Ugh! Its been a long couple days here at the Hotel Amoroso. The Olive trees have been in overdrive, producing all of that sweet gold (pollen) that makes the circle of life continue and me want to end my own (life). Okay maybe I’m not THAT dramatic, but when the choice is between gardening with my eyes swelled shut or living the life of a shut in… only seeing my plants from the window, it feels like I could be.
My Birthday on Sunday was awesome. We partied, bbq’d, drank and enjoyed life in the backyard.
As promised… here is an update on all things veggie!
TOMATOES: They’re growing fast and most plants have small tomatoes on them. Even the Roma, which was broken in half by the hound dog the week it was planted. As you can tell from the photo below, the cherry tomatoes are taller than the great Gadzuki (and he’s only 2 years old).
Peppers, Zucchini & Cucumbers: A lot has changed in just 17 days since I planted. The Zucchini are already really big, the Cucumbers are climbing up and out of the planter and the Yellow Bell even has a small bell pepper!!
Eggplant, Onion & Garlic: Not a lot has changed… I’m almost wondering if the area might be too shady?
Carrots: They’re getting bigger everyday, but still not large enough to even get a baby carrot.
Radishes: The foliage is getting very large on these… unfortunately almost half our crop was wiped out by the birds. I can’t wait to harvest these and plant another round before it gets too hot. This time I think I’ll try a bird net over the top.
Next: I’m excited to show you how good the compost looks after just a month and a half!
With Gadzuki sick in bed I’m continuing the project I started yesterday:
What could be better than recycling, composting and starting your seeds all at once? I feel like I stumbled upon a life long skill. Here’s the youtube.com video I learned from:
And here is a photo of my finished product!
So here’s the verdict on the watering by osmosis vs. watering overhead experiment.
Watering by osmosis (i.e the carrot seeds) didn’t work for me. The seeds never came up. Its because either the seeds dried out, were planted too deep, or blew away (we did have some heavy winds). In any case, we will have radishes and LOTS of them!
The radishes sprouted exactly as the package said, about 5 days after they were planted. I put them in the ground, created shallow trenches on either side and watered them with a fine mist overhead everyday until they came up.
(see photo at LEFT).
On the 9th day they were 1/2″ -1″ tall and it was definitely time to “thin” the rows… But I just couldn’t see the point in aborting all of those “would be” radishes so I got creative. These were the tools I set out with: One little Rake, My trusty gardening gloves and a pencil (see photo at RIGHT).
Originally I intended on maybe planting them where the carrot seeds had been (Right Side), but after getting down and dirty I decided to take advantage of the rows in between. Since watering by osmosis clearly wasn’t something I was going to continue doing.
When I put the seeds in the ground I basically just drew a line in the soil and sprinkled the seeds along that line. BOY was that the WRONG thing to do. When the sprouts came up they were only about an 1/8 of an inch apart at best. I needed to thin them to roughly 1″ apart.
To do this I had to be careful to pull up each sprout individually by one of the 4 little leaves. Easier than is sounds, but still time consuming, all the while being careful not to touch the trunk. Then with my pencil I created shallow holes all along the little trenches on either side of the row. I then transplanted as many seedlings as I could.
If things go well we should get 300 radishes all together from this modest 3’x3′ planting area. Not bad! Considering we’re about 10 days from when they went in the ground we should be feasting like rabbits in about 15 more days!
So we’ll see in a few days if the “trench seedlings” live through the water collecting in them. But if it works, it’ll be a great way of taking advantage of a small space.
Next: We’ll explore propagating some Ivy for my friend Hank’s yard!
Today I got schooled… and loved every minute of it.
We hit the ground running, picking up Lopez and heading out to Broad Acres swap meet. Where I scored a sweet pitch fork ($4.00)… and heard a fantastic story about an urban youth holding another fellow up by the neck with the afore mentioned implement of death. Plus, a lovely gift for Gilby. Lopez picked up a Muno shirt, SCORE!
I was pleased when we were heading back to the Hotel Amoroso with enough time to spare for me to finally catch one of the weekly workshops that Plant World offers on gardening. Todays theme: Leslie Doyle – The Tomato Lady. The hour I spent listening was awfully educational and embarrassingly humbling. The experience was free and I’ll go over all of the notes I took in tomorrows blog. Until then, you can visit her website the Sweet Tomato Test Garden.
After a quick trip to the dollar store where I picked up some fertilizer, flower seeds & peat cups for seedlings cheap ($4.00)! Oh, and Tamales I bought out of a ladies trunk in the parking lot for tonight’s dinner, we reconvened a the house.
With the usual suspects just happening by, we had an impromptu Mexican Fiesta and everybody stuck around until I announced I was finally putting on the documentary DIRT!
I’ve been talking so much about. Please watch this movie. Even if you’re not a gardener, even if you’re not an environmentalist and most of all it you’ve lived your whole life in a city.
Its a simple reminder that if we’re all doing the best we can, we can accomplish a lot.
Thats it for tonight. Its the weekend, and I love my family too much to stare at this screen much longer. Hope you’ve planted well this weekend. I ironically do LESS gardening on the weekend than I do during the normal week.
Tomorrow: we’ll go over some of the tricks that Leslie Doyle has up her sleeve when it comes to planting in Las Vegas.