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Macarons&Mozart

California Gardening: What's up?

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The tomatoes are coming to a close. The plants are keeping only those branches alive which are still holding fruit. I'll be harvesting tomato and tobacco hornworms this week instead, if I can get them before they burrow to cocoon. Its funny - we shared a lot of the second round of tomatoes with slugs, birds, earwigs and caterpillars. We lost almost none of the first round to such predations. Next year will be interesting. The fruit's ok after a caterpillar's been at it, but it has to be picked and used fast, before the exposed part starts to mold.

Is this the time of year to plant garlic? Move the lemongrass & strawberries to a protected area? What else?

What do you plant, for spring harvesting?

(Although, if I dont plant anything, I can concentrate on weed abatement etc instead.)


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Yep, just about time for the garlic, onions, fava beans, and sweet peas (for the flowers next spring).

Also a good time for Chard and other "cold" tolerant greens.

Probably a bad time to plant lemongrass, at least up here.

You'd want to do that when it is warm and give it a good chance to establish before it has to deal with cold, wet weather.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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If you were to plant only one variety of garlic, which would it be? Why?

(I'll probably end up using grocery store variety, but the knowledge would be nice to have). Ditto onions?

My lemongrass and strawberries are wellgrown. They just need to come in where its warm soon, I think. We've had a skewed season. There are still jacarandas blooming locally and they usually are early spring bloomers.

Disney will be setting kale and other decorative cabbages in their flower beds this time of year, if memory serves.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Its time, and past, to start the garden.

Yesterday we picked two red bell peppers that spent the entire mild winter very slowly ripening. :blink:

This year, the challenge is to prepare a patch for corn and those big sunflowers, up the tomato crop, and find some red carrots to plant and some that look like these:carrots of my dreams

It looks to be a weekend of digging and plant/seed acquisition. :smile:


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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About two years ago my mom bought the Topsy Turvy tomato planter. That's the planter where the tomato plant grows out from the bottom of the hanging planter. It was a gimmick that didn't really work as advertised since the plant, instead of just hanging down and bearing fruit, started to turn and grow upwards along the sides of the hanging planter. It actually bore some fruit last year (that a critter got...she had hung the planter above a patio railing which was the perfect height for critter consumption).

This week she discovered that last year's plant is alive and is flowering again. She had stopped watering it last year when the last of the (uneaten :hmmm: ) fruit was picked. This week she was going to pull the remains out and put in a new tomato plant when she found the flowers. Who knew the plant would stay alive for so long? I guess it can't be called a volunteer.

I told her she should nickname it "Molly Brown" after the Unsinkable Molly Brown. :laugh:

Has anyone else had a tomato plant survive and bear fruit a year later?


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Against my better judgement, but according to my wife's wishes, I planted 6 tomato plants last week. Frost last night, "I told you so", that took out 4 out of 6. I think we'll be waiting in Paso. Fortunately we have been harvesting Chard and Bok Choy throughout the winter. Aspargus is being harvested, about 6 stalks every other day, along with some young onions. This is the time of the year when the days are 70 degrees and the nights can easily dip into the low 30's.


"I drink to make other people interesting".

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Has anyone else had a tomato plant survive and bear fruit a year later?

Yup - but after I took a good look at the vine, I decided that it didn't deserve my sole tomato spot, so it went to join its maker...

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Has anyone else had a tomato plant survive and bear fruit a year later?

Yup - but after I took a good look at the vine, I decided that it didn't deserve my sole tomato spot, so it went to join its maker...

That's the thing about this tomato plant in the Topsy Turvy planter. I don't know if it's because it was growing upside down and had to turn and grow up to the light or what but the stalk/vine is unusually thick and sturdy. It's no wonder it's stubbornly still alive. It'll be interesting to see what kind of fruit it'll put forth.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I've got two tomato plants in the ground now that made it thru the winter, and are starting to leaf out. I'll let 'em give it their best shot.

We started seeds for currant (thanks Toliver and Toliver's mom!), Early Girl and some brown tomato this weekend. The seeds for the brown one came from a grocery store tomato purchased at the end of last year.

:fingers crossed:

Also seeds for yard long beans, sunflowers, and corn.

The bellpeppers are starting to bush out again and look nice. We're also seeing a very healthy crop of "eating flowers" as the munchkin terms them (nasturtiums).

Spent the morning mooning over the plant catalog... red and blue potatoes, purple beans, more tomatoes, chard and rhubarb....


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Speaking of multicolored produce, I was searching Amazon (specifically HIRT'S GARDENS) for purple broccoli (prompted by another thread) and saw some of the coolest, goofiest looking things ever ! I just want to buy them ALL. Has anyone ever bought anything from Hirt's?

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Nothing planted yet. On the wknd. the 16-year-old unearthed a couple of perfect small yellow potatoes volunteering in the compost when turning it for me. Very cute, but not enough for a serving.

Osmanthus, which suffered badly in the unusual cold, is springing back... lots of new leaves, lots of fragrant blooms. Dwarf Meyer lemon seemed stalled after a healthy 20-fruit crop its first year -- replanted in mostly sand, thick layer of mulch on top, per Gary Matsuoka of Laguna Hills Nursery, and there was new growth seemingly overnight.


Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ● Twitter Instagram

 

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the plum tree is nearly past its blossoming phase, and turning to green leaves. . .the dwarf meyer lemon tree has put out 2 lemons (those began over the winter) with 10 more to come. the lavender had a great winter, despite being nearly overrun with weeds (see below).

a batch of gerbera's that my wife thought she had pulled and tossed out from two planters have poked their heads out of the planters. . so that's a nice surprise.

otherwise, having to do some grass re-seeding: winter storms brought out the weeds which took some of the grass and overran our two garden beds. the english thyme and rosemary though survived the onslaught. haven't decided what the plant when we clear it. . .the tomatoes and squash took well to the beds. have snail issues though.

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I told her she should nickname it "Molly Brown" after the Unsinkable Molly Brown. :laugh:

Has anyone else had a tomato plant survive and bear fruit a year later?

Yep I have a Roma that we planted about a year ago that has kept on going (and producing) since then. Odd... Even in SoCal vine ripe tomatoes in the dead of what passes for winter here sans hothouse are odd to say the least...

Guess the plant did not get the memo.


Jon

--formerly known as 6ppc--

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My grapevine has just started going crazy. I swear that if you stood there and watched it long enough, you might be able to see it grow. Last year, it grew about 12" a week. Not terribly noteworthy, but I just can't help but get excited watching things grow.

Boysenberries are busy leafing out. Peach tree is blossoming. Mulberry is early this year and is leafing out. My lemon verbena is back.

I already posted in another thread, but I've got a spot in a community garden that's very nearby. Woohoo! I can plant to my heart's content this year and have full sun. I'm hoping I can grow watermelon. I'm tired of trying to find seeded, flavorful watermelons which seem to have all but disappeared. I wanted to try the Ali Baba varietal (favorite of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds but out of stock), but will instead plant Moon & Stars and Wilson's Sweet. Not sure how well they'll do in SoCal.

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My favorite time of year! Live in Playa del Rey, about 3 blocks from the coast and my yard is like a sand dune. This winter we had our backyard...a sloping area...terraced and the soil is composted and ready for plants. I have put in 5 tomato plants, have three fava bean and two bush bean plants to get some nitrogen into the soil. I've been trying to find a San Marzano tomato plants but no luck so far. I have four Tuscan kale plants that have been producing all winter and are still going strong. I have grown to love the kale braised with oil and garlic. My Chard is also still producing.

For the first time this year I am trying to start some of my own seedlings. I am not very good at this, but I am hopeful. I have some peas and runner beans as well as some Italian pepper seeds that I have put in starter mix and I am talking to and singing to! I have a small plot of leeks that are doing well.

Let the gardening begin!


Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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The Topsy-Turvy tomato plant has fruit already! My mom reported this weekend that a small green tomato has appeared on the plant. This has got to be the earliest tomato she's ever grown. And it has a lot of flowers, too, so she is expecting more to come. Isn't it funny that in its first year it only bore two fruit that a night critter got and this year it looks like it'll have a good crop? Go figure.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Seeds are sprouting, hurrah! Slow and few between, but they've started.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I feel like a "helicopter" mother...hovering over my seeds and checking them everyday. So far, I have sprouting basil seeds that a friend sent me from Italy, some Japanese cucumber sprouts, and my Pink Lady runner beans are about 3 inches high. I also got some Italian cipollini sprouts but they look so fragile that I don't know if they will make it. Have any of you started onions from seeds?


Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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Have any of you started onions from seeds?

My brother in San Diego planted green onions/scallions from seed. About half the crop grew to maturity so it can be done.

An update on the Topsy-Turvy Tomato plant(er)...it now has three small green tomatoes on it and the plant is finally growing down. It's taken two years to do that (it only grew up during the first year). Will post pix next time I'm down San Diego way.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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This weekend at Costco I bought a two pack of that "Living Lettuce"...butter style. They are grown hydroponically and come with roots attached. So, @ $3.29 for both, I am thinking I'll eat one and try to grow one.Do you think it'll work? It has a nice root mass, and I figure if I keep it wet until it gets the little rootlets out there...??

What do you think? (BTW, gave it a nice warm start this weekend !)

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This weekend at Costco I bought a two pack of that "Living Lettuce"...butter style. They are grown hydroponically and come with roots attached. So, @ $3.29 for both, I am thinking I'll eat one and try to grow one.Do you think it'll work? It has a nice root mass, and I figure if I keep it wet until it gets the little rootlets out there...??

I am going to look for those. I saw a Huell Howser, California's Green, show recently where he visited a Hydroponics lettuce grower in Carpenteria. Very interesting approach. It is the complete plant that is packaged. However, those little roots have never known soil. Let us know if it adjusts.


Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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I put it in the ground (in a planter, actually) today and really soaked it ; by 5 PM it was looking a little droopy so I soaked it again. We'll see. It has been coolish and windy today.

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This weekend at Costco I bought a two pack of that "Living Lettuce"...butter style. They are grown hydroponically and come with roots attached. So, @ $3.29 for both, I am thinking I'll eat one and try to grow one.Do you think it'll work? It has a nice root mass, and I figure if I keep it wet until it gets the little rootlets out there...??

What do you think? (BTW, gave it a nice warm start this weekend !)

I just think lettuce is a one shot deal- one head and you are done so I kind of doubt it will give you continued lettuce. However-!- if it works I am all there. Please keep us posted.

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About two years ago my mom bought the Topsy Turvy tomato planter. That's the planter where the tomato plant grows out from the bottom of the hanging planter. It was a gimmick that didn't really work as advertised since the plant, instead of just hanging down and bearing fruit, started to turn and grow upwards along the sides of the hanging planter. It actually bore some fruit last year (that a critter got...she had hung the planter above a patio railing which was the perfect height for critter consumption).

Wow. Thanks ! Good advice & info. I bought one of those gizmos last year, on the web, and it was backordered so long it arrived far too late for tomato season. For health reasons, mine (I can't bend/kneel) to plant/weed/etc. and the soil's (I'm pretty sure its got the fungus that stunts tomato growth......errrrrr) in the only area I have good for 'maters , I thought that was a perfect solution. Was/Am going to plant it this weekend.

However---where I was *going* to put it is right next to a block fence, which would've given the same critter access as you describe. Never thought about THAT ! Now, I'm not sure where to put the darn thing (mine has a stand) but I guess I'll figure something out. Weird, though, about the plants still wanting to grow up. They (the catalog/web site) sure didn't mention that ! Makes sense though.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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I just think lettuce is a one shot deal- one head and you are done so I kind of doubt it will give you continued lettuce. However-!- if it works I am all there. Please keep us posted.

When I grow lettuce, I never harvest the entire head, but go out and clip the leaves I want for the salad. It continues to grow more leaves and becomes "the gift that keeps on giving!" So if the head you bought survives the transplant, you may be able to cut off the outer leaves as you need to use them. Butterleaf is usually not a tightly packed head. What an interesting experiment.


Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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