welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Thursday, April 11, 2013

landscaper and gardener

thats what i have become
well i was already both before i retired

as you know if youve read this blog much i volunteer for the
habitat for humanity helping build houses in this area
i have worked on my seventh house thats been built in the last 12+ months

on the previous house i became actively involved with the landscaping
trying to eliminate as much grass as possible in the landscape
so the homeowner wouldnt have to water and fertilize and care
for so much lawn
they were being committed to years of expense watering it and
caring for it
70% of municipal water is used in landscapes
folk were running low on water around here

the first house i did we eliminated 75% of the grass in the front yard
and left a nice patch of grass in the front for them to enjoy

in the latest house we were able to eliminate 40% of the front yard
grass by utilizing rock along the yard on one side of the driveway and
along that strip replacing grass between the sidewalk and the street
that no mans land thats hard to keep watered and mowed

we also were able to use mulch to eliminate planting grass around the
new monterey oak we planted in the front yard
the tree wont have to compete with the grass for water and

we also were able to utilize the rocks from the rocking of the house
in the landscape making large beds across the back fence covering
it with mulch and along the driveway
here you can see that i was teaching a group of high school kids from
one of the habitat clubs at their high school how to properly plant
a tree
-only as deep as the container
-make sure the root flare is above ground level
-dont pile the mulch around the tree trunk
-mulch the area around the tree and avoid grass under the tree if possible
-use the native soil from the hole to fill the hole around the tree
-add some good garden soil or compost to top it off with
 then cover with mulch
-remove any post holding the tree in place
 i leave the tree free standing without those metal rods or wire ties

in the background in the picture you can see the 1" rocks that were
put in the no man area by the street
several rustic large rocks were placed on top of these rocks

we also planted a spineless cactus salvia greggii dwarf youpon holly and
a prostrate rosemary in the front and a red oak in the back

ive also started to utilize some rain garden techniques in the landscapes
to slow down water runoff from the property which will decrease
the amount of supplemental water thats used

a 2 x 6 ft raised garden bed made from the rock left over from the house
was built that the homeowner will use for herb growth or veggies

they are given the austin grow green book with the list of xeric plants
for the area and a handout on how to care for the yard and plants

overall a successful landscape plan on a limited budget utilizing donated
plants and supplies

now we have to figure out how to collect rainwater on a no budget

twice in the last two weeks the threat of a freeze has occurred
last week it did occur here at the country n
its these freezes that usually sneak up on me and wipe out my
so last week i redid all my row covers over my maters and taters
and peppers and beans and cucumber and eggplants and basil
sure glad i did as they all survived the frost and freeze without
significant damage
then that cold front came through yesterday that dropped the temps from
70 to 40 in a matter of a few minutes
no freeze warning was given for where the country n is but just
west there was freeze warnings
the weatherman said no worry if you are not in that area
herard that before

so i covered up my two keyhole gardens and my tomatoes in
their 5 ft cages and my squash beans cukes cantilope and beans

i knew if i didnt do it that there would definitely be a freeze
and i would have to go to my knees and start crying
as i had put so much effort into growing those maters by
planting them in early february and nursing them along

looks like i am going to be successful since i survived
those two late freezes

tatume fruit
i am about to plant a tatume squash thats has some resistance to
that damn squash boerer that will wipe out my zucchini and yellow
squash after the first couple of pickings
hope its successful
its an heirloom one that grows on runners like pumpkins

here is the link to the tamu ag websites article on the tatume

i am sure glad i dont farm for a living
there are so many things that can go wrong to wipe out your crops

the organicgreen doctor

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