Monday, November 21, 2011

Mon., Nov 21

After that great rain on Sunday, the vetch is coming up like crazy. Not too much more to do. Pulled out all the tomato plants. Should dig up the soil and plant vetch where the tomato plants used to be. The soil is too wet right now. In a day or two--before Thursday's rain. Still need to do the hillside.

The garlic also looks good. The kelp feeding helped.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday's blog for Wednesday, Nov 9

Can't believe I haven't written in so long. The garden is winding down. Wednesday I pulled out the last of the zucchini and beans from the hillside garden. Pulled out the stakes and trellis too. In the #1 garden I pulled out 4 cherry tomato plants, 2 eggplants and more bell pepper plants. I still have one beefsteak tomato plant with 5 green tomatoes. Also pulled out the last of the radishes. Tilled the soil and planted vetch, which I inoculated the night before. Harvested some spinach from the raised bed, tilled the soil and planted the rest of the vetch. Watered everything really well. Now all that's left are some basil plants, bell pepper and jalapeno plants and a few tomato plants. I think only the one plant has tomatoes. I just have to pull out the other ones. Should I save the roots for an art project? I've already saved 3 cherry tomato plants. Maybe I should try to save a couple of Beefsteak and Brandywine plants and roots to add to my root collection.

I still have lovely lettuce and some spinach. Thinking about planting some arugula.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Planted 26 cloves of garlic today near the potato bin. Hope I get better garlic than last year. Last year the garlic looked like green onions. I read that garlic needs phospherus. Maybe that's what they were missing. Also took soil from the hillside garden and covered the potato plants. I am not going to use the hillside garden next year. I hope to use up the soil in the rest of the garden and then take down the redwood sides.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Juna joined me in the garden today. Before she arrived I harvested some vegetables, pulled out 2 old kale plants, watered. It was 99 oF today. Hot, hot, hot!

When Juna arrived we sifted a wheelbarrow and 1/2 of compost and mixed it into the raised bed. Have to finish that soon. Must plant the garlic, more arugula and the vetch.

Harvest: Beefsteak and Brandywine tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bok choy, spinach, green onions, radishes, 2 watermelons (the last two), kale.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rain, rain, rain!

I was going to work on the compost pile today, sifting, adding compost to the gardens, but it's raining cats and dogs. Thank goodness I covered the pile with a tarp. It's already too wet, even though I have added lots of newspaper and cardboard. It will have to wait for another day!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gorgeous weather today!

Worked alone again today. Spread more of my compost from the compost pile into Garden #1 today. Hope I get some help this Wednesday. It's too hard for just one person. Anyway, then I added the equivalent of 2 newspapers to the compost bin to soak up some of the moisture and feed the worms. Pulled out some dead plants and watered.

Also fed my roses with rose food and 2 large house plants with fish fertilizer. Boy that stuff stinks!

Harvested cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, bok choy. I'm going to make bok choy for the first time today. I'll saute it with olive oil and chopped garlic and then add a dash of soy sauce for more flavor. Hope it's good.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Worked alone today. Pulled out all the broccoli after harvesting whatever I could. Not too much left, meanwhile the broccoli is full of caterpillars. I hardly had any caterpillars anywhere and now all of a sudden, they are everywhere--on the broccoli and the tomatoes.

Sifted some compost and mixed it in where the broccoli used to be. Shoveled dirt from the hillside garden into a wheelbarrow to add to the potato pile. The potatoes are looking good.

Sat, Sept 24

Two people came to the garden today-Katherine and Lily. They helped me with the compost pile, mixing in newspaper and ripped cardboard. Both girls helped me put a compost wall around the potatoes so we can start putting soild on top of them. I got more soil from the hillside garden. We watered, weeded, pruned the tomatoes, and harvested tomatoes, peppers, arugula and lettuce.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Worked alone today. Pulled out some zucchini plants and pruned the powdery mildewed leaves. Harvested 7 pumpkins! Imagine that! And I didn't even plant them. Some seeds must have come in with my organic soil order. Pruned the dead tomato leaves and tied up some vines that fell over.

The vetch arrived so I plan to mix in all the compost in the next couple of weeks and plant the vetch wherever I can. Also have to get in the winter crops. I hope to plant onions, garlic, kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, arugula, lettuce, carrots, beets, turnips and parsnips. Maybe kohlrabi. I don't even know what to do with it, but I guess I can find out. It's supposed to grow well in the fall and winter.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I worked alone yesterday. Mostly pruning the dead leaves on the tomato plants. It took so long for the tomatoes to ripen and it seems now that they are all ripening at the same time. Yikes! What to do with all those tomatoes. I have given some away, made some tomato sauce. I am eating tomatoes twice a day-cherry tomatoes with salad for lunch and heirloom tomatoes with basil for dinner. Guess I have to make more tomato sauce. I will be happy this winter and spring when I have a freezer full of tomato sauce. Also must make some pesto.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes!

Finally, the tomatoes are getting ripe--the cherry, the Beefsteak and the Brandywine. The peppers are getting ripe also. Still waiting on the bell peppers, but we have banana peppers and small hot red chile peppers.

It was so hot today. Didn't do too much. I watered everything before Juna came. Together she and I covered the new potato plants. They are doing well.

Then we just harvested tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, arugula, green onions, chard and basil. An easier day, but a good one!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Worked alone today. Pruned the tomato plants. Harvested lots of carrots, cherry tomatoes and some beefsteak tomatoes. Starting to think about fall, cover crops, making the garden smaller--maybe just 2 gardens instead of 5.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sept. 1--can't believe it. Strange season this year. All the tomatoes are starting to ripen at the same time. The bell peppers are there, but very small. The hot peppers are starting to turn red. The cauliflower never came, although the plants looked very healthy. I pulled all the cauliflower out today. Taking up too many nutrients from the soil and not giving back. The watermelon vine keeps growing. The first watermelon was very disappointing--pink, sweet, but not very red, as one expects.

Bought more citrus/avocado food and fed the 2 avocado trees. Sprayed the lemon tree with bioinsecticide. It had scale. Also sprayed the plum tree which is nearby.

Sprayed the 2 rose bushes for powdery mildew. Must spray the rest of the vegetables soon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Much nicer weather to work in the garden, although I am sure the vegetables like it good and hot. I fed all the fruit trees except the 2 avocado trees. Ran out of avocado/citrus food. Will buy some tomorrow.

The tomatoes are starting to ripen-cherry and heirloom. Added compost from my compost pile to each of the tomato and pepper plants. The compost is so rich. I think all the plants needed it. I will add compost each time gardeners come to help. The pile is so big now and there is lots of compost to be had.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's Hot Today!

So hot I almost don't want to work in the garden. I started with the tomato plants, adding compost and cultivating the soil. Didn't get too far along when Yuh-Shioh arrived. It was too hot to work on the tomatoes any more, time to move to the shade. We worked on the strawberry patch, removing pine needles and lots of loose leaves that had fallen after the bushes were trimmed. Cultivated the soil and watered well.

I need to spray castor oil for gophers in Garden #1. There are 2 holes that I am sure are gopher holes near the tomato plants. Also have to spray for powdery mildew. Whew! Lots to do!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lots of cleaning up today. Harvested the last of the turnips. cut off lots of new suckers on the watermelon and pumpkin plants. I want the fruit that is there to get really big. Cut off lots of dead leaves on the broccoli, arugula, cauliflower and tomato plants. Tied up more of the tomato branches. Watered deeply.

Juna planted seeds where plants did not come up. Peas, kale, Swiss chard and bok choy. Hope the new seeds do their thing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Juna came to garden today. I gardened alone last Saturday. I planted 1/2 row of mustard greens and 1/2 row of Swiss chard. The Swiss chard and kale we planted a while ago didn't do very much. I think I have 5 plants out of 2 rows of seeding. I changed the soaker hose in that area last week. Maybe that was the problem - not enough water.

Juna made large wells around the tomato plants. We watered first and then added fish emulsion to the second watering. I have to remember to foliar feed the plants tomorrow (not the tomatoes). I tied up more of the tomato plants. The cherry tomato plants are going wild.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The summer is picking up, so to speak. We had 4 gardeners again today.

Meanwhile, just a note: sprayed organic fungicide on the 2 rose bushes near the garden and organic insecticide on the 2 bougainvilla and trumpet plant. Also spread snail repellent pellets around the lettuce and other vegetables in garden #1 and the raised bed.

We harvested all the arugula on the patio border of garden #1 and planted more arugula. There is still a row of arugula ready to be harvested. Then we harvested the last of the Daikon radishes and planted a 3' x 4' section with potatoes. I am going to use the compost bin around this section of potatoes when we start to bury the leaves and branches. I tied up and pruned more tomato plants. Discovered that the 3 extra plants that popped up in the garden are cherry tomato plants. I would have preferred another kind since I already have a cherry tomato plant, but oh well.

Then, since all the peas were harvested, I decided we should plant more peas, so we seeded two rows where the original peas were growing.

Juna mixed in 2 bags of decomposed leaves into the compost pile. Should be ready to sift and use in about 2 weeks.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

There were 4 people working in the garden today. Hurray! It's nice to have a larger group some times. Romaine & Lu tilled the earth around the tomatoes and bell peppers in Gardent # 1 and then tilled the soil around the squash and zucchini on the hilltop. Alitash planted radishes in Garden "1, weeded and cut back dead leaves. I planted red onions and watered.

Lots of food to share. 1st time this year for broccoli, squash blossoms and beets.

Almost forgot, about 5:30 p.m. I sprayed all the vegetables with BioInsecticide. Didn't have enough for the fruit trees, though. Tomorrow I should spray some of the other plants for fungicide. The roses and zucchini and squash leaves are showing signs of powedery mildew. Gosh darnit, no matter what I do, I get powdery mildew. Probably the cool, overcast mornings this spring and summer aren't helping matters any.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


What a beautiful day! 3 people came to play in the garden today-Flora, Yuh-Shioh and Juna. Before they arrived I tied up more of the tomato plants. We dug up the earth around the tomatoes and peppers and watered. Pulled up the bolted mustard greens and bok choy. Planted new kale and Swiss chard. Did some weeding too.

Harvested bok choy, arugula, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, squash, mint, basil, oregano and rosemary. Am I forgetting anything? Oh yes, the Daikon radishes.

Must buy more organic seed: radishes, kale and Swiss chard.

Must spray for bugs and fungus. Thursday or Friday.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Worked alone today.

I worked alone today and I must say, as much as I love gardening with the other artists, I don't mind a day or two by myself in the garden. It's so peaceful and meditative.

I planted cilantro, Italian parsley and thyme in the herb garden. Then I tied up more of the tomato plants and thinned out the arugula. I also had an amazingly delicious arugula salad for lunch. Want to know the recipe:

Arugula (torn into bite size pieces), dried cranberries, pine nuts, shaved parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. That's it. You could also substitute strawberries for cranberries.


Foliar fed all the vegetables this evening. The garden is finally getting back to some sort of controllable shape. It looked like a jungle out there.

Must remember to foliar feed in 2 weeks. Lots of green tomatoes. Can't wait for them to turn red!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Out of town for 2 weeks

When I came back, everything was so big and wild looking. Many of the vegetables had bolted. No, that doesn't mean they ran away. It means they started to flower and then to make seed. It also means the vegetables better be harvested soon or they won't be any good. What bolted? Mustard greens, arugula, Daikon radishes, red radishes, spinach and bok choy.

Worked the last 2 days in trying to get the garden back in shape. Pruning the tomatoes and tying them up to the supports, feeding them Tomatoes Alive. I also pulled out the bolted spinach, and cut off the flowers on the mustard greens and arugula.

Juna came today and helped me plant more radishes, spinach, lettuce, bok choy, carrots. We took compost from the compost pile, after sifting it to remove large uncomposted pieces, and added this compost to the newly seeded areas. Then we watered well.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wednesday gardening was very meditative. I worked alone, pulling out the center stakes on the tomatoes, now that they are surrounded by a triangle shaped support made of redwood. I also enlarged the wells around the tomatoes and filled them twice with water. It's been hot the past few days (85, 88, 87) and the tomatoes just drink up the water.

I also watered everything else in the garden, weeded, etc. Tuesday, I foliar fed all the vegetables and herbs with Spray N Gro and Bill's Fertlizer. More later.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A hot Saturday in July! But a great harvest!

It was a hot one, but we got a lot done. First off Ken, a new gardener, put up all the stakes and supports for the tomato plants. They are not quite big enough to need them yet, but they soon will be. Michiko and Alitash helped water, seed, weed and harvest. Lots of greens today: kale, bok choy, spinach, red radishes, white Daikon radishes, arugula, mint, oregano. Can't wait for the peppers and tomatoes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Can't believe I haven't posted since the 18th. The garden is looking great! Today I put in the big stakes by the tomato plants. They are all about 2 feet tall except for the cherry tomato plant which is about 3 1/2 feet tall. Two gardeners came today-Barbara and Romaine. They cultivated the soil around the tomatoes and peppers and created wells around each. The we filled the wells with water. The tomatoes are beginning to flower and need lots and lots of water. Oh my water bill. Prices go up the middle of the month.

Only one leek came up so I dug up the soil and planted more leek seeds. We harvested kale, bok choy, Swiss chard, arugula, red radishes, Daikon radishes, peas, rosemary and oregano. All in all, not a bad day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I worked alone today, but got a lot done. First I fed the 2 avocado trees. They're so tall they each needed 14 cups of the fertilizer. Then I mixed up some fish emulsion with water and fed the plum tree (which I recently sprayed with copper to fight off peach curl) and the fig and nectarine trees. I planted more lettuce along the border of Garden #1 and filled in between the spinach plants. You need a lot of spinach if you are going to steam or saute it. It shrivels down to nothing. I also planted more French marigolds in the corner of Garden #1. None of the ones I planted several weeks ago came up.

The zucchini and squash are looking fabulous. I will spray with organic fungicide this week to keep away powdery mildew and any other problems. I also spread some Escar-go around the raspberry bush, the new little sunflowers coming up and around the other plants I didn't get to the other day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The first harvest of spring!

Don't these radishes look great! They taste great too. My first harvest of the spring. Soon there will be bok choy, kale and Swiss Chard. Can't wait.

Fed the lemon, orange and Cara Cara tree today. I need to buy some more of that fertilizer for the 2 avocado trees. Sooner rather than later.

Tues., June 14

Having problems with peach leaf curl. Finally got over to the nursery and bought some copper foliar spray. I sprayed the plum tree and the Cara cara tree. I also pulled off all the affected leaves that I could reach. Both trees are pretty tall and I couldn't get to the very top leaves.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

I worked alone in the garden today. My daughter is in town and I didn't want to have to supervise or work consistently if I wanted to spend time with her this morning. As it turned out, she left at 10 a.m. So, I added Dolomite Lime to the strawberries. Mixed it in really well and watered well. I am determined to have lots of sweet strawberries this year.

Then I replanted the onions. They were planted several weeks ago, but only about five spindly little shoots came up. Either the seeds were bad, they were planted too deeply or I didn't water carefully enough. At any rate, I reseeded with scallions and red onions. Let's see what happens. Then I planted peas where the peas did not come up. It may be a cool summer, so I might as well plant some cool weather crops.

Put in another row of carrots in Garden #1. Meanwhile, the radishes, kale and Swiss chard are looking good. I should probably plant some more Swiss chard and kale tomorrow before the rains come. Oh, and some more bok choy.

It's almost time to feed (fertilize) the vegetables again. One day next week.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We were 4 people today working in the garden. Yeah! First we picked up all the pine needles covering the soil. There was a big wind storm on Monday. Built wells around the squash, zucchini and tomatoes. Then we weeded and I thinned out the bok choy, Swiss chard and some of the other leafy vegetables.

Planted herbs in the herb garden: chamomile, thyme, sunflowers, basil. I also planted more arugula. Then we watered everything. Not too much to share from the garden, so I went over to my neighbors and picked some of her lemons--with her permission of course!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A gardener friend from last year came back to the garden. Welcome back Maggie. It was so nice to see you. Maggie and I finished amending the soil in the herb garden. Next Wednesday I will plant the rest of the herbs.

Before she arrived, I transplanted eggplant and 3 watermelon seedlings. I hope they all take. The eggplant looks rather fragile.

I also planted some more radishes in the corner of the raised bed. And then watered, watered, watered.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

God bless you Juna!

My dear friend Juna is such a dedicated gardener. Here she is again to help me garden. Rodney is up at his ranch and gone for the summer, so I must look to Juna as my rock.

Before she arrived, I transplanted the butter squash I had started in small pots into the hillside garden. I also transplanted two bean plants started in the peat pellets. I put mycorrhizae in the soil around the beans. It's supposed to help them be healthier plants.

Then we planted a long, long row of carrots and a row of cabbage. It's my first time planting cabbage. Let's see what happens.

Also, transplanted a fennel plant in the herb garden. Only one more section of soil to amend. I hope to plant camomile and other herbs in the last area of the herb garden.


I didn't have too much time to work in the garden this morning. Yoga called. However, I transplanted two banana pepper plants in garden # 1, along with a basil plant and watered where ever I had seeded. I am determined to have my seeds sprout--the celery, the carrots, the lettuce, etc.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What a beautiful morning!

Rodney emptied the big compost tumbler. We have decided to make compost in an open pile. Seems to work better for me. So many worms in the tumbler. Both Rodney and I scooped up a bunch and put them in Garden #1.

I transplanted a banana pepper plant in the area with the other peppers. Then I planted a row of celery. I decided I wanted to plant the leeks today, so I scooped out an area in a corner of the raised bed and planted 15 - 20 leek seeds. The scooped out dirt will be used to mound the leeks as they grow. (If you want white leeks, you have to cover them with soil, so the sun doesn't get to them. Otherwise, they will turn green like the tops of the plants.

Then I planted a long row of parsnips and one of turnips. Some where in the middle of the row, Alitash arrived. She helped me finish the planting of the turnips and parsnips. Then she watered everything really well.

She and I amended the soil in one area of the herb garden--pulled out rocks and stones, added compost and top soil. Then we transplanted a cilantro plant and a basil plant. And watered well of course.

This year I am using HB101 when I seed or transplant. Let's see how well it works.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Couldn't garden on Wednesday because the earth was too water-saturated. Yes, we had two days of rain in May and the ground was really soaked. However, today is Thursday, the sun is shining--time to plant some more seeds and seedlings.

Rodney helped me today. He transplanted a banana pepper, Mucho Nacho jalapeno and Pepper de Arbol chili pepper. The last one is a perennial and produces the hottest peppers of the three. That means it will hang around for next year and the year after if I take good care of it. I bought another banana pepper plant later today to plant tomorrow. Apparently they are great for roasting, better than the bell peppers, which I've got to tell you, are great!

Transplanted a row of broccoli seedlings, and t hen I planted a row of broccoli seeds, cauliflower, Royal Oak lettuce and arugula seeds. We used HB101 instead of Super Thrive today. HB101 is a growth enhancer. Let's see what it does??

Monday, May 16, 2011

I didn't have too much time to work in the garden today, but I did plant a couple of bean seedlings in peat pellets. Then I planted a row of corn in between the 15 or so bean plants growing up there on the hillside.

Tomorrow I hope to plant a lot more if it doesn't rain. I hope the rain waits until Wednesday or Thursday--that would be perfect!


I worked alone today, but I got a lot done. First I created a brick wall around one edge of the strawberry patch and fed the strawberries and raspberries. Also added some of the same fertilizer to the azaleas. It seems that they are all acid-loving plants so you can feed them the same fertilizer.

I also broke up the soil in Garden #1 to prepare it for planting. So far I have tomatoes, bell peppers and radishes planted in that garden, but most of the garden is still vacant. Get planting girl.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm exhausted!

Got up at 6:45 a.m. so I could get an early start on the garden. The air is cool today, but the sun is hot. I think I overdid it. I feel like I have heat stroke or something. Anyway, first off, Rodney opened the corner compost bin and got rid of the bin. Now the compost is in the corner of the property, with rocks around one side of it--easier to turn, better aeration.

I planted a row of mustard greens in the raised bed. We put up another fence for the peas and I planted another row of Burpee peas this time. I also planted two rows of carrots in the raised bed. Rodney planted an area of Daikon radishes.

Michiko and Juna came today. They extended two rows of kale and Swiss chard. The original rows were planted with the peat pellets. The extension involved planting seeds. They also planted more bok choi. Then they filled 4 small containers and planted 4 seeds in each of cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe and butternut squash. While they did that, I resoaked some peat pellets which failed to germinate and planted them with more beans. Then I took 3 peat pellets with emerging beans and planted them up on the hillside.

Then we pruned Juna's Fiji apple tree. Finally, Juna and Michiko worked on removing the rocks and pebbles from the herb garden. Over the last few weeks my gardener has been transplanting the irises growing there to the north curbside of the house. Now I have all this space for herbs. However, the soil has to be amended first. Have to buy compost and more soil. Meanwhile, we are removing the rocks and pebbles and any errant roots.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rush, rush, rush, plant, plant, plant!

I'm feeling that there just aren't enough hours in the morning. I got up at 6 a.m. this morning so I could have my breakfast and get some planting done. Rodney helped. He planted the peat pellets of bok choi and beans. The bok choi is in the raised bed. I helped get the bean plants planted in the hillside. Then he planted two rows of beets in the raised bed and a triangle of red radishes in garden #1.

Working in the raised bed, I planted spinach, lettuce and mache. We watered with Super Thrive and use fish emulsion on the seedlings. I am hoping to get a lot of planting done tomorrow. I have already arranged all the seed packets and am thinking about where everything should go. Hope I get a few gardeners to help tomorrow. Otherwise, I'm on my own!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The time is just getting away from me. You can only really plant in the morning, and I hate to get up so early. Anyway, I planted two long rows of corn on the hillside. It was very necessary. Especially since my beans in the peat pellets are ready to be transplanted into the soil. I'm just going to have to push a little, or a lot, and get the planting done.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I transplanted the yellow and red bell pepper seedlings I started a couple of weeks ago. I have more yellow than red. The red did not come up as well. Not to mention the purple bell peppers and the jalapenos that haven't germinated at all. What's up with that? I will have to try again.

I also started setting up the last of the soaker hoses. Up on the hill, the highest area, the soaker hoses were removed to make room for all the new soil. I have to reconnect the hoses. I am also setting up a fourth line. Where are all the hoses? I think we used the old hoses in the lower gardens. I hope I have enough to finish the hillside.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hot, hot hot today!

Whew! It was hot today! I think close to 90 degrees. I transplanted my Beefsteak, Brandywine and Cherry tomatoes into Garden # 1. I have 7 tomato plants. Should be lots of tomatoes this year. Then I found another squash or zucchini in Garden #1. Must have been some seeds in the new compost mix I just got. I moved it over to the hillside.

When Ginger, Michiko and Juna arrived we really got to work. Michiko and Ginger planted all varieties of onions around the perimeter of the raised bed on the south side. We now have Walla Walla onions, White Lisbon green onions, red onions and yellow granex onions.

We also transplanted the Swiss Chard seedlings in the peat pellets. Then Juna and I set up the fence support for the snap peas. First we planted the peas in peat pellets, then I finished off the row with seeds. I probably should plant another row of peas.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday and I'm working!

I don't often work in the garden on Sundays, but some things needed to be done. I transplanted the new zucchini and squash seedlings in the hillside garden. Some seeds were already directly put in the soil up there and some have sprouted. Therefore, I just transplanted where the seedlings hadn't taken. I also planted 3 more squash in lower gardens. Hope I get a lot of squash and zucchini this year.

I realized in looking through my seed box that there were a lot more vegetables to be started. So I planted 4 containers of eggplant (4 seeds in the 4 corners of each box) and 4 containers of broccoli with 4 seeds in each.

This week: transplant the tomato seedlings. Plant cauliflower, lettuce, mache, more peas, arugula, radishes and start thinking about more herbs. I already have chamomile and thyme seeds.

Plant, plant, plant!
It's Saturday! Rodney and I decided we better finish putting in the soaker drip system. We only had a loop around the 1st Garden. We started laying down the lines and finished Garden #1 in no time at all. Some new gardeners stopped by today--Juliana and Carl. Carl helped Rodney finish the soaker system in the raised bed while Juliana and I planted bokchoy and beans in the peat pellets I purchased.

All the little seedlings are starting to come up. I am going to be really busy the next couple of weeks, seeding, transplanting, watering, feeding etc. Still have to reconnect the soaker hose up on the hillside garden. Only the uppermost garden needs tending to. The other hillside gardens still have the soaker hoses hooked up.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I harvested the last of the potatoes in the raised bed. However, I think there are probably a few more deeper down. I will have to dig early tomorrow. It's too hot in the afternoons to work in the garden.

So many of the little seedlilngs are coming up: zucchini, cherry tomatoes, Brandywine tomatoes, squash, Swiss chard and kale. I want to plant more today and tomorrow: basil, more peppers. The corn and beans will be planted directly in the garden, as will the lettuce, spinach, arugula. Get busy Linda. Lots to do.

This Saturday I hope to get in more of the drip system. Rodney said he will help. Hopefully I will get a few gardeners, too. It's finally getting warm so I've got to hustle.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Worked by myself in the garden today. It was really wonderful--very meditative. I started out by watering the strawberries. I am going to have strawberries this year if it kills me. Then, I added a bag of leaves from the big tree that I have been keeping in the garage. I think I have 5-6 more bags. I cultivated the hillside where we planted the zucchini and squash.

Then, I decided to water the hillside--disaster! More later. I have company coming for dinner!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So yesterday afternoon I received 10 million beneficial Nematodes in the mail. I received 5 million a few days ago. Oh well, a little mixup I guess. Anyway, that meant I had to wet the ground, spray the Nematodes and wet the ground all over again. And use the backpack sprayer again, of course. Can't waste the Nematodes. Hope they help this year.

Got up early again to start the gardening. Rodney and I set up one long line of soaker hose around the perimeter of Garden #1. I have to get more T connectors so I can set up the individual lines or rows for the vegetables. Then Rodney pruned one of the avocado trees, which was in dire need of pruning. Rodney pulled open one of the compost piles and washed the container. That corner is now an open compost pile.

Juna and I planted seeds in peat moss pockets which you first soak in water and then just plant a seed. When the seedlings are ready for transplanting, you just drop the whole thing into a hole and push the dirt around it. No messing with the roots. We planted kale, Swiss chard, peas and beans.

Oh, and great news. Three little seedlings are already up in the small cups I planted last week-- one Cherry tomato and two Beefsteak.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Got up at 7 a.m. this morning to spray beneficial nematodes on all the gardening areas. Why? Because last year a lot of the roots for the tomatoes, bell peppers and other vegetables had these bulbous growths on them--bad nematodes, which eat away at the nutrition, quantity and quality of the vegetables in question. The beneficial nematodes eat the bad ones.

First you have to wet all the areas (5 gardens, plus the fruit trees in front), then mix the nematodes in water and put into a backpack sprayer, then spray, then wet the areas again so the nematodes enter the soil easily. That took me until 9:15 a.m. A good mornings work!

The garden is empty now, but ready for all the transplants I am starting.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gettin' down & dirty and a barbecue

Rodney showed up at 8 a.m. as did Rene and Bernard. Pulled all the vegetables out of the garden except for the potatoes in one corner and the mint in another. Moved the 7 cubic yards of soil into all the beds after loosening the soil already there. We worked really hard. Romaine, Lu and Juna showed up a little later and helped us finish up.

In addition Romaine and Lu planted zucchini and squash all along the hillside garden. 9 mounds, 3 seeds in each. It was their first time planting squash and zucchini. They had a good time.

Then we had a barbecue-hot dogs, cole slaw, potatoe chips, fresh cut vegetables, brownies, lemonade, Coke, wine and beer. Romaine brought veggie burgers and made a wonderful dessert right here in my kitchen-strawberries stuffed with cream cheese whipped with a little vanilla and powdered sugar. Then topped with crushed graham crackers. Yummy! I am going to put the recipe in my cookbook.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

End of Winter, Beginning of Spring

Even though it's officially been spring for a while, the garden has been in winter mode. Today, Rodney pulled out all the soaker hoses in Garden # 1 and the Raised Bed. Then we harvested most of the vegetables still in the garden, in preparation for the 7 cubic yards of soil arriving Friday, midday. Rodney, Juna and Michiko helped me harvest green onions, kale, carrots, lettuce, spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, parsnips and the last of the peas. We also shared rosemary and oregano. There are still a few vegetables left in t he garden. I will pull all except maybe the potatoes out on Saturday morning and divide the last of the harvest among the workers.

It's also time to start the seeds in small containers. I planted Brandywine tomatoes, Beefsteak tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red, purple and yellow bell peppers, jalapenos, zucchini and yellow squash in a mixture of potting soil and pure mycorrhizal inoculant. Then I watered well with water mixed with Super Thrive and Actinovate. Put the whole tray of containers on the heating pad in the south corner of the house. I will turn on the heating pad tonight, which will keep the veggies 5 - 10 degrees warmer tonight. Most of the vegetables will germinate in 7 - 10 days.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wednesday, April 6

Juna and I got a lot done today. We harvested 10 lbs of potatoes--Yukon gold, fingerling, mmm good. I will have potatoes baked with fresh rosemary, sage, salt, pepper and olive oil. Can't wait.

We pulled down t he walls for the potatoes. One area in the raised bed is still standing. I will leave it. Added soil to the strawberries on the hillside. Harvested green onions, chives, kale, Batabian endive, arugula and Royal Oak leaf lettuce.

The soil is ordered. Just getting ready.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lots to do tomorrow. I have just ordered 7 cubic yards of soil to be delivered next week. Have to harvest what I can, move the tomato support, decide what I can replant, think about the soaker hoses.

Then, I should start some of the plants in the small containers on the heating pad in the south corner of the house. It's time!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Time to start getting ready for the summer garden.

Tuesday: Order soil for garden. Order more rather than less. It costs $200 to send to me. I'm thinking 10 cubic yards. That's a lot, but I'll end up using it throughout the year. Must buy 100 or 50 gallon barrels to store some of the extra, unless I want a pile of dirt in my back yard.

Order 1/2 and 1/2.

Start tomatoes and bell peppers in small containers. Zucchini and the other vine vegetables and fruits. Better check the seed packets and find out how soon they can be transferred to the garden.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back home!

I was out of town for 3 weeks so not too much was going on in the garden. Juna helped care for the garden in my absence--watering, weeding, adding soil, harvesting.

Had a good day today. Rodney fed all the fruit trees in front with Fish Emulsion and iron. Then he pruned one of the overgrown lavender plants. Still need to prune the other lavender and two rosemary plants. He also pulled out two bougainvillea plants on the hillside. I am going to use that area for fruit trees. I will probably transplant the plum and lemon trees on the south side of the house.

Two new gardeners today--Dasha and Rubie. They helped Juna clean up the whole hillside of pine needles, pine cones, roots, etc. Then we worked on the main two gardens. I pulled up all the stakes and thread marking the rows. Pulled out all the radishes and broccoli that never quite matured. Harvested spinach, Batavian endive, Royal Oak leaf lettuce, peas, green onions, kale, mint and rosemary.

It was a warm and wonderful day! Will start planting the seeds for the garden in the next few days.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Saturday. Wasn't planning on working in the garden, but Rodney came over to work, so we worked. Used up the last 4 bags of topsoil, covering the potatoes and adding soil to the wisteria and raspberry. boy, those bags of soil go fast. Looking forward to ordering those 4 - 6 cubic yards of soil in April. I bet they get used up a lot faster than I'm imagining. And that's A LOT OF SOIL!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Worked in the garden today, but there wasn't too much to do. It was a beautiful day, sunny and close to 80 degrees. Gotta love that Southern California weather. Rodney poured a 2 sq ft bag of topsoil on the potatoes. I will have to buy 6 - 10 more bags tomorrow. Probably 10. Have to cover those potatoes. Spread one bag of topsoil among the four wisteria plants. I think I am going to have quite a few blossoms this year.

It's supposed to rain Sunday night or Monday. Haven't turned the automatic sprinklers back on yet.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It wasn't sunny today, but it was a great day for gardening. I started out by adding soil around a potato plant whose potatoes were appearing on the vines above the earth. Then I cut out a large portion of mint that has been crawling from its corner in the raised bed, in an attempt to take over that part of the garden. Mint is wonderful, but very much like a weed in that it's insidious, and creeps all over with its vines and roots. I want to keep it in the corner.

Juna came today and so did two new gardeners I met through Home Grown Culver City: Barbara and Romaine. How appropriate for Romaine to be gardening.

We turned the soil in all the gardens and around the trees where the vetch was pulled up and dug in from last week. Then we watered all the areas well. I dug up the earth around the strawberries on the hill. The ground is still very clay like. It's supposed to rain tonight. That will be good for helping the vetch to further decompose.

We added soil around the three areas containing potatoes, and added another bag to the area I had already worked on. We are going to have a heck of a lot of potatoes this year.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What a great day!

We were just three people working in the garden today, but boy did we get a lot done. Last November/December I planted vetch on the hillside and used the extra seed in garden #1. Vetch is a combination of nitrogen producing plants. You let them grow until they start to flower. Then you pull them all up, cut them into smaller pieces with a shovel and mix them into the earth. We were able to finish all the gardens. Whew! I'm so glad that's done before the rains come Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No work in the garden today. It rained quite heavily this morning. Not too much to do anyway. Have to start thinking about spring and what I want to plant. Trying to order some organic soil from Peach Hill Soils. They are supposed to have great organic soil, according to John Lyons (creator of Woven Gardens), but I am having trouble placing the order. More later.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What a great day for gardening--sunny, not too hot, not too cold. Juna and our new artist gardener, Michiko, came to garden. Michiko helped me cultivate the soil around the strawberries on the hillside. Then we created little mounds around each one and a well (for watering) around that. Fed the strawberries with Fish Emulsion. I pruned the raspberry plant and fed it Fish Emulsion, too. Added more boards around the potatoes so we can begin to mound soil around the plants. I have ordered 4 cubic yards of organic soil mixed with Compost for next week to add to the garden and to mound on the potatoes.

Juna & Michiko cultivated the soil and added compost to 2 rows of vegetables: spinach and carrots. Then we went to my neighbor's house, Carolee, to pick lemons and limes. She doesn't really use that many and my artist gardeners were so happy to get them, as was I.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Peach tree pruning

I was so afraid to prune the peach tree. Some of the branches grew so much that they are way out of control. I read two articles on fruit tree pruning and watched a couple of videos on YouTube on how to prune peach trees and went to work. Not bad for my first try.

Photos to follow.

Friday, Saturday

Between these two days I fed all the fruit trees, including the new nectarine, with fish emulsion, mixed with water. I pruned the orange tree (the new one).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Finally back from India!

I have been gone the whole month of January. Went to India with friends. Juna had graciously agreed to take care of the gardens on Wednesdays, her normal day to garden. She watered, weeded, added top soil to the potatoes, added Super Thrive to the watering can once or twice.

Update on the garden: The vetch on the hillside, around the peach and orange tree, in garden #1 is thriving. Just waiting for it to begin to show signs of flowering and then I will have my crew of gardeners help me turn the soil and mix in the cut up vetch. I cultivated vetch to add more nitrogen to the soil and also to help with the texture. Hopefully, the vetch will add whatever is necessary to make the soil up top less claylike.

Also ran string for the two areas where the peas are growing. They are small now and need a little support. Don't we all?

Still harvesting Swiss Chard, lettuce, some radishes and kale. The carrots are showing their frilly tops. May take a few more weeks before we get carrots. The potatoes are finally showing signs of growth. Rodney and I set up the wall around the potatoes in two areas so we can continue to pour earth around the potato plants.

Rodney sprayed all the fruit trees, the bougainvilla and the trumet plant with Neem oil. Thank goodness. I hate carrying that 5 gallon tank on my back. So heavy. Anyway, normally I would use dormancy oil on the fruit trees, but some of them are already flowering. The trumpet plant is infested again with red spider mite. Have to get rid of it before the spring and summer plantings. It will infest all my other vegetables otherwise.