Monday, March 29, 2010

Coming to Reality

Yeah, I didn't write the past two three weeks because I didn't want to face the reality that I did next to NOTHING in the garden. I do have a good reason for not doing anything 2 weeks ago...I worked to create a vegetable garden at my son's day care. yay! After that, I think the inspiration hit me, so I did a few things that weekend in my own garden and this past weekend. (Don't ask me about why I didn't do anything 3 weeks ago).

2 weeks ago, I planted a LOT of seeds...but I do believe I have to plant more. I planted my warm weather crops - tomatoes, okra, beans, cukes, eggplant, melon (Charantais), and of course zukes. Oh, and a lot of basil. The first thing to pop up? it was a soybean - not sure which one tho...either envy or shironomai. i have black jet planted too, and so far nada.

This past weekend, I continued to WEED the South garden. I cleaned up the little part where I have my mandarin orange tree, lemon balm and calla lily planted. The mandarin orange tree is a s-l-o-w grower, but it was nice to see some new leaves coming up and I believe a few flower buds! I also realized I do need to thin out the calla lilies. I have to see how that is done since I never did that before. It's a very happy plant! The only thing I don't like about it is that it attracts a lot of snails...ick! Under one leaf, I found a whole snail family! Maybe that's a good thing? So that it takes away the snails from other parts of the garden? It's still icky in my book...*shudders*

I also planted some zinnia and dwarf sunflower seeds in that area too. I think that small plot needs some color (it is my designated flower area, after all).

I also put down compost over the areas I WEEDed, as well as under my fruit trees. I am happy to state that I have spied at least one nectarine growing on my tiny Nectazee tree, possibly (its too early to tell) a few plums growing out of spent flowers on my 3-year-old european plum tree (yay!), quite a few almonds growing (stay BACK, squirrels!!!), and a few flowers on the part of my apple tree called "early summer red". The other varieties show no sign of flowering.

My cherry tree is not showing any flowers either, although I have heard that they are the last to flower and first to bear fruit, so I am still hoping!

The veggies that I planted in the ground in February are either gone (wiped out, eaten - but not by me, dead, etc.), or getting bigger. I have 3 small broccoli plants, 2 small spinach, about 11 garlic plants, and about 10 - 11 pea plants. How many lettuce plants? A big FAT ZERO! Either my soil is not right for them (I have clay-like soil), or things are eating them. Maybe next time I try growing them, I will keep them in pots.

Okay, that's all to report. I'll do my best to keep up! My next big task (besides WEEDing)? Looking into drip and timed irrigation - I need a system so that my plants will continue to grow while I am on vacation for 2 weeks, which is coming up very soon!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend Garden Goals

My goals are multiple, and maybe impossible, but one can try!

1) double dig the north garden
2) turn my compost pile (that I haven't touched for almost 2 years!!!)
3) add compost to the north garden
4) WEED the south garden
5) direct seed more broccoli, lettuce (more on that later)
6) WEED the east garden

Does the above look familiar? Yep, they are goals that I had made for last weekend, but completely failed to do. (In fact, I just copy and pasted the goals from the original post. ;-) ). I already have some plans for Saturday, but I hope to do at least ONE of the goals listed this weekend! Even if it means I have to do them at night!

Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It has finally happened!!

My "European" plum tree is finally showing some flowers!!! The flowers look a lot like my almond tree blossoms - white, 5-petal paradigm of daintiness...

No more blossoms on the almond tree and nectarine tree. I just hope that with all the rain we've been having since they first blossomed, they were not completely affected - I would like to see some nuts and fruits.

The apple and cherry trees are now just starting to show some leaves. I'm happy to report that each variety of apple (4) and cherry (4) are equally showing green growth.

I am soooooooooo tempted to pollinate the plum blossoms....I'm just filled with excitement that I may actually be able to eat a fruit off of that tree this year! woot!

Monday, March 8, 2010



Okay, ask me how my gardening goals went. Did I meet them all? short, no.

Did I get a few done? I couldn't say that.

Did I get at least one goal done???? Well,....if walking out into my gardens to view what is going on counts as one of my goals....darn, I didn't list that (will have to remember that goal for next weekend). Then no.

Not a single darn garden goal was met. I am ashamed. I am embarrased.

But I'm okay. I have a few veggies in the ground (that &#*!& squirrel better stay away!!!), 1/2 of my garden is still (for the most part) weed-free.

A few personal things came up in the family (no bigge, worrisome things) which hindered my garden work. But I did get to do some cooking...baked a few loaves of bread, and had a small early St. Patty's day celebration with some Irish soda bread and Irish chicken and dumpling stew, both recipes from (I love that site).

I started baking bread before I got pregnant due to the fact that we ate 2 loaves of store-bought bread a week, which averaged about $5. $5 X 52 weeks = $260. And my company was reducing my pay so we had to think of ways to save. with my bread recipe, it costs me less than $3 for 6 loaves (each one weighing a little over 1lb). So I am paying about the same to make 6 of my own loaves as I was paying for 2 store loaves. Plus, I know what is going into my loaves - whole grains, whole wheat, no oil - just the good stuff.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Goals for this weekend

My goals are multiple, and maybe impossible, but one can try!

1) double dig the north garden
2) turn my compost pile (that I haven't touched for almost 2 years!!!)
3) add compost to the north garden
4) WEED the south garden
5) direct seed more broccoli, lettuce (more on that later)
6) WEED the east garden

If I can accomplish all that, I definitely will need to think of an excellent reward for myself. But I wouldn't worry about that just yet...

I went out into the garden early this morning (the sun is coming up around 6:30am here, so I can actually do some snooping around in the garden before going to work. yay!)and either all this rain is completely killing my lettuce (by "completely killing" I mean there is NO trace of the plants being where I planted them...) or there is an animal trespassing on my garden and eating my edibles(!!!!!). I think its the latter because I occasionally find small holes dug (big enough to fit a ping pong ball down into it) in random places. *sigh*. I also think its a squirrel(s) since I see them climbing on the telephone wires. damn squirrels! I need to find some rubber snakes or something to scare them away. Oh, and the broccoli is slowly disappearing too.

The weird thing? It is only happening in the north garden. The south garden has hardly been touched *KNOCK ON WOOD*. So I will try to plant more of the broccoli and lettuce by direct-sowing into both gardens and see what happens.

Wish me luck!

Monday, March 1, 2010

to the WEEDs

This weekend's update will not be a spectacular one. All I did was more WEEDing. I've removed all of the weeds from my North garden. Of course there are some new WEEDs popping up (GRRRRRRRrrrrrr....) but no worries for now. I also did about half of the upper (east) garden (where the almond tree and the grape vines area). Next weekend I will tackle the south garden.

Am I going to plant more cool weather crops? I'd like to actually, but since I will be gone for two weeks between late April and May, I don't know if I should. Isn't that when all of my current edibles will be in full production mode? I guess if I plant more cool weather crops now, I may have something to get out of it when I get back. But, I also don't want to take up much more space than I currently do now so that I have space ready for the warm weather edibles that I will direct-sow when I get back from my trip. Maybe I'll sprinkle some seeds around my current edibles and see what comes up.

BUT...I did want to say something about my WEEDs. As much as I don't like to work at pulling these guys out of the ground, I must say that I am a little thankful that they sowed themselves in to my soil...especially the clovers. Cloves added nitrogen readily available to the plants that I will be sowing into the ground, and also kept the soil loose with their roots. The California poppy (which can get extremely invasive!!) also has deep roots - like a nice carrot! - which kept my soil nice and aerated. Seeing all the wonderful earthworms in the soil as I was pulling out these weeds just put a big smile on my face. (When I first worked this soil - I didn't run into a single earthworm and the ground was rock hard!). The soil amendments with the weeds helped to keep the soil light and loose. I've added some organic fertilizer to fill in the nutritional gaps, and it is very soon till I sow in my warm weather seeds (I may even plant a few before I leave.)

So, to the WEEDs! Although I still intend to call you out in disgust as I unmercifully tear you out from my soil and unflinchingly toss you into the recycle/bio bin, you at least do your part in keeping my soil healthy.

Now, what is with those icky GRUBS???ACK!