Monthly Archive:June, 2009

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How Do It Know?

Remember the great garlic planting back in October?

After following the Gourmet Garlic Gardens instructions, every single clove sprouted in November (bonus — check out the sprouts in the far part of the box — those were the baby artichoke plants, back when we thought perhaps we could fit more than one in our raised bed):


From there, each sprout grew to be a stalk of grass-like leaves about 4-5 feet tall, eventually, some sent up scapes and finally, it was harvest time:


Towards the end of their growing season, I commented to E that garlic was somewhat anti-climactic and quite a bit of effort for a fairly easy to obtain return. Last weekend, at the Farmer’s Market they had California Early Garlic Bulbs–one of the varieties we grew–for 50 cents each.

However, the satisfaction I got from pulling each large head out of the ground and the wonder at its reproduction changed my mind.

Just put a clove in the ground. With water, winter, spring, and summer, it’ll clone itself into multiple cloves, each associated with a huge blade of energy producing monocot leaf.

DNA, and the miraculous replication of life is so amazing!

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June Bloom

We’ve got fruits galore!

Tons of Tomatoes:



Baby Eggplants:


More Artichokes (’cause the plant is out of control! Look closely. How many can you find? It’s like one of those hidden treasure pictures, I swear…):


Overall, in the last two weeks, we’ve gone to this:


From this:


Which means they look different *every* day. It’s fun!

In other news, we’re still waiting (not so patiently), on a few laggards.

Peppers (refer to the tomato plants on the left for scale):




And Winter Squashes, a vining and non-vining cucumber, and onions:


And finally, remember our Very Californian Easter Sunday? Well, this is what San Gregorio looks like in late spring. Absolutely breath-taking:


Have a great week!

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Tomatoes! (even on plants that have gotten a wee bit sick — see the purple tint to the stem and leaves? Bummer.)

The garden has grown quite a bit (and ideally, will grow much faster now that I fertilized with fish/kelp emulsion ’cause my plants were just not as green as most of my friends’ plants…).

As you may recall, it started out like this:


A month later, it looked like this:


And now, 2 weeks later, we’ve got this:


The biggest tomato so far is a little 1 inch diameter fruit, hanging off of Brandywine Red Lantis (I have no idea what the Lantis stands for, that’s just what Cynthia called it):


And much to my surprise, the most prolific fruit producer, in terms of total mass so far has been White Oxheart. Weird. I would have thought some of the earlier maturing varieties would be kicking its butt at this stage.

In the meantime, while we salivate over the future tomatoes, we get to enjoy good stuff while we wait:


The fruits of the ridiculously prolific artichoke plant, the mint (which we transplanted out of the raised beds because it was taking over and threatening Gold Nugget), baby basil leaves, the end of the parseley, and the first garlic to fall over, which has now been hung to dry.

Other than that, the garden is coming along as gardens do. We’ve got aphids. We’ve got some fungus. We’ve got ladybugs, bees, earwigs, and worms. I spent several hours on Sunday fertilizing, pruning, tying tomato plants to stakes, and harvesting. The plants appeared to very much appreciate it in less than 24 hours, which is very gratifying.

G & C gave us a cucumber seedling that is infinitely superior to the one remaining living cuke I’m nursing along (I planted 2, one died). I think, if there’s one thing I learned this year, it’s that seedlings don’t like direct sun until they are a little bigger than the first true leaves. Oh, and that I probably should have watered the seedlings more while they were small. So I’ll be planting that cucumber and taking out a couple of squash plants to give to them in return.

Finally, I made a Worm Castings Tea and plan to spray tomorrow in the hopes that it will help ward of pests and encourage additional growth.

Oh, and E (with the help of C) built me a new compost box in the back yard. Our plastic bin is completely full of black gold. I turned it and watered it on Sunday and found that the only identifiable matter were some egg shell pieces. The rest was just dark, almost tar-colored, soft dirt-like soil. I can’t wait to use it for the winter garden! Finally, after 3 years of composting…

Because the bin is full, we’ve been donating our kitchen scraps to the city compost, but I wanted to save them and use them in the soil. Thankfully, E & C were in a handy mood after the afternoon at the Maker Faire. So now we have a new two-cell compost bin made of pressure-treated wood. Yay!

In short, the gardening hobby grows. Literally. And we’re having much fun.