Sweaty Sunday May 30 2010

Phew, I worked in my garden until it got dark today. My last post on how much is undone in the garden embarrassed me enough that I toiled from sunup to sundown today. Got a LOT done, including resting in front of the telly during the heat of the afternoon. It got up into the low 80s out there today.

First of all, I planted my new Haas avocado tree. Although it didn’t take very long, I consider that my major accomplishment of the day given how long the tree is likely to last. I have great hopes for this little dear as it has already set seven avocados. That’s two more than my mature Littlecado, which has five on it this year. I’m hoping that Littlecado, which isn’t supposed to need another tree for pollination, will enjoy having the Haas nearby and will set more fruit in the future. So far it has been a pathetic producer.

After that, I raked up fallen leaves from the Littlecado avocado and composted them. Trimmed the ferns and composted them too. Watered both compost bins. It’s time to take some compost out of the bottom trap door, but I didn’t get around to that today.

I fertilized all of the fruit trees in the back yard except the avocados, which don’t need it. Hmmm. Well, that’s not exactly right. I always plant with E.B. Stone Organic Sure Start fertilizer because it contains beneficial soil microbes and nutrients to get the plants off to a healthy start. So the Haas avocado tree got Sure Start to get it going. Then I watered all of my trees and the flower border. I admired my dwarf Granny Smith apple in particular. It has nearly 3 dozen apples on it this year. Don’t know if they’ll all make it to harvest time in September or not, but so far they look good. The Fuji seems to have set only one apple and the Gala none. Nothing from the Red Flame grapes either. I’m hoping for both grapes and Gala apples next year as it will be their third year in the ground.

I took down the string and wooden trellises from the spent sugar snap peas (I pulled the pea vines, which were covered in powdery mildew, and put them in the trash two days ago) and put up a new string trellis for my pole beans. Planted 60 Blue Lake Pole Beans and 10 Scarlet Runner Beans.

I harvested the last two Candid Charm cauliflower heads to make room in the raised beds for some poor stunted seedlings that I started from seed back in February. They should have gone into the ground before this, but space is just now opening up in the raised beds. Planted 2 Black Beauty Eggplants, 2 Green Savoy Cabbages, 1 Black Krim Tomato, 1 Mortgage Lifter Tomato, and 4 Brandywine Tomatoes.

We ate the last of our Florida Prince peaches for breakfast today in pancakes, along with the first tiny harvest of blueberries and the day’s harvest of strawberries.

Over the past three years I’ve reworked my garden so that it will produce more fruits and vegetables. This is the summer that it is really starting to pay off. The amounts of my harvests aren’t large, but I love the variety of produce that I’m getting from our small yard. It’s so much fun playing with growing new varieties, and seeing what will produce in pots and planters as well as in the ground. Happy gardening to you all.

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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6 Responses to Sweaty Sunday May 30 2010

  1. Daphne says:

    Happy gardening to you too. I haven’t been doing much gardening this weekend. I did run over to the new house to water, but not much besides that.

  2. Ali says:

    There is something to be said for the power of the intertubes in spurring gardening chores to completion!

    It is amazing to consider your low 80s temps were not much warmer than our unusually hot temps last week. In Maine. What’s up with that?

    • Ali, we’re so spoiled here with weather on the coast of southern California. We get temps in the 70s day after day after day. Temps into the 80s are unusual thanks to the moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean. But when the winds shift and bring us air from the desert during Santa Ana conditions–oh, brother, it gets HOT and dry. Plants dry out in an instant.

  3. Brenda K says:

    I spent my Memorial Day weekend in a similar fashion and couldn’t decide which day was hotter: Saturday or Sunday! Reading your blog today I no longer feel so lame about getting our summer garden off to such a late start. Finally got the main beds ready, and then got hung up with laying out an array of soaker hoses (that was after spending last Thursday which I took off from work digging half a truckload of concrete chunks out of the main bed!!), so still not planted yet, but the summer squash and corn are doing great. So are the berries, and oh, if only we had room for an avocado tree or two!

    LOL about the poor stunted seedlings – sounds just like what happened to my eggplants and peppers I tried to start last year – FAIL!

    Here’s to a bountiful summer harvest!

    P.S. peach pancakes sound amazing!

    • Hi Brenda. I finally got my pathetic tomatoes and eggplants into the raised beds, at least most of them. My tiny Black Beauty eggplants are only an inch tall. I hope they recover and go on to produce something. Good luck with your garden too.

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