Archive | April, 2012

Nature gave me a very tasty giant strawberry but also took away my only Tango mandarin

28 Apr

Growing these in a long wooden box. Pleasantly surprised to find this giant hiding.

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But unfortunately, the recent April showers must’ve knocked off my last Tango mandarin. These have been growing forever. I feel like it has taken at least six months to get the this size. Bummer I found him on the floor.
The other tiny mandarins also dropped off the tree recently.

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Super tall asparagus ferns.

26 Apr

These few spears so are growing so big and tall – they’re way over 6ft already. Lucky it is next to a fence so it doesn’t get in the way too much. Last year they were still pretty droopy ferns but as they’re getting thicker, they’re standing up more.

See how it is towering over my Fava beans!

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I planted one crown with my blackberries. All these spears are from one crown only. The only container has five crowns planted together. Starting think that may be a bit crowded…. Hope I get to harvest some next year before they strangle themselves inside the pot.

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April harvest. Fava beans (broad beans), wild arugala, turnips and carrots.

26 Apr

Wild arugula is out of control. There’s so much! The seeds are tiny and I tried to plant them in containers but the dirt much dry out too much for them to survive. So my container grown arugula have not done well besides the very first attempt two years ago. At some point, I had my container arugula growing by the flower beds and since it went to seed, those seeds have become really “wild” so now it grows within all my other intentionally planted veggies.

Carrots are container grown so are small and stubby. The turnips – I didn’t bother to thin them after sowing – instead, I’m just harvesting the bigger ones which allows the smaller ones to grow although sometimes when I pull up the bigger ones, the small ones are accidentally pulled too. It’d all good, I get a couple of orange sized turnips a week.

First time growing fava beans. I bought a six pack of seedlings. They’re growing quite well but I couldn’t work out when to pick them. They taste better raw than cooked as they turn a big mushy. The inner shells are tough when the beans are fully ripe. I harvested a variety of sizes so instead of trying to work out which ones needed shelling, I just cooked them all (and had to explain to my husband what was going on with our fibrous dinner!).

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Peaches galore! 2012 much more plentiful than 2011

26 Apr

I’m quite impressed and proud of these little trees – if you have been following at all, I bought these little $10 trees from Home depot in these tiny little 1/3 Gallon containers around winter 2010-2011 and last season I had half a dozen or so peaches from each tree. This year is doing much better and my trees are still alive! check out all my fuzzies! Hopefully they will get close to regular store bought peach size, I hope I removed enough baby fruit to allow these ones to flourish.

The Tropic Beauty is slightly ahead of the Tropic Prince peach maybe by a couple of weeks. The fruit are bigger. I believe I prefer the taste of the tropic prince though. Either way, one can’t help but get excited over these cute little babies.

I do have the same problem as last year though with the brown speckling on the leaves that will eventually make all my leaves drop. I believe it’s some kind of mold or fungus spore spread disease that Is hard to control once it has started and spraying when dormant is the best bet. I bought some horticultural spray oil which is supposed to help with disease but I bought the natural all season one instead of the dormant one. Next year I will try the dormant spray oil.
My trees survived last years disease so hopefully this year will be fine too. The trunks of these trees are much sturdier but still need extra support when carrying the weight of the peaches.

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Two lucky Globe Artichokes.

26 Apr

On my walk to class, I always check out the local gardens in the Clairemont neighborhood as the weather is slightly different there than coastal SD even though it’s only 5 miles from the coast. There are more canyons and cliffs here and there and on a hilly area between two detached houses, I saw some leafy plants which I recognize to be artichokes. I wonder if they were wild ones or ones that were planted by one of the adjacent house but I have heard of wild artichokes growing in So Cal.
Anyway, earlier this week, I noticed that flower buds were popping up on these “wild” chokes so when I got home, I checked on my little babies, i wasn’t expecting much as overall, my plants haven’t been that healthy. But lo and behold, here are my own homegrown little chokes peeping out!

I bought these artichoke plants in a tiny six pack probably last year some time and have had a lot of issues with the leaves dying on me. The plant will look really healthy but then yellow spots appear on the leaves and they eventually die.

So out of the six little plants, three are doing really well, and two have little artichoke flowers developing. Hopefully, after I harvest the center choke, other ones will start growing from the side.

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