There is hope for my summer garden. I finally found the energy to plant veggie bed #3. And just in the nick of time for it to enjoy a surprise rainfall. I say surprise because coastal southern California normally gets 0.01 inches of rain for the month of July. Right, it NEVER rains in southern California. But as the song goes, but when it rains, man it pours.
Hurricane Delores shifted direction on its way up from Baja a few days ago, and dumped nearly an inch of rain on southern California. Some areas got more, as in flash flooding, with roads and bridges washed out. In fact, Interstate 10 between California and Arizona got a bridge washed out and is closed indefinitely. Mud and rockslides closed other roads. And yet just days before, wildfires had closed the I-15 at Cajon Pass, burning 20 cars as the flames swept over the freeway. We live in interesting times.
Newly planted veggie bed #3 on July 17, with transplanted tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers, with mesclun, carrots and radishes planted from seed. There are also three big collard green plants that are going into their third summer and still producing.
My garden experienced none of those disasters. It just got a nice gentle rain over the course of two days. The timing couldn’t have been better as I had just planted veggie bed #3.
Here is veggie bed #3 in the foreground, with #2 and #1 in the background, on July 21.
Here is bed #3 from a different angle, with zucchini in the foreground.
I planted some French Breakfast radishes in the carrot rows to mark the rows. The mesclun has also sprouted, but not the carrots. Yet.
In my last post, I was worried that we were going to starve because the male flowers were blooming out of sync with the female flowers, and none of the female bud had gotten fertilized. Well, I took matters into my own hands. When this female flower opened, the male flowers had closed the day before. I stripped the petals off the male flower and used the old stamens to fertilize the pistols of this squash bud. It looks like it worked.
Hand-fertilized butternut squash on July 17.
Here it is today, July 21. Yep, it got fertilized. It looks like it will have a nice long neck too. That is the best part.
This is the third butternut that I have hand-fertilized. The male and female flowers are still blooming out of sync. With six plants, you’d think that they would have the common decency to open a male and a female flower on the same day. But not so far.
I have a nice row of scarlet runner beans coming along.
The first vine to grab hold of the trellis is now up to my eye level. They don’t really take off until they can latch onto something to climb up. I am carefully training each vine up a metal post or a string. So far, I have no red blossoms from them, much less a bean.
Veggie bed #2 has been in the ground for two weeks and is growing like crazy. I have tomatoes, bell peppers, basil, Blue Lake pole green beans and yellow squash in this bed.
Two tiny Roma tomatoes have set fruit. I also have a couple of Yellow Pear and a couple of Better Boy tomatoes that have set fruit.
This is veggie bed #1, with an old collard green plant, a couple of red cabbage that I planted in january that STILL haven’t made heads, some tomatoes and bell peppers, and a dill plant.
This is my best head of red cabbage so far. It is between the size of a baseball and a softball. Not very impressive. But it is almost as big as the red cabbage being shown at the Orange County Fair. Looks like no one here got good cabbage this year with our hot winter.
This is my view from my deck, looking west over my tiny garden. The green wall behind the beds is the back edge of our property. Not much space.
My herb garden is just to the south of the veggie beds (which are out of sight to the right), and the chicken coop is south (left) of that. Yes, the chicken coop has art work hanging on it. It also has a solar light.
The good news is that Chicken Little decided that she would lay more eggs this summer. And Dino-Peep, my little Velociraptor that masquerades as a chicken, continues to lay an egg a day. So we are once again flush with eggs, even though lazy Miss Hillary has gone into molt and isn’t laying.
So the good news is that I have hopes of getting a harvest from my late-planted summer garden, especially since we got that miracle rain. I rushed around in the downpour and set up my rain barrels that I had already emptied. I managed to collect and store about 300+ gallons. Whoopee! That’s what living a green life is all about.