Thursday, August 30, 2012


We went to the plant nursery yesterday to get some onion chives.  We have green onions and garlic chives already and decided to get the onion chives to round out the set.  At check out I noticed the little box of saffron bulbs and decided I would finally grow some of them.  They are hardy from zones 6-10 making my zone 8 just perfect, although summers will still probably need extra watering.

We've used saffron in many recipes including bread and couscous.  For the bread recipe we steeped the saffron threads in the water before adding it to the recipe giving it a nice yellow coloring.

Although it will be a while before we can use anything from the bulbs, the wonderful purple flowers will be a nice addition to the front landscape.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cantaloupe Seed Saving

Saving seeds from cantaloupes is a messy business.  After scooping out the innards you have to clean off all of the slimy stuff.  The way I get it done is by using a lot of paper towels.  Paper towels are good at absorbing moisture and pulling off all of the stringy stuff that sticks to it when you first get it out.

After that you have to let them dry in the open air.  Paper towels are good for this too.  After they're dry then rub them to get any residue left over off of them.

I like to use a little glass bowl after this step so the seeds have good air circulation.  The tips will look dry while the main part of the seed will keep some color.  If this starts to turn then you can pretty much toss it.  The above picture is a good example of seeds that are still in good shape.

They are also second generation seeds which should pretty well imitate the fruit it came from.  It goes without saying then that if you don't like the fruit you grew then you probably don't want the seeds.  Of course it could have crossed with something else in your area but chances are it didn't.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Cantaloupe is Producing Again

Cantaloupes have a nice little yellow flower even if they don't end up making any fruit.  Fortunately if you keep it watered you should be able to get something off of it. Fertilize and you up your chances greatly and you might just get bitten by the gardening bug.

Don't confuse this with the other bugs in the garden.

This little baby is growing nicely.  You can see the flower at the bottom and the lines already forming.  On a Tuscan cantaloupe these lines will stay and get deeper. and the mesh will for between the lines.  Our variety isn't Tuscan and therefore the mesh will wrap around the entire fruit.  Fortunately this vine has produced very juicy fruit already and should continue to do so.

Below are the two other cantaloupes currently forming on the vine. As you can see they form next to leaves and can form in pairs as seen on the bottom picture although only one flower is actually making a fruit in this case.

So, go out there and don't let the heat get to you.  It was 110 yesterday and they don't seem to mind one bit.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Guano in the Garden

I don't know if it's the guano or the diligent watering I've been doing but the cantaloupe plant has start making at least two more cantaloupes.  I was looking at a neighbor's plant yesterday, a heat tolerant cucumber vine, and it's doing way better than it.

I also have one of the tomato plants wraping around pretty well now.  I'll do a little more pulling today to get it where I want it and then wheigh it to the ground for it to root well before fall creeps in. Should have plenty of tomatoes this season.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Citrus Seeds and Others

It's amazing how popular the post on citrus seeds still is after all these years.  It gets several hits a day, probably because there really isn't much out ther on planting trees from seed or what to look for and do with them if you desire to go that route.
I am very happy that my kaffir lime tree, started from seed, is still looking good.  It needs to be repotted which I plan to do around the end of the month or beginning of next month.
Another seed I have recently gotten is from the spqghetti squash we had for dinner last night. Still needs a little processing but they should be good. It's the end of the planting time for squash so I need to step on it.  The cucumbers haven't done so well and unless they pick up I'll probably plant the seeds there.  the canteloupe on the other hand are picking up and have secured their place until winter.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I got some bat guano over the weekend and sprinkled it in the garden.  I've heard it does great things but I've never had the chance to try it.  The garden is still doing well and i watered it in yesterday.  I guess I'll have to go look at ti this afternoon and see if there are any immediate effects.  Probably not but I was going to look it over anyway.  I only used half of what I got so there will be more if it needs another treatment.
I was also wondering if it might keep some bugs or animals out.  It does have an unusual odor to it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cantaloupe Flowers

I guess the cantaloupe likes the care it's getting.  There were two new flowers this morning and the leaves are getting nice and full.  I'll have to keep an eye on it and make sure it's wattered well.  The 4 o'clocks are perking up as well.
We'll be topping the temperature hump in the next few weeks and the plants will be ready for a quick sprint of growing.  In preperatoin I still need to wrap the tomato plants around so the stems can root and provide a larger nutrient base for growth and pluck more basil flowers off to keep them happy and growing.  They've been real troopers in this heat.  If I can keep them up then we'll have plenty for a nice italian dinner using fresh tomato and basil.  Mmmmm.  Maybe even a fruit salad with cantaloupe on the side.