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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Harder than I thought

The slope is filled with various trees. Left unchecked, the trees will grow in. The work performed three years prior which cut back the vegetation is no longer evident. The most aggressive grower on the slope is the pecan trees. Where they have been cut back, new trucks have grown in. They’ve grown quite tall and now was the time to start cutting them back. This time, I took the task in hand. With my trusty folding hand saw, I make my way up the grade. The trucks were not very big so the thought was that it was going to be a quick sawing session. Well, I learned something about pecan wood this day. Pecan wood is harder than I thought. Not only did it take a lot of work on a 1% humidity kind of day, the felled trees are heavy.

Being a recycle centric person, I salvaged the wood. I am not sure what I will do with it but I have a few of ideas. With the large trucks, they will either be used for smoking/grilling or as dirt retainers. The smaller branches will be used as stakes or kindling.

Keeping the pecan under control
Keeping the pecan under control

Planted Moro blood orange tree

The Moro blood orange tree has been in decline for some time now. With fruit on the tree, the task of planting it into the ground was held off.  It is time to plant the tree now that the fruit had ripen. Further, new leaves are growing. There is a rush to plant now as opposed to later when the shock of planting will disturb the leaves. Having lots of prep for spring to complete, planting the blood orange tree is a priority item.

 

Tools to get the job done.
Tools to get the job done. (L-R) Trench shovel, pick mattock, spade shovel, hatchet, bypass pruner

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Compost treats and surprises

Compost pile
Compost pile

When the compost bin is at capacity, this pile accepts the overflow. On this day, compost was needed.

Ernie enjoying a fat and juicy grub
Ernie enjoying a fat and juicy grub

There are usually grubs to pull out for Ernie and Bert (the resident Redfoot tortoises) to snack on.

Pineapple just wants to grow.
Pineapple just wants to grow.

In the compost pile, plants will try to grow. Usually I would find avocado pits sprouting. On this day it took me a little while to determine that this is a pineapple. Of the handful of pineapple tops that are in the compost pile, this one sprouted a new sprout. It has been planted. Now we wait to see if it will grow further.

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: fruit in the garden

'Sharp Blue' blueberry
‘Sharp Blue’ blueberry
IMG_6785
Pomegranate
First ripe strawberry of 2015
First ripe strawberry of 2015
Strawberry
Strawberry
IMG_6866
Robertson navel orange blossom
IMG_6861
‘Sunshine’ blueberry
IMG_6878
Bearss lime blossoming
IMG_6880
Goji bery
IMG_6720
Robertson navel orange

 

Moro blood orange on the tree, 2015.
Moro blood orange on the tree, 2015.
Ripen dropped Moro blood orange, 2015.
Ripen dropped Moro blood orange, 2015.
Dropped Moro blood orange, 2015.
Dropped Moro blood orange, 2015.

February: flowers in the garden

Freesia, violet flower
Freesia, violet flower
Swordlily orchid with misshapen petals due in part by a hungry katydid
Swordlily orchid with misshapen petals due in part by a hungry katydid
Freesia bud. Violet.
Freesia bud. Violet.
Purply daylily
Purply daylily
'Mr. Lincoln' hybrid tea rose grows in after a being pruned.
‘Mr. Lincoln’ hybrid tea rose grows in after a being pruned.
Lantana
Lantana
Amaryllis finally growing back after being cut back in late November. I discovered that they wont flower unless they are cut back.
Amaryllis finally growing back after being cut back in late November.
I discovered that they wont flower unless they are cut back.
When Amaryllis are not cut back, they dont flower but instead make offshoot bulbs. This was one of the three bulbs that has been growing for a couple of years now. Without looking up the answer, I am waiting to see how long before it will flower. Given the size, not anytime soon.
When Amaryllis are not cut back, they dont flower but instead make offshoot bulbs. This was one of the three bulbs that has been growing for a couple of years now. Without looking up the answer, I am waiting to see how long before it will flower. Given the size, not anytime soon.
Paperwhite
Paperwhite
Daffodils
Daffodils
Tulip
Tulip
Golden poppy
Golden poppy
4 o'clock. These flowers are weed like. They set a bunch of seeds that scatter and grow all over the place.
4 o’clock. These flowers are weed like. They set a bunch of seeds that scatter and grow all over the place.
Freesia bud
Freesia bud
Ranunculus sprouts
Ranunculus sprouts
Since I dont know what ranunculus look like, I was not sure if the sprouts were ranunculus or weed. Seeing the seed covering on the sprout is reassuring.
Since I dont know what ranunculus look like, I was not sure if the sprouts were ranunculus or weed. Seeing the seed covering on the sprout is reassuring.
Ranunculus tubers
Ranunculus tubers