Happy Halloween everyone! If you're going to a party tonight, don't end up like this guy. Cleanup is rough.
Well, that's it. The last of the tomatoes have been picked. The Valentine grape tomato (front of bowl) was ridiculous. Easily 40lbs of tomatoes. The Indigo Kumquat (yellow, back of bowl) was a pleasant surprise as well. Long production time and beautiful fruit.
Last winter I decided to build a keyhole garden. Every few weeks I'd go out and take a photo of it so I could remember how it progressed through the growing season. I'll write in detail about how I came to build a keyhole garden and what I learned soon. In the meantime, here's a photo gallery of the garden from its beginning in March through the end of the summer growing season in October. [keep reading...]
A couple years ago I planted some luffas, which proceeded to sprawl out, climb into the trees and take over a large section of the west garden. Even though I removed every luffa I could find, some were still left stranded high in the trees. Each of the past two years those leftover luffas have dropped seeds into hidden spaces and grown more luffas. Here's a bathtub's worth of luffa gourds from this weekend's cleanup. Free seeds for anyone who [keep reading...]
Forgot to take photos of last week's addition. 6 ounces plus 1 cup water, 1/2tsp salt. Woops. Also, too much water let the peppers float on top and get a white mold. Woops again. Pay attention. Scraped off the fuzzy white mold and added 6 more ounces of fresh peppers. The peppers from week 1 are now dissolving in the mix. Added 1/2 cup water, 1/4 tsp salt. Used a weight and plastic lid to keep the peppers submerged in [keep reading...]
The past few days have been hotter than Hades, but the natives are thriving (except for yours truly, I'm not happy). This one is a variety of Autumn Sage (Salvia greggii) showing off how it got the name "lipstick." It's a little over five feet (1.5 meters) high and equally wide and spreads like crazy if you let it. I only planted one about 10 years ago, but it's managed to colonize areas of the south and west-facing slopes. Good [keep reading...]
We're just a week away from November and it's so hot even the plants in the pond are wilting. It's 96° and 13% humidity outdoors. In the greenhouse it's even worse. 111° and 1% humidity. Not that this is unusual. We usually get one last heatwave right around this time. But, dang. all those seedlings I planted are going to fry.
Just for giggles, last year I grew two winter squashes, Delicata and Spaghetti, next to one another, then took the seeds from a few of the fruit of both types of plants. This year I got a crazy speckled hybrid that tastes sweet like Delicata, but has the noodle-like consistency of Spaghetti. If this "Delighetti" squash stores as well as its parents do, I think I'll grow it again next year.
Many years ago a local grower friend of mine gave me a few "Mexican Sunflower" (Tithonia) seeds. Little did I know that this particular variety is also known as the "tree sunflower" and, unlike true sunflowers, is a perennial down here in zone 9. It blooms continuously from March to November and over the years has spread into alarge showy plant about 15-20 feet (5-6 meters) high and equally wide. Best part is it requires almost no maintenance. Each winter [keep reading...]
My mom had this rose in her garden for 20 years before she gave it to me. I planted it, and 26 years later, it still looks amazing and smells absolutely intoxicating.