Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summer progress

This spring I had so many ideas about what I wanted to do with the yard and so far very few of them have come about.

I was looking back at some of the posts only to see some of them. The bamboo fence is not up. It's still a pile of bamboo in the backyard waiting for me to figure out how to put them together. They haven't gone to waste though. I used some of them for proping up the beans, and one for a retaining wall of sorts by the squash and pepper plot.

The mimosa tree isn't entirely cut down. It knows it too and is trying to sprout all over. I'm just going to have to get the chainsaw and axe back out and get it finished.

The shed in the back still needs paint and probably a new door. The entire thing should be lifted up off the ground but that's a separate day.

I HAVE kept lots of plants alive through the hot part of summer. Things have started to cool off and things are starting to flower and produce again.

A winter project is to jet my tomato plants to produce inside. I'll probably have to cut out the top of the plant hutch so the light will work better. Right now it shines through a screen and isn't quite doing what I want.

Solar projects are hopefully going to work well this winter. The backyard was comfortable last winter due to the mirrors. Out in 40 degree temps in short sleeves because I was getting too hot working in the yard.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rolly polly dinner

They have decided to feast themselves on my cucumber. I only had one almost decent sized cucumber and they ate it...
I should have figured on some monster of a bug, or in this case a swarm of monster bugs, to destroy the poor little thing but I just didn't think it would be so soon.

Fortunately there are still several new ones forming and should be able to be harvested in a few weeks. I've never tried pickling to make pickles. I don't even like pickles. Unless you consider bread and butter pickles, "pickles". I don't. They're something much better. The tang just bursts with sweetness and disperses unlike the dill pickle.

I wonder what would happen if someone tried to dill pickle an unripe persimmon?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Citrus Progress

The plants are doing wonderfully. As you can see, one of the key limes drooped a little, the first one. It' just behind the largest ridge at the top. It's still getting bigger but since I measure to the highest point on the plant that means if a leaf forms and then moves to the side like most leaves then it might seem to shrink.
I actually got around to putting numbers on the pots instead of just remembering which ones they were. Now I can move them anywhere they need to go and not loose track.
Interesting thing I noticed, but not when messing with the plants, that a sharpie doesn't allow water to pass by it. I was doing an ink composition test on bathroom tissue with various inks, don't ask why, and I figured I'd test a sharpie. As the water drew up the tissue, it just went around the sharpie mark. I then drew a closed shape and the water still went around the entire shape leaving a dry space in the middle. I'm not sure what I can use this for but I figured I'd throw it out there.

The lemon tree, again not on the chart and for good reason, grew three inches in a week. These are not waterspouts. For those of you who don't know what a waterspout is, it's a new branch usually from the main trunk that grows up instead of out and saps the energy from the rest of the plant. It doesn't kill it but severely limits it's growth and strength. This new growth is off of the branches and is growing at good angles to the plant. There are at least four of them I remember.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Citrus Progress (with chart)

Yes, you heard it right. I now have a nifty chart to show that I'm not crazy. My citrus sprouts are growing, at least a little.

I didn't figure I'd bother with making it any prettier so the S1-S3 are the three measurements I've taken so far. The measurement is from the top of the soil to the top leaf or stem, whichever sticks up the most.

The lemon tree is not in this chart since it really put the rest of the plants to shame and made it look more like a flat line with a spike at the end.

Also note that the order they are in is more or less a size order but the pots are actually numbered so I don't forget in case one really takes off and gets taller.

So without any more hesitation...

Monday, August 3, 2009


There are quite a lot of folks who are using the word "fail" recently or by now for some time. This is an expression circulating around many writers I know to announce that something hasn't quite happened correctly or even badly as in "This coffee, fail."

My response to this trend is "ARF!"This will make sense to anyone who has come across the dreaded abort/retry/fail error and makes more sense than just fail since it gives you some options, unlike the actual error which usually just lets you abort after hitting "R" for retry a billion times in the vain hope that it might work.

The only unfortunately down side to this is when commenting on anything having to do with a female since I am sure saying "arf" will get you slapped.

So next time something just isn't right try "ARF". It' might work.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Water Types

No this isn't about a collectable trading card game or video game where you need lightning to destroy them, although I do know a little about that too. This is about they type of water used for different plants.

You might remember a few of the blog entires I did about wateing with ice. This takes care of some of the chemicals in the water like chlorine but mainly it was for the temperature of the water so that some of the plants like broccoli wouldn't bolt so soon. If you keep the roots cool then it thinks that it still hasn't warmed up yet. Plants often depend on the temperature of the roots vs the temperature on the branches/leaves to know when the right time to do things is.

This is one reason a good cold spell on citrus produces a better crop. the roots get a chance to be cold and therefore can reset the cycle of growth better.

You know... that seems like a really good experiment for my key limes. I think I'll freeze one in the deepfreeze for a few hours and then keep the soil cool with ice to see what happens. Must be careful though not to entirely freeze it solid, I can't imagine that working well. They are still tender.

Bell Peppers and Papaya

I have managed to keep the bell pepper plants alive and well throug the heat and they have rewarded me with a few flowers. No, there aren't any peppers yet but you have to have flowers first anyway. It's about time I thinned them again since many of the plants leaves are touching.

The other plant I have managed to sprout, though nothing more, is the papaya. Once again I just planted seeds from the fruit from the store and *POP* up they came. Ok, so I watered them a lot too, but then again who doesn't water their plants at least some of the time? They're planted along with some spearmint and zinias. I don't think these plants are specifically on the companion planting guides that I've seen but I don't know what kind of plants they are anyway.

The only problem I see in the near future is the unbearable heat that is forcasted to be coming our way, 90's to low 100's... Why me, why me, and why everyone else who has to bear the heat of summer, why?