Archive for Garden

Gardening Books to Review

I just checked out a couple of gardening books from my local library. I will provide a in depth review of them in a week time.

In the mean time, I have added my cursory, first glance review below:

Homegrown vegetables, fruits, and herbs : a bountiful, healthful garden for lean time

by  Jim Wilson
(picture credit:

First-glance review: I love the pictures. I was salivating looking at the pictures. They look as if I could just grab them! The advice is easy to read and more aimed at a gardener just starting out…like me.

Square foot gardening : a new way to garden in less space with less  work
by Mel Bartholomew
(picture credit:  

First-glance review: When I looked through it, Mel, the author is very knowledgeable in many different styles of gardening. He also provides how-to’s to better improve your garden. I really like the graphs especially the seed-starting graphs.

Grow great grub
by Gayla Trail 
(picture credit:

First-glance review: Gayla Trail, author of You Grow Girl has done it again. She has great projects and tips in this new book. It is for the every day gardening: beginning, intermediate and advance.

Happy gardening and stay tune for a full review!

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Update Fall Gardening

Here are some pictures of how the fall garden started out. Enjoy!

French Lettuce Mix (swiss chard, bib, black seeded simpsons, beet, etc)

Purple Podded Beans 21 days from seed

Basil Seedlings 21 days

Carrots 21 days from seed

Update of the Fall garden. I was able to have success on all the seeds I planted in my raised beds and I planted a lot of things. The list includes: beans, carrots, lettuce, peas, garlic, cilantro, basil, radishes, arugula, spinach, cucumbers. It was a busy fall and winter. The beans were the success of the story. It was so nice to have so many different colored beans in your dinner. We grew purple podded beans, green beans, and yellow wax beans. I allowed a couple of plants to grow and dry so I would have some for next year. I absolutely love the purple podded beans. They are actually a bush variety that produces purple beans. However, when you cook them, they turn green. I believe the purpose of the purple shell is so it is easier to find. Imagine picking green beans in a sea of green leaves!

Almost everything survived the winter except for the beans, arugula, cucumbers, and basil. Those are typically warm season plants so I did not expect much from them. I was able to enjoy a plethora of arugula before they died. I had planted arugula in my front yard and I allowed them to seed and I find arugula everywhere now. So beware, arugula can be a weed to some gardeners J. I enjoy them nonetheless.

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Garden Update



Sorry, I have been tardy in posting. I have had a lot of things going on. We got a new puppy named Colt. He’s only 2 months old. We got him at the pound and we just adore him. We are going through the potty training stages so please pray for us. We’ve already had a couple of accidents but I think he’s getting the hang of it. It’s great that he has an older brother, Casey to show him how things are done. Casey has just started to warm up to him but I think in a couple of months, they will be fast buddies.


Soon after we got Colt, I had to leave to Texas for my cousin’s wedding. The wedding was very pretty and I’m glad I got a chance to go. I had to leave my dh at home to tend to the dogs. They had a great weekend of man/doggy bonding. I came home to a wonderful mess though. Typical men behavior when the gals are away. I didn’t mind and it wasn’t too messy.



In the garden, things are starting to bloom. Daffodils which typically are the first to bloom in the spring have been popping up everywhere in the front yard. I am so glad I planted 40-50 daffodil bulbs last fall. Most of them are coming up and have buds on them! I can’t wait to have daffodils in vases in our new home! I’m glad I did not buy 2 bags of daffodil bulbs though because the previous homeowner had planted them too! So now I have patches of daffodils in our front yard. It’s really nice to have a break between the rain and gloomy weather and have flowers blooming. In addition to the daffodils, my camellia shrub has these big red flowers. There are a ton of buds on them so I’ll have blooms for a while! I’m so excited.


The garlic has started to sprout. I still have 2 bulbs of garlic to plant but I’m waiting for my dh to build my garden beds before I plant them. I might find a place on the side of my yard though since I have lots to plant. I also got some elephant garlic from the grocery store and planted those. Those took awhile to sprout but lo and behold, I see green peaking through the potting soil. I’ll eventually transplant those in the ground when my garden is ready.


On Tuesday, I was able to plant some of my cold-weather vegetable seedlings that were getting too big for their cell packs. I planted a lot of lettuce in rectangular planters and along side our backyard fence. In a couple of weeks, I’ll have some decent size plants so I’ll be able to pick enough for a decent salad. This week, I also started pregerminating some beans, cucumbers, squash, and corn seeds. The way I pregerminate is pretty simple. I take a paper towel and lay my seeds on top of it and I semi-soak the towel and place the towels in a plastic bag and set it on top of my fridge or put them in the car with me (I park in a place that gets decent sun that warms my car. My car is my little heat mat.

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Seed Starting 2009

My new backyard

Our trees are going to be trimmed so more sunlight shines through!  The concrete block is going to get broken up and that’s where my veggie garden will reside! I can’t wait

I’m so excited to start seed starting this year. This year, we finally have our very own house and yard to garden in. I can not wait until we have the backyard finished so we can put in my veggie garden. I hope to have my plot done by next year so this year will mainly consist of gardening in the front yard and in various size pots.

Who says you can’t plant vegetables in the front yard? I plan on it! I have a couple of patches of dirt that are currently bare. Since the front of our house faces north and doesn’t get too much sun, I want to try some cool weather veggies like lettuce, radish, broccoli, cabbage, arrugula, bok choi, brussel sprouts, onions, and more.

I have already started the following flowers:

  • coleus
  • impatiens
  • bells of ireland
  • violas (Johnny jump ups…I believe)
  • 4 o clocks
  • sweet peas
  • hollyhock-pink and yellow varieties
  • shoofly
  • stocks
  • snapdragons (first ladie’s mix)
  • chinese lanterns

Here’s my list of veggies I’ve started from seed

  • Lettuce-bibb, romaine, lolla rossa, butterhead, black seeded simpson
  • arrugula
  • onion-pearl
  • swiss chard-rainbow mix
  • broccoli-calabrese
  • cabbage-savoy
  • cauliflower-snow white
  • bok choi
  • brussel sprouts-catskill
  • radish-early scarlett
  • radish-watermelon

Tomato seed starting:

  • supersweet 100s tomato
  • patio tomato
  • striped cavern tomato
  • san marzano tomato
  • jelly bean tomato
  • brandywine tomato
  • thessalonika tomato
  • marglobe tomato

Pepper seed starting:

  • fish peppers
  • kung pao peppers
  • nardello peppers
  • mini bell peppers
  • red ruffled peppers
  • sweet banana peppers
  • jalapeno peppers
  • California wonder peppers 

Eggplant seed starting:

  • little prince (Renee’s seeds)
  • rosa bianca eggplant (Renee’s seeds)
  • nadia eggplant (Renee’s seeds)

I have also started planting garlic cloves in pots too. I started planting seeds this Wednesday and to my surprise I already have some germination on my savoy cabbages and bibb lettuces! The weather in California is amazing. There is early morning fog and that burns off by 9:00 am and we get sun throughout the day. It warms up to around 60 degrees and cools to 35 degrees at night. However, the weather forecaster predicts some rain next week but for now we’re enjoying the weather!

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Fall Seed Sproutage 09-29-08

The arrugula and bibb lettuce have sprouted. It only took them 6 days with a west facing window. I’ve been turning the trays every morning so they don’t get spindly and long.

I also let my basil flower and go to seed. I germinated the thai basil seeds I collected the other day and they work magnificently. They took around 4 days to sprout. I guess the fresher the seeds, the faster the germination goes! Yippee.

Today, I plan on collecting more basil seeds from the plants (I have lemon, sweet basil, thai, and large leaf basil) and package them for next season or possibly trade them. Let me know if you’re interesting in a trade! Happy gardening everyone!

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