Sunday, June 26, 2011

Nice Day

The weather was perfect... a nice 80 degrees in the garden today.

The to do list is as follows...

  • Harvest compost
  • Plant lettuce
  • Plant flowers
  • Harvest anything that looks ready
Click on photos for a larger view

If you don't like worms you may want to skip the next few photos...

The first fork of compost gave me a fork full of worms.

 Lots and lots of worms.

 My compost bin is more of an over sized worm bin. I don't have a good supply of browns when I have garden greens and when I have lots of browns I don't have greens. The worms do a great job making me black gold the only issue is the seeds don't get killed off without the high temps. It's not really a big deal since I square foot garden. I know where I have planted every seed so anything grows around them gets pulled out.

Hand full of worms.

 I was not happy to finds a few of these in the compost.... That's right it's a wireworm.

But I was really happy to see this... three bins full of compost ready to use in the garden.

Finished compost
Next up is planting lettuce seeds. I decided to plant them in the potato bins that are not being used for anything at the moment. I have noticed that this area is not getting as much sun as it use to. The tree right above it has grown out to the point that it now shades this area of the garden.

One bin has cut and come again and the other is head lettuce. I also covered both bins with fencing to keep the squirrels out.

Bed 2 with some summer flowers to bring in beneficial insects. Cosmos to bring in predators like hover flies and lacewings. Marigold for parasitoids like wasps and a sweet allysum will bring both predators and parasitoids.

Have you ever grown a rampicante zucchino?

Well if you have never grown one and are thinking about it you will need a very tall trellis. This plant stands at about 8 feet and is still growing. I'll take some more photos when it fruits.

And last be not least today's very small harvest...

Cucumber, strawberries and and the last of the spring raspberries.

It was a very nice day and I'm looking forward to a 4 day work week. We have a long weekend coming for the fourth of July and I tagged on four vacation days. It will be nice to be home for the week.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dammit! Where's My Shot Gun!

Like everyday when I get home from work I wander out to the garden to check on my babies. I made my way to the Summer squash bed to check and see if the first yellow crookneck of the season was ready to pick today. This is how it looked on Tuesday...

 And this is what I found today....

Click on photo for a larger view
Now, I know in about 3 weeks time I will be begging the squirrels to eat the squash because I planted way more than two people can eat. But dammit, don't take the first one of the season!

Oh and they also like male squash blooms....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bananas and Blueberries


May 2008 is when I bought the Musa Rajapuri Banana. It came in a 4 inch pot and was about a foot tall. By the end of 2008 it had grown into a nice size plant and seem to like it's new home.

May 2008

By 2010 Mama had three pups and was showing no sign of bearing fruit. April of this year I pulled two of the pups and
 re-potted  mama with one pup hoping this would redirect her energy to pushing out a flower.

April 2011 before re-potting.
 It's been two months since two of the pups were removed from the main plant and they are doing very well.

Photo taken June 21, 2011. You can still see the
damage from the hail storm.
 As I was taking the photo above I saw this...

 That's right another new pup growing off the main plant. Then I see this....

Right again a second pup on the main plant. I guess mama missed her two babies. I really need her to fruit and not send out more babies. Now I'm not sure what I should do. Let them be or pull them now? Time for some research.


 January 19th is when the  Blueberries came home with me. So far they don't seem to mind the pots they will need to live in.
 I know the first year you are supposed to remove all the blooms but I just couldn't do it. Mother Nature did however take care of most of it when she threw down some hail. A few did survive and are just about ready to eat.
New growth

Here is the recipe for the soil mix I planted the blueberries in.
Blueberry Mix
1/3 Pathway bark (1/4 inch)
1/3 Peat Moss (coarse, if you can find it)
1/3 Leaf Mold or Forest Humus based potting soil.
Mix together and add 2 tablespoons of Soil Sulfur.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Apples and Avocados

I was checking out my blog stats and it looks like there is a lot of interest in Day Avocados and Columnar Apples so I thought I would write a one year update on mine.

Columnar Apples

I bought two Columnar Apples March of 2010.
Northpole M-7 -  "Northpole™ - a very large, bright red McIntosh-type fruit that is crisp and juicy. It is ready for harvest in early September."

Scarlet Sentinel
 M-7 - "Scarlet Sentinel™ - has jumbo-size red and yellow fruit with sweet, crisp, very juicy flesh. It ripens in late September and stores well until February."

The Northpole™ was first to set blooms on March 17 2011. Scarlet Sentinel™ had a few blooms on March 17th and didn't continue blooming for three weeks which was not good timing since the Northpole™ had already finished blooming. I didn't think either one of them were pollinated but was surprised to find two apples forming on the Scarlet and one on the Northpole™. Next year I will need to try and get the Scarlet Sentinel™ to bloom at the same time as the Northpole™. So do I feed one and hold back the feeding on the other to try and time it or do I let nature do it's thing and see how it goes?


Scarlet Sentinel

Columnar Apples.
If you click on the photo you
can see where I circled the apples.

Persea americana ‘Day’ “Avocado"
‘Day’ avocado is by far the easiest avocado to fruit in a pot. Plants will fruit at about 3 feet in height and will produce a medium-sized tapered-neck avocado that is easy to peel and has a delicious, buttery sweet taste. The fruit will hold on the plant for six months with ripening occurring from July to September. Another plus for ‘Day’ is its cold tolerance taking temperatures down into the low twenties. We sell grafted plants that will start bearing fruit in 2 to 3 years.

My Avocado arrived on March 31, 2010 in a 6 inch pot looking very healthy at just under 2 feet tall. Today (June 18 2011) she is in a 16 inch pot and stands at 3 feet tall with lots of new growth everyday. She does not like to be fussed over. No over watering and fed about four times a year. She likes as much sun as she can get and came through with flying colors after she got caught in a hail storm this past winter.

Persea americana ‘Day’ “Avocado"
March 31 2010
Persea americana ‘Day’ “Avocado"
June 18 2011

New growth.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

Saturday was so cool and windy I didn't even want to go out into the garden but forced myself to get out there and do a little clean up. I started with the area in front of the man cave. This area was getting a little crazy...

Click on photos for a larger view

The strawberries in the window type planters were donated to a neighbor down the street who is farming their front yard. The sage and tarragon were transplanted into smaller pots. The trash can is my rain barrel which is now empty and can be stored away.

A quick sweep and a hose down and I was ready to redecorate.

That looks and feels much better now.

Now for the rest of the yard...

Sunday was a gorgeous day. Temperatures in the upper 70's and no wind. The photo below was taken Saturday when the beds were still covered with plastic to protect the summer crops from the wind and cool temps. 

Now that the weather is warming up it's time to get the outdoor living room set up.

I miss my sun shades! The new fence no longer has the 10 foot metal poles to support it so we are not sure the fence will be able to handle the pull of the wires and the weight of the shades. I will have to come up with a solution soon. 

Next up random photos taken this past week....

My very first cauliflower

Straight neck yellow squash.
Bush and vining summer squash.

Fox cherry tomatoes and zucchini.

The cucumbers in bed 2 are not doing very well this year.

View of beds 3 and 4.

Jujube cherry tomatoes.

Roma tomato.

Every garden needs flowers!

View from my living room.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ruth Stouts Garden

No Rules! I think Ruth and I are kindred spirits when it comes to gardening. We could also learn a thing or two about life from her too.

Part 1

Part 2

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I can not believe it is June 4th and it's pouring rain and will be for the next two days! Can someone please remind Mother Nature that I live in California?

Now I'm going to look on the bright side. We need the rain and I don't have to water. I'm sure there will be a great garden lesson in here somewhere. Thank you Mother Nature.