Monday, March 18, 2013

March Life

The backyard is buzzing and birds are lively. The weather is allowing us to enjoy the pre-Spring growth. 
Sweet peas, spinach, lettuce and cilantro are still providing for our consumption. 
On March 16, I planted yellow squash (2 hills), melon (probably a cantelope variety, packet not labeled), watermelon, carrots and bell peppers. During the tilling process, we had fun with the worms.

Cilantro and new seedling spots.
Spinach, squash seedlings, lettuce and peas.
 Other beauties in our yard.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Record of the Citrus Trees this Year

I want to remember the ripening times of the citrus so next year I can be more aware.
We are not positive of the species of the 3 orange trees that we have. One (on the west of the yard) seems to be navel and are the best tasting for eating and juicing of all the trees. They ripened beginning to mid December. The middle orange tree was also ripe around that time and had decent oranges. The third tree (east) was not as tastey and the fruit was small. But, recently we started trying those little oranges and they are pretty good. I think that tree may be an Arizona Sweet and I was told by a friend that those get ripe later (Feb-Mar), so that would make sense. The yellow grapefruits were ripe late December and are better than I remember them. They were my favorite citrus this year. The tangerines were ripe and best in January, although some people enjoyed them before that when they were a bit more tart.
Before the big freeze, we picked all the citrus off the 4 best trees that we could because we thought the fruit would be ruined in the cold. We have since picked some that we couldn't reach as easy (tangerines, grapefruits and the AZ sweet oranges) and all seem to still be great. There may be a slight texture change, but definitely not ruined. So, next year we will know.

The East tree (maybe Arizona Sweet)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Peas, Lettuce and Cilantro are Happy

And so am I that I have some gardening left. The pea vines are growing much faster now that the weather warmed up. Cilantro and lettuce all look great. Spinach is growing slowly. Everything looks pretty happy and I can imagine they are because the weather has been perfect.

Flowering Broccoli

I've been observing my two broccoli plants over the past months and wondering why they are behaving so differently from each other. One of them began making yellow flowers a while ago while the other did not. Now, the non-flowerer is creating some impressive broccoli heads and the flowerer is not. So, I went to my gardener knowledge center, Google. I came across another gardener with the same problem and the comments to her post were insightful. Apparently if the weather is not just right (too hot or too cold) the broccoli plant will go into seeding mode and skip the creating edible broccoli mode. So basically, it is now useless and I can pull it out after I let the bees have a little more fun with the blossoms.

My flowering plant got so top heavy a few weeks ago that it fell over, right on top of some of my lettuce. I would have just pulled it out then if I would have known I would get no veggie from it. 
All in the process of learning while gardening. That's why I do it, to learn from experience!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

After 4 nights of below freezing

Last week, many plants died all over this valley, including all of my beautiful tomato plants. 
Here are the after photos in my garden and of the 3 hibiscus that I hope will make it.

I'm grateful that the cilantro, broccoli  spinach lettuce and peas seem to be ok. I covered everything and kept them watered in hopes that they would be strong through those nights in the 20's. 
One of the broccoli plants have blossoms and many attracted bees.

Thursday, January 10, 2013