Some shots from the yard for Earth Day. These are mostly self seeding annuals, Borage, Calendua, & Nasturium. All have edible flowers and comeback in slightly different spots every spring. Many types of bees feed at them as well as hummingbirds. Happy Earth Day!
What can you get from you yard in the middle of October in San Jose?
Well, from left to right on the counter; passion fruit, concord grapes, pomegranates, pineapple guava, true guava (mexican cream)
In the basket from top to bottom; apples, tomatillos, and tomatoes (lemon boy) along with a couple other things.
It’s almost persimmon season too; my little Fuyu tree is always stripped by the squirrels but fortunately lots of people have mature trees in their yard and don’t like the fruit! I’ll be collecting those when the time comes…..
Here is the front:
And I’ll get the back up soon!
(Here is the back, one month later, I guess not so soon 🙂 )
One thing I learned with Blueberries is the common mockingbird really loves them. I use to wonder why my berries would never ripen. It’s because as soon as they showed any color the mockingbird would eat them. This was typically before I got up in the morning. As soon as I got nets on the berries the very next day I saw a few that had turned color.
I used to use the “Bird Block” black netting you get at the big box stores. It gets the job done but is terrible to work with, gets caught on things easily, rips, and isn’t easy to use again the next year.
This year I bought bird netting from http://www.americannettings.com/ and what a difference it makes. It is a pleasure to net the BB’s and also to move the netting to stick my greedy hands in. It’s a much better quality and will last for many seasons.
To net my berries I take a piece of rebar and hammer into the ground (or a concrete block for areas I can’t hammer into) and then bend 1/2″ pvc pipe over the berries in a hoop. Throw the net over and boom!
Check out the grey water system I made for my washing machine:
Well, I’ve been pretty terrible about getting content up on my website; “Thanks Obama!” is the saying for that right?
Lets make this a “fruits of my labor” post, with a few pictures:
Blueberries: So many this year, have a lot in the freezer, they need to be netted or birds will eat them all
Peaches: So many this year, have a lot in the freezer (we need to get a separate freezer I think!). Not as much pecks from birds this year. I thinned them hard and they got really big 🙂
Squash & Cucumbers: There are usually first things to give me fruits from the vegetable garden. Have been giving a lot of squash away at the shelter, there are quite prolific (and tasty).
Grapes & Pluots: These grapes are called “Himrod”. My first time eating them and was very impressed with their sweet and almost floral taste. If I had known seedless grapes would taste this good I probably would have planted all seedless. Will have plenty of seeded concord grapes this year (if the rats don’t get them first).
Have been eating peppers, eggplants, kale, and lettuce. Some tomatoes are finally coloring up. Growing your own food is fun!
“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”
I’m not talking about Mos Eisley Spaceport. I’m talking about Fire blight. It’s a bacterial disease that is very serious and really hits pear trees hard. I had planted a “fire blight resistant pear” (seckel) but that hasn’t seemed to help. The past two years the tree has gotten blight and you have to keep cutting those parts out, less you infect the rest of the tree. I was going to have to cut so many parts off I figured I might as well just take the tree out. I put a pluot there instead 🙂
It’s probably called fire blight because the blossoms & stems turn black and shrivel, looking like they were burned.
What is a self-seeding annual? It’s a plant that just lives for one season, but makes seeds and then new plants arise that area (or farther) the next year. So you can buy a packet of seeds once and have plants for many years from it.
Here is some climbing nasturtium. Really cool flowers & leaves. The whole plant is edible, including the flowers. The leaves/flowers are spicy like arugula, good for mixing into salad.
This is borage. It’s a tiny flower that is edible and tastes like cucumber of all things. Bees really like this plant.
Here is some calendula. Supposedly got that name from the Romans for always being in bloom on the first of the month. It’s a medicinal & culinary herb though I haven’t tried using it yet.
I get lots of other self seeding annuals like parsley, cilantro, and peas which are nice to see popping up as I like to use them a lot. I don’t really call them “volunteers” because I intentionally let them go to seed so they come back.
This rainy week is a good time to plant some seeds….get to it 🙂
Last December my passionfruit vines bit the dust because of a week where night temperatures dropped below freezing for 5-6 days in a row. I’ve posted before about growing next to a south facing wall for protection for your frost tender plants, but this post is about lights & blankets.
As you can see from the pictures I have my new passionfruit vines wrapped up with frost fabric (an old sheet or blanket can work too). Under that I have Christmas lights (not LED type, because they don’t emit enough heat). It’s a good time of year to buy them, post Christmas they are on clearance most places. The idea is the lights emit enough heat and the fabric traps it to keep the plant a few degrees warmer than the surrounding air. Hopefully that will be enough to avoid my vines getting killed this winter. Their first two winters were very mild, and survived with no protection.
I wrapped my lime tree as well. You know why you see lemons planted all over San Jose but not limes? It’s because lemons are much more cold tolerant. Last year I got no limes because of cold damage. This year I’m wrapping that baby up, need it for margaritas later 🙂