Saturday, November 18, 2017

Garden Discussion Documents

I'm catching up on getting our Gardeners Meeting Notes on here for availability.

Gardening Meeting #3 
Top Crops, Companion Planting and Pest Control

Companion Planting
A brief overview of plants that benefit from being planted near each other in the garden; taken from Carrots love Tomatoes & Roses love Garlic by Louise Riotte

Top Crops #2
Details on these crops: cabbage,
broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, beans.

Common Garden Pests and what to do! 

Gardening Meeting #4
Cold Weather Protection for our plants

November's a good month in the Vegetable Garden

My garden is growing beautifully. I've harvested 2 zucchini squashes and my son hasn't been patient with the carrots, so we have pulled a few small (and delicious) purple, yellow and orange carrots too. Cabbage, brocolli and kale plants have needed extra care with removing caterpillars regularly, mostly about 1 month ago, it has become less of a problem now with only an occasional caterpillar. I have been fertilizing about every two weeks with Miracle Grow and the soil structure seems to be improving with the straw mulching and other organic materials decomposing. The weather has been perfect and I deep water every 2-3 days. The garden gets nearly all-day sun.

What's growing: green cabbage, purple cabbage, brocolli, leeks, kale, lettuce varieties, garlic, green onions, basil, cilantro, snap peas, cucumber (volunteer), petunias, marigolds, nasturtium, zucchini, green beans (stunted growth), purple, yellow and orange carrots.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Gardening Group Meeting #2

We held our second gardening group meeting this past Saturday!

You can view a summary of what we covered HERE.

We detailed several popular crops and you can view the information on planting, nutritional needs, pollinating and watering of tomatoes, green onions, garlic, lettuce, kale, spinach, herbs and zucchini HERE.

And in case you need our desert planting calendar again, you can view that HERE.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I get excited when...

Two little yellow birds come hang out in my yard, singing in my Eucalyptus tree or pecking seeds from my basil plant. 

A rainbow colors up the sky and when a hummingbird enjoys my Texas Olive blossoms as much as I do!

Gardening Group Meeting #1 Notes

Click HERE to view our Gardening Group Meeting Notes and Resource from August 5th Meeting!

August & A New Gardening Group

vincas, sweet potato vines from Shirlee (garden group)
I decided it was time to gather some neighborhood gardeners together as I had in my last home, so we met together the first Saturday in August and discussed many topics about getting our Fall gardens started. We range from brand new gardeners to long-time gardeners, with much knowledge to share with each other. We will meet about once a month. I'm excited about it! 

This past week, I planted microgreen lettuce variety, lettuce, spinach, more carrots (my previous seeds didn't sprout), more corn around my pumpkin plants, cilantro and green beans and zucchini around the existing corn and at the base of a trellis.

Pumpkin plants, corn, cucumbers, basil, 2 tomato plants and bell pepper plant are still alive and well.
I also purchased steer manure ($1.50/bag at Walmart) and some organic soil bags ($3/bag) and mixed those into my existing soil to give them a boost in nitrogen and to improve overall soil texture and nutrients. I also purchased a bag of peat moss that I used to cover my newly planted seeds to help retain moisture.

Soil, manure and peat moss to improve my soil, purchased at Walmart

I take a quick photo with my phone when I plant seeds so I can refer back if I no longer have the seed packet later.

Many lettuce and spinach seeds in the tortoise-food garden and in our raised beds

Corn seeds I planted this week and my planting record


Papaya Tree (started volunteer in my compost)


Pumpkin plants

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Time to Plant Again!

What has survived the summer in my garden? 1 Yellow bell pepper, Armenian cucumber vines (pictured above on trellis), 1 tomato plant (in a large pot, it's a patio variety) and of course my trusty basil and rosemary. Some of my plants (tomato plants, strawberries, cantaloupe) just missed me too much while I was on a few vacations and didn't make it through those weeks of deathly-hot weather in June and July.
Next summer, I would like to be more prepared to deep soak (myoporum) and provide shade for the types of plants that struggled/died.

It's August and I am trying to stay on top of the planting calendar for this season! I planted pumpkins (for Halloween carving) and corn (from my farmer friend, Pete) and rainbow carrots these past weeks and they are sprouting. Which also means the birds are excited to steal my recently-sprouted seeds and so they have been covered with netting to protect them. Some birds are just smart and still get some nibbles, so I have replanted areas of the corn twice. My sister also gave me 2 pumpkin starts that she had planted about a week before mine so I planted those as well. My kids hope we'll get a few pumpkins in time for carving!

Yesterday, I gave my garden some Miracle Grow plant food (granules mixed into my watering can). I've tried doing strictly organic in the past, but I want more growth and more success, so I'm trying this out to see if it's successful for our short seasons when time is so valuable.

I've invited some other gardeners in my area to gather at my home this Saturday to begin a gardening group. I hope to learn a lot from their various experience and add more success to my garden beds!

A view toward the east in my backyard.

The tortoises' garden (weeds, dichondra, purple heart, hibiscus, aloe, ruellia. A mostly-shady NW corner of my yard under our HUGE eucalyptus tree.