Archives for the month of: August, 2012

I’ve been concerned about splashing water on the leaves when hand-watering from the hose, so I installed a drip line in the parkway this week. The area where I had corn is empty, so I need to get celery, broccoli and chard started there. Here’s the bed after I broke up the clay soil.

My Stanford son gave me a hand removing the sprinkler heads and capping them off.

Measuring lengths of hose.

Finally, getting down and dirty working in the soil amendments. You gotta get in your dirt to work in the garden.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Today, I must poke holes in the lines. Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

Well, it’s been a lot longer than the 73 days marked on the seedlings tag to get ripe watermelons, in fact, only five have been removed from the vines, either by me, or two by a thief. It began to look like my watermelon exercise was a bust. Alas, my neighbor, C.L., observed that I might not be watering enough. So, for the last week, I’ve watered every day whether the ground was wet or dry. Today, I counted more than a dozen new blooms! Blooms are only about an inch in diameter.

There were three melons growing together on this one vine.

Remember the odd-shaped one from the earlier post, “Watermelon, Watering & Bugs?” This is how it looks today. It’s filling out!

I removed some of the vines that I had stepped on one too many times, and with the additional watering, and continuing hot, sunny weather, I may have a few good melons to savor after all! Thanks for reading! – Kaye

Check out the latest episode of “Late Bloomer.” I go a little mad growing zucchini! Watch here on in high resolution on YouTube.

Thanks for watching! Please share! – Kaye

My neighbor, Dennis, told me that if you fail Radishes 101, you might not be cut out for gardening, presumably because radishes are so easy to grow. This is an update to an earlier post “About the Radishes….”

Today, since the barrel was choked with tall radish leaves, and since it’s been enough time that I should actually have radishes under those leaves, and because my neighbor, Zdena, who saw it recently said they were too crowded to grow radishes down there, I decided I’d better thin them out. But, since it didn’t seem like there were any radishes growing, I pulled them all out.

This was the motley crue that bared a resemblance to a radish. A couple of these might have been edible.

Once again, the root has a split in it, instead of actually making a radish. I wish I knew what this means.

If you read the earlier post, I had the bright idea to plant carrot seed together with radish seed. 😦 Don’t do this, because radishes germinate five times faster than carrots. But, the carrot sprouts had nothing developing down under.

I decided to leave them for awhile and what happens. It was carrots I was after in the first place. Thanks for reading! – Kaye

I looked out the window about 10:30 AM. It was a cloudy morning, so the Black-Hooded Parakeets, or Nanday Conure Parrots were late getting over here. If you are following my blog, especially the post “Meet My Kids,” you know I’ve got, uh, had some nice sunflowers. There were four balanced on the sturdy Lemon Queen, one on watch up over my head somewhere and another on the rust-colored sunflower.

The parrot on watch screamed at them, and they turned to look at me.

It was at this point, I turned on the video.

They made a hasty exit. They weren’t gone a minute, and a pair of goldfinches flew in where they were waiting in the wings.

These two solved the mystery of why the leaves were skeletonized.

So I shot a little video of them.

The male took off and the female flew to the top of my little jacaranda tree to look for him.

Now, for the damage. This one broke over from their weight before they damaged the blooms. They are inside in a vase.

Remember Goldy from yesterday? Didn’t even have a chance to fully open.

The Mexican Sunflowers were spared, probably because they are short.

There’s always something going on in the garden. Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

Goldy Honey Bear, Helianthus annus, Botanical Interests Seeds

My purple amaranth was very beautiful a month ago. Though it never reached eight feet as the seed packet promised (like two to four), it was a nice addition to the garden.

I don’t know if it was soil (mine is adobe brick) and poor drainage, or irregular watering, but the tall shoots of blooms would drop over. Now, it looks like this.

At some point, I was supposed to cut off the heads, put in a bag, let dry, then thresh them for the grain, which you can pop like corn or cook like rice. But, I haven’t done that. The once-plum colored leaves have faded.

And the color of the flowers is now cherry red. Each one of those tiny blooms is so intricate.

You think it’s trying to tell me something? Like, okay, I’m done for this year?

Thanks for stopping by! – Kaye

Taking a look around this morning, I notice a few things. My first orange pepper is almost orange! Look closely and you will see the water spots from my hand-watering with a hose. I’ve got to get soaker hoses set up one of these days.

My butterfly bush is loaded with seed pods ready to burst with a million cottony seeds. What am I supposed to do with this thing? I only have room for the one plant right now.

I found this mystery volunteer in my strawberry patch (which isn’t doing so well). Know what it could be?

I think it’s pretty clear this cucumber plant has succumbed to disease or is this just insect damage on the base of the stems?

Leaves of this plant near the base look like this. I removed these two.

This goes to show you how durable Ruby Red Cabbage can be. This was my seventh of eight cabbages harvested in June. I was lazy and didn’t take out the rootball when I cut off the cabbage. It started to grow leaves and I left it alone.

Two weeks ago, I decided it was in the way where it was and I dug it up and moved it. It looked limp for a couple of days, but I kept watering it. This morning, it looks like it’s forming a cabbage in the center! If you haven’t seen my purple cabbage episode of “Late Bloomer,” please watch! Now, if I can just keep the slugs off of it! Thanks for dropping by. Advice welcome! – Kaye

I just returned from a few days in New England, and these are some of the things I found in my garden upon arrival. My first bloom of my Mexican Sunflowers. The packet says 6-8′ tall, however mine all look like they’ll be lucky to reach two feet. Wow, do they pack some color!

Lots of Red Cherry Tomatoes ripening.

Four black (supposed to be purple) small peppers, two of which are rather shriveled.

More tomatoes. Two neighbors dropping by got some before this shot. I also had to toss a dozen with blossom end rot.

And three cucumbers. I’ll only know if these are bitter when I bite into them tonight, but for now, I’ll pretend they are as sweet as they look. 🙂

Lots of other stuff going on in my small garden. Just the usual tending took four hours. Loved every minute. Thanks for visiting! – Kaye

In this episode, I visit Loree Bryer, citizen scientist for the Monarch Butterfly in her milkweed habitat garden in Mar Vista, California. Come see what we discover on this day in late June. View here or in high resolution on YouTube.

Thanks for watching! – Kaye

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