Sunday, February 28, 2010

Worked in the garden again. Turned the compost pile and dug peat moss into the herb garden. I also cut up some avocado branches and leaves from pruning the avocado tree. I added the clippings to the compost bin. It was a beautiful day to be working outside.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Amend, amend, amend.

Yesterday, I had the gardener help me mix 1 1/2 bales of peat moss into the raised bed. The soil is still too clay like. The peat moss will help change the texture.

Today, 3 gardeners came. We mixed 3 bags of compost into the same raised bed. We also harvested 1 bunch of chard, carnival carrots, chives and arugula. My neighbor still has lots of lemons and limes, so we picked those also. And I shared my last two avocados with the gardeners. I hope I get more avocados next year. They seem to be a real favorite, and there just weren't enough this year.

It sprinkled a little today. I hope it rains more tonight. I must remember to order the things I need from Gardens Alive, no later than tomorrow. (Seeds, Spring Lawn fertilizer, Escargo, what am I forgetting?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Rain Is Returning!

I was hoping to finish spreading the peat moss on the rest of the gardens and mixing it in on Saturday, but it is supposed to start raining Friday night. No gardeners will be coming to help out. Sooo, I spread the rest of the peat moss myself. I didn't mix it in yet with the rest of the soil, but one thing at a time.

I sprayed castor oil to get rid of the gophers/voles, and it seems to have worked. No more signs of the little critters. I will have to keep a close watch.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Amending the Soil.

It's that time of year--preparing the gardens for the spring planting. Four artist/gardeners came today to work: Ginger, Juna, Mazyar and Bahareh. We harvested spinach, chard, red onions, arugula, avocados, rosemary, sage, parsley and lemons. Today we concentrated on the upper hillside garden and Garden #1, near the patio. We added 7.6 cubic feet of peat moss to each of the gardens; breaking up the peat moss and digging it into the existing soil. Next we have to add compost and gypsum to the hillside. Compost was already added to Garden #1 a few weeks ago. The gypsum is necessary because the hillside soil is still very clay-like. We also need to add gypsum to the raised bed, whose soil is less clay-like, but still too clumpy.

Saturday I hope gardeners will come and we will finish up adding peat moss to the raised bed, lower hillside garden and the herb garden along the side of the house. Hope I get another 4 gardeners. It will really make things so much easier.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Before you know it-it will be spring!

Spring is fast approaching. I bought 4 bags of peat moss (they weight 40 lbs. apiece) and 6 bags of compost. We will be amending the soil in the gardens this Wednesday. I can't believe how fast the time goes. Before you know it, I will be planting seeds in little containers and putting them on a heating pad in a protected area of my patio, getting ready for summer.

I have gophers and/or voles. Yep, I have seen the mounds and cracking in the soil. The soil should not normally be cracking after all the rain we have had. Yes, it's little critters. Fortunately, I have my Gopher Chase Away castor oil to spread around. That will take care of the little buggers.
I checked for worms in Garden # 1. Hard to find. The gophers and voles eat them. I need worms, not voles and gophers!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Soggy Ground

Still waiting for the soil to dry out a little, so I can get to work. I have to harvest what's left of the vegetables and mix compost in to the rest of the soil. Then, I need to use some of the new products I bought to get rid of the bad nemotodes, cutworms, etc. Must not forget to check the pH leverls and do soil tests. Busy, busy, busy. I have to check last year's journal to see when I should start the new seeds. I think it was March or April. I have two warming pads now, so I can get twice as much started.

A lady rabbi stopped by to see my gardens today. She wants to start a garden for her temple to create community among the temple members and students from the various schools, and she wants my help. That's right up my alley. Plant It Forward is moving forward--yeah!

I ate one of the avocados from my tree--Deelicious! I harvested about ten of them today. They are quite hard now, but will soften in a week to ten days. They are so good!

The peach tree is blossoming. It is so beautiful!

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's raining, it's pouring.....

Can't work in the garden today. However, my products arrived. The first one I am going to use is called Actinovate--more later!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A couple people said they were coming, but by 10 a.m., no one had arrived. I figured I was working solo. So much to do. You have to understand, gardening is an early morning, late afternoon kind of gig. Normally, artists arrived at 8:30 or 9 a.m. to begin work. However, artists did begin to arrive after 10--Juna, Gaia, Ivy and Ginger. I had already watered the plants that needed watering, done some weeding, harvested some vegetables, pulled up the stepping stones (actually circular blocks of tree trunks). So I got them started on harvesting the arugula, garlic, chard, radishes. Then we broke up the soil and added compost, after killing off the errant snail or cutworm. There were actually a lot of them. We got a lot of the ground cleared and soil amended with compost. I have some products coming in the mail which will continue the process of amending the soil before we begin the spring plantings.

We still have arugula, chard, garlic, carrots and spinach growing in the gardens. We will harvest them in the next week or two. I want the ground to lie fallow for a while before we begin planting again. Gosh, I wanted a break before the season began again, but I think I will only have a week or two before I begin planting seeds in small pots on warming pads, replanting seedlings into the garden, spraying for insects, foliar feeding. Yikes--it all begins again.