Fresh Harvest and pretty flowers

This week's harvest is not complete, or rather it was picked and eaten but not recorded. We had a BBQ yesterday with in-laws so I picked some salads, radishes, asparagus for a salad and then they picked some sorrel and parsley to take home. But I forgot to take weight or pictures of it all so won't count it in the harvest. But I did pick some more today that I did take picture - these are more of our yummy radishes that my hubby refuses to eat point blank - just about 4 oz of it.
And first really heavyset rhubarb - 2 lbs and 4 oz of it and it should stimulate more new growth after cutting.
It really was a very large bunch and I asked my sweet hubby to hold it for me so I can take a proper picture. These leafs would have been fantastic in summer heat to  use as a fan, but considering that it's blistering cold outside they had to be discarded.
Well that's it for harvest for now.  The rest are pretty flowers that can't really be put into flower arrangements yet even though they're in full bloom - bright red azaleas in front of the house visible from the road
And white azaleas surrounding back porch desperately needs a trim - I'll chop it after it's done blooming. Right now it's too pretty to cut it.
Bleeding heart is growing nicely and loves cold weather. It usually disappears for summer once heat sets in and then comes back to live again in early fall.
And these beauties I did not expect to see so early - they are usually in bloom mid-May and looks like they're at least 3 weeks early. I won't complain as I love their scent but can't have them in the house because they're deadly for my cats and I don't want to chance poisoning them.
Our solar lights are very pretty and light up with sundown making it homey and inviting surrounding.

Frost damage

Last night we had hard frost and I tried to protect some of the plants but you can't protect everything. Some damage is obvious like on the leafs of potatoes that peaked from their layers of hay.
Looks like wind helped move it a bit around so some areas are more damaged than others. But most of them were under hay and straw so they'll be ok. And then there are grapes that look a bit wilted and blueberries dropped flowers. Will they have fruit this year? I don't know. And in my old garden something else is at work - decimating my baby greens. My poor baby choi are all ravaged and I have no idea what did this damage.
I'm used to seeing damage from slugs but it's too early for them and I haven't found any slime around so it's not likely slug-work. Will have to do some research.  And more frost warning for us tonight and tomorrow night. What a joy. Not a very happy camper today.

Another Frost???

Looks like we're in for a cold weather with hard frost alert for this weekend. Tonight we're down to "only" balmy 36. Oy. I guess at this point I'll just let Mother nature to decide how my garden will grow - if it dies off from frost so be it. All my blueberries in bloom, second plum in bloom, strawberries, grapes - not sure if I'll have any. At least the newly planted strawberries should be ok as they'll have delayed blooms because of transplant. Good luck to all who's facing frost this weekend as well.

Thu, Apr 26, 2012, 3:08 PM EDT    


Arbor edits

Guess what's being build this weekend!
Yup, the door for the arbor is being cut and build and hopefully I can have a lock on it before long. Sadly lock seems to be necessary as we've had visitors in the past and while I don't mind sharing I do mind stealing.

More radishes

Another day and another harvest. Ok, so it's not really harvest  - I just wanted something crunchy in my salad so I picked more radishes today, about 3oz total.
Normally I'd wait until the weekend but sometimes you just have to go with it - and my radishes paid the price. I think I'll have to stay out of the garden for next couple of days so I can actually have a normal 'harvest' post on Monday :)

Damage control and garden check

Finicky Mother Nature can't seem to make up her mind on which season it is. First we got walloped with 2 feet of snow in October - when we're not supposed to have it until late November or December. Then all winter long it felt like spring time - my forsythia went into bloom for Christmas! In February and March it felt like late spring and even summer - we were in high 60's and even 80 for a week. And then for past few weeks it's been a rolercoaster - up to 80-90 down to 23 back to 80 down to 32. And now snow storm. Thankfully it just grazed us a bit and we got slight frost and mix of rain/snow and some sleet but nothing as bad as it could have been. I did a walk through to see if there is any damage and it's minimal - mostly those tomatoes that I planted prematurely that paid the price.  My strawberry seem fine - still blooming like crazy and I saw tiny berries forming.
My potatoes really starting to take off in growing very fast - but not as fast as weeds around them. I can't believe that I will have to do some first real weeding this weekend.
All seems to be ok our old grapes - we have 2 that were transplanted last weekend but I wasn't sure how it's going to take late season transplant so I guess all this rain helped to make it easier. It's a muscatel variety, so good grape for jelly but not for eating raw.
One of my new beds - I planted some bok choy, brassicas, spinach and swiss chard. It wasn't doing too great but now it seems to be better after 3 days of rain. We'll see how it does by the weekend. Once the bok choy is harvested I'll move some of the cabbages around to give them more space.
One thing that I didn't have to worry about is my hydroponic plants - they are safely inside growing and we've been picking them for dinner from time to time. It's a first time I got a shot of multiple stages on the same row so wanted to share.
The large one will be eaten this week but the smaller ones will be in about a week or so. Since they are nicely warm and have plenty of nutrients they are growing just fine :)

Crunchy Harvest

It's not quite Monday just yet, but I decided to do my post on my harvest. I couldn't wait long enough and picked a handful of radishes yesterday for snacking - Cherry Belle variety. It was so yummy! Crunchy fresh and sweet, thought my hubby and I disagree what qualifies as "sweet".
And then this morning I picked 3 of my Bok Choy plants so I could add them to the veggie saute for lunch. Also were very yummy, and my hubby ate most of them (I did have a bite to try).
It's cold and raining outside today and looks like it's going to be like this all week so I hope next harvest will have some really good greens since they should be thriving in these conditions. How was your harvest?

Edit: because of the warning on snow storm I decided to pluck some more greens today so I added this lovely mess to my dinner table.
It's a mix of arugula, two types of lettuce and some snipets of mesclun mix salad and another bunch of radishes.


Yup, we just got snow alert for tonight and possible through Wednesday Morning with temps plunging down to low 30s. Overall expecting about 4" of rain/snow mix. So much for nice spring this year. :(

Another Seedlings update

Remember all my tomato seedlings that got sick and were near dead when I spotted them? I planted few outside - 4 in the containers and about a dozen around new garden and let them decide if they want to survive or not. The rest I kind of left alone - just gave them extra strong fish drink and put them in the enclosed patio and forgot about them. Well apparently they do not want to die off. they're weedy and skinny but they're alive.
And now I'm not sure what to do with them because I already started new batch - labels and all and they're awake and started growing as you can see in picture below. I might put few more into containers on the patio but the rest will be outside of the garden - maybe where I have my flower bed I can fit about 6 of them. Others will be places here and here among flowers around new garden.
One pot that actually been very slow in growing among my seedlings is my basil - it's been painfully slow. My guess it's just not warm enough for it. I'll plant more outside around tomatoes after they go in to the ground and see how they'll take.
And here are my batch of peppers - it's a mix of sweet, banana, jalapeno and habanero peppers. Most of them are sweet and only couple are hot. I think it's a good mix and hope they'll produce this year. They were very slow to start growing but once first set of true leafs came out they took off. So now I look forward to trying new variety in there - Purple Beauty (it's the only one that has tag as others are pretty self explanatory come harvest time ;)
And remember couple of posts back I showed a picture of my hubby's experiment? Well one part of his experiment has baby green beans on it! I can't believe it, but it looks like we'll get to try our own green beans by the end of April!
Now I do hope the rest of his experiments grows nicely too, but I also planted alot more beans and other stuff this weekend. New round of radishes, spinach, carrots and more peas went into the ground. It's going to be one very wet and cold week so I hope all seeds will take off nicely.

The Versatile Blogger Award

I want to thank Ed of Tales from the Mountainside for this honor. 

Here are the rules-
Add the award to your blog
Thank the blogger who gave it to you
Mention 7 random things about yourself
List the rules
Award to 15 bloggers
Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blogs or on Facebook

So Thank you Ed again, award is listed above and the 7 random things about me:
  1. Most people addicted to junk food like chips but I'm the opposite - I'm a fruit-junkie. If it was my choice I'd be living 24/7 on fruit alone and not miss anything else (well maybe I'd add veggies)
  2. I've been working with computers and in technical field since 1994 and yet I'm not a fan of gadgets. My first cell phone was replaced only after 9 yrs and only because it finally gave up on me.
  3. I love going to the forest foraging for mushrooms, berries and nuts and have been doing it for over 30 yrs
  4. I have a twin sister who lives in LA
  5. I used to live in LA for over 12 yrs (and boy, do i miss all that sunshine)
  6. I'm always cold so when summer hits with 90+ I welcome it.
  7. My one real indulgence is Amadei Porcelana and Domori chocolate.
as for 15 blogers it's a hard choice. I'd recommend all blogs that are on my right-side banner for reading :)

Future Fruit

One thing that I always wanted to have was my own fresh fruit. Any fruit. So as soon as we bought our home, we went looking for fruit. First we planted plums - you can see two of them side by side. The one on the right already was in bloom and I striped it, but the one on left is only now starting to show buds. And this spring we added one more plum tree - prune variety. I love eating them fresh! Looks like this tree is slowly starting to grow too so I hope it grows without any issues. Below is a shot that's a bit hard to see but these are our cherry trees. It's their 3rd spring with us so that makes them 5 yrs old. I was hoping for a good harvest this year but looks like I have to wait just a bit more. They are growing in front of our original aka small garden. And then we have our apple patch - two trees were planted last spring and one more this spring. From left to right we have Gala, Ginger Gold - newly added, and Golden Delicious. Both Gala and GD are in bloom as you can see from the shot below. Too bad we'll strip it.
And of course we have berries! Strawberries are going nuts in bloom so that should make my hubby happy come first harvest - and these are only from small garden. The ones in large new garden are quickly catching up on size!And yes, we'll have grapes. Some this year and should have lots next year. So my hubby can snack on them in the garden while sitting on the bench in the arbor - it's surrounded by two grape bushes and roses; or by making juice from extra grapes. And then there are red, gold and black raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and some wild kind that I'm not quite sure off - looks like blackberry but doesn't taste the same. And I added persimmon, figs and walnuts into the mix this year. Hopefully in few years I'll have a wonderful harvest of fruit! For now I keep thinking of investing in the future tasty deserts :)

What I do outside of gardening

There is another side of my life that normally is not known but some saw in my comment remarks -I rescue animals, mainly cats. As in every Friday and every other Saturday we do cat adoptions for our rescue group in the local PetSmart. In the same group I do some admin like updating bookkeeping records, newsletter, hound for supplies and some other small things. One thing I can't do is to actually foster cats - I don't have strength in me to let them go after they came under my roof. All 3 of my furbabies are rescues that came from my group.

In addition to all the local activity I'm also a sponsor for one of the rescue group in Los Angeles - Milo's Sanctuary, where they rescue and care for abandoned old, disabled and abused cats. They are truly angels in disguise - to deal with some of the most horribly abused animals that come to them takes alot of strength and effort and I can't say enough about their work. This week they came out with the first newsletter that shows what they're really doing and I'm passing it on to you.

How does your garden grow?

How does your garden grow? That was a topic this week from both Daphne and Ed so I took my camera out for some shots, starting with some pretties - my tulips under the pine tree surprisingly still alive. I sprayed them with Liquid Fence and sprinkled area with cayenne pepper.And also noticed 'volunteer' potato peaking through by the tulip - this was a small potato patch with blue potatoes. I guess I'll find out if it grows or not in August.Daffodils are still going strong and look lovely surrounded by hostas just getting into full growth.More pretties in the first garden - purple tulips are on their way out but pink and red ones are just about to start blooming. There should be couple of green tulips but not sure if they made it over winter. We also have some greens coming up nicely this week and really going into growing season - Bok Choi is doing wonderful and will be ready to be picked soon. Around it some brassicas and lettuces so when I pick Bok Choi it will have more room to grow. And then when lettuces are done brassicas will have room to really spread out. Looks like we'll have some broccoli after all! Small broccoli is already forming on the stem - it's one of the replacement broccoli plants that I got after freeze. And there are several of them so I do hope for a good harvest about a month from now. I have to move some of them from back to give it a bit more room because it's very crowded there. On the left side of it is my parsley after it was "thinned" out for Monday's harvest - doesn't look like it was ever touched, right?My dwarf peas are coming along but VERY slow. I thought they'd be alot bigger now but I guess two weeks of frost at night really set them back. Hopefully they'll start growing better now that it's warmer.My ever bearing strawberries desperately need thinning out as well but they're all going into bloom now so I think I missed on my timing there, being busy with new garden I neglected my old one :( Still, I do hope we'll have some berries out of it. I did remove quite a few plants out last fall but still alot need to be moved. Maybe I'll take some smaller plants and get them as a border for new garden. Speaking of new garden, here's my update on the onions I planted in March - not doing too great. Maybe it's because they came in very dried out and in really bad condition but they just stayed the same for first 3 weeks and only now starting to show new growth. But then I usually plant from sets and this is first time I did live plants so we'll see if it worked. All those wooden stakes are placeholder for my tomatoes to be planted in May. New strawberries that I planted along the inner border are slow on uptake but hope they'll pick up now that it's warm again. Next to the actual fence snap peas woke up and started growing so couple of weeks from now my fence will be hidden by nice green lace of plants. More brassica's that I bought and planted after frost - cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.Another bed of my potatoes - my Red Bliss and White are doing fine and waking up, but no signs so far from Yukon Gold - which I really hoped would produce something this year. Remember my poor sick tomatoes that were really nice and then something walloped them? Well I decided to give them a chance and see if they'll recover so I planted them outside in the new garden area between flowers. If they survive I'll have extra tomatoes. If not it's ok too. So far some are still alive.And speaking of outside flowers - I also mixed in some fruit like blueberries that are now in full bloom, grapes, raspberries and blackberries. Eventually they'll create a live green wall for my garden. Looks like I should have some blueberries if all those little critters will let me have them. New addition to the garden - baby fig! two actually, but the other one is still in dormant state and doesn't have leafs just yet. It's obviously too small to have fruit this year but I hope in couple of years to have harvest. I LOVE figs! Here is one of the grapes woke up and starting slowly to grow - only 1 out of 9 plants that I planted. I do hope the rest will wake up as well but so far no sign of any life in them. One thing that is growing too much is my rhubarb - this is after I picked 4 stalks already! I like it once in a while in a pie but not that much! At least it's pretty and fills up dark corner of my garden :)So, how does YOUR garden grow these days?