right now, we are having a little bit of cool, after lots and lots of above average temps.  Most of these are from the container garden area on the east side of the property.  This area gets good morning and early afternoon sun, then there is shading from the west side to protect them during the intense late afternoon sun.

IMG_0584 (1068x799)This is a 4×4’ x  18” container.  planted bush beans on the near side a few weeks ago, and some shallots on the other.

IMG_0586 (800x1067)The green beans are being kept covered to protect them from the chilly nights.  I’ve got shallots doing very well in another garden, having been planted in the fall.  I was in the supermarket the other day and saw a box of shallot bulbs “for spring planting” and decided why not give them a try

IMG_0585 (1280x960)from another point of view, starting at the far left with a blueberry in a container, then a nectarine tree in the ground, two more blueberries, a barely visible kiwi vine waiting to be planted, and closest on the right the rhubarb

IMG_0587 (1068x799)This is a incredibly fast tomato plant growing in a container that held a “patio” tomato I’d bought last year and had tried to winter over in the greenhouse.  I don’t think this is from seeds, think this is just regeneration of the plant.  A month ago there was just a couple of inches of plant showing, and now this.  So maybe I will get early tomatoes after all!

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3 weeks later


garlicNoticed I’d last posted a pic of the garlic bed on March 14th, and what a difference a few weeks, some warmth, and some water make!  The shallots were looking good then (farthest from the camera), now looking great.  The elephant garlic was just barely showing (closest to the camera).

Put in some marigolds today, and scattered some wildflower seeds; drought tolerant and beneficial insects mixes.  and a few sunflowers went into the ground too.  Oh yeah, found some morning glories starting to self seed, dug them up to move them to another part of the yard where they can self seed all they want and grow like crazy.

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April Fool

Well, I hope not!   The weather has been record breaking warm for this time of year and even the mesquite has given in and said no more hard freezes.  So today planted bush beans, the earliest by far I’ve ever gotten seeds into the ground!  June, not April is the usual planting date . .although maybe last year got some in the ground in mid May. Anyway, beans in the ground and under hoops just in case.  I’m itching to plant the pole beans but will wait a little longer just in case – and also because we’re going to be working in that area this weekend, putting in the other water tank and may have to move that planter (it is 4’across and 9” deep!).

Also planted more shallots.  Due to our heat, onions get really HOT, even shallots do, although they start out milder, so their hot, is usual onion bite!  I’ve been working up shallots from a couple of bulbs I bought in the health food store a few years ago.  This spring saw a box of shallot sets in the supermarket for spring planting and said why not.  Two had already gone moldy, but that left about 8 for planting, so we’ll see how they do over the summer, rather than a fall planting for spring harvest.

Marigolds going into the ground today.  Also some sunflower seeds too.  This year I’ve vowed to succession plant the sunflowers to keep them going through the summer.  They keep the birds off the tomatoes.

Usually, I plant around dark of moon, but today seemed right for this work, and instinct rules (trust the gut)

Oh yeah, the blueberry bushes are slowly transforming from flowers to berries.  Not much, but they came in root bound in small containers so had started to flower already.  This is going to be so much fun!

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tank installation




creating a base for the 1000 gall water harvesting tank. the circle was made using block and dirt. then topped with concrete. and the empty tank up and on it today.  Still have to hook up the gutter, but as you can see how close this is to the gutter, it won’t take much to change the direction of the drain pipe.

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You see some of the small clay ollas on the shelf

Ollasburied into one of the grow bags, these are chard

ollas2fill with water and cover.  Also, old large canning lids work.  best to use a rock on top of that to keep in place

Ollas3These were the finials to go on the top of the arbor I erected this year, and I didn’t want to use them up there. another use for them.

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good news/bad news

just found out that I may not be able to get my bees this year as UPS has decided that sugar syrup is a dangerous substance and will not accept bee shipments when that is the method for feeding the bees!

watertank1 600 gallon liquid storage tank. this is a low profile tank originally intended for storing chemicals and such on farms and businesses. it does well for being a low profile water storage.  It is going to go uphill from the house, where a regular tank would be higher than the roof.

watertank2This is a 1000 gallon water storage tank, which will be right next to the house. it stands less than 6 feet tall!

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protecting the garden bed

I know its hard to tell in this photo how many layers there are of 1/4” screening on the bottom and along the sides of this garden bed.  Basically, we took three foot wide stuff, and folded it down on the bottom and partially up the sides.  Then we laid 2 foot wide across the bottom, overlapping with the folded sides.  Cut down fence posts went in, to which were added more of the three foot wide stuff, and it was wired into the first layer. and yes, there is a layer of 2×4″ in between.  Other pieces were cut to accommodate a bit of corner.  What makes this so much more difficult is the original concrete block foundation for the original 8’x8’ greenhouse.  Which melted.  and was replaced with a 10’x7’.  so for part of the length of this bed, we’re working around that.  We’ve started refilling this, will add some compost and the rest of the soil and then replant the perennials that were put in last year, along with some bulbs and flower seeds. If we have done this properly, we will NOT have gophers digging in from the bottom, nor will we have rabbits and ground squirrels getting in at the top.

behind me (and my shadow) is the western support for the shade cloth that will go over the greenhouse.  Not enough concrete was put in for the base and it had begun to shift. so that is also being remedied.


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