Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finally. Ripening tomatoes: Japanese Black Trifele and Sungold

Well, this took long enough. I blame the molasses-slow ripening process on our location as we are merely a block from the beach.
Japanese Black Trifele. The top tomato is at day 83. Online, I've seen maturity ranges from 74 to 80 days for Japanese Black Trifele.  A side note: I notice this plant is beginning menopause uh senescence. The leaves are slowly dying, and the newest inflorescenses are no longer producing fruit.
Japanese Black Trifele
Sungold tomatoes. I think these are rather large for cherry tomatoes.
So how are your veggies doing these days?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

So we visit the 'other kingdom'

Well, we visited the 'other kingdom' a few days ago. Of course, I was quite distracted by the impeccable greenery. 038The-mouse-who-must-not-be-named really knows how to do beautiful gardening. They must spend a fortune on plants. And the biggest mystery: the gardeners are never ever in sight. When do they work? At night?

I finally got a shot of this espalier.039 I've always admired how well they were bonsaied into forming this pattern.040

A glimpse of color.041

Tucked away from a busy pathway, these succulents thrive.
My camera battery ran out of juice, drats, when I came upon the veggie-filled Tomorrowland landscape and got excited over the geometrically arranged basil, rosemary, lavender, lettuce, and kale. Sorry. I'll get the photos next time.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello, summer solstice and fall planting

cucumber forming
Cucumber forming

So today is the summer solstice, my second favorite day of the year. Since it marks the day that daylength begins to shorten, I think it is weirdly ironic this also marks the first day of summer. A mystery of life. I rate this the same sort of weird irony involving lettuce, so wonderful in summer salads, but, everyone, it grows so much better in the winter than in the summer, when it bolts merely from looking at it.

Summer solstice is my reminder that it's time to think about starting the fall veggies, here at casa de arugulatoo. Not that I'll get to it right away, but I need to start my list and get my seed starting things in order.

Kale, arugula, mizuna, garlic, broccoli, spinach, and lettuce are definitely on my list.

Radishes and carrots will get sown directly into the ground. I have hope based on no good information that some carrots will survive the onslaught of slug and snail attacks.

Our summers tend to be chilly, foggy and gloomy. No elevated summer temperatures here one block from the beach. In the fall, we often get the warmest days of the year but even then, the evening temps are cooler than the summer. Actually, that works generally well with the fall veggies, warm in the day and cooler at night.

Which brings me to these burning questions: What are your plans for the solstice and what are you planning for your fall garden?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tomatoes this week

To summarize, they are all still green.
Black cherry tomatoes, still green.
black cherry tomato
Sungold cherry tomatoes, still green.
sungold cherry tomatoes
Japanese Black Trifele clump, still green.
japanese black trifele cluster
Japanese Black Trifele, still green. These two tomatoes were the first to form in my garden. Online, I have seen maturity pegged at 74 days. We are now at about 76 days. Our cool summer weather probably increases the days needed to mature these tomatoes.
japanese black trifele tomato
Momotaro tomato, still green.
momotaro tomato
Black Krim, still green. This one has ballooned out quite nicely.
black krim tomato

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Friday Mulch

White yarrow, flowering

An evolutionary biologist interested in altruism decides to apply evolutionary theory to the society in which he lives. In doing so, he creates more playgrounds and parks, among many other projects he has undertaken. It doesn't matter to him that some members of his community don't even believe in evolution.

LATimes story on the rare wild Carpenteria rose.

The only community garden in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was razed by a bulldozer, courtesy of the local bank. I rate the rudeness factor of the bank sky high as it turns out the gardeners weren't even allowed to collect or save their plants. I'm not clear on what recourse is available to the organizing group. Still more publicity probably helps, which is why I posted the link to the story.

Tips on gardening with wildlife. Bet you all could do better.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cucumber, flowering

Very little success starting cucumber from seeds due to this year's snail and slug chompfest. I would start them at home and bring them to the garden, only to find the poor thing plundered and pillaged next day. However, I did have one that made it. You can see it is growing up a bamboo teepee.
Male flower
cucumber flower, male
Female flower
cucumber flower, female

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Care for a battle cry?

Pure nonsense but fun for those times you are in gladiator mode in your garden and need a battle cry to get you through the daily carnage. I have certainly been on the warpath in this year of the gastropods. Damn the snails and slugs.

Here's my battlecry:
Hark! Who is that, skulking amidst the wasteland! It is Luvarugula, hands clutching a sharpened screwdriver! She grunts mightily:

"I'm going to brutalize you like a first grade teacher!!"

Link to your personalized battle cry.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tomato update

New this week: Black cherry tomatoes.
Black cherry tomatoes

Japanese Black Trifele tomatoes look the same from last week. Green.
Japanese Black Trifele

Similarly, Sungold tomatoes plateaued in their growth but are still rather green.
Sungold tomatoes
Momotaro tomato continues to power through their initial growth.
Momotaro tomaot
The Black Krim tomato decides to blimp out.

Black Krim tomato
Cluster of Japanese Black Trifele.
Japanese Black Trifele cluster

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Growing basil and thyme indoors

This has been the year of the slug and snails in my garden, unfortunately. Dealing with the slugs and snails without a doubt unleashed my inner gladiator. It was my morning ritual to hunt and destroy as many slugs and snails I could find. Ugh.  As a result, I've resorted to starting and growing all of my seedlings at home on the window sill. It's not the ideal place since it doesn't get a full day's worth of sun. But the sill faces southeast, and it is rather nice and warm.

The basil and thyme were grown from seed, begun in a larger pot and then transplanted to a recycled six pack. I'm afraid the thyme looks a bit etiolated. They will likely go to the battlefields soon when they gain enough heft.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Friday Mulch

A boysenberry, fairly ripe. Yum.

Christian Science Monitor has a personal account of community gardening in Chicago.

Eight foods that MAY make you look younger says the hype. Tomatoes are on the list. All I know is that I can't wait for my tomatoes to ripen, and that certainly isn't helping me look younger.

Three community gardens win awards for outstanding garden, all amazing gardens who more than gives back to their community.

So Miracle-Gro is sponsoring community gardens.  What does that look like in reality? Here is an example in Los Angeles, more specifically Boyle Heights. Surprisingly, it is not a Round-Up ready garden; rather, it is all organic. There is hope, people!

Around the Blogs
I'm so partial to kangaroo rats. Here's why at Camissonia's Corner.

Fresh from the garden potatoes are such a delicacy, I think a quiet secret amongst veggie gardeners. I see we've got potatoes developing in Japan and in England.

I haven't tried this nut recipe but it sure sounds good.

A lesson in phenotypic variability, courtesy of the Madia plant.

I'm also partial to photos about fawns, a double dose cuteness over at Curbstone Valley Farm. I guess it's that time of the year.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tomato update

No change from last week, these Japanese Black Trifele tomatoes. I think they aren't going to grow in size anymore.
Sungold tomatoes. No photo of the plant today but it is growing like the plant from the Little Shop of Horrors without the teeth.
The one Momotaro tomato. Surprised to see its rapid growth.
Last week's Momotaro tomato.
New: a Black Krim tomato.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Friday Mulch

This sunny tomato flower comes from my Black Krim. No tomatoes yet, however.

Promising efforts in response to the high demand for community gardens in Santa Cruz County

Tips on avoiding injuries while gardening, to which I would add one thing: be sure to get your tetanus shot! I know that was the first thing I did when I got my garden plot.

Helps to know a bit about companion planting, a must especially in space-challenged plots like mine. I like to plant basil with tomatoes though my challenge is to make sure the basil is able to get enough sun. Tomatoes are such sun hungry beasts!

A site devoted to getting kids involved in gardening. I like it's developmental approach.

Two stories in one in this article on gardening in Canada: the first story is about how the First Nation gardened, the second about a couple in modern times.

Around The Blogs
Curbstone Valley announces the birth of their resident goldfinches and flycatchers. Lovely baby pix to be had for all to ooh and aah over.

Town Mouse spends quality time at Tassajara with photos for proof, which makes me want to go also one day. On my bucket list.

Mark's Veg Plot celebrates the first chili of the year and more.

Exquisite shots of May blooms at the garden-roof coop, complete with one very unusual (to me) wildflower called the Two-Flowered Cynthia 'Krigia biflora', a North American native.

Root Simple on Terrence McKenna's quote about creating your own culture. As I don't watch TV much, the exception being So You Think You Can Dance, I find the absence of TV leaves a vacuum easily filled with too many other activities: reading, cooking, crafting.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thyme in the window

Grown from seed in the window, a few thyme seedlings straggle. I haven't much luck with herbs in general so I'm happy to see them still growing. I think it's time to repot them.
Oh and the larger one in the back is a pepper, the only one that germinated of the batch.  

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