Sunday, April 17, 2011

Thank You God, For Such a Wonderful Weekend.

No rain, so no grass to mow.   Cool temps, breezy, and sunny.   Could not ask for better weather.   The plants are thirsty, but irrigation will have to do.

I planted the Moonflowers on Paw Joe's Grate Arbor on Sunday.   Can't wait for the smell of their sweet blossoms in a month or two.  And speaking of sweet blossums, the Jasmine has been blooming for over a week now.  The scent fills the entire front yards and is as heavenly as any perfume. 

I got my seeds in from Kumar in India on Friday, and potted them today.  I love plants with a story, and these to have a story.  

Kumar's description was "dates of the 'Maktoum' variety (From the holy city of Medina). These are quite large, brown rather than black, with a crusty peel and a dry interior that requires a bit of chewing - not one of those melt-in-your-mouth candy varieties. The taste is very agreeable though and it does not become sticky inside the mouth." 

According to Kumar, the second seeds were from the "stalk of our solitary Caryota urens begins ripening - and that means an unending litter of fruit all day everywhere and plenty of curses and grumbles as the inevitable cleanup is ordered - not to mention a freeze in our relations with the neighbours."

Also, today, my new hens started laying.  Well apparently she started laying yesterday, but I found the egg this morning, and another this afternoon.  It is great to have the fresh yard egg train moving again. 

I also harvested the first Cucumbers or the vegetable garden today.   Got some tomatoes starting to get on, a couple nearing 3 inches across.  Probably more cucumbers and melons coming along, but the weeds are atrocious this year. 

The Mulberries are doing well in spite of the drought.  Certainly they would be bigger and juicier had we gotten some rain, but I did some supplemental irrigation to help a bit.     Our newest Mulberry on the east sid eof the driveway also fruited for the first time this year.  And its berries do seem a bit sweeter than out large tree, which was a cutting from Mr. Picard.

Most of the Citrus trees have flowered and are making fruit.  Again, the drought has had an impact on fruit retention, and again, I have used some supplemental irrigation to help.  It looks like we will have a respectable Citrus crop, and certainly more Limes than we can use.

Same comments as above, but with the Avocado.   Its flowered insanely this year.  Although most flowers dropped without fruiting, there is still tons of fruit left on the tree.  This year, for sure, it looks like we will have an Avocado crop.

Too early to tell on the Olive Tree.  It too has lots and lots of small fruit, and this tree should not be bothered at all by the lack of rain, as it comes from a Mediterannean climate.   Its challenge will come later as the summer rains arrive.   We'll see if this year, we might actually ripens some Olives.

Lots more to talk about this spring, but not all in one post.  Tomorrow will come another.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Garden is a Fight This Year, Lack of Rain, Carnage, and Disease

The last 2 rains weren't much, so I am again watering the garden.  I had to replace a couple of plants in the garden, and was amazed at how dry it was down in the soil.   And I was replacing the plants because while the last storm brought little rains, but it did bring very damaging winds.  Gusts were clocked over 50 mph, and over 80 mph in a nearby town.  Some of the Tomato plant were busted up pretty good.  I also seem to be fighting some kind of wilt here and there.  Have replaced multiple tomatoes so far.

I finally got around to pulling the stake on the L. decipiens palm on the west side of the drive.   And finally move the little L. saribus that has struggled so bad as well.  The new planting this year are manageable, but a little natural rain sure would be appreciated.

Other notes.  The Jasmine on the pole is ready to flower, but waiting for moisture, as is the rose on the old Pig Trailer.  They Yellow Lady Banks put on a nice show this year, but it was cut short by lack of moisture as well.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

God Gave Me Another Blessed Day

Started out the day by weeding the garden.  Hard on the back, but good immediate gratification work.   I spread out  another 20 or so bags of scavenged Oak Leaves, did some cleanup here and there, and got my last Oak planted out in the front.  I nicknamed him "Big Nut" after his large acorns.   Did a little watering, too, as things are getting dry again.  We didn't get a whole lot of rain the other night.   Hopefully we'll get a big rain storm soon. 

I put some Zinnia and Cosmos seeds in one of the propagators.  I also took out quite a few bags of old seeds too, but spread haphazardly in a cutting bed area.

Finished out the evening with family out at Cypremort Point and took a few great sunset photos over the bay.