Thursday, January 28, 2010

Harvest 2008

For archival purposes, I'm placing my harvest from 2008 as a post. I need the "harvest" space for my (possible) harvest this year. *yay*

* Blue Lake Bush Bean: 6lbs (ca. 69 beans/lb)
* Jalapeno: 245
* BH Grape Tomato (H): 180
* Cucumber:150
* Zucchini: 122
* Carrots: 38
* Spitze Tomato (H): 35
* Plum Tomato: 27
* Sweet 100 Tomato: 22 handfuls (1 handful = 40 tomatoes)
* Broccoli: 10 large heads
* Roman Candle Tomato (H): 9
* Onion (Yellow): 8
* Monte Carlo Tomato (H): 7
* Sugar Snap Peas: 6 handfuls (1 handful = 30 pods)
* Mini Tomato (H): 6
* Soybean: 5 handfuls (1 handful = 30 beans)
* Onion (Red): 4
* Strawberries: 4 handfuls (1 handful = 30 berries)
* Garlic: 3
* Almond: 3
* Sugar Baby Watermelon: 1
* Green Bell Pepper: 0
* Yellow Bell Pepper: 0
* Red Bell Pepper: 0
* Sweet Potato: 0
* Ernie's Round Tomato (H): 0
* JTD Tomato (H): 0
* Amish Paste Tomato (H): FAILURE


did i WEED after my previous post? well, kinda...i actually tilled/dug/cut up weeds and dug them under the soil. the weeds were not going to seed, so i thought it might help put in some nitrogen and aeration into the soil. i only did about 1/16 of my garden space (divide and conquer strategy), but it was only because it started to rain again and i didn't want to turn into a muddy mess. (its been raining a LOT lately!)

after doing some of that *W* word, i felt rather invigorated. its going to be a good amount of work to get all the weeds (although i dont think i will be using all of my gardening space...i can't overdo it!) but if the whole garden is the same as that small patch i worked on, its not nearly has hard to work through in comparison to what i had started with 2 years ago. my soil back then was incredibly compacted (think concrete-like), dry - it was really a nightmare and i can't believe i actually did all that work. here in the bay area, we are blessed/cursed with clay soil. when that stuff gets hard and dry, its like hammering into rock. and thats what i did back in 2008. i hammered down till about 12" into the ground to break up the soil, i worked in a lot of organic soil conditioners and compost and it seemed to have worked and kept the soil - for so long, even - extremely "soft" and workable. *pat on the back*

on monday, i started some sugar snap and snow peas - i placed them i layers of wet paper towel in a small bowl to let them sprout...good way of testing which (if any) seeds are still viable). many of them (id say around 98%) sprouted by last night, so i planted them all in small peat pots. that along with broccoli (calabrese), monnopa spinach, various lettuce types (including yummy butter crunch), and pak choi. we'll see what we get in the coming days. im growing these in my garage since we are expecting a lot more rain.

once the rains lighten up, i will plant some carrots in the ground.

in about a week or two, i'll start planting some warm weather crops in the garage too - tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumber, eggplant, and beans (green, soy, garbanzo). ugh...didn't i say i was going to take things slow??? *sigh* problem is, i ordered all these seeds back in 2008 (i didn't realize how many i ordered!!!) and they are all so tempting! i can always plant the seeds and see what happens...who knows, maybe some are not even viable after all this time...?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

still feel the itch....

It's a beautiful saturday morning and I still feel the garden itch - maybe even more than yesterday. I'm anxious to get things started, but its just january....

what have i done in terms of trying to satisfy my gardening crave you ask? well, i looked at all the seeds i have. to my surprise and delight, i have many vegetable seeds of various sorts. bad news is that they are all dated for 2008 planting. i'll probably start them in flats to test for viabiliy before placing in the garden.

another thing i did was to look upon the immense job that lay before me in the garden - the feared "w" word...WEEDING. why do weeds need to infiltrate the grounds upon which my future luscious, organic produce will flourish and provide (i hope)? i guess its kinda a good means that the ground is fertile, and with the help of these weeds' roots, the soil is kept aerated (sp?). and...most/some weeds are actually beneficial! clover, for example, fixes nitrogen into the soil.

anyways, yes, i LOOKED upon the weeds. assessed the situation - LOTS OF WORK. although, thanks to my mother in law who came last year in october, the weed situation is not as bad as it could be (she weeded my ENTIRE garden...thank you SO much!!!). then, i looked upon my stock of garden tools...a little rusty perhaps, but good tools. i don't think i need anything new in that area.

what i have in the garden - well, i have 4 hibernating vines/trees. i have 2 grape vines which i pruned very hard (i haven't done that for 2 years and its getting really out of hand!) - one is a merlot grape (i dont know why we planted this...we never used the grapes), and the other one is a concord grape (can you say concord grape pie??). the other two are trees - one is a european plum (im hoping it is the same species as the one i ate from when i lived in Germany - they were SO good) and the other is a almond tree. i forgot the species, but it is self-polinating and its a sweet variety (not bitter). i've eaten from this tree over a year ago. last season, the squirrels beat me to them (and there were lots on that tree!). i've pruned them all very hard just because i don't want 20 foot trees in my backyard. i want to keep them in somewhat arms-length of pruning and picking. i just hope these trees can take it.

i do have a dwarf mandarin orange tree that is growing v-e-r-y slowly. i haven't tended to it much, and it was partially covered by a bush last season which has been chopped way down, so i didn't get any oranges last year. but i am hopeful for later this year.

what else do i have besides those plants and WEEDS...i have some herbs that has lived through our early winter - sage (although i think its dying), rosemary, oregano, marjoram, mace...lemon balm. i think that's it. i also have some crops that are re-emerging that i planted over a year ago - fava beans (i used this as a cover crop last year, not to mention for eating as well...but i found that fava beans are not really my thing). i think this year, i'll let them grow a bit and then chop them to be used as green material into the ground. i think i also have some tyfon growing from last year's sowing (part of the brassica family - broccoli, cauliflower - used as a cover crop).

now im in the process of figuring out my plan of action. first, weed.. sorry, WEEDING. just to keep the population in check. i'll probably have to reWEED again when i start planting. then i will go through my cool weather crop seeds and figure out what i want to start growing. i have tons of peat pot, it seems. i need to check on my growing soil (im not too worried about using a seed planting mix or just regular soil).

oh, and i also want to fertilize my trees...

see you later! i hear you...i'll see if i can get some done, not sure of what i should take pictures of tho...wanna see some WEEDS? lol

Friday, January 22, 2010

coming back....?

Yeah, that is a question I pose myself. So I've been away for almost 1 1/2 years. WOW. Life just got the better of me, I guess. I got pregnant near the time I last posted, and I've been caring for my little tike and working at my 9-to-5 job till now. My son is almost 9 months now, and I am starting to feel the garden itch. I need to look at what seeds I have, what I'd like to plant, and maybe look into adding one or two more fruit trees to the backyard. (I'd love to have some pears and nectarines). we'll see on the trees.

First things first...weeding. But I'm not sure if I should tackle that now, since it is only january. I might get to it tho, just so that it doesn't get more out of hand than it already is. I may also start some seedlings...i think i have some lettuce seeds that i can start. broccoli perhaps? i digress...

WEEDING...almost makes me want to give up my edible garden aspirations! but i still think fondly upon it. we'll see if i can get to any of it tomorrow.

what started the gardening itch in me again? 1) someone made a comment on this blog and i received an email about it. i almost forgot my login to this blog (yikes!). so i thank that someone. very much. 2) i was recently at home depot and i saw their order of bareroot trees. i saw some 3-pear grafted trees...oooohhhhhh. i was so close to buying it. but WEEDING popped into my head. when i buy the tree, i need to plant it soon. but i can't. i need to WEED. *sigh*

i c-o-u-l-d hire help to do the WEEDING, but if i can't WEED, what hope does my garden have? if i want to get this garden in shape to grow some edibles, i need to start from the bottom. *WEEDING*


i'll let you know soon. if you don't hear from me, WEEDING ended the gardening itch.