Saturday, August 28, 2010

Starting to prepare for the fall

It's really hard to imagine, but the weather is such that I feel I should start planting fall and winter crops. We had a week of 90 degrees, but not it's down to cool and breezy again. The artist/gardeners came today. Pulled out the last of the bug infested kale. Can't keep those plants forever. We cultivated where the kale used to be, added compost, and planted parsnips and red kale. Then we planted a row of royal oak leaf lettuce (a real favorite this year).

Had two of the ladies for lunch, plus my visiting younger daughter. It was a delicious lunch- fresh garden salad )royal oak leaf lettuce, red onion, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with a sprinkling of parmesan. Delicious!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Didn't do too much in the garden today. It's soooo hot! Watered everything really well. Katherine came by and helped me harvest cherry tomatoes. Then we planted more carrots in garden #1. All the tomatoes are going crazy. They were just waiting for the heat. I have so many red tomatoes.

Tomorrow I am making boatloads of tomato sauce. Don't want to waste any tomatoes.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Yes, we are having the first Plant It Forward barbecue for the 2010 season. I am preparing London broil, Tuscan chicken, zucchini, large heirloom tomatoes with red onion and basil from the garden, a green salad with royal oak leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers--all from the garden. Mojitos made with mint from the garden. What else? I will have to add to this blog later.

Other guests brought rice dishes, dessert, fruit, cake and paella. The weather was perfect. Ofunne deejayed. The last guest left at 2:30 a.m. I went to bed at 3 a.m. A perfect party!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So, I'm reflecting a bit these days on the garden. Except for this year, every year the garden has been bigger and better. And by that I mean, it has physically grown, and due to my learning and experience, up until this year, my harvest has only been more bountiful. That doesn't mean there weren't failures (ie. potatoes last year, eggplant), but the weather has taken its toll. The cold mornings and evenings, the overcast mornings have produced a harvest that is less than bountiful. There are still enough vegetables to give to the artist/gardeners , but I had over 30 containers of tomato sauce last year. I don't think I will have any extra tomatoes. Let's see. If the weather gets hotter (as it has been for 3 days) I could get a few extra tomatoes, but not like last year. I think I need to start planting cool weather vegetables (turnips, broccoli, parsnips, lettuce) so that I can get some kind of harvest.

Just goes to show you--man is only so powerful. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, the universe slaps you in the face!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I've been waiting for the heat and it came yesterday. Today was 91 degrees Farenheit. Whew! I wanted the heat for the vegetables, but it's hot out there! Had quite a few gardeners today. Nathalie came for the first time. She harvested cherry tomatoes and cleaned up the area around the strawberries of pine needles and dead leaves. Then she watered well.

Gave the tomatoes a 2nd dose of calcium/magnesium. Harvested kale, lettuce, Roma tomatoes, one Beefsteak tomato, rosemary and radishes. Juna taught Nancy how to plant spinach. She did a great job. Marjan and Ginger planted arugula and Swiss chard. We watered and watered. The ground is very dry.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Lots of maintenance today! I tied up three different tomato plants where the branches needed support. Also found 3 more caterpillars who are now in caterpillar heaven. Artists came to work in the garden today. Katherine made wells around 3 or 4 tomato plants and filled them with much needed water. Maggie cleaned up dead leaves, added newspaper to the compost tumbler, tilled the soil around the vegetables in the raised bed and then watered those areas.

We harvested rosemary, oregano, lavender, spinach, royal oak leaf lettuce, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, Roma tomatoes and two beautiful beefsteak tomatoes. I have to take photos of the larger beefsteak tomato. The bottom side looks like a face. I am going to do a series of tomato "faces."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

PG 13

I may have to start posting signs. Maybe PG 13 isn't enough--R???

Meanwhile, I pruned the tomato plants. Several will be ready to pick in a few days. Foliar fed all the vegetables with Bill's Fertilizer, Spray N Grow and Coco Wet. While spraying I noticed way too many white fly among the eggplant (especially) and tomato plants. I captured 5 caterpillars, of varying sizes, one leaf hopper and 3 albino grasshoppers. I never saw a white grasshopper before.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another day in the garden!

I started working in the garden about 9:15 a.m. I went up on the hillside and pulled out all the dead and decaying squash plants. About 10 a.m. Juna arrived. Then Marissa. I had them both till the soil up on the hillside and add 1 cubic foot of topsoil plus the last of the compost and worm pile I had in the yard. The squash just got too infested with powdery mildew. I don't understand. I sprayed Actinovate on a regular basis, which was supposed to prevent powdery mildew. Maybe it was the overcast mornings. Who know??? After adding all the worms, soil and compost, Marissa watered everything well.

Added a bucket full of the worms and compost to the other two beds. Planted two more rows of vegetables next to the broccoli in the raised bed. One row of Mache and one row of Pak choi. Marjan arrived late. She pulled out all the yellow and/or dead kale leaves and watered the garden. Juna watered the rest of the garden.

We harvested radishes, green onions, mache, arugula, swiss chard, kale, cherry and Roma tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini and squash. Not a bad day. However, last year at this time, the harvest was much more abundant.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tied up some more tomato branches and cut off some dead ones. Harvested a lot of cherry tomatoes. Thank goodness for the cherry tomatoes. The other tomatoes are really taking their time turning red. Found 3 - 4 caterpillars who then went to caterpillar heaven!

Had to include a photo of my latest tomato. What a crazy looking thing!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I started gardening a little later this morning than usual. It was so overcast and cool, plus the fact that I was out late last night at a girlfriend's birthday party. I started by tying up the loose branches of the tomato plants, and what did I find? Lots of caterpillars. In one case I found three large ones all together on the same branch and leaf. I must have pulled off 7 caterpillars at least.

Planted a row of leafy greens next to the Royal Oak Leaf Lettuce. Also, planted 1/2 row of Daikon radishes and 1/2 row of red radishes where the first row of peas used to be. That row never came up. The 2nd one did and is about 1 foot tall now.

Katherine harvested a basketful of cherry tomatoes and cut off all t he dead leaves on the zucchini and squash plants. She harvested a beautiful zucchini and cucumber. I found a beautiful beefsteak tomato, all red, ready to eat. The 2nd of the season. I think all the tomatoes will start ripening now. I hope so. Last year at this time, I was flush with tomatoes. It's that cool weather.

Friday, August 6

Got my second order of lacewings in the mail this afternoon. I spread them around the tomato, bell pepper and eggplants. Hope they eat all the white flies and aphids.

Thursday I watered all the tomato plants and fed them with fish emulsion and a mixture of Cal/Mag. The lower leaves on the tomatoes were turning yellow (veins still green), which means they have a calcium/ magnesium deficiency. Hope this helps. Had the same problem last year, but I added the cal/mag too late.