Friday, June 20, 2008

First Plants in on the First Day of Summer

After three days of two to three hour shifts of sifting rocks and debris out of my veggie garden (See photo at bottom of page), I planted tomatoes, green peppers and herbs. I feel great getting these in the ground. The weather is extremely hot and the plants were not so happy sitting on the potting bench.

I've planted some Big Boys, Big Beef, Golden Boy, and Yellow Pear tomatoes. I also planted English Thyme, Thai Basil, Chives, Sweet Basil, and Tri-color Sage. This section is the skinnier section. It gets sun most of the day with shade creeping in around 3 p.m. I will have to wait to plant the other section because there is still some work to be done. I'm planning on pole beans, cucumbers, zukes, and perhaps an eggplant or two.

The bag is also filled with rocks.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Your Taking What to Work?

It started with "Take Your Daughter to Work Day." That expanded to "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day." The purpose of this day is to provide our children an enriching opportunity to see the value of education as well as the activities which happen in the workplace.

Then, on June 20, 1999, "Take Your Dog to Work Day" created the opportunity for business to celebrate the companionship of dogs as well as encourage rescue and adoption from shelters, humane socieities and breed rescue operations.

I was thinking, in August, how about a "Take Your Homegrown Veggies to Work Day." This would be a great opportunity to encourage the use of locally grown vegetables--nothing more local than your own backyard. Additionally, for those prolific gardeners, it could provide an outlet for those rambunctuous zukes which seem to grow faster than any one gardener can utilize them. Additionally, tomatoes, beans, peppers could be brought in to work and displayed on the desk then sent home with friends and colleagues. A community salad lunch could provide an opportunity to everyone to enjoy the labors of the gardeners in the group. What do you think. Let's set the date as the third Thursday in August.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Actually, I Do Have Tomatoes

In an earlier post, I mentioned because of my wall rebuild I didn't have a veggie garden planted. I forgot, however, I do have two tomato plants. One is the parent plant. I pinched a sucker off the plant six to eight weeks ago, rooted it and stuck it in the ground. These two plants are troopers because the irrigation has been off for forever. I have handwatered but these two are doing great.

That is dust on the leaves from all of the trenching and excavating being done nearby.

Pleasin' Purple

Seed Starters for Sure

Add water and sunshine, and voilĂ !

Monday, June 09, 2008

Chocolate Brownies or Seed Starters?

When I saw this photo, I thought there was a resemblance to a container of chocolate brownie muffins. Don't be fooled, they are really seed starters.

There is an end in site on the wall rebuild. Since my vegetable garden has been on hold while the work was being completed, I have nothing growing. I decided over the weekend to get ready with these great little seed starters. Once the seed germinates and starts to grow, you simply drop these into the prepared soil.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Succulents are the New Black

As water concerns in California continue to build, smart gardeners are embracing gardening which is not so reliant on water. Roger's Gardens, a premier gardening shop in Orange County, has been conducting seminars called Gardening Naturally on the weekend to learn how to garden with Nature.

Succulents are becoming more prevalent in landscape design. New installations showcase these hardy, drought tolerant plants.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Garden Event at the Mission in San Juan Capistrano

The gardens were beautiful today at the Mission. Everything is in bloom and I know where all the bees are. They are at the Mission, buzzing around the crown of thorns, the lavenders, and the hollyhocks!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

June is National Iced Tea Month--Even the Composter Can Celebrate

June brings the start of summer as children finish with school and the temperatures start to rise. June also brings the celebration of a tall glass of refreshing iced tea. June 1 to June 30 is National Iced Tea month. Iced tea was created in the U.S. at the St. Louis World Fair. Too hot to drink hot tea, a clever vendor added ice and created an American favorite.

So this is the month to enjoy iced tea and share the spoils of your enjoyment with your composter. After brewing your iced tea, toss the tea bag, string and tag into the composter. It all will decompose and help nourish your plants.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

California Rebates on Irrigation Sprinklers

Most water used by gardeners in Southern California comes from irrigation systems. As the songs says "Seems it never rains in Southern California" so the irrigation systems run most of the year. (We do have rain in the winter months.)

To address the need to conserve this very important resource, a new technology in sprinkler heads is available. These sprinkler heads use 20% less water than traditional sprinklers.

"These nozzles shoot multi-trajectory, rotating streams that apply water more slowly and uniformly than conventional sprays and rotors - especially when adjusted for specific site conditions.

In addition to reducing water use, the water jetting from these nozzles is more resistant to wind, less likely to mist, and significantly reduces run-off on to streets and sidewalk."

Those living in the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California can receive $4 rebate if requirements of number of units and sprinkling time adjustments are made.

For more information, check out The sprinklers are available from Hunter Industries or Rainbird Corporation.

Here is a photo and description of the Rainbird Product from their web site.  You can search for these sprinkler products by using the word rotor in your search.

Efficient watering for small to medium sized yards. Multiple rotating streams distribute water uniformly and help reduce run-off. 17-24 feet range. Comes with choice of Rotary Nozzle.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Heartbreak of Yellow Leaves--Epsom Salts to the Rescue

The entry to my house is planted with gardenia bushes. This is one garden feature from the previous owner which was BRILLIANT. When these bushes are in bloom, every entry and exit from the house is rewarded with fabulous fragrance.

As brilliant as this planting is, it is not without its own problems. My experience with gardenias is that they are prone to yellowing leaves. Well, my poor plant is experiencing that and then some. The problem now is trying to figure out what exactly is causing the problem. Is the yellowing (and brown tips) coming from too much water (new irrigation system) or not enough water (the irrigation system was turned off for quite some time while demo-ing and installing new driveway). Is the problem too much nitrogen, soil not acidic enough, soil not draining properly, not enough organic material in the soil?

Yesterday, I added some organic plant food formulated for gardenias. I have a pH testor and pH was 6.5 and 7.0. So the plant food is acidic and should lower the pH.

Now, to expedite the greening, I purchased Epsom salts. This stuff is so wonderful it can green up your garden and then soothe your tired muscles after a day of gardening. Here is the marketing blurb on the Rite Aid Epsom Salt bag:

Directions for use of Epsom Salts as a Plant Nutrient
The top secret for champion tomatoes: Add 2-3 tablespoons per hole before planting. Twice a month, sprinkle 1 tablespoon per foot of height for each plant every two weeks.

For award winning roses and other flowers: Use 1/2 cup in the soil at the base of the plant. Afterwards, use as a foliar spray, mixing 1 tablespoon per gallon of water or use 1 teasoon per foot of height for each plant every two weeks.

For palm trees: Use 1-5 lbs. depending on the size and age of the tree. Apply four times per year around the basea of the tree. For potted palms, apply 1/2 cup per gallon of water three times per year. To prevent or reducing yellowing, spray with a mixture of 1 tablspoon per gallon of water.

For rich, colorful peppers, delicious melons, and other fruits and vegetables: Use 1 tablspoon per gallon of water monthly. Use 1 teasoon per foot of height for each plant every two weeks.

Then at the end of the gardening day, remember that Epsom salts can create a mineral spa in your own home. Simply dissolve 2 cups of Epsom Salt in warm bath water, settle in and experience the relief. Soak away tiredness and soreness. Soothe away stress. Deep clean skin pores. Alleviate pain from overexertion.

Of course there is the expected warning to seek advice from physician if you have certain medical conditions such as pregnancy or diabetes.

Epsom Salts Industry Council
has a great web site with additional information. The specifically note that sage DOES NOT like Epsom salts.

Interesting fact from the ESIC web site. Epsom salts are named after Epsom, England.

A Tree Story

I encourage everyone to take a walk with a camera. You really start to notice things you might otherwise miss. I love the story these three photos tell.
Photo 1 is of the huge pines growing to the sky. Photo 2 Pine cones drop to the ground. Photo 3 The nearby newbie in the scene.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...