Saturday, March 31, 2012


Asparagus Sprout
Planted on March 11, 2012, the Jersey Giant Asparagus crowns purchased at Floyd's Hardware Store sprouted this week.  One is growing so quickly that I can't keep up with back filling the planting trench.  I've never grown asparagus before, but it seems to be very resilient.  I'm not a fan of the "grass"; but Farmer MacGregor loves it.  The garden labor must be treated well so I reserved a spot in the eastern most bed. 

This bed was having a problem with Root Knot Nematodes.  To ease the problem, I've planted French Marigolds, Celebrity Tomatoes, Basil, and asparagus.  The boogers don't like any of that stuff and may starve because of their finicy ways.  All the plantings are companions to each other; so by the end of summer I may hear choruses of Kumbaya floating in the hot, heavy air.

Three asparagus crowns for $3.98 seemed a bit pricey to me initially. Since the plants will multiply and the price of the spears is even more pricey, this seems like a pretty good deal.  My garden laborer has a treat and the nematodes are no longer a problem.  These plants are supposed to produce for many more years. 

Here's a video that I used as a guide to planting.  I used some steer manure I had available rather than chicken doo.  Hope the plants won't rebel.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bloomin' Fabulous

There's more blooming in the garden besides all the fruit trees.
Volunteer Sweet Peas
The Sweet Peas are germinated from 2011 seeds.  They are pretty much growing wherever the pod exploded so they are scattered around the garden but some were planted intentionally under a trellis.  Once the trellised vines are finished, green beans will use the support.

The Nasturtiums are growing along with the Sweet Peas under a trellis.  Some are growing under a support where zucchini will soon be planted.
Strawberries - Duh!
Strawberries are blooming well but the berries aren't making it into the kitchen.  They are falling prey to the gardener (me) who cannot resist eating raw peas either.
The Marigolds (French) are doing so-so in the tomato bed.  I believe I'll plant more soon to replace any the feable plants.  They were stung with a recent cold spell.  These plants are in place to team with Basil and Celebrity Tomatoes to discourage nematoads.

I'm looking for companion plants for the boysenberries; but I don't believe there is any recommendations.  Only if aphids are a problem are marigold companions recommended.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Farmer MacGregor Strikes Again!

Farmer MacGregor has finished the construction of the support screens for the boysenberries.  From wood, metal, and paint, he has created lovely, strong supports for the promise of a successful boysenberry harvest year after year.
There are six screens to replace the area that once (unsuccessfully) was the home of camellias and azallias.  There is a slight slope to the ground; so Old Man MacGregor will be constructing a drainage system (note the scratched out earth).
Strawberries hang from cone shaped baskets framing an area where I hope to place some chairs or a bench.  Each of the boyesnberries will be named.  I have some ideas but would enjoy considering others.  So far :  (Barry) Manilow, White, Fitzgerald, Goldwater, Bostwick, Gibb, Williams, and Bonds. 

Know any other famous Barrys?

Note:  I have been unable to post to my Blogspot site using Windows Live Writer whenever I would like to post my photos.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I have found no help yet.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Nectarine vs Terrorism

The original Fantasia Nectarine bit the dust and needed to be replaced.  Fortunately, I found a bare root specimen at Robby’s Nursery.  Last Sunday (March 18, 2012), I was able to chat with Old Man “Robby” Robinson regarding my replacement choices.  My main concern was the different rootstock used.  He assured me that since I will be pruning my tree espalier, that the trunk would not grow larger than the other fruit trees on the fence line.  The trunks grow to meet the demand of the tree tops.The Fantasia Nectarine is described as very large, flesh yellow, firm, smooth textured, sweet & juicy.  It is freestone and can tolerate frost.  The fruit should ripen in July.

As Robby recommended, the roots were trimmed and the branched pruned back.  The most suitable lateral branches for the bottom and middle lines were bent along the guide wire while the others were pruned.  The top laterals haven’t developed enough to bend. Those branches were left to develop any fruit until they have grown long enough to bend.The garden terrorist is aware of the new addition and is probably quite pleased that he may have had a hand (mouth) in bringing an end to Fantasia I.  I’m watching that guy.



Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Google/Blogger have not been helpful AT ALL! They do not respond AT ALL. Any suggestions?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Error (403) Forbidden

Unable to post regularly due to this error. Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What’s This?!


R A I N !

In the immortal words of George M. Cohan:

My vegetables thank you.  My trees thank you. My flowers thank you.  And, most of all, I thank you.

Okay.  So I played with Cohan’s words.  It’s raining and I’m grateful.  Hope it comes in buckets; but mostly I hope it comes in the form of very wet snow at the higher elevations.

TCM Thanks you too! (2 minutes into this clip after a commercial.)

It’s a good day to organize seeds and nap.  I like it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wisteria Lane

Once scratch and sniff technology is perfected, this may be one “favorite” to visit again and again.DSC_2260The wisteria on top of the pergola is in full bloom now.  Bumblebees are abundant.  An old nurseryman prunes his old wisteria regularly throughout the growing season to encourage continuous blossoms.

This wisteria is a blue wisteria.  It’s fairly simple to grow.  As a bare root twig, it was planted in well drained soil.  Fertilizing is infrequent and so is irrigation now that it’s established.  After it blooms, I prune it back a bit to encourage new growth and blooms.  So far, so good.DSC_2261The perfume is sweet.  As the petals fall, there is nice blue confetti littering the garden. My oldest wisteria vine may have succumbed to the teeth of Ajax.  A replacement wisteria has been planted to fill in just in case it does pull through. It’s just a whip now but does have a bud on the tip.  This year will be dedicated to establish the new growth up to the top of the pergola.

There’s gravel under the pergola today; but there are plans to install dichondra in a few weeks.  This should be a nice cool spot during the hot summer.  Wisteria is a nice plant to create shade for the hot days ahead.  In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the beautiful perfume.

Is there any wisteria growing on Wisteria Lane?  Name that TV show?


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Flula in the Garden

I love to garden and I love Flula.  He’s ridiculous.  Imagine my delight when my two loves collided.

Flula makes me smile.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Miss Congeniality–Granny Smith

Good Ol’ Granny Smith takes 4th place in the fruit blossom competition in the garden.  This year look pretty good for the apple tree.  There are dozens of blossoms on the young tree now.  Hopefully enough will develop into apples to enjoy later in the summer.DSC_2258Locally, the honey bee population is supposed to be on the rise.  I’m doing my part.  Hope they get busy in the garden.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Grow Your Own

I’m a cynic.  The entire “green” thing is a marketing hoax to me.  Those around me have known me to say that just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean that I want to eat it.  Example:  Arsenic, bugs, and the southbound product of a north bound beastie.  “Organic” has been so overused that it is now simply a marketing tool.  The new meaning for organic:  Hey, idiot.  Buy me and feel good about yourself.

Those “idiots”, I believe, for the most part are truly trying to do something good; but buying a bag of salad just doesn’t get it.  Honestly.  A bag of salad?  How long does that stuff stay fresh?  What was it washed with – bleach?  Yuck.  Where was it grown?  How long ago was it harvested?  Do you want to gamble with Salmonella?

If you want to eat better, grow it yourself.  It’s fresher, costs much less, and you have control.  If you can’t grow it yourself, buy it locally from a source you trust.  Now, some people just aren’t interested in gardening.  Find a neighbor gardener that wouldn’t mind trading produce for something or just be more careful about what you buy.  Framers’ markets are fine; but you really need to know the source.

Don’t throw your money away on “green organics”.  Sheesh!

Whole Foods is a whole lot of hooey.

PS…I’ve never been in a Whole Foods but I feel the same way about others I have visited.  Rip off.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Peaches Take 3rd Place

DSC_2264Today, the peaches (O’Henry) opened their buds.  Peaches follow plums and apricots.  The conciliation prize will, most likely, go to the apple (Granny Smith) tree.  The Warren Pear tree has never bloomed.  This year looks like a repeat performance.  The Fantasia Nectarine looks pretty puny.  If old Fantasia doesn’t get its act together, it is in extreme danger of being replaced.DSC_2265

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March Comes in Like a Lamb


Cyclamen planted under the Wisteria entangled pergola.

March came in like a lion here in Bakersfield, California (zone 8-9).  February ended with a much needed but not enough rain. Most all the buds are swelling or have already broken.  It looks to be a drier than dry year.  It’s always something.  Irrigation in the garden is mostly drip so we’re hydrologically economical.  Heavy composting and mulching will help to keep plant roots moist and cooler.

Plans are on the calendar to remove the gravel under the pergola and replace it with Dichondra (seed).  The area is bordered with sidewalks so the chances of the stuff leaping out into the lawn are reduced.  Having this green patch should help bring the temperatures down a bit.  That’s always a good thing.

What do you do to save water in the garden?  Have you ever intentionally grown Dichondra?

I could handle summer if it was like this.  Maybe this is what summer is like where people enjoy the summertime.