Welcome to Caliann's blog

I love the outdoors, the beach, gardening, family get-to-gethers! This is a spot hopefully for anyone who is interested in giving me pointers on being a better gardener as I'm a beginner. Mostly learning from reading other garden blogs I'm finally going to give my vegetable garden a try.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Washington Apples

This is a photo of a Washington Apple compared to the apples I get down at the local grocery store. My husband just got back from a business trip there and brought back a box of these beauties. It's circumference is 14" round! I could probably make a pie with 2 of them. Sorry to say I don't know the name of the apples...

Friday, September 19, 2008

The pumpkins are turning orange. The weather has been cooler too. It's feeling a little like Fall. The leaves are starting to come off the trees little by little. It's a great relief from the hot temps we had just a couple weeks ago.
My little Swiss Chard seedlings are getting along o-k. I'm already collecting recipes for them when they get mature enough to pick. I love fall/winter veggies. They are so packed full of the antioxidents we need to ward off flu bugs and such. Most of all I love the soups and stews we get to make when the weather gets cold. Yum..
Carrot seedlings. I had to build a sun shade for the top of my carrot bed so the hot sun wouldn't burn them. I think it's working pretty good, there's no sign of heat stress. I planted spinach on sept. 2 and I didn't have hardly any come up. There was 2 or 3 and they aren't doing too good. Anyway, I planted some more seeds just yesturday. We'll see if I have any luck. I had such pretty spinach this last spring, I may only be able to grow it in the springtime...I'm going to experiment some more.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Drying Gourds

I finally cut all the gourds! I didn't realize how many I had. I grew some last year and only got about 4. I planted them too late and I think that's why. I made sure this year I planted them on time. I'll have to find a dry place in the winter months to store them so they can dry out real good. That will take about 6 months or so. I had this spare lattice leaning up against the garage so I thought I would just tie them all up there.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Zucchinni Bread

Oh! What to do with all the Zucchinni squash. I'm starting to shred it and then put in the freezer. I'll be able to bake zucchinni bread this winter. My plants are still producing although they are starting to slow down a bit. The Patty Pan squash is still growing well. It's growing in with the gourds.

I have Pumpkins! It was hiding under the Gourd leaves. I didn't think I was going to have any. I planted two mounds and I've seen blossoms but didn't see any little pumpkins. Now they are finally emerging like "surprise"! It doesn't look like I'm getting too many though. The weather has been hot, hot! I've had to go out and make some sun covers for my tiny carrot seedlings that are just now peeking up. With the dirt at such a warm temperature it only took about 6 days for germination. I've got seedlings coming up everywhere cause of the heat. I hope I have timed it right for the fall planting. Remember, I'm just a beginner. Our local Ag. County Extension information sheet says now is the time for fall planting, I just hope the seedlings don't get burned up before they get a start. We'll see what happens.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fall Planting

I just got my packet of Fall seeds from "Parks Seeds". I'm planting carrots in a raised bed with three different rows. They are: "Royal Chantenay" which grows about 6-1/2" long. "Scarlet Nantes" which grows to 7" long, and "Thumbelina" which grows just 2" round.

The other Fall seeds I'm going to plant are: Spinach "Melody Hybrid", Lettuce "Salad Bowl Mix", Kale "Italian Lacinato", and Swiss Chard "Ruby". I'm planting these all in a 36' raised row along the edge of the garden alond the levy of the almond orchard.

Garden Blight

I think my bell peppers are getting burned by the hot summer heat. Maybe I have to plant them in a different spot next year. Some of our temperatures reach triple digits and stay that way for days sometimes weeks at a time.I'm seeing a few aphids on my zucchinni squash and some of the gourd leaves. I spray them off the fruit and some of the leaves I tear off if theres too many aphids on them. It seems to work pretty good, but I have to really stay on top of it everyday to make sure they don't take over.

Compost Bin

I decided to make another type of compost bin. I had one of the rubbermade type ones I bought from Wal-mart, and it fell apart. As I kept filling it up it started coming loose at the sides that snap together. What a waste of my money. I've been reading a lot of information on composting, and I should always be "stirring it up" which I never could with the Wal-mart brand. I had some old pallets out back, so I put them together at the corners with wire then I added some plastic type chicken wire on the sides to keep the small stuff from falling out. When you turn the compost your supposed to start from the sides and work towards the middle. If you do it everyday it's supposed to speed up the process. I'm already seeing some good stuff happening.

Next, I want to rig up a wire frame to put all the leaves that are going to be falling soon. You run over them with the lawn mower then empty them in the wire bin. This is a good "soup" to make for worms which you want a lot of in your garden.