Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cantaloupe? More Like Can-A-Loupe

DSC_0571_796 On May 2, this raised bed had tomatoes, zucchini, cantaloupe, and watermelons.

DSC_0944_1143By May 29, it was clear that the zucchini was on steroids and the watermelon were acting just like Manny Ramirez. The Golden Heart cantaloupe were going to get muscled out. I had to think of some place to transplant them.

DSC_1089_1300Six of the plants were transplanted into the old pea patch. I didn’t think the transplants would make it. I would give them until the second week of June to show signs of life before I would sew more seeds. I was too embarrassed to take photos after they were transplanted. Man, they looked pathetic. The photo above was taken on June 18 and shows much improvement.

DSC_1102_1322Just nine days later on June 27, the melons are starting to overrun the raised bed they were transplanted into. Remarkable. There’s even an abundance of melons.

DSC_1092_1313I suspect they will be sweet and juicy by mid to late July.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Garden Gate


DSC_1084_1295The garden gate has been completed. Soon the Red Flame grapes will grow up across the arbor above the gate. The gate is meant to keep my big pooch out when I want him out. Looks like it’s straight out of the 1930’s doesn’t it? Perhaps more like Mr. Blanding Build His Dream Home.


I hope to someday paint a room in my house a birds egg blue and my kitchen butter yellow. Mr. Blanding is a fun movie and I wouldn’t mind the house. Realistically, my house is more like the Winchester Mystery House. It will NEVER be finished.

MrBlandingsBuildsHisDream31265_f apex_blandings

Saturday, June 20, 2009


The 1st eggplant was harvested this morning along with all the fixin's to make ratatouille.

I've never made it before. I've never handled eggplant before.
With the help of Jacques Pepin, I plan on mastering this dish. The only thing I had to buy for the meal was the crusty sourdough bread because I cannot make bread successfully.


There's a garden radio program hosted by a local nurseryman and landscaper that I listen to each Saturday morning. You can listen online between 8-10 each Saturday morning. The link is provided. Archive programs may also be available. The broadcast is generated from Bakersfield, California which is zone 8-9. They provide an 800 number if you would like to call in a question for them to address. They sometimes have "give aways".

Hope this is helpful.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


The Red Flames are moving right along. I wasn't expecting any fruit this year. The vines were planted as bare root stock a few months ago. My studies of grapes led me to believe that no fruit would set until the 3rd season.
I suppose real life studies will be the biggest source of garden knowledge. If only I could start writing in a garden journal.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Okay - I Was Wrong!

It seems that I need to take the birds off my "hit" list. They may have caused minimal damage to the fruit while they were on the job for me.
See, they were doing battle with these creepy creeps. Thanks birds.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cinderelli, Cinderelli!

Update: The Cinderella pumpkins sprouted in the evening of June 15, 2009. Just 5 days to sprout! I watered the hills at 4:30 pm. By 7:30 pm this is what I had.

I've planted my pumpkins. They are Cinderella pumpkins and should be ready in time for Halloween. That's my favorite time of year AND my favorite Disney princess (if I have to pick).
I made room for 3 hills in the onion patch right next to the trimmed petunias. 3 hills - Anastasia, Drizella, and Cinderella. The package says that they are "charming" French heirloom. I've never known a pumpkin to be charming so this should be interesting.

They should mature in 110 days. Lake Valley Seed Co. in Boulder, Colorado recommends to set the fruits upright while they are still young for the best shaped fruit. They also instruct that for large pumpkins only 1 or 2 fruits should be allowed to develop per vine. Sprouts should be poking out in 10-15 days. We'll see.
I use Dr. Earth fertilizer. It's very pricey. I'm thinking of switching to "road apple tea".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tomato Pests

Birds are beginning to annoy me in my tomato patch. Can't they just choose a tomato and finish the entire fruit before moving on to destroy another? Here's what my tomato looked like before today. It was soaking in the nutrients and warm sun. Growing, ripening until it was ready for my dinner table.
This was not to be. Some danged little twerp decided to dive in before an invitation was extended...before eating the grubs and caterpillars. How rude.
How do you "shoo" away birds from your garden? Oh, don't think I'm defenseless. I have Cagney and Lacey on my staff.
Just this morning I was presented with a lovely, dead sparrow (picture not included). I don't know if this bird committed the offense; but my team asks questions later. Maybe.
Note: The next morning, the remains of a dove were found in the same spot as the orange cat pictured above. The cats don't care that it's not dove season. Everyday is dove season for them.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hidden Melons

I thought that the Crimson watermelons were less than the size of a golf ball at this stage. The vines are loaded with melons; but they're dinky still. Yesterday, I went out to gather the zucchinis (They are rabbit like in their breeding!) and I found 3 melons had been developing in the holes of the cinder blocks that form the raised beds. Carumba! They are larger than softballs. What a pleasant surprise.
Melons have taken over where the cantaloupe once played. They are now marching into the zucchini. See the melons in the left of the photo above?
This sweet thing was growing in a hole of a cinder block that forms the raised bed.

Here's another baby that I moved out to the gravel pathway to mature.

I was tempted to leave them in their cubby holes and see if they would form into square melons. Then, I couldn't figure out how I would get them out; so they are now developing on the gravel pathways. Note: The cantaloupe that were evicted because of the monstrous growth of zucchini and water melons are beginning to thrive. It was touch and go for a bit; but I believe all 6 plants are going to make it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I planted some seeds just a couple of days ago and then, BAM! Here come some more marigolds to join the others that are exploding.

I've read a few blogs where, coincidentally, the topic is using and saving seeds. I planted seeds for: marigolds, parsley, chives, basil, watermelon, cantaloupe, onions, beets, radishes, carrots, and peas. The only seeds I plan to save are those from the marigolds. I plant these seeds in areas adjacent to tomatoes. Aphids and other bugs are supposed to be repelled by marigolds. They're growing well and so are the tomatoes.

Bare root stock is great too: plum, peach, apple, grape, strawberry, pear, nectarine, apricot, lilac.

I'm not planning on saving the earth by gardening. I'm not THAT arrogant, yet. I prefer to garden - period. It's a nice benefit to know where my produce is being grown. The best benefit is the flavor and quality. Oh yes, a nice side benefit of saving money and having a bit of exercise is great too.