We finally closed on the house and took possession of the keys. The signing date was pushed back to June 8th, and then we didn't get our keys until a week later, because the assessor kept adding a boat storage building that belonged to our neighbor to the assessment, screwing up the property value for the insurance and wonking up the totals. Idjits.
We spent the first weekend shuffling low-use belongings... my yarn stash, winter clothes, mountains of books. We shopped for appliances that either didn't come with the house, or were too dilapidated to continue using. My husband spoiled me (this video is NOT us by the way, just shows the coolness) by ordering a fridge that cost more than my first car, thanks to a timely appliance sale and a new line of credit with a big-box home improvement store. We also picked up a Maytag washer-dryer combo that was less fancy, but will pay for itself within the first year since we were paying about 5$ a load to do laundry here at the apartment complex. I think they purposely refused to repair the dryers so that they'd double their income.
My garden plan, the easy bag garden, requires 11 forty pound bags of soil for the Year 1 portion of the plan. Both Barry and I were concerned about transporting 440 pounds of dirt in the car, so we've been picking up one or two bags at a time and schlepping them to the house with loads of our stuff. This Friday we are hanging out at the house all day, waiting on delivery of our appliances, and plan to both paint the daughter's room and set up the garden. I know, it is really late to be setting up a garden, but the Texas growing season is very long, and while I'll have pretty poor yields on some of the heat sensitive crops, I'm thinking we'll still be okay with all of the seedlings I have here in containers.
Hubby kind of prohibited growing corn, but I'm going to see if I can sneak in a three-sisters planting of popcorn, regular corn, beans and squash without his noticing. Although now I'm wondering if planting the two types of corn would be a hybridizing nightmare... hmmm. Maybe I'll do the sweet corn in the back, and popcorn in the front flower beds camouflaged with sunflowers on the other side of the picket fence, heh heh. Who's going to complain about red popcorn?? I mean how cool is that?
I picked corn types that were both heirloom varieties, AND had short growing cycles. We don't hit freezing temperatures around here until December or January, but I can't imagine temps in the fifties is terribly good for yields.
I have way more tomato plants than the plan calls for, and pepper plants which aren't in the plan at all. However, I know we can use a ton of both, so we're picking up a few extra bags of soil. Plus a few extra more so that Caitlin and Barry can both plant something they'd like to tend to.
After the all-day house-a-palooza on Friday, sometime Saturday or Sunday we are finally going to hit Froberg's nursery and pick up a couple of fruit trees. I won't get to get all the ones I want, but I want to at least get the citrus I want since you can't legally get citrus shipped in from out of state. That means one or two lemon trees (the pink variegated lemon looks too interesting to pass up despite my love of Meyer lemons) a Persian lime, and a Satsuma for Caitlin, since the fruit was mentioned on Doctor Who and will make her year if I buy one. And I might sneak in a peach tree and an apple if I can manage it.
I plan to espalier the citrus... a form of pruning that is akin to bonsai or topiary, but on a much larger scale. Farms in France create living fences out of fruit trees, with the trunks as posts and the branches as the cross boards. They continue to bear fruit, and sometimes at better yields if trained against a wall that shelters it from inclement weather or provides warmth in the winter. The idea of having lemons and limes in my backyard instead of buying the cardboard ones from the grocery store is just too darn appealing.