Browse Month: September 2016

HARVESTING: A Meager Return on Yukon Gold + Purple Potatoes

With a meager harvest it means that there is more to look forward to. Even though we did not get back a lot of potatoes, we did get more data points to work off of. We’ll continue to grow the Yukon potato. This time will be planted in the cooler months. We’ll then know if the Yukon potato can be grown in this climate.

With the purple potatoes, we are seeing good progress from our efforts. We’ll amp up are efforts and look forward to seeing what we get in return.

FROM THE GARDEN: Collard Greens + Zucchini

Collard greens is something we are growing for the first time. Naturally, an heirloom variety was selected, ‘Morris Heading.’ They have been grown without too much attention given to them. The caterpillars seem to have left them along for the most part. With some veggies needed for dinner, we harvest some.

Year 2016 “Pumpkin Patch”

It is often the style when growing a new plant by diving right in and planting the plant in order to establish a baseline. In the attempt grow a pumpkin patch, we see the results from growing in native (clay) soil. Looking ahead to next year, we will (in the meantime) be providing the growing area with compost material in an effort to improve the soil. Additionally, we hope to make the soil an hospitable environment for earthworms.

In terms of space usage & permaculture, growing vining plants on top of the grass is meant to reduce the watering needs of the grass during the hot and dry months. The idea is to invest water on the pumpkin plants. The plants will provide shade to the grass and the soil underneath. In turn, less water is required to keep the grass happy.

GARDEN TOUR: Peppers Growing in 2016

Peppers (also known as capsicum in parts of the world) is a favorite plant among gardeners. With their many characteristics, some grow it for the shear joy of growing, others for culinary experiences, and some for both. Here is a look at what peppers are growing in the Never Enough Dirt gardens in the current year.

So far, it seems that peppers in Southern California zone 10b prefer partial shade.

Most Interesting Caterpillar I’ve Seen in the Garden

We have seen our share of cutworms, cabbage worms, tomato hornworms, corn earworms, beetle larvae, grubs but never this one. The most interesting one to date are tomato hornworms with their size and hook-like rears. Ironically, we are trying to attract even more interesting caterpillars (like monarch and swallowtail caterpillars) by planting milkweed.

Spying this caterpillar resulted in mixed emotions. It is now most interesting caterpillar seen in the garden. The caterpillar’s attention was drawn when it was noticed that something had chewed off a significant number of leaves from the young King Mandarin / Cam Sanh citrus tree. (Usually citrus trees are not the delight of caterpillars.) Nice to discover and witness but too bad there was some damage.

Update: This is a Giant Swallowtail caterpillar. Thanks, A.B., for the identification.

Heirloom vs Hybrid Seeds + Seed Saving

Saving seeds is one way to stretch out the gardening budget. By saving the seeds, we can use our budget to purchase other kinds of seeds. Furthermore, the seeds saved and planted may be better adapted to the climate in which they were recently produced in.

However, not all seeds can be saved. Hybrid seeds (in general) cannot be saved and we’ll go over why that is in a very generalized explanation.

Afterward, we’ll go around the garden and look at the various plants and ways their seeds are saved.