Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It's Cacti and Tumbleweeds For Us, I'm Afraid

When we moved here, there wasn't a lot of grass. Just a lot of weeds and mud. Red mud. Y'all remember my white carpet-red mud travails, right? Anyway, we planted grass seeds in early spring in the front yard and the back yard, but you know what? You have to have rain to get grass to grow. Crazy, I know. Also, direct, baking sun doesn't help matters much. Add in soil that is the equivalent of potter's clay and well, we don't have any grass.

Oh, we've got a few tufts here and there. The crabgrass is growing like gangbusters, of course. As I was pulling some up on Sunday Mr. Daddy said "Isn't some grass better than no grass."

"NO! Crabgrass must die," I yelled as I applied the shovel to the baked earth. And it takes more than a little elbow grease to even get the shovel in the ground because you know what happens when you put clay (our yard) into a kiln (the Georgia summer sun)? Terra cotta! Or its equivalent anyway.

Amazingly, we did have fairly good luck with our small garden, though that's probably because we watered it. It was small and didn't require a lot of watering. This year we started small because we've never had a garden before, so all we planted were tomatoes, squash, and Bubba's odd request, carrots.

I've never grown carrots before and not long after the beautiful green sprouts came up, I realized we had a problem. How do you know when carrots are done? Pretty much the only way to tell is to pull one up and that sort of defeats the purpose, especially if it's not done yet. I did a little googling around and found out that you can dig away just a little of the top soil to see if you have carrots yet, so we went out to give this a shot. Have you ever tried to dig away just a little bit at a piece of pottery? Yeah.

Finally, after a rain, we dug around a little bit and saw some orange. By this time the carrots had been planted for weeks and we were already harvesting our tomatoes and our squash. We were all so excited!! Behold! Our Carrots!!

And now for a little perspective:

That is Mr. Daddy's watch, by the way. We have not climbed the beanstalk and found these carrots next to the giant's watch, a la Bugs Bunny. Mr. Daddy called it "carrot floss." Yeah.

So, we are not carrot farmers. Turns out carrots like a sandier soil. Don't we all. In fact, they make great container plants, so that will probably be the route we'll go next year.

But in the meantime, if any of you have any drought resistant landscaping ideas, I'd love to hear them. 'Cause I heard the mud and weed look is out for 2009.


AndreAnna said...

Is it wrong that I laughed out loud at the carrots next to the watch? said...

Oh, dear. They are tiny! At least you tried, right?

1blueshi1 said...

were you able to actually persuade Bubba or Punkin to eat the "carrot floss"? hehehe

Susie said...

I bet they taste really sweet though!

Drought resistant plants that grow in clay, you ask? Mulch. No watering, no mowing, no weeds.

Anonymous said...

How did your tomatoes do? I've always noticed that the tomato plants do really well to the point where you're giving them away to random strangers.

Poor teeny, tiny carrots. Better luck next year.

And the only suggestion I have for your clay is to try a rock garden. No water needed. :)

AmyM said...

When we were little, my dad had tremendous gardens from which he harvested tremendous veggies - think cucumbers that could be stunt doubles for zuchinnis. One year my little brother wanted to plant carrots. Even with all the prep work my dad did on the garden soil, we had carrot floss too. Don't feel bad.

Esme said...

That photo with the watch is so funny!

At least those tiny carrots will be great in a stirfry? No chopping! Call them "pre-jullienned."

Katie in MA said...

Ha ha ha. I love your carrot floss. They would go great in a (bowl of) soup! :) Seriously, you guys get points in my book - no gardens for me at all. It's hard enough trying to grow kids!

for a different kind of girl said...

That is so funny! Baby carrots are bigger than what you got, but yeah for your effort!

I have no ideas on the landscaping thing. I keep hoping my neighbor with the really pretty yard will take on our yard as a project!

Zip n Tizzy said...

A cactus garden perhaps?
I don't know either.
We're having a drought with water rationing and our landlord put in a lawn two weeks before the ration notice came out. We're doing the best we can but your right, clay and no water, does not a green lawn make.

Colleen said...

awwww...they're so cute!

I planted some lavender and promptly forgot about it. It is growing all over. Though I don't know about any drought resistant produce...