growing zones charts and figure out which zone you are in. Some seeds do not do well in all zones. If you want a successful garden, it is important that you look at them and find out which zone fits your area.
We've all seen those colorful maps of the USA with rainbow colors going across horizontally. Those colors represent different growing zones so you know what to plant and when for your area. Here in Poteet, Texas, we are in growing zone 9 where it is hot and humid for most of the year. Most of the maps show us as orange or rust colored.
Good and hot Monday morning! It is payday, bug spray day, and lots of folks are still out from work day! Yesterday, as you may have read, we went to Sam's and this morning I unpackaged and priced everything we got. For now, the chips, cookies, and gum are on the counter for sale. The refrigerator is packed with cold drinks and our farm fresh chicken eggs. I ordered some display baskets for the snacks as well as our fresh fruits and vegetables for the store.
As I was finishing up, a local couple from Poteet came in to see what we are all about. They were very sweet and I gave them a tour. It is already boiling outside! Then the pest control guy showed up. Once a month he sprays our commercial kitchen building because it is required and once a quarter, he sprays our home so we don't have a bunch of those nasty scorpions. We saw some last spring, but we have not seen any at all this year. Today, he sprayed both.
We will be talking about growing zones this week. I got a growing zones poster in from Amazon yesterday that I will unroll and hang up. We are in growing zone 9A.
I would like to say that today is my grandmother's birthday. Elvina Bertha Thurst Yorgensen was born on April 12, 1908. She was a wonderful grandmother to me, always sewing me beautiful clothes to wear when I was little and into my teen years. She was a talented woman and it is hard for me to imagine that she would be 113 years if she were still alive!
As I was writing paychecks, a lady walked into the store with an invoice for a giant water tank. It turns out she delivered a holding tank for our well water to make it easier to water our garden beds and the orchard. Right now, you can water one row at a time. If we fill the tank, then we can water wherever we want without having to wait. We purchased a huge tank when we first moved here in 2019. Unfortunately, a neighbor wanted it so David gave it away. Now we had to pay about as much for this one that we paid for the bigger one two years ago. I think it would be nice if we did not have to keep giving away everything that we pay for and start saving things to use later...
The tank was transferred to our pickup truck and David drove it all around the property, getting it to the place where we kept our first water tank. This one is black. Our first one was dark green.
Good morning! This morning around 7am, David told me the air conditioner folks are coming to install a new air conditioner in our home. Had I known last night, I would have cleaned up a bit. They arrived a bit after 9am.
I went out to check on the baby chicks this morning and while I was removing the water to get them clean water, one of the chicks flew out. I had a difficult time catching her but I finally did and got her back in the oblong tub. Soon, they will go in a cage out in the chicken coop so the hens can get used to them. This has to be done or they will peck the little ones to death. At least that is what I read in my chicken books.
Today, almost all of our workers are finally back. Just two more are still out sick. Matthew is playing manager since our production manager is out. Several others have been cross training for seed counting and for seed envelope printing. Cross training is a good thing. It makes the employees more valuable to the company and it really helps us out when someone is out sick or on vacation.
Our farm team is busy weeding and planting out in the field and in the hoop houses.
Texas is a big state. We have five growing zones in it. The growing zones in Texas are eight, nine, and ten, as well as two small dots in west Texas that are in zone seven. The top of the panhandle is in zone six. The bottom of Texas next to the Gulf Coast and Mexico is in zone ten.
At 9am this morning, Comfort Commander got here to install a new air conditioner in our home. The cheap piece of garbage that Palm Harbor Homes put in was a patched copper pipe job. It had a hole in it and then too much of the repair material got in the line so the flow of coolant was impaired which is why it kept freezing up. So the air conditioning unit that came with the home had a hole in the copper line and then they tried to fix it before they ever installed it in our home in September of 2019, rendering the unit worthless as far as cooling goes because they repaired it wrong. They should have given us a new, unbroken unit considering our home price was $146,000.00.
Today, we had to shell out almost $14,000 for a new unit today. Of course, it is a much better unit installed by good people who have given us a good warranty, not a slap together job. It runs quieter and actually cools our 2040 square foot home.
Honestly, we are still totally unimpressed with the shabby customer service job that Palm Harbor gave us once we signed on the dotted line. That is a shame because the actual home is very nice. Did I mention that our microwave/oven combo unit is broken. The microwave caught on fire and burned a hole through a piece of cardboard like material. I still don't know if they will fix it or if we will have to buy a whole new oven. This unit is by Whirlpool and came with the house. I really liked it.
It is now 11pm and I want to say that this new air conditioner is awesome. The house is cold and it is on 75°. The thermostat also tells us the weather and does other cool things as well.
Good morning! This morning, we decided to drain our swimming pool as it keeps getting more and more green, even though we keep shocking it. The problem is that our new pool vacuum keeps shutting off instead of vacuuming up the shock that goes to the bottom. We are also going to buy regular shock instead of this green to blue stuff as it is worthless. The draining takes a really long time.
Nacho and crew showed up today to work on the gazebo. They got the roof on and then installed the liner for the falls, the river, and the pond. It is going to be very nice. I am excited.
I got some display baskets for the store in today. They were easy to assemble and will hold our produce and other things.
Our grow tower continues to produce little seedlings. Still no grow lights have arrived. The company, who said the grow lights would arrive five days after the tower, now states the grow lights won't arrive until May. What? David ordered more grow lights from someone else on Monday but they still have not arrived. We have the tower under a chandelier for now but that does not provide enough light. What is wrong with people? We paid for the lights when we paid for the tower. Here is what it looks like and the brand in case you do or do not want to buy it. You may have trouble getting the lights.
This afternoon, I was putting the grocery display racks together and two brothers walked in. One said he is helping with mission work in Nepal and wanted me to recommend the seed varieties I thought the farmers in Nepal could grow and get the most money for. Now I have never been to Nepal or anywhere in that part of the world.
The first thing I told him is that I am not familiar with that country or the growing zones there. I have no idea what is popular in Nepal or what people there like or buy. The next thing I asked him was how he was going to get the seeds there. Customs confiscates seeds for the most part, unless you lie and say the package contains something else. We do not lie about what we ship out. We stopped shipping out to other countries years ago because we lost a lot of money due to confiscations by customs around the world.
Growing zones are certainly important to know about in the specific areas of Nepal where they want seeds to grow. So they will need to do a lot of research and then ask local farmers what grows best in their area over there and buy the seeds locally in Nepal.
Then they asked what would grow well in their area in a town I have not heard of that they could make a good profit from. This is where it is important to know about growing zones and it is important to have a good relationship with your county extension agent. I can't give out farming advice. We sell to the backyard gardener for their own use...The county extension agent where they live can advise them about that sort of thing.
This morning is beautiful outside. The skies are overcast but the air is cool and not humid. It is a breezy, cool 70° and I love it.
The gazebo is looking so nice and the "river" portion connecting the falls water to the pond has now been covered over with boards on the deck. It looks great!
I hung up my growing zones map in the store and it really surprises me how much of the country does not have the hot growing zones like we do here in South Texas.
Amazingly, this day stayed cool and breezy with overcast skies the entire day! It was a beautiful gift that doesn't happen often where we live.
For dinner tonight, I made two delicious quiches with breakfast sausage, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, and spinach. We ate one tonight and it was so tasty. We plan to eat the other one for breakfast and/or lunch tomorrow.
Happy Friday! It is foggy and wet outside today. It is 69° and the high is supposed to be 85°. It feels pretty good but mud is getting tracked all over the compound because of the rain/mist that is falling.
I have been discontinuing seeds on our website that we have run out of and can no longer get this season since yesterday. There have been many. We still have at least 1700 seed varieties and you can see what we still do have here.
A lady came in just a little while ago with a gift for me. She made strawberry jam and it was just beautiful looking! Last time she was here, I told her about our strawberry topping not quite jelling properly because the berries had been frozen by the farmers we got them from. That caused too much liquid because of the ice. Thank you to the Perkins family for being so thoughtful!
Over the past few weeks, we have made some beautiful strawberry jam with fresh berries from local farmers here in Poteet.
It is starting to feel humid outside. It is still overcast with a breeze.
Today was a lovely, cool day. The humidity from yesterday is gone. It was like the beginning of spring all over again with the chilliness in the air, definitely messing up the growing zones. The store was open from 10am until 2pm and we had several customers come in. One was from Hawaii. He emailed David earlier in the week to let him know he would be here. David gave him a tour of the farm and he and his daughter had a great time. It was a pleasure to meet them.
The rest of the day was spent cleaning and doing laundry. I did not get to leave the farm at all. Matthew did a lot of outdoor work for us. He has been so helpful.
Good morning. Today is our 34th wedding anniversary. It seems like just yesterday that I put on my beautiful wedding gown and married David. Time truly does fly by. We got up this morning and went to church. There is no better place to be than in the presence of God on our anniversary. We thank God for our 34 years of marriage.
After church, we took a drive to Elmendorf, Texas. We heard there was an olive orchard there but that it closed in March after the owner passed away. So we drove out there and the gate was locked tight. We could not see any olive trees from the road. A customer came into our store on Friday and told us about Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard and how they have a restaurant, a gift shop, and give tours. So I looked it up and found out they were closed. David decided he wanted to see it anyway. What a shame. I wish I had known about it earlier so we could have visited it before it closed.
We came home and I spent most of the day folding laundry and cleaning. Fun times. David is going to take me out for our anniversary on Tuesday, April 20 when he has more time.
The day stayed surprisingly chilly with cloud cover and wind. It should be hot and miserable by now here in South Central Texas, but I am so glad that it is not. Of course, the growing zones information takes a backseat to this cooler weather. We are getting emails from all over the country that our seeds are not germinating. We check the weather for each place and find that it has not been warm enough for anything to be planted. This year, it seems, the weather is cooler all over the USA.
The weather has been cooler this year than it normally is all over the USA. This means that normal growing seasons and growing zones do not apply right now. Stop ordering seeds and planting them when the high is going to be 46° Fahrenheit in your area. This means the ground is not warm enough for the seeds to grow right now. Hold off until the weather is warm enough to plant. For most plants, the soil temperature should be at least 60° Fahrenheit before you attempt to plant anything. That means the air temperature should be much warmer. Now there are a few things like carrots, beets, turnips, lettuce, etc. that are cold weather hardy and will grow. Flower seeds will not germinate in cold weather.
We are not giving you refunds on seed orders where the weather in your area is not cooperating with your planting plans. You need to cooperate with the weather and wait until the warmth is there. This is not rocket science. It is nature and there is nothing you can do to change it. Just because the calendar says April and you know that it should be 80° outside, does not mean that it is. Wait. Use common sense and a thermometer. Don't plant seeds in the chilly ground and then expect us to refund you because the weather is not the same as last year.
Just be patient and wait it out. The cool weather will pass and then you can plant. Our garden items are not just springing up either. We had some hot weeks of weather after our cold winter week in February and now it is chilly again. Honestly, we are happy to have a break from that awful heat bearing down on us that we get each spring and summer. We are savoring the rare coolness before the heat is upon us.
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