Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
The exact parentage of boysenberry is obscure, but scientists surmise, based on analyses of genes, plants and fruits, that it resulted from a cross of Logan with an Eastern dewberry. It may in fact have been one of the famous plant breeder Luther Burbank's seedlings, which somehow made its way to John Lubben's home in Alameda, Calif., and thence to his Napa County farm, where it was called lubbenberry.In the early 1920s, Rudolph Boysen, who was farming Lubben's property, was crossing blackberries and raspberries, and when he moved to Anaheim in 1923, he took with him some plants growing large, exquisitely flavored berries, which he claimed to have bred.
My berries are peaking in my garden, already!, and I've been harvesting about a pint a day. It's a small but rambling plant, my thornless boysenberries. The cross between the raspberry and blackberry gives them that sweet tart oxymoronic taste. The berries don't last very long off the vine;it's not just that they are tasty but that they are delicate with thin easily ruptured skins. I can understand why they aren't grocery market material; even at a farmer's market, I know mine wouldn't hold up well. Anyways, today I collected two pints, enough to make a boysenberry pie.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
My Stupice tomatoes continue to grow even though we are back to foggy mornings and afternoons here one block from the beach, certainly far from ideal tomato weather. The sun manages to peep out in the middle of the day. Still the overnight temperature has yet to fall below 50 F, a good thing. I'm grateful somewhere along the line I figured out I need to plant cooler climate tomato plants, especially since what we call June gloom seems to be starting earlier this year.
Amending the soil is another absolute, given our subpar growing conditions for tomatoes. I follow the counsel of this goddess of tomatoes. Her way requires a bit more work and money but well worth the investment. I don't get the 7 foot tall tomatoes that she and her students get though I suspect my tomatoes, being cooler climate varieties, just don't get that tall. Regardless of how tall my plants got last year, they were happy plants with lovely tomatoes. We'll see how it goes this year.
I mulch well, really helpful for conserving water as well as keeping the soil from splattering up on the leaves. I deep water in the morning all my tomato plants every few days, depends on the weather, and assiduously avoid wetting the foliage.
An earlier look
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
These toadflax have been reliably self-seeded guys, growing in any gaps they can find, providing unexpected dashes of color. Quite inspirational, these toadflax.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
My Maui onions are growing up. For reference, you can see below what they looked like about two months ago. Planted as seedlings, if that is the right word for them, they are now filling out well.
For the record, the confession: this is my third year of trying to grow Maui onions here in southern California and the first they've survived this long. I can't tell you what has changed although I've acquired a few basic gardening skills over the years, silly little things such as I fertilize the soil before planting, make sure plants get the amount of sun they need meaning not too little not too much, avoid overwatering, and always always always.... mulch.
The biggest change I think has been the mulching. I use generous amounts of dried alfalfa with each planting or sowing of seed. And I suspect this has transformed my garden; I've got happier plants, happier germination rates, fewer weeds, a more aesthetically defined garden, and I conserve water, all at the same time. Great stuff, this mulch.