The best part about New Year’s Day


The best part of living in the south is that as soon as the New Year arrives, it is time to start planning the garden and starting seeds. I have been a long time old-fashioned cottage garden “gardener” with hollyhocks, bachelor buttons, forget-me-nots, sweet william and antique roses all finding a spot in my garden.

About 10 years ago, I was enrolled in Master Gardener Class and started adding heirloom tomatoes to the list, making space here and there, in pots and in the ground.  The first year started with 8 or 10 plants, some success and some definite failures.

This year we are up to 64 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, 10 kinds of basil, 4 types of green beans, 2 types of beets, 4 kinds of radishes, 3 kinds of carrots, swiss chard, lettuce(s), more herbs, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers and much more.


On January 7 we started, 50 plus tomato seedlings in seed trays on heat mats in my kitchen.  Within a few days, we moved them under gro lights hung from the back of two kitchen chairs.  We added new raised beds – 3 of them with dimensions of 4X8X12 giving us new “planting territory. 

After 6 weeks we potted up to 16 oz plastic cups and grew the tomatoes on…in the meantime we started seeding and planting other vegetables into our new raised beds…





My tiny urban plot in the big city of Houston is deceptive from the front where a flower garden, and simple landscaping present themselves.  But you open the garden gate and plants, pots, beds, and all sorts of garden stuff are part of the real landscape.

The raised beds 2 weeks ago…


We used pot chards to label the square foot seeding…



We grow heirloom tomatoes in 13.67 gallon black pots.  We also end up losing the variety markers either by watering, storms, curious dogs or mystery.  We decided to paint and number the pots to let us track our best performers and to pretty up the garden.



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