Browse Category: Vegetable

Black Prince Tomato Harvest

The heirloom Black Prince tomato is ready for harvest. Let’s see what it looks like inside!

Heirloom Black Prince indeterminate tomatoes grown from seed. Grown in Zone 1 (Permaculture) so as to allow them to vine ripen with lesser chance of rats and birds chewing on them.

Pest management is a hands-on and observation approach. The tomato plant naturally grows a dense cover for itself. Many tomato growers prune their plants as a result. Even with pruning, there is still enough foliage to go around for pests like tomato horn worms and katydid. These pests have been spotted and have not been removed. When they become a problem, they will be removed and turned into fish food.
This observe and interact approach requires less labor and external outputs (like needing pesticides). Forgoing the use of pesticides frees the budget up. Further, it does not attack the beneficial insects. Insects like spiders find the plant home and their hunting ground.

Beans, beans, beans



3 cups of homegrown black beansOne of my favorite bean to eat and cook with is the black bean. I prefer it in burritos, in restaurant style nachos, and in lotus soup. In addition to adding texture to food, black beans are good for you and your liver. In the garden, they are one of the easiest plants to grow. Continue Reading

Fall 2015

For this gardener, fall is a somber of time year. The season signals the end of the growing year. There are less flowers blooming and less fruits and vegetables to pick. Things appear to slow down a bit in the gardens. On the contrary, fall can be full of hustle and bustle. Fall is the season when bulbs are planted. It is also a great time to “spring clean.”

IMG_1210_r The Front Garden is a bit grown in and is in need of some landscaping.

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February 25th, 2015 roundup

February is coming to a close but not without a few surprises to be found and a conclusion to be had.

Persian Buttercup (Ranunculus)
Persian Buttercup (Ranunculus)

Last year was the first time that ranunculus was planted. When it died off, the tuber was saved but not properly stored. Mold got to them and whether they’ll grow was up in the air. A fresh stock of ranunculus was purchased and planted as an insurance policy. The growth of the ranunculus from the new stock pretty much indicates that last year’s molded stock will not grow again.

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)

I pass by this amaryllis at least several times a day and did not noticed that it was sending up a flower bud. What is exciting is that this is its first flower bud. In 2012, I purchased an amaryllis bulb and grew it for the first time. When the flower died, I left the plant along believing that the flower would reappear the next year. Instead of a flower, side shoots shot up. It was then that I figured out that in order for the bulb to flower again that it was necessary to cut back all of the foliage. Otherwise, it will form bulbils. With four bulbils of various sizes, I planted them and three years later, the largest of the bulbils is ready to flower. Exciting!

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum)

Here is momma amaryllis in the terracotta pot and her offspring. One of the offspring only has one leaf blade and has a ways to go before it will flower. Offspring #4 not pictured.

Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
Florence fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Last year, fennel was planted for the first time. It was a surprise to discover how big the plant gets. Fennel also seeds profusely. This is one of the few fennel that seeded itself.

California Poppy(Eschscholzia californica) flower bud.
California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) flower bud.
Clivia(Clivia miniata)
Clivia (Clivia miniata)

February 19th, 2015: seed starting

Seed starting 02/19/2015
Seed starting 02/19/2015

The weather has warmed up for a couple of weeks now. Night temperatures have not fallen below 60 degrees. Now there is finally time to start more seeds. While it does not look time consuming, it was a bit of a surprise that this took a over an hour to do. One of the tasks was mixing up the 50/50 soil mixture of clay and peat moss. Then filling up the containers. Continue Reading

Corn holes, Inc.

IMG_7116Keeping a garden is often times similar to running a multimillion dollar company. The difference is that with keeping a garden, often times you are both the consumer, local government, shareholder, CEO, CFO, R&D, logistics, and grunt. There are a slew of other differences. For fun, let us ignore those.

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January 2015 garden tour

Bok choy and gai lan harvest. Incidentally, too much bok choy is potentially harmful.
Bok choy and gai lan harvest. Incidentally, too much bok choy is potentially harmful.
Robertson navel orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck ) blossom.
Robertson navel orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck ) blossom.
Peas have really pretty flowers. Heirloom snow pea (Pisum sativum) called, "Mammoth Melting Sugar Pea"
Peas have really pretty flowers.
Heirloom snow pea (Pisum sativum) called, “Mammoth Melting Sugar Pea”
'Sharp blue' blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum sp) blossom. A young plant I didnt expect to start setting fruit.
‘Sharp blue’ blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum sp) blossom. A young plant I didnt expect to start setting fruit.
Heirloom snow pea (Pisum sativum) called, "Mammoth Melting Sugar Pea"
Heirloom snow pea (Pisum sativum) called, “Mammoth Melting Sugar Pea”
Bok choy (Brassica rapa Chinensis group) Ready for harvesting and thinning out.
Bok choy (Brassica rapa Chinensis group)
Ready for harvesting and thinning out.
Water droplets from the evening's dew on the gai lan (Brassica oleracea).
Water droplets from the evening’s dew on the
gai lan (Brassica oleracea).
Water droplets from the evening's dew on the gai lan (Brassica oleracea).
Water droplets from the evening’s dew on the
gai lan (Brassica oleracea).
Fragrant hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis). The first of the spring flower bulbs to bloom.
Fragrant hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis). The first of the spring flower bulbs to bloom.
Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale). I've been trying since 2010 to get a flower. The tiny seeds have high germination rates but once sprouted, they are super delicate. They are easily damage and uprooted by the terminal velocity of a droplet of water. Last year, I was able to nurse them to a good size-- about an inch tall. Then one day to my horror, I found all ten or so of them chomped down to soil level by a single catepillar. Furious and devasted, I swiftly dealt with the problem and held out little hope that the plant would grow back. Grow back it did. I have two plants that have leaves about 6 inches long. Now that we're in the clear, it is a waiting game.
Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale). I’ve been trying since 2010 to get a flower. The tiny seeds have high germination rates but once sprouted, they are super delicate. They are easily damage and uprooted by the terminal velocity of a droplet of water.
Last year, I was able to nurse them to a good size– about an inch tall. Then one day to my horror, I found all ten or so of them chomped down to soil level by a single catepillar.
Furious and devasted, I swiftly dealt with the problem and held out little hope that the plant would grow back. Grow back it did.
I have two plants that have leaves about 6 inches long. Now that we’re in the clear, it is a waiting game.
Freesia (Freesia) bud
Freesia (Freesia) bud
Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale)
Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale)
Gai lan
Gai lan
Some softneck garlic variety that was available at the supermarket. The fine green strands are garlic chive spouts. I had a gazllion seeds to scatter with haste after the rain got to the container holding them.
Some softneck garlic variety that was available at the supermarket. The fine green strands are garlic chive spouts. I had a gazllion seeds to scatter with haste after the rain got to the container holding them.
Strawberry
Strawberry
Shallots. These were first grown in the garden last year from shallots that sprouted before they could be cooked.
Shallots. These were first grown in the garden last year from shallots that sprouted before they could be cooked.
African daisy (Osteospermum)
African daisy (Osteospermum)
This goji berry has been overwhelmed by the fugi that was triggered by the rain. The course now: strip the leaves.
This goji berry has been overwhelmed by the fugi that was triggered by the rain. The course now: strip the leaves.
My first time growing celery. I use it in gumbo and chicken noodle soup; and that's pretty much it.
My first time growing celery. I use it in gumbo and chicken noodle soup; and that’s pretty much it.
Bok choy grows quickly and will be my staple vegetable crop.
Bok choy grows quickly and will be my staple vegetable crop.
Recieved fresh garlic in a Community Support Agriculture (CSA) box last year and decided to dry it out and grow it. I dont know what variety it is other than that it is a softneck.
Recieved fresh garlic in a Community Support Agriculture (CSA) box last year and decided to dry it out and grow it.
I dont know what variety it is other than that it is a softneck.
The kaffir lime air layered last year by John. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/air-layering/ This year, I hope to see more leaves on it. With the leaves, I use it for green curry.
The kaffir lime air layered last year by John.
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/air-layering/
This year, I hope to see more leaves on it. With the leaves, I use it for green curry.
Carrots, celery, gai lan
Carrots, celery, gai lan
wood sorrel (Oxalis bowiei)
wood sorrel (Oxalis bowiei)
'Green Globe Improved' artichoke
‘Green Globe Improved’ artichoke
Elephant garlic with 'Chesnok' garlice (foreground)
Elephant garlic with ‘Chesnok’ garlice (foreground)
Elephant garlic
Elephant garlic
'Turkish Giant' garlic. Appears to be slow growing.
‘Turkish Giant’ garlic. Appears to be slow growing.
'Turkish Giant' garlic
‘Turkish Giant’ garlic
'Chesnok' garlic
‘Chesnok’ garlic
Dill
Dill
Recieved fresh garlic in a Community Support Agriculture (CSA) box last year and decided to dry it out and grow it. I dont know what variety it is other than that it is a softneck.
Recieved fresh garlic in a Community Support Agriculture (CSA) box last year and decided to dry it out and grow it.
I dont know what variety it is other than that it is a softneck.
Blueberry blossom. Blooming early this year. 'Sunshine' blueberry
Blueberry blossom. Blooming early this year.
‘Sunshine’ blueberry
Blueberry fruiting early this year. 'Sunshine' blueberry
Blueberry fruiting early this year.
‘Sunshine’ blueberry
Garlic chive wintering
Garlic chive wintering
Heirloom snow pea (Pisum sativum) called, "Mammoth Melting Sugar Pea"
Heirloom snow pea (Pisum sativum) called, “Mammoth Melting Sugar Pea”
Daikon
Daikon
Blueberry (Vaccinium x 'Sunshine Blue') The leaves have green from a rust color.
Blueberry (Vaccinium x ‘Sunshine Blue’)
The leaves have green from a rust color.
Mystery plant. Very likely planted by a bird. I like the purple fringe. I am going to see if it'll flower. A flower will certainly yield another clue.
Mystery plant. Very likely planted by a bird. I like the purple fringe. I am going to see if it’ll flower. A flower will certainly yield another clue.
Roquette Arugula (Eruca sativa) Ready for making a Bollini’s Pizzeria Napolitana, Monterey Park arugula salad: roasted chicken, bacon, goat cheese, corn, & arugula.
Roquette Arugula (Eruca sativa)
Ready for making a Bollini’s Pizzeria Napolitana, Monterey Park arugula salad: roasted chicken, bacon, goat cheese, corn, & arugula.
Tea (Camellia sinensis var. sinensis) seeds from Shenzhen, China. There is nothing particular about Shenzhen other than that this ebay seller had the lowest price. If I can get any of these tea seeds to germinate, I will have to wait three years before I can start making my own tea.
Tea (Camellia sinensis var. sinensis) seeds from Shenzhen, China. There is nothing particular about Shenzhen other than that this ebay seller had the lowest price.
If I can get any of these tea seeds to germinate, I will have to wait three years before I can start making my own tea.
Upon closer inspection they were indeed leaf buds (and not bugs). The is the Goji berry that had its leaves striped off because they were infested with fungi.
Upon closer inspection they were indeed leaf buds (and not bugs). The is the Goji berry that had its leaves striped off because they were infested with fungi.
Goji berry leaf buds
Goji berry leaf buds
Walking by this pot I spot what appears to be leaf buds.
Walking by this pot I spot what appears to be leaf buds.
Walking by this pot I spot what appears to be leaf buds.
Walking by this pot I spot what appears to be leaf buds.
Ranunculus tuber
Best I can do is to hope that these will still grow.
I might be a bit late on getting these Ranunculus tubers back into the ground. There's mold caused by the winter rain.
I might be a bit late on getting these Ranunculus tubers back into the ground. There’s mold caused by the winter rain.
There are a bunch of seeds attached to this Ranunculus floret. When loose, they resemble crushed red peppers. The germination rate is said to be very low. I have thousands. Surely one will grow.
There are a bunch of seeds attached to this Ranunculus floret. When loose, they resemble crushed red peppers. The germination rate is said to be very low. I have thousands. Surely one will grow.
Ranunculus seed florets
Ranunculus seed florets
Gai lan
Gai lan

February: vegetables & herbs in the garden

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‘Green Globe Improved’ artichoke grown from seed last year
Arugula
Arugula
Biggest bok choy grown thus far. It is in the spot with the most amount of sun.
Biggest bok choy grown thus far. It is in the spot with the most amount of sun.
The spot in the garden with the most sun.
The spot in the garden with the most sun.
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The mint are coming out of hibernation.
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Broad leaf parsley
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Spinach. Update: I planted these two into the ground and they were immediately gobbled up by the pill bugs.
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The garden’s second generation shallots. These were grown from the seeds of supermarket shallots.
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‘Turkish Giant’ garlic
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‘Stuttgarter’ onion
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‘Purplette’ onion
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I started some paprika peppers last fall and never got around to transplanting them.
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‘Anahiem’ peppers set and grew through winter.
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‘Fajita’ bell pepper
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‘Fajita’ bell pepper growing despite it being winter.
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‘Turkish Giant’ garlic slowly growing.
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Fennel pretty much seeds itself.
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Elephant garlic grown from the bulbils. Here the elephant garlic lifted its hard bulbil shell into the air. It is going to take at least a couple of years before they get softball sized.
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First time growing ‘Chesnok’ garlic. Thus far the quickest garlic (aside from Elephant garlic) in the garden.
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First time growing Daikon. It is a fast growing plant.
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Broccoli floret flowering.
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Broccoli. It produced only a bunch of tiny florets. Which made for a quick snack when I am outside checking on the plants.
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‘Mammoth Melting Sugar Pea’ heirloom snow pea
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Bok choy
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The bok choy grew faster than I can figure out what to do with them. I have to remember to thin them out more aggressively in the future. Otherwise, the slugs end up enjoying them.
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Bok choy flower
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‘Red Creole’ onion seedlings

 

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