Monday, April 26, 2010

Garden Update

Last weekend I finished up planing the balcony garden, and this weekend I am already saw dividends paid out. These are some small radishes that have pushed their way up through the dirt just yesterday. They are looking really healthy, and I hope to have some good, full radishes this year. Last year's were very small and also not all that round. I always love the crimson color of radishes, and their early clover like foliage is also a favorite of mine. None of the other seeds I planted a week ago have appeared. I still am awaiting action from cilantro, parsley, scallions, beets, and lettuce. Hopefully I will see some new shoots pushing through the dirt in those containers. I know that in gardening you must have patience, and that patience is a virtue, but I would love to see some results now.

The peas seem to be rather happy, and while they are not as tall as I thought they were going to get, they have already flowered. I will have to settle for peas from the farmer's market for now as these are just in the pretty stage and not in the food stage. The beans have just stalled, and I have no idea why or what to do. My speculation is that thing have been so chilly, especially over night, and also so wet with all the late season rain, that the beans are just not happy. Two weeks ago, I took out some of the rather sad plants that were never going to make it and replaced them with new seeds and inoculate. I have not seen any action from those seeds either, but they are also no where near their usual incubation time. I am just hoping that the rain that is going to come this week is not too soaking, so the soil can finally dry out.

I have to say that one of the things I am most proud of this year is my from seed tomato plants. I usually bought my tomatoes in ready to plant seedling form. I just never really wanted to try my hand at starting from seed until this year. My father, mother, and grandmother are phenomenal gardeners. My dad's tomato starts are so good, he had to have extra every year to give to the people he worked with. They were in high demand. I was so excited to see my tomatoes grow up to be this big. I did baby them quite a bit at the beginning, especially due to the windy conditions on the balcony. It was hard to let them go. I finally cut them loose, though, and have quit taking them indoors whenever I thought the wind was too much. They are now on their own.The other plants that I have recently cut loose are my peppers. Last year the pepper plant I bought never got very big, and these are almost as big as the plant I bought last year, only these were more from seed plants. I should have been a bit more vigilant with them as they lost a few leaves in some of the wind storms we have had lately. I hope that they recover the loss. After looking at them this weekend, they seem to be growing and not too bothered by the leaf loss.

The zucchini and cucumbers that I started from scratch are doing okay. One of the zucchini plants has many blooms, but they seem to be missing the interior structures of the flowers for the making of the vegetables. Also, all of the flowers that have opened have appeared to be female flowers only, so even if the plant structures were in place, there would be no way for me to fertilize them. I also am thinking that the cucumber plant is not going to make it. Recently it has been turning brown, and it also tried to bloom with a very small flower that fell off quite early on. The other cucumber seeds I tried to start did not make it, so I direct seeded another plant into the pot. It has also not shown through the dirt yet either. Another place where time will tell and the patience that I need to have is wearing thin. I want to see something soon.

The lemon tree is still kicking around. I am worried about it as the leaves are still dropping off of the tree at a somewhat alarming rate for me. I tried some fertilizer this past weekend, so I will have to see if that helps. I also keep spraying for the two types of pests that it may have. I really hope that the spider mites and potential scale are eradicated soon. I really enjoy the lemon tree and hope that the food does the trick. I know that it does not get nearly enough sun during the winter and late fall months. I am thinking about wintering it indoors in Dan's office this winter, so it can get more sun than it would on the balcony alone. Hopefully Dan and I can learn to tolerate the moths that come out of the soil. We were unable to do that last winter, but knowing the potential harm to the lemon tree, perhaps we can get over it this time. That, however is a long way off.

Today I am hoping to kick back into gear with getting into shape again. Since the move from the old apartment building, there has been little exercise for me. The current place we live does not have a place to exercise, so I am going to try running the stair cases. At least, I am going to try walking them today. I am also hoping to finish the deep cleaning of the kitchen. I need to get all the dust off of the top of the cabinets and wipe down the rest of the cabinet facings that I did not get to last week. There are also some belts that I am working on getting to the finished stage. Soon... I know I keep saying that, but soon!

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