Archive for June, 2007

End of the Month Stuff

I can’t believe it’s the end of June! All my annuals are still doing well. The annual flowers I planted from seed (stocks, hollyhocks, geraniums, calendula, poppies, etc.) are still up and thriving. I thought I was going to lose these by now but lo and behold, they’re still going strong and flowering. I hope my flowers last until September. I’m using some (i.e. geraniums and petunia plants) as decor in my wedding. If not, I can always go buy some plants at the local garden center. In September, there are chrysanthemums and pr

My zucchini or maybe squash plant that I put in the ground is finally growing bigger. For awhile, it was doing nothing! Literally, doing nothing, nada, zero, zilch! Now, it’s flowering male flowers and soon I hope female flowers. Everything is doing well. No issues with the garden.

However, I am having some issues with my neighbor upstairs. I have a new neighbor and he’s a smoker! Urgh. It’s not the smoking that bothers me, it’s the ashes. He’ll smoke on his balcony and his ashes will fall down on my patio and scorch the plants it hits. I don’t know how to approach him to tell him to quit doing that or maybe strategically place an ash tray on his front door as a gesture.

Smoking is not just a bad habit but it is also endangers my plants. They get burned terribly from the ashes. How would he feel if I just started sprinkling ashes on his head! I don’t know what to do with this one! My other neighbor was the best. She was a college student so she had to go to school during the day and work at night so I hardly ever had a problem with her. Plus, she was a light walker and so it didn’t bother me much but this one is a doozie. He sounds like he’s a heavy kangaroo bouncing around! Urgh…I’m so glad I’ll be moving out at the end of this month. Hopefully, I’ll have nicer, quieter neighbors. Only four more weeks to go…

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Garden Pics

Here are some pictures of my garden adventures. This year has definitely been more prosperous than last year (my first year gardening). I’m still learning so hopefully with a couple more years under my belt, I’ll know what I’m talking about when I speak to other gardeners! Enjoy.

My concrete garden with pots of various flowers and vegetables.

Coleus

Jalapeno Pepper

Kung Pao Pepper

Allium flower

Flower bowl

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Garden Update 06-14-07


My little cucumber!

I have a growing little cucumber on my hands. Lately, with the hot weather I’ve been getting more female flowers on my cucumbers than male flowers. Oddly, there are no male flowers for my female flowers to mate with. I’ve been hunting down my other cucumber plants for male flowers and I’ve successfully pollinated one cucumber. The other female flowers (the ones that look like a miniature cucumber with a flower), I have not been so successful. They just shrivel up and die it seems. The cucumber is so tiny and cute and growing gradually everyday. I can’t wait for cucumbers to come. I have so many plans for them. I love them in salads, raw, with ranch dressing and most of all, I love it with a special Vietnamese dish called “Bun Thit Nuong” which is an Asian barbecued meat. I put the meat on top of rice which is covered with peanuts and cucumbers on the side. I also want to try a cucumber salad and a cucumber sandwich on pumpernickel bread and mayonnaise. My mouth is watering thinking about all the possibilities for cucumbers!

I officially have a flowering Shirley red poppy. I bought the seeds from Groco Seeds and Nursery and I started them in peat pellets in February and I’ve heard they’re hard to transplant but I thought if I kept them in peat pellets of their own, they should be fine. They sprouted pretty quickly and grew like weeds! I was so proud of them. I planted them in a shady spot that gets morning sun and they did well there. It took them a couple of months (approximately 3 months) for them to form buds and a week after I noticed buds, they were blooming. Poppy flowers are delicate flowers and are about 3 inches in diameter. They look so fragile and the petals are paper thin. I hope they get pollinated so I can keep the seeds for next year. Although, I do have a ton of seeds still so I should be fine with poppy seeds. Like I said, I have a ton of seeds, so if anyone wants to trade, please look at my trade list and leave a comment if you’re interested.

In the garden, I’ve been able to pick 6-8 supersweet 100 tomatoes daily. My fiancee loves these. He can eat a bowl of them for a snack. I like the fact that I grew them and I know what went into developing these yummy little red poppers. Plus, it’s a healthy snack!

This morning, I fertilized the vegetable and flower garden with seaweed emulsion. I also pollinated the female squashes. Hopefully, I was successful with pollinating two female squashes. We’ll be up to our ears with squash by the end of the summer! Luckily, I have some of my vegetables and most of my flowers in pots because I’m moving to a new apartment in August. The plants I have in the ground will be taken down in August . I’m sacrificing my strawberry plants and leaving them there because I know they hate being moved. Hopefully the new person moving into my apartment will take care of them and be rewarded with strawberries in the beginning of next spring. I’ll miss my garden. We put a lot of hard work into it including amending the soil, adding soil additives, digging and pulling up weeds, etc. I hope the next occupant is a gardener because the backyard is in prime condition for growing!

Tonight, I’m going to cook the squash I picked a couple of days ago. I’m thinking about sauteing it in olive oil with onions and garlic (both from my garden). It’ll be a healthy side dish to chicken and a salad with my cherry tomatoes or what’s left after my fiancee gets to them. It’ll be dinner from the garden tonight! Everything except for the chicken and olive oil are from my little garden.

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Hot…Hot…Hot!!!

This week, we’re expecting temperatures in the high 90’s and low 100’s. Eek! It wasn’t too long ago that I was complaining about the weather being abnormal. In fact, it was just last week that I was complaining about the weather. I’m kind of wishing temps were still abnormal. My hot-weather veggies are happily basking in the change of temperatures though and if they’re happy, I’m happy. I hope my peppers eventually start growing. Right now, they’re only 5″ tall and I expected them to be a little taller. Last year at this time, my bell peppers were already a foot tall. Anywho, the odd weather is probably the answer to the slow growth.

On Sunday, I crushed some eggshells and sprinkled them around my tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Eggshells provide the plants with extra calcium and prevents blossom-end rot on tomatoes. The eggshells are also a barrier for slugs and snails since the crushed eggshells are so sharp, they cut the slug’s and snail’s underbelly and they eventually die (too graphic uhh).

Other than watering my garden on a daily basis, I’ve been letting things grow on their own pace. I’ve been fertilizing every two weeks with seaweed emulsion but that’s about it. Today, I picked some supersweet tomatoes for a salad I’ll be having later tonight. Yumm-o. I can’t wait until my romas are ripe so I can make fresh salsa!!!

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Garden Update

The weather has been oddly unfamiliar for June. Typically, June entails mid 90 degree weather with dry hot days. However, lately it feels like spring weather with temps in the upper 70s and low 80s. I actually needed a sweater last week! It was really weird. The meteorologist says temps will gradually rise to normalcy this weekend and get into the 90s, like we’re all used to.

Although the weather has been kind of weird, my plants don’t seem affected. In fact, today I have red cherry tomatoes! I only have two but nonetheless I still have two! I was going to let them ripen a little further before i try them though. This year, I’m trying to grow without any chemicals or artificial fertilizers like miracle gro and it seems like everything is growing well. I am using an organic fertilizer I picked up from a gardening store though. It’s seaweed fertilizer and my plants seem to love it. Last year, I used tomato fertilizer from miracle gro and my tomatoes weren’t that great so this year I’m going to try things differently.

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Nasturtiums

Nasturtium Flower

I was walking in my garden this morning perusing all the lovely tomato blossoms, cucumber seedlings, and little tiny buds on my pepper plants when something caught my eye: a brilliant orange nasturtium flower! I’ve never grown nasturtiums before and I hear they’re edible but I have yet to try them out. They are relatively easy to grow since you just plop them in the ground and water occasionally. The leaves make this plant distinct.

For pictures of my nasturtiums from conception to now click <a href=”here.

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