Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Random Stuff

Let me start by saying... "Where did March go?" I can not believe how fast it went by.

Did you know in the month of March the Painted Lady Butterfly migrates from the Southern California desert areas northward? It just so happens this migration path is running right past my window at work and through my backyard. I have guesstimated the fight path in my area to be about 15 to 20 miles wide. It is amazing to see hundreds of butterflies within minutes fly past you.

Over the weekend while I was in the garden they would fly by 2 to 5 at a time every 10 seconds or so. You can tell they are on a mission and can almost feel the sense of urgency as they fly by.
The photo below is my attempt to catch them in flight over my house going north...
Click on photo for a larger view...

For more information on the Painted Lady Butterfly migration check out these two links...

Art Shapiro's Butterfly Site "This website describes over 34 years of data collected by Dr. Arthur Shapiro, professor of Evolution and Ecology at the University of California UC Davis"

San Mateo County Times

And since we are on the topic of things that fly I found this little guy hanging out on a raspberry leaf.

Then he took off to check out the nectarine tree and play hide-n-seek with me..

Now if he could make his way to the bell peppers and snack on this...
Click on the photo... can you see it? It's right there on the bud... can you see it now?

Random photos taken Sunday March 29th...

Corn in bed 2


Sunday afternoon I started working on the sun shades. I have three sets of wires running from the back fence to the eve of the house to hang the sun screens. The old one's were starting to fall apart and blocked 90 to 95 % of the sun which would not work out well for a vegetable garden. So it's time to replace them.

I'm using Sun Screen Fabric. It blocks out about 75 % of the sun which will come in handy July through Sept. The way my back yard is setup it can hold a lot of heat during the day. This should help to cool things off a bit when needed for both plants and people.

Two sets of wires will have three 6 foot panels and the third one will have two 6 foot and one 4 foot. This will make it easier to shade only the areas I want to shade unlike the old panels that were one single piece.

The cut edge will have a 1 1/2 inch hem to give them a finished look and to ensure a better hold for the clips.

I thought of a few ways to secure the hem, but in the end sewing them was the best method.

The clips are held in place by a small screw

I've completed all the cutting and sewing. I just need to add the clips and they will be ready to install.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


It felt more like summer in my backyard today. Weather man said it would be in the mid 70's. My yard was 80 at the hottest part of the day.

I worked a little in each bed today. In bed 1 I tied the cherry tomatoes to the arch.

All four cherry tomatoes have a cluster of flowers.

The spring onions are looking good.

Bed 2: The cucumbers are adapting well in their new home.

While I was giving the cucumbers a once over to make sure I didn't have any pests, I came upon what I think is a wasp. When I was taking the photo I noticed I could see right throught it. Turns out it is just a shell. There is a split down the center of it's back.

The cucumbers were out growing the hoop row covers so I made them a new home. This should give them plenty of room to grow until it's time to take the cover off.

Flowers in bed 2

The bell peppers in bed 3 are doing ok. I have a few runts that have not grown much. I'm sure that will change once it gets warmer.

I planted the spaghetti squash and round zucchini in bed 4.

I also covered the squash and zucchini to give them a fighting chance from the pests.

I fenced off the area were the sugar snap peas are growing. I will plant pole beans in here as well.

Potato bed 2 is looking great.

That's it for today. Tomorrow will be all about making the sun shades and planting a few more corn, bush and pole beans in the greenhouse.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pumpkin Peppers or Not?

You may recall from a previous post that I'm growing what I thought was Pumpkin Pepper. Turns out I'm growing Solanum Integrifolium, an ornamental eggplant! It's also known as ...

Pumpkin on a Stick
Pumpkin Tree
Pumpkin Bush
Ornamental Eggplant
Hmong Eggplant - Hmong tribes are found in Laos and Vietnam
Solanum Integrifolium
Mock Tomato
Japanese Golden Eyes
Chinese Scarlet Eggplant

For more info on this eggplant check out these two sites

Gardener's Network
Pumpkin Nook

Here are a couple of photos...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What is this!

I came home from work and found this all over two of my cherry tomatoes. It wasn't there yesterday! My first thought was "Oh no, what kind of a disease do they have?" Turns out it's only wind burn. Thanks goodness!

Random photos from Monday

Potato Bed 2

Potato Bed 1 before "hilling up"

Potato bed 1 after "hilling up" More like covering up :-)

Onions in bed 4

Garlic in bed 4

Planted three cucumbers in bed 2 so far... five more in the greenhouse.

After planting I covered them with a row cover.

Photo below cucumber plant

Is that a baby cucumber I see?

Carrots finally sprouted!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring 2009

This morning I walked through the garden to see what Spring had brought me.....


A new Banana leaf

Teaspoon Hosta

And lots of flowers...

Todays project was a makeover from this...

To this... I had to pull out the old Passiflora and replace it with a new one. Since I had to do that I thought I would move the compost bin and pull the iron screen out where it could be seen.

I also planted some Nasturtium and Marigolds in bed 2.