It sounds like you have much better native soil then I do. Down here in Dripping Springs, our soil is mostly caliche, with 2 inches of top soil at best. Being the die-hard gardener that I am, I brought in 5 yards of very good soil and created raised beds. I purchased earth worms, starting them in my 2 compost piles, I then migratied them into the garden.

That was 4 years ago and they are quite abundant now. You have a good crop going. Do you grow all winter long? I am growing broccoli, carrots, daikon radish, beets, garlic, collards, 4 types of kale, bok choy, Chinese cabbage and snow peas. I will start onions in January. I tried to get Burdock root going, but couldn’t get my seeds from last year to germinate after 3 plantings. They require a germination temperature of 60 degrees. Last year I successfully grew burdock for the first time. Prior to that, I couldn’t find organic burdock seeds. Last year we got hit with several 18 degree days and even with row covers, much of my crop was damaged. This year, it was hail. Last week we got a good bit of pea-sized hail that tore up a lot of my greens.

If I had paid closer attention to the weather reports, I would have put up my row covers and I would have fared a lot better. Fortunately, I have my „second string” of greens in my cold frame, which WAS covered! Some of what I plant does fine without row covers during winter, but since I have a mixture on each row, I tend to cover everything.

Companion planting is good. I always use basil with my tomatoes. Marigolds are also good companion plants for just about anything. An excellent practice to use on tomato plants is to put a good sized cage around each plant and to cover the cage with a row cover. It protects the plant from wind and insects. Keep it on until you see a lot of flowers coming out. Last year I had a First Lady II tomato plant that grew to 6 feet tall, and that produced more than 150 tomatoes in the summer. I then cut it back and the same plant produced over 100 tomatoes in the Fall. It was great!

Down here I have to worry about deer eating the bark off my fruit trees. Those that are not totally fenced in, I surround with some 4-foot cage fencing bought at Home Depot. It works just fine. Now, I have to figure out how to stop those darn grass hoppers, which are getting worse every year. The Mocking birds help, but this year they came in late and the grass hoppers had already done their damage.

The „improved” Meyer lemon tree is excellent. I got one last Spring and had 6 very good lemons off it already. It is back in bloom now, so I am hopeful for year-round production!