Sunday, April 26, 2009

Onions for Spring

I planted some onions in the winter in my garden. They have grown steadily through the months. Now, some of the onions are blooming. These onions are both green and purple/red. I've roased some of them and diced some for inclusion in recipes.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Tomato Cages

My birthday gift from my mom this year was new tomato cages. I've been waiting for tomato season to start using them. This past week I finally set them out with my new tomato seedlings. One cage is already getting full use because I had a volunteer which has been growing since the early part of the year.

These tomato cages are going to be a terrific addition to my garden. I got four cages which are 60 inches tall. I might go back for two more which are 72 inches tall. They are constructed of very sturdy metal. I have found the smaller round, cages have been constructed of cheaper, less sturdy metal in the last few years. This becomes a problem as the plants grow because they deform under the weight of the plant and produce. Additionally, these square cages fold flat for easy storage in the off season.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Artichoke Buds Appear in Numbers

Ah, my darling artichoke. The central artichoke bud continues to grow while new buds appear on the plant. Dinner will include artichoke this weekend. I have practiced the art of removing the hairy choke prior to cooking. This process is quite laborious. I have talked with a friend about her technique where the choke is removed after cooking during the deconstructing/eating phase. I think I will give that process a go this year. I'm tempted by the idea of an easier process. Anyone who has removed the choke prior to cooking knows it is a bit of a surgical technique. Care must be taken to remove all of the fibrous hairy choke while leaving the heart (which lies directly below) untouched.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Daylily's First Bloom

This season's first daylily bloomed yesterday. I guess the heat gave it what it needed to pop open this bloom. The bloom is soaked in spray from the irrigation system. That was one way to try to stay cool when the temps were so high.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Protecting Lettuce from the Heat


We've had unnaturally hot weather (98 degrees) the past few days--in fact a heat wave. I say unnatural because April in California near the ocean usually sees temps in the 70s. We rarely get heat waves even in August!

This lovely devise is my meager attempt to shield the lettuce from the withering heat. Feel free to comment if you would find this contraption too tacky for your garden! I might step it up a notch to lengthen my lettuce growing season. I am picturing garden cloth stretched between a pvc frame stretched to keep a shady spot into June.

Yesterday two of my artichoke plants went prostrate in mid afternoon. Upon witnessing the meltdown, I doused them with buckets of water. This morning they were at full attention again. I'll be monitoring them throughout the day but hopefully the deep watering yesterday will do the trick.

Artichoke after buckets of water and a chilly night.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Nibblers Beware

Five coprosma shrubs were planted in the garden and in just that many days, rabbits had defoliated them to the stems. What to do? Tomato cages were sitting in the garden unemployed. I placed them upside down over the plants and draped them with plastic netting. Now five weeks later, they are back with folliage. I will wait until they are more established to remove the protection.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Rose Pruning

I just pruned the rose bush this past weekend. I like to wait until the end of March to prune. I read about this plan when I first moved to Southern California. The idea is that the roses will put out new leaves when the weather is warmer and less wet. The hope is to minimize powdery mildew forming on the new leaves.

Normally, I would strip the whole bush of leaves. This year, however, I left a few leaves and rosebuds on one part of the bush because the buds were just about to bloom. After the petals drop, I will prune this part of the bush. Since the weekend, each day has been sunny warm. This enticed the buds to bloom.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Artichokes 2009

I planted this artichoke during the winter. It has grown day by day. These are one of the most interesting plants to grow. The leaves are grey-green and have great texture. As it grows from the inside out, the center gets quite dense and looks like a whirling vortex of leaves. Before you know it, the first flower bud appears at the center of these leaves. The flower of the artichoke is an edible bud. At the early stage the leaves of the artichoke are bright green and tinged with pink on the edges. If left on the plant, it will burst forth as a spikey purple flower like the thistles which grow in the open spaces here in SoCal.

The first year I grew artichokes I thought this had to be a joke. This enormous plant and all you get is one artichoke. I couldn't figure out how farmers could afford to grow these delectable treats. Then the truth was revealed. Suddenly little 'chokes started growing all over the plant. That year, my one artichoke product 12-15 artichokes. Amazing.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...