Friday, November 26, 2010

Notable posts

LATimes on how a local community garden makes their compost. Wish we had something like that going in our community gardens but as you will see, it is quite intense, requiring major committment.

I'm always fascinated with hummingbird dynamics especially at a feeder. Enjoyed reading about the one hummer standing her ground, with cuuuuute photos, well worth the peek.

It's the local bobcat versus the chickens , complete with a youtube video filled with crazed squawking and clucking. Yup, you can tell they nearly lost their lives.

Impressive! Curbstone Valley grows their own thanksgiving turkey.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cilantro on my mind

IMG_2290, originally uploaded by luvarugula.
My fail-safe plant, the one I can rely on to germinate and grow, is cilantro, gorgeous and fragrant.

As a garden seeder, I never know what will come up after sowing. Not only that, I know the bazillions of slugs in my garden lie in wait for any new shoot, probably drooling in their sleep each day.

However, cilantro rules. All year.

Sow thick
I sow seeds, thick, every few weeks in microplots, usually in between plants.

Mulch well
I top with an alfalfa mulch, my favorite, and, voila, I see little shoots in a few weeks. Mulching helps retain water as well, essential these Santa Ana days.

My rule of thumb: figure out what family your plant belongs to. Your next crop should not be from the same family. Cilantro hails from the Apiaceae family, same as carrots, dill and fennel. I find cilantro is a nice plant to grow after tomatoes (Solanaceae family) and any type of brassicas (from, yup, the Brassicaceae family), such as broccoli, radish and arugula.

I bet I lose a few cilantro shoots to the ravenous hordes of slugs in my garden but I'm now suspecting they prefer other sprouts, such as spinach and lettuce, the ones I never see in my garden.

Family Apiaceae
Coriandrum sativum

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bunny tale

Pssst! Hey, get me outta here!

bunny, originally uploaded by luvarugula.
Today the bunny is gone, off to live in a private home. She came to us quietly, probably tossed over the fence and abandoned to fend for herself in the community gardens. Probably nirvana for awhile, as we have a lot of weedy plots with places to hide. We don't know how long she was on her own.

Thanks to some of our community minded gardeners, she was caught, placed in very nice enclosure donated by a local business, and fed well with fresh carrots from the gardens and rabbit chow. Her nickname, Little Shirley, was in honor of the gardener where her cage was kept. We know she enjoyed being let out of her cage to jump around and create burrows because she became quite skilled at running away, as in "Noooooo, I'm not going in that cage!".

I used to see the bunny in the mornings, sitting in her box. By the time I left, she would be completely out of her box. I would catch her peering at me intently, surely wanting to be let out.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Leeks, mostly

Leeks, originally uploaded by luvarugula.

Grabbed a pack of leek seedlings from the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. This is my first year of leeks. We'll see how they grow.

It's dead, Jim

Sometime ago my laptop died, leaving me without the usual way to post photos. The dilemma is this: because I'm using borrowed computers, I want to avoid downloading any new software onto anyone's hard drive space. I had been using Picasa, a service requiring a download of Picasa software onto the computer. Hope to figure this out soon so I can get more photos out of my garden. With fall and winter a major planting season here in southern California, I've been busy.
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