Friday, October 29, 2010

Tree Trimming Complete

I really like the work the tree company did on my trees.  Everything is so trim and tidy.  I had to post a few more photos of the final project.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tree Trimming

The sun is shining making it a perfect day for trimming trees.  On the list are liquid ambers, California pepper trees, eucalyptus, carrotwood, pine and willows.  I've counted nine men who I can see in the yard working on this project.  They are estimating three hours to complete the job.

It's a good idea to trim the trees before Santa Ana winds start.  The strong winds have broken branches on trees in the past.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Green" Lettuce from the Garden

Sunny day in California and so I made my way to the garden early this morning.  I picked a small bowl of lettuces.  I always do a triple wash for my lettuces.  I have a large salad spinner in which I place the lettuce.  I fill the container up with water and gently aggitate the water to remove any dirt or particles from the lettuce.  I do this two times.  The third is a hand wash inspection of each leaf.  It takes a bit of time, but I would not be happy finding a slug on my lettuce during my meal.

The "green" part of this process is that I take each container of dirty water to the garden to water something.  Usually, I like to water the two gardenia bushes which sit beside my entry door.  Because they are under cover, they have not benefited from the rains we had last week.  During the rains, I turn off my sprinklers so they were ready for a little water.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Careful When Selecting...

I quickly selected a bell pepper plant on a hurried trip to the nursery one day in August.  My selection has turned out to be quite a surprise.  I thought I was selecting a bell pepper plant which would turn "chocolate" or brownish in color when ripe.  My surprise is that it actually is a plant which produces miniature peppers.  I have already picked a few of the ripened peppers.  I thought the plant was finished for the season.  Then, my volunteer plant completely engulfed it.  This week while tidying up the garden, I discovered the plant is loaded with blossoms.  Again, if we get some sunny days (doubtful based on this year's sunny days to date), they might just produce a few more peppers.  The miniatures are darling and the color is lovely, by the way.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rainy Day Tomatoes

The tomatoes are continuing to ripen despite the rainy weather we have had for the past week.  Interestingly, a few weeks earlier my tomatoes actually were burned by the hot weather.  I have never had this happen before but we had extremely hot, sunny weather.  The tops of any tomatoes not protected under foliage were discolored and eventually blackened.  Eventually, the slugs discovered this and started devouring the black, rotted area.

Mystery Volunteer--Cantaloupe Perhaps?

About four weeks ago, I added compost to the garden soil.  When I do this, I discover that not all seeds have been destroyed my organisms or heat.  This is a squash type plant which volunteered and has grown beautifully,  I am not sure if at this late date the plant will be pollinated and have time to mature into whatever it will be.  My guess is cantaloupe because of the shape of the female flower/fruit.  Here's hoping I get to harvest something from this plant.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Time for California's Shake Out: Statewide Earthquake Drill

At 10:21 a.m. on 10/21 (that's today!), California will have a state wide earthquake drill called The Great California Shake Out.

Many of the "facts" we had about earthquakes and the best places to go during an earthquake have changed.  The current wisdom says "Drop, Cover and Hold On."  Drop so you are not thrown to the ground during an earthquake, cover under a sturdy table or desk, and hold on until the earthquake stops.

The old notion of standing in a doorway has been replaced.  Many of today's structures are engineered and the doorway is not stronger than other areas and you will not be protected from falling debris.

According to web site Drop, Cover and Hold on, if you are by the shore, estimate if the shaking lasts for more than 20 seconds.  If so, you should head quickly away from the shore because a tsunami might be created by the earthquake.  Best to stay on foot and head two miles from the shore or 100 feet above sea level.

Divided We Stand

My irises hadn't been divided for a few years.  Recently I took a few hours to divide my purple bearded irises.  The space I allocated to the replanting quickly filled up with the rhizomes.  After several weeks in the ground, I can see new green growth is starting.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Urban Gardening Rap

I discovered this great rap on a blog called Urban Gardens

It's great!

Onions and Beets

I planted some green and red onions for my fall planting. I decided there was too much wasted space between the rows. My solution was to plant some beets. Everything seems to be doing quite well.

Tricking the Rascally Rabbits

I've never had a big problem with rabbits before this year. Now the critters are eating my produce and I prefer not to share. Looking for an easy way to keep them out of my lettuce, I found these hanging wire baskets at my local garden center. By turning them upside down, I keep the rabbits out but allow water and sun to enter. And harvesting the lettuce is as easy as picking up the cage. Finally, I will be able to enjoy a nice garden salad this fall.

(Two notes: We had big rains yesterday, so my lettuce is quite dirty. Also, the rabbits are not so interested in my nutty, peppery arugula so it can stay outside the cage!)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Yikes! Tarantula

Tarantula spotted on a friend's property. Not what you want to see when you are wearing open-toed shoes.

Farmers' Market

Recent trip to a Farmers' Market.

I loved the box of garlic cloves. Vampires beware!


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