Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Little Corn Harvest

I took down all but one stalk of corn and harvested these:

I was happy with it considering it is my first time harvesting corn. I have learned some things that should help it be even better in the future. I think I waited a little too long to harvest them because they were not as juicy as I think they could have been.

Today, I planted Iceberg Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce and Cabbage in the soil where the corn was. It gets good sun compared to the spots where the other cabbage and lettuce plants are slowly growing. I didn't account for the sun changing positions during the winter when I first planted those and now they are shaded for a good portion of the day by our orange tree.

Speaking of the citrus, the oranges are turning orange and should be ready in a few weeks.

The grass is turning brown too, since we decided not to plant winter seed.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I picked another cob of corn today and it looks much better than the first. It had no bugs and is also very sweet.

I also recieved some guidance from a friend and more experienced gardener. He said that the pollination process of the corn cobs mostly depends on wind to allow the dust and particles from the tassels to fall down on to the silks of the developing cobs. So, that fertilization process is necessary for the kernels to form correctly. It is ok to help this process along too, if necessary.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Funky Corn

What is wrong with my corn? It is missing rows of kernels and it also had a little caterpillar/worm eating it inside. How dissapointing!


Here's how the other vegies are doing so far.



Bush Beans

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Seeds are Becoming

I am pleased to write that my garden is in good shape at this current moment. The seeds I have planted are growing and becoming what I hope for. The corn has been growing rapidly and has gotten so tall. Each time I go out to water, the tassels are being pollinated by a few bees, which is fantastic. The corn cobs are already developing and looking moist and good.

I found this weird creature yesterday. His camo is called "bird poop". I took him far away from the garden, but didn't have it in me to smash him.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I planted these today:

Anticipated Harvest Dates:
Spinach - November 22nd
Cabbage - December 17th
Cilantro - est. November 15th
Iceberg Lettuce - December 22nd
Carrots (batch#2) - December 22nd

We had some crazy weather a few days ago and although I was worried when most of my recently planted seedlings were under half a foot of water, I think many of them survived. I see carrots, romaine lettuce and bush beans growing. I haven't seen any peas popping up yet. I may need to replant them. The corn got really tattered and the stalks were laying down after the storm. I picked them up vertical and stepped around the bases to secure their foundation. They seem to be healthy as of today and I see tassels beginning to form in many. I really am hoping for some corn this season.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I made a mistake at the expense of my cantaloupe harvest. Have you ever worked so hard for something, with time and effort and care, and then accidentally detroyed it with your own hands? After I picked and ate that random surprise squash, I decided to pull out its vine since I wasn't really as thrilled about the squash vine as I was with the cantaloupe plant that was intertangled with it. (Both were growing freely from my compost pile.) So, I tried to untangle the two different vines and in my efforts, I yanked out my cantaloupe plant! I couldn't believe that it just came out of the ground with such little force. I was sad, but I had hope in that moment that if I buried it back in the soil maybe it would live. The next morning, I saw it laying limp and the two growing cantaloupes were soft. I wanted to cry. I had so much hope, I could almost taste the sweet homegrown cantaloupe, but no more.

I cut open the largest of the two growing cantaloupes just to see how it looked.

What I planted

This lovely September morning, I planted Romaine Lettuce, Snap Peas and Bush Beans.

Estimated Harvest Dates:
Romaine Lettuce - December 1
Snap Peas - November 29
Bush Beans - November 15

I planted Carrots a few days ago and I expect to harvest around December 8th.

Unfortunately, even though I had covered my young zucchini plants, they were destroyed by birds (my guess). I put up my scarecrow hoping that will prevent my new seeds from being taken away.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I bought new zucchini seeds at Home Depot and planted 5 on my little hill yesterday morning. I hope they grow! I am trying to keep them moist.

I also planted some basil and parsley in a small pot and hope to learn how to grow fresh herbs for my cooking.

What's This?

Apparently there is more to my cantaloupe plant than I thought. I always found it so interesting how there were two different types of leaves on the vine and it often made me question if it really was a cantaloupe vine. Well, I think I have found out why there are two types of leaves... because there are two types of vines growing right beside (and intertwined with) eachother. The past week I was watching as this odd looking melon started to form. It looks like a squash and that is because it IS a squash. Today I finally went through all the large leaves to find the base of each plant and they are about 4 inches from eachother. So, I have a cantaloupe plant and some sort of squash plant as a bonus!

But, what kind of squash is it??? I haven't figured that out yet.

Squash and Canteloupe fruits growing side by side.

The best-looking cantaloupe growing on the vine.
I found a great website today about how to get rid of squash bugs using dish soap mixed with water. IT WORKS and oh how gratifying to watch them die!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I find it odd that my grapefruit tree has some blooms all of a sudden. I noticed after seeing a few hummingbirds and wasps hanging around and going from each blossom. I think this would be considered "off-season bloom" and can be a sign of a disease (Mycoplasma Diseases, Stubborn Disease). The grapefruit tree had a hard time through the summer and has no remaining grapefruits that I can see.

The Zucchini seeds that I planted a few weeks ago never grew. I think the seeds are too old, they have 1997 stamped on the seed bag. I will get some new seeds soon.

The Cuccumber plants withered away last week although they were getting lots of water. I think it was either too hot or the cats may have gotten to them and broke the tender plants. I had a net covering it, but it was not completely cat proof. The neighborhood cats seem to have that spot in my garden as their favorite litter box.

Hooray for Melons!

I found some very helpful information about growing melons on this website. This one is also helpful. From these sites, I learned that I should pinch off the vines with melons 2 leaves after the melon to help the plant focus its energy on the fruit. I also raised the growing melons using large cleaned yogurt containers to prevent rotting. I also learned how to watch for the melons to be ripened for harvesting.
The squash bugs continue to offer me a good battle every day as I go out to water. The ants seem to be enjoying this plant as well. I have tried about 4 different pesticides and haven't had much luck so far.
I am pretty sure that these melons are Minnesota Midget Canteloupes, but since they grew from my compost pile, I am not sure.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Gets me all giddy inside when I see that my seeds are doing what they know best.


A cat still got into my young growing corn to do its business, even though I have the netting over it. Only one of the growing corn seedlings was ruined. It has been windy the past week, so it is hard to keep the netting where it belongs. I will tie it down better to avoid this in the future.

Compost CANTELOUPE plant is looking healthy. Still battling the squash bugs.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August Planting

Last night I planted:
3 small rows of SWEET CORN,
one hill (6 seeds) of CUCUMBER
& one hill (5 seeds) of ZUCCHINI.

I covered the area with the corn and cuccumber with netting to prevent cat and bird disruptions.Estimated Harvesting Dates:
Sweet Corn: Nov 20
Zucchini: Oct 26
Cucumber: Oct 31

Here is our front lawn today, 2 weeks after grub killer was applied. Looking much better, but still ugly.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fall Planting Schedule

Plant this week:

Plant in September:

Plant in October:

Even though it is late to plant corn now, I am going to give it a shot and hope for the best.

A Lot of Hot and a Little Rain

My garden consists of 8 cherry tomato plants, 1 better boy tomato plant that has never produced a tomato and my compost cantaloupe plant that has many pretty yellow flowers, large and small. I have been battling the squash bugs on the cantaloupe plant with shovel and pesticide, but they seem to be winning the fight. I wonder if I will get any melons.
Cherry tomatoes took about a month off in July and didn't produce since it was so hot. Then, we had a few monsoon storms in a row and it gave them deep watering and a bit cooler weather. So, there are about 6-7 tomatoes growing again.

Strawberry plants on the side of the house are having a rough time because of the heat and my inability to water them all day long. I hope they stick it through until nicer weather comes along.

The citrus trees look much healthier these days since I slightly increased watering. I don't think we will have any grapefruits this season since they all dropped at the beginning of their development. The tangerine tree has TONS of fruit and we are very excited about that.

Our front lawn is infested with GRUBS, the early stages of Japanese Beetles. I treated the lawn with grub killer granules on Aug 10th, and I didn't notice improvement until I just looked at the photos I took on the 10th and compared to the grass today. The grass is much more green and the brown spots are much smaller. I hope for more improvement and to control the grub problem better in the future.
This photo was taken the day I applied the grub killer granules, Aug 10th.

Flashback: I ended up pulling out my sad dehydrated-looking corn stalks in mid-July. I peeked in at a cob of corn and the kernels were small and dried out. It was just too hot. I wanted to plant corn a few weeks ago for fall harvest, but I could not find the early variety at either of the nurseries I went to. I will try corn again and hopefully have better luck next time.

I mentioned in my last post that I have two cherry tomato plants that only produced 3 tomatoes between the two of them and that they stayed green for about a month. They finally turned red in July and I picked them. They tasted good and were about 3 times as large as all the others from the other plants. I believe those two plants are from the seeds I planted and the 6 other plants are purchased from Home Depot as young plants.

I've been loving the rain we are getting; it makes our backyard look so alive! I look forward to cooler weather that will be calling me outside to my plants once again.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Frustrations and Beauty

My compost cantaloupe plant is infested with the squash bugs since I have let the squash plants die out. I pulled out the other surprise plant from my compost because it was looking too hot and I squashed as many of the bugs as I could with my shovel (about 30).
I need to purchase some pesticide.

I have two "cherry" tomato plants that have produced 3 large tomatoes between the two of them. They have looked about this size and green for over a month now. hmmm.

I am still hoping for some corn although it is way too hot and odds are the corn will be fried before it can fully grow. I water thoroughly twice a day.

I am concerned about our citrus trees. Below is my grapefruit tree, the leaves often look sad like this and I don't see any growing fruit on it anymore. It appears that the fruit all withered and fell off on the ground. I have been constantly dripping on all the trees (each day a different tree) and increased the water within the past week hoping to help all the trees out. The most western orange tree and the tangerine tree still have many growing fruits, so I have hope for them. I am sad to think that our harvest will not be as brilliant because of my failure to water them enough.

The dropped grapefruits:

Here is proof that the sunset can be just as beautiful in a not-so-beautiful part of town. Even while being adorned with power lines.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Zucchini Problem

I think I have figured out a problem that may be causing my zucchini plant not to give me any squash. The Squash bug:
This guy is causing me some trouble. I started seeing them after I watered about a week and a half ago. They would come to the top of the plant and sit on the leaves after I was done saturating the ground around the plant. I started killing them by flicking them off the plant and brutally smashing them with my hand shovel. I hadn't seen them for a few days, so I thought I had defeated them, but this morning, I saw babies and a daddy (or mommy).
I read a bunch of helpful information on this site about common problems with growing zucchini: http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/problems/solutions-for-common-problems-growing-zucchini.htm

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Note to Me

Never buy this kind of squash again. It is dry, has large seeds and smells like a pumpkin.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CORN on its way

I'm anxious to get some corn out of this garden, so I was thrilled to see it growing!

I also have another mystery plant growing in my compost, I think/hope it is cantaloupe. I guess you could say I am not very devoted to my compost. I am more excited about the plants that I am allowing to take over it.
I continue to get dozens of cherry tomatoes from the plants. My baby and I usually rinse and eat them before they even make it inside the house. They have great flavor. Squash is failing miserably. No zucchini and yucky yellow squash. Carrots are almost all gone, they have been good to us. No strawberries in the past weeks.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tomatoes Galore

This past week...
The peas are all fried by the hot sun. I will plant peas in the fall again.
The corn plants grew tassels which hopefully means we will have corn growing soon. The plants are not getting much taller and look dry most the time although I water them generously.
The early-planted carrots (planted 2/16) are turning bitter. They have not reached full grown size, but the flavor is no longer sweet as it was about a month ago.

Lots of red cherry tomatoes ready to eat. They are delicious! (see photo above)
I picked 4 carrots from the batch planted on 3/6 and they are larger and sweeter than those planted weeks before. (see photo above)
The yellow squash I planted was not what I expected and is small, dense and has large seeds that look like pumpkin seeds. I cut some open to eat with dinner a week ago and they were not desirable and smelled like pumpkins. I guess that was the wrong type of squash.
Zucchinis are growing until about 3 inches and then withering away. I don't know why, but will keep trying to help the plant be happy so maybe we will get something good out of it.

I look forward to fall planting to have a fresh start and hopefully more rewarding results.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


The heat finally hit this past week and my plants are feeling it. This morning, my normal routine was interupted so I didn't get out to water the garden until about 11am. The yellow squash and zuchini plants looked the most upset, but all the plants were sagging and looking parched by that time of day. This weekend is threatening us with 106, 108 and 109 degree temperatures, so I think it is time to water more and provide some shade for the plants in the hottest times of day to extend their lives. I will remove the shade when the sun begins to go down to allow the plants to get sunlight in the cooler morning hours of the following day.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I thoroughly enjoy looking closely at each one of my plants once in a while. It is wonderful to see the details of these amazing plants. Here are some of my observations from today.

I have a random plant growing from my compost. I love random plants, it's like a bonus surprise that just gets me excited to see what it will become. I think it is a potato plant, which is funny to me because I have researched about planting potatoes and all the sites make it sound like such a hard task. If it is a potato plant, I hope I get something from it, but my compost will have to sacrifice being cultivated for a while.
Here is my surprise plant:

The cilantro is blooming and is not producing the cilantro leaves as much any more. I have picked off the flowers many times to try to get the plant to focus on the leaves that I desire, but it seems the flowers are winning. Cilantro flowers can be dried and create coriander, but I would rather have a supply of fresh cilantro leaves.

Here is the progress of the yellow squash. They are looking great. I don't see any zucchini growing on that plant though.

Lots and lots of growing cherry tomatoes! None are growing on the better boy tomato plant yet.

I plucked a carrot because my curiosity got the best of me. They are not fully grown but the aroma and flavor are wonderful!

The strawberry plants took several weeks off without any blooms or fruit. In the last few days, there are two white blooms on one of the plants, so we should see strawberries again soon.
One pea plant is still thriving, the others fried in the heat. I eat about one pea pod per week from the other and they are sweet and delicious.
The corn is getting taller and looks the same as the last several weeks. It is 4 1/2 blocks tall (measured using the block wall behind the two rows).
I fertilized the garden today with Arizona's Best All Purpose fertilizer. I also fertilized the citrus trees.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Today I went and looked through my plants. I love to see how much they are growing.
The peas are getting too hot and seem to be frying in the sun. I don't think they will last much longer. I have eaten about 4-5 pods of yummy peas off them, right there in the garden. I am pretty sure peas should be planted in the fall.
The cherry tomatoes are forming and it looks like we should have plenty to eat in the next few weeks. The plants are looking healthy and I have most of them supported by tomato cages.
The corn looks just about the same as it has, just taller.
The cilantro has a wonderful aroma and taste and is ready to be used whenever it is needed in my kitchen. It is not as dark green as store-bought cilantro and has light green speckles. It has not flowered yet, which is when coriander is created.
Carrots have beautiful green leafy tops and I am waiting to see the carrot tops poking up to indicate they are ready for crunching. They should be ready around 65-75 days from planting, which would be in the next month.
Only one better boy tomato plant survived out of four, so I hope that it produces some juicy tomatoes for us. I don't see any growing so far, but the plant looks healthy.
The yellow crookneck and zucchini squash plants are going great, flowering and 2-3 inch vegetables growing below the flowers on the yellow squash plants. I just learned that they often need help pollinating, so I will be working the bees' shift tomorrow morning. To pollinate them, I will take a small stick and get yellow pollen from the male flowers and share it with the lady flowers (those with squash growing).
Bell pepper plants did not grow very well. Some are only 2-3 inches tall, while one reached about 4-5 inches. I doubt anything will happen with those guys.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Citrus Trees

My Orange trees started growing white blossoms beginning of February 2010. There was more rain than usual years. The Grapefuit tree followed shortly and then Tangerine tree a few weeks later. Blossoms are all gone and small fruit are growing by April. Harvest of Citrus should be in October.

What I have growing

Cherry tomato
Citrus (orange, grapefruit & tangerine)
Bell Peppers (variety)
Better Boy Hybrid Tomato
Sweet Peas
Yellow Squash

The beginning

We have one grapefruit, one tangerine and 3 orange trees in our backyard.

STRAWBERRIES! Seeing them brings me happiness. And my little girl loves them too. Creation of deliciousness.
Strawberry plants transplanted in early 2010, photo April 14th 2010.

I had to replant many plants after cats and birds attacked my planted seeds. They wiped out my young growing corn and the seeds of all the zuccini, yellow squash, cantelope, watermelon and cuccumbers. If they only could understand how hard I worked to get it all ready just in the nik of time! Anyway, I really want a harvest, so I picked up some plants at home depot to make myself feel better about my losses.
I replanted corn, although it was a little late in the season, and I bought some netting and set it up using four stakes that we had lying around and some string. It was a great solution to the pooping cat and pecking bird problems.

My Garden on March 31st 2010