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sakon76: (Default)
Watered yesterday morning, yesterday evening, and this morning. From yesterday's toll:

4 of my 6 chard definitely dead -- this one still true
all of my leeks half-dead, along with some of my walking onions -- jury's still out
very unhappy lemon verbena -- recovered
very unhappy horseradish -- plants not dead, just most of the leaves
one of my two lemon thymes is probably dead -- recovered
one strawberry plant dead -- sadly, it is in fact dead
three mint plants severely stressed -- two recovered, the third has one green stem and the rest of its leaves fried
one of my two lemon balm plants severely stressed -- recovered
my purple Iceberg rose very unhappy -- still unhappy, but recovering

And to add to the list, two marigolds and three lettuce dead.
sakon76: (Default)
So while I was out in NJ, SoCal apparently got hit by a heat wave. And despite my husband watering things for me, about half the stuff that was not in the ground got crisped. Victims:

--4 of my 6 chard definitely dead
--all of my leeks half-dead, along with some of my walking onions
--very unhappy lemon verbena
--very unhappy horseradish
--one of my two lemon thymes is probably dead
--at least one strawberry plant dead
--three mint plants severely stressed
--one of my two lemon balm plants severely stressed
--my purple Iceberg rose very unhappy

Watered them all this morning, will see what I can put in the ground and/or further water tonight after work.
sakon76: (Default)
This is the point where a lot of snow-bound people on my friends list may begin to resent me, but I think it's so awesome that I've gotta share. I love living where I do because yesterday I went out into my garden and picked a couple of vine-ripe tomatoes to put in my lunch bag.

Vine-ripe tomatoes. In January. I've never actually pulled off this stunt before and find it to be awesome.

Sometimes my laziness, this time in the form of not pulling up any tomato plants that still had fruit on them, pays off. ^_^
sakon76: (Default)
It rained last night! Just over an inch! (At this point people from non-desert non-drought areas are probably either being patronizing or amused.) It's amazing how much cleaner and greener everything smells after a good rain.

Unfortunately our house doesn't have rain gutters (they're on my "someday" wishlist, along with rain barrels or perhaps a cistern). And unfortunately the overhang of the roof is somewhat shallower than my potting bench, so when I checked on them this morning some of my seed-starting flats had had the soil splashed clean out of them. Clean, I say, but that meant the bench was covered in black mud. :( Fortunately it wasn't raining when I got home so I was able to get things cleaned up and put soil back around the walking onion sprouts.

After dinner, I spent some time working on making up seed mats, but discovered that I have no idea where my bottle of Elmer's Glue is! Grr. However, I did get a peach/blueberry pie baked, using up the peaches which were starting to go off, and a couple cups of formerly frozen berries to make up the difference in volume. It looks good, but we'll see how it tastes tomorrow. Even though certain people think that I'm good at making pies, I'm still working on the fine and venerable art of crust crimping. Tonight I think I made progress. ^_^
sakon76: (Default)
Gardening addendum: turnips may sprout faster than beets, but only by a day. ^_^ The Egyptian Walking Onions also started coming up today, which is good. Unfortunately it seems one of the neighborhood cats (most likely one of the ferals) decided that my straw-covered garden bed was a good place to do its business. Now, it did it in one of the currently unplanted sections, but why couldn't the stupid thing walk fifteen feet to the lovely soft rototilled unplanted dirt?? Pfeh. Cat dirt cleared out and tossed in trash bin. I'm considering whether or not to pick up some chicken wire at the store to lay across sections that are either unplanted or that have seeds in them, to prevent a repeat. I also did a bit of harvesting today; in addition to the weekly batch of tomatoes, the double row of Dragon Tongue beans are being pleasantly prolific, and the eggplants are going NUTS. I harvested nine of the Asian type, all at least 9" long, and fourteen of the round golf ball sized ones! Unfortunately the corn didn't fare so well; of the eight or so that I harvested, only five had any decent proportion of kernels, and even those were only about half a cob each. Plus there were three corn worms and signs of two or three more.... *sigh* Next year I need to plant a lot more seed at one go to end up with a block larger than 3x4, and possibly also do the 12" planting distance in a triangular grid rather than a square one, to increase density and thus pollination.

Clearing of back bedroom proceeds apace, if a bit slower today than I'd've liked. OTOH, Wonderful Husband, with help from my father, got my fabric shelves 'quake-strapped to the wall! *heart* I'm going to be hard put not to switch directions mid-project. But today I discovered his ties, my scarves, a whole bunch of really pretty handkerchiefs I inherited from my grandmothers, photographs and correspondance dating back to my childhood (WH was shocked at how skinny I was as a pre-adolescent), and some of my collectibles. Four of which broke during the move. Three were repairable, and in fact are sitting on the kitchen table even now with the E-6000 drying. The glass peacock, sadly, was irreparable.

We also took a walk around the block to the pocket park which is between our house and the freeway. It's actually quite a nice little park, and the jungle gym... wow. I wish I was in the 5-12 range just so I could play on it! It's very very nice. ^___^ It was also interesting to see how the houses on our street have (or have not) raised their back fences by a couple of feet. It was also stunning to realize just how hugenormous the tree in the corner of our property really is, viewed from the other side. It's like... almost Miyazaki-sized!!
sakon76: (Default)
I finally nailed the sucker who's been munching indiscriminately on my Persimmon tomatoes. All three suckers, I should say, since they proved to be three big fat tomato hornworms. Who are now living in the park on the other side of the double 6' cinderblock wall. If I had chickens I'd've thrown them to the chickens to eat; as it was, neither of the cats were all that interested in them. (Sushi used to love eating grubs so I figured it was worth a try.) But I do have a huge basketfull of tomatoes and jalepenos and beans to wash and sort for my weekly harvest. It's getting dark early enough that I'm down to gardening on weekends. :(

I did finally start planting things in previously unplanted bed #3. Currently there are four chard plants, three borage, two lawn chamomile, and seventeen leeks in there. I'm considering starting turnips and beets and then transplanting them, as something keeps eating anything I start from seed in the ground. I also want to start more leeks, and bok choi, and the Egyptian walking onions I finally received bulbs for. I also pulled out three of my tomato plants that weren't going to give me anything more for the season. It's been windy enough recently that some of my taller stand of corn has been blown over, so I'm now using those freed-up tomato stakes to prop up corn....

EDIT: walking onions started; also did 24 starts each of beets and turnips; am rooting 8 more of my baby spider plants; have mulched entirety of bed #3 under 2" straw, which seems to work wonders as far as the soaker hose being buried and thus not watering the paths as well as the bed. Also, washed car.
sakon76: (Default)
Watering the patch of straw has finally started to pay off. The daikon are poking their heads through, marvelling at the sunshine, as are the beans. The beets and turnips seem to've likewise sprouted, as has the mustard. No sign yet of the parsnips and radishes, though; I'll continue to hold out hope. And something's nibbling on my jalepeno plants, taking tiny bites out of the leaves while ignoring all the other plants. Need to do some detective work and figure out what critter it may be.

Last night's dinner included some of the Ruby Queen corn I started and my parents grew. So yummy! I love the way it looks raw on the cob, this gorgeous dark ruby color. Unfortunately it's fugitive and ends up a marbled purple-and-cream after cooking. Still kinda pretty, though.

Wonderful Husband helped me cut out felt shapes last night and I now have twelve of the fifteen needle pads done for the embroidery class I'm teaching next weekend. I think they're kind of cute; hopefully my students will like them too. This weekend is going to be putting packets together and checking materials for both classes....
sakon76: (Default)
Haven't been posting much recently, and not even due to any interesting reasons like massive writing binge or hurrying and flurrying to get projects finished prior to Costume College. No, I've just been plodding through life, swimming uphill most days, seems like, and trying to slowly nudge the house into something resembling visitor-acceptable, as (1) inlaws are coming to visit next month, and (2) I'd like to have a housewarming party at some point within the same calendar year that we actually purchased the house. It really doesn't help that apparently during summer my commute to work increases to a dire degree.

Positive things: No More Ants! Hooray! Also, I spent two and a half hours out in the garden yesterday, planting, hmm, maybe a third of the new bed with seeds, and mulching it. So hopefully at some point I'll have daikon, mustard, beets, turnips, carrots, parsnips, and beans poking their heads above the straw. Also, Sushi has been microchipped and I've sent his registration in; next, Paris!
sakon76: (Default)
The plan for this weekend was to pick up the lumber and rebar for the next three garden beds (they get successively smaller) and put in bed #2. This would not be so difficult if the bloody thing wasn't fighting us every step of the way!

The metal blade for the sawsall gave up the ghost after cutting two stakes off the lengths of rebar.

The saw battery died on the very first cut of the planking.

The wheelbarrow tire died the hard death and the store doesn't sell replacements.

ARGH!

At this point the bed is finally built, the manure is mixed in to the dirt, but we still have a whole truckload of compost that needs to make its way from the driveway to the side yard. And we're due to return the truck to my parents in an hour and a half.

F*ck.

EDIT: Tire patched with internal goo that came in a lovely shade of radioactive green. Compost layered and mostly smoothed on top of bed. Dead now.

Just Wow

Jun. 15th, 2009 10:28 pm
sakon76: (Default)
...oh my fracking goodness, the bougainvilla is gone.

Well, not completely gone. The trunk is still there. It'll be taken out tomorrow. But the patio... it's so, so light! Though I'm not used to being able to see into the park from our back door, so that's making me a little nervous right now. But either that'll fade or we'll eventually plant a fruit tree there or something.
sakon76: (Default)
Stopped by my parents' after work to drop off cucumber plants and lightbulbs and KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement). Little Cupcake is already looking a lot better (eye medication working) and plumper, and is a lot more active than she was a couple days ago. That said, she still looks all wispy, like she forgot to use conditioner on her fur. She's definitely going to be medium to long-haired like her mama.

Got home to (1) discover Sushi playing with what looked like a cockroach as well as (2) the fact that the ants have finally twigged onto where the indoor kitties' food bowl is. Goddamn it all to hell on both of these counts! I may have to call Terminex and get us signed up for quarterly service. :(

After Wonderful Husband arrived home bearing ant spray and those got taken care of, I repotted about nine tomato plants and three jalepenos. Green stuff soothes me. I need to start haunting garden centers for stevia, as apparently the seeds' reputation for being difficult to sprout is well deserved. I'll have to propagate it the old-fashioned way, by taking cuttings.

Got the cat trap set up on the patio and baited, as well as spay/neuter vouchers at the ready. We'll see how long it takes for any of the ferals to take the bait....
sakon76: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] racerxmachina gets ninja nasturtiums, I get ninja tomatoes!

After work and dropping off all those lovely little plants for my mother, I went out to check on the tiny tomato seedlings I'd moved into their own spaces yesterday. All are well and... well, let's just say three more got moved today. I swear, I sweat and slave and coddle the darned things for months and they've all suddenly decided now it's time to come up. Next year I am investing in a heat mat! But after checking on the seedlings I took the two Buttercup squash over to the lemon tree and proceeded to yank up the clover and such that's trying to come up through the mulch, and... hang on. Wait a minute. *scrutinizescrutinize* That thar's a tomato seedling! Volunteering itself between the lemon tree and the fence. So Mystery Ninja Tomato gets to stay (the weeds do not), and the Buttercups are now in their forever home. ^_^

And I maaaay have started seeds for Italian Parsley and Luffas and Bloody Butcher and Mortgage Lifter tomatoes....
sakon76: (Default)
Today was one of those workdays that somehow seemed like it was a lot longer and a lot more painful than the eight hours it actually was. But I persisted and Got Stuff Done so that I'm now only a little behind, and was responsible and did shoppings and stuff (it wouldn't be so fun if Wonderful Husband and I didn't have cereal to eat in the morning) and then came home and gardened.

It's amazing how destressing it can be to sort through the plants you've started from seed and see which are big enough to go where they need to go. In this case they're going to my mother... fourteen Ruby Queen corn plants, two Vanilla Ice melons, a Green Zebra tomato, a Black Krim tomato, four dill starts, and two each of borage, jalepenos, and chard. Plus putting a few more seeds in to sprout and separating out the itty bitty tomatoes that are sprouting two or three in one pot instead of, you know, one each... hopefully the separated seedlings will all take and there will be lotsa tomatoes because that's all good. But at least now I've got at least one of each type I started! The squash, summer and winter alike, are big enough now to go in the ground whenever it's ready; I'm contemplating putting the winter squash under the lemon tree where it will have room to grow undisturbed, particularly since I noted today that the ferals had dug through the mulch in one spot and I'm guessing used that area as a litter box. :/ Maybe putting squash there would deter them. At least they're not interested in the pots of cat grass I start outdoors and give to the indoor kitties once it's tall enough.

Meh.

Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:24 pm
sakon76: (Default)
Weather has finally cooled off. Thank god. I checked my potted plants this morning and though some of them definitely show signs of "crisping" I think the ones who've survived until now will recover. I took the time to plant seeds to replace those that didn't make it... or in some cases never sprouted. Hopefully the habeneros will come up because I now have no more of those seeds! But the corn and melons and cucumbers are sprouting, and the basil and dill surprised me by also starting to poke their heads aboveground.

...Just gotta start prepping beds to put all this bounty in, eventually.

Kittens continue to number six. They're bigger now and more active and I think eyes are starting to open, but I didn't really get a chance to check that this morning as Greystoke was there glaring at me. (The mama has finally developed a defend-the-kittens instinct. Not that I've ever been fool enough to touch her babies and leave my scent on them; I look and admire only.)

Since it was finally cool enough to try on my dress mockup last night and make some alterations, I'd much rather be at home sewing (or digging up a garden) right now. ;_; But we can't always have what we want, can we....

Slaggit

Apr. 20th, 2009 10:51 pm
sakon76: (Default)
Two days of scorching heat have tested my seedlings. Most have survived. One tomato has not, and I have no idea on the Swiss chard. I'll have to check it again in the morning, see if the night's relative cool on top of water has helped to revive any of them.

EDIT: Heat wave casualty toll: three of six Swiss chard, one tomato, one jalepeno, and possibly a second tomato, we'll see if it recovers.

EDIT EDIT: Dammit, that other tomato seedling keeled over as well. Ah well. Planting more seeds in the morning, I guess.
sakon76: (Default)
Dinner: coq au vin. I love this because it was one of those rare cases where I was able to throw something together completely on the fly and have it work. Two thawed pieces of chicken, the last of the cooking wine I keep in the fridge, a can of chicken broth, some chopped carrots, shallots, and mushrooms, and some thyme and oregano from the garden. Voila, dinner in a hour or less.

I'm going to miss having a working herb garden right outside the kitchen door for the next few months... I'm planning on planting some in the front bed along the garage at the new house, but it'll take them a while to get established and that's not quite as convenient a location. Still, Wonderful Husband has promised me I'll have garden beds in the side yard come April. I'll survive until then. And some of them are in pots anyway, so that works. One of the two thyme plants in the ground here, however, seems to be on its way out, as it's much more branches than leaves at this point.
sakon76: (Default)
It has stopped raining. It is, in fact, sunny and blue-skied, even if it's chilly. And this lovely weather system that has struck the west coast of the USA has not only dropped snow on [livejournal.com profile] hoshikage and on the mountains near [livejournal.com profile] racerxmachina but has also turned the mountains ringing the LA basin pure white. They look quite lovely at the moment.

The Costa Mesa Community Gardens have gotten a new coordinator this month and frankly, I don't like her tone as well as I liked Ruth's. Ruth was always gracious in her writing, no matter what the circumstances. The new coordinator's e-mail last night telling me to pull up my stakes and clear my plot by the 31st or else was rather... snippy, shall we say. I'd decided not to renew my lease on the community garden plot, and currently I think I'm glad. I'm hoping by April to have access to a bigger space elsewhere; we'll see how that pans out.

Ha!

Dec. 2nd, 2008 08:03 am
sakon76: (Default)
Something has been munching something serious on my horseradish plant, and then started in on one of the eggplants next to it. Couldn't catch whatever it was, though, until last night when I went out to get some chard for dinner.

Mr. Snail has now been tossed over the fence into the bushes bordering the parking lot. He can chew on those instead.

(I tend to have enough sense of karma that I prefer to give annoying bugs somewhere else to be rather than just dispatching them. Of course, if I ever get to have chickens, that "somewhere else" may well be in the chicken coop... and chickens like bugs....)

EDIT: Another night, another snail. Or possibly the same one, being very very persistent? The plants in question are nowhere near the fence, that's for sure. Regardless, snail-tossing was once again engaged in.
sakon76: (Default)
...you discover you not only have dirt under your fingers, but under your wedding and engagement rings.

So, the 7'+ zucchini vine has been coiled onto a bare patch of dirt (thus foiling the kitties from lazing about there, getting dirty); two baby spider plants I rooted off of their mamas have been placed in house-worthy pots and brought into the living room; three other baby spider plants are now getting rooted; all the spider plants plus the strawberry planter plus the zucchini plus the five geraniums have had their dead leaves cleared out; the dead basil has been tossed and one of the geraniums upgraded to its pot; the seven eggplant plants have been upgraded to larger pots; the chives have gotten a larger pot; the smallest geranium has gotten a larger pot; the hummingbird feeder has been brought in to undergo washing; the melon vines have been pulled and trashed; two of the three trellises have been stacked; the patio has been swept clean of dirt.

The sad thing about all this? The end result of cleaning still remains "nothing," as it's a subtractive process rather than an additive one.
sakon76: (Default)
I popped over to the community garden before work today. The radishes are poking their heads aboveground, the carrots aren't, and I think the bok choi might be... though I worry about the local insects deciding that they like bok choi for snacks. I planted a few rows of spinach while I was there, then watered, and also harvested a few tomatoes and one jalepeno. The "Cream Sausage" varietal is definitely a yellow tomato at time of harvest, not the off-white the label led me to believe. *shrug* Unfortunately it's too dark after work to go to the garden, so I'm going to have to shift myself to mornings from now on....

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