Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Early Summer Garden Pictures

Young Master House standing amidst the various plants in the garden.  Foreground: Radishes and Onions, Background: Tomatoes, Tomatillos, peppers, sweet potatoes, melon, corn, zucchini, and one lonely bean plant.  The Tomatillos and most of the tomatoes are courtesy of Josh. The soil they came with was so black it almost made me cry to plant them in my grey clay soil.  They seem to be doing ok though.

The Radishes are doing quite well as you can see in this next picture:
 We also have a volunteer pumpkin plant, growing out of the side of the compost pile.  Correspondingly, the plant is huge and the three pumpkins are quite large. The one pictured is larger than my (large) head.
 Above are the many many sunflower plants, growing along our new garden wall. Note also the purslane, which apparently does not want to go away.  And yes, the caps on the wall are loose, they need to be re-mortared.
This one almost needs its own post.  Our white nectarine tree had a fairly heavy set this year, something on the order of 200 pieces.  After some weather and thinning, we had approximately 75.  A fake hawk watched the tree, and netting was deployed over the choicest fruit (the tree being too tall to net the whole thing).

This is the only piece of fruit that Mrs. House got to taste, a single cut from a bird downed fruit.  She was not happy, although she did declare it "the most delicious fruit ever" or some such.  Squirrels, birds, and at least one possum got the rest. Next year I think we are hiring some weasels to guard the tree.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Garden Update

 Just a quick post on the status of the garden.  We harvested our first radish yesterday, because it was starting to bolt.  About a dozen more to go, most fairly large, so we seem to have found something else that will grow in our soil.  The onions are also doing well.  Pretty much everything else we grew from seeds or planted as seeds has died, so it is off to the nursery soon for us.

Mrs. House spent some time juicing lemons yesterday, as you can see from the picture above.   She made about half a pitcher of pure lemon juice, which we will combine with simple syrup when needed to make lemonade. Grapefruit still available in substantial quantities to those interested...

Friday, May 4, 2012


One of the biggest issues with taking plant cuttings is disease.

This tip says to use cinnamon to alleviate the chances of getting fungal infections in your cutting, improving your chances of success.  Since I know that some of us are interested in rooting plants, it should be worth a try.

In other garden news, only our radishes and onions came up, all the other seeds planted in the garden were failures (save possibly a single nasturtium, but we will see with that one).  Next up is transplanting our seedlings from inside, which historically has had about a 20% success rate.  So we will see.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Garden

Due to some landscaping reorganization and projects (the never ending masonry wall), our garden moved this year from its typical location to another one between the garage and the addition to our house.  This area is west facing, so it gets a LOT of afternoon sun, which may be good for tomatoes, and should extend the growing season into November.  Hopefully we will have a better growing year than last year.

A disadvantage of this location is that it has not been growing plants very long, so it had about 2 inches of top soil and pretty much pure clay below that.  I forked it over a few times, and added some lawn clippings, which should help a bit, and every plant will go in to either compost soil or river bottom soil from my parents' house, which ever bag is closer to hand at the time.

Here you can see young Master House and myself relaxing after planting.  (Please excuse the hat hair, tangled mess in the left foreground is the compost pile, and as always, click to enbiggen)

Seed row planted this weekend, which you can see below:
 From left to right we have: Dill, Basil, Cilantro, Radishes, Thyme, Lettuce, and a whole bunch of red onion sets that I let sit in the garage too long.  We will see what (if anything) comes up.

Onion sets:

We also have an array of seeds growing inside the house, which should give us our tomatoes, tomatillos and so on. (including sweet potato)  We have typically had about 60% of our seedlings die when we transplant.  Not sure if it is due to transplant shock, or too much sun or what.

In other home news, we finally broke down and got an electric lawn mower... more on that later.