Look how much the seedlings have grown since I planted them at the end of last month! All the herbs have sprouted despite the 2006 date on the packages. We now have basil, oregano, cilantro and chives sprouting. The tomatoes from the hanging basket package are also coming along nicely.
Today I took pictures of what’s outside in the garden. The first pictures are the sad-looking dwarf lemon and lime trees. I have neglected these little guys and have never gotten any fruit from them. They flower, but then the blossoms fall off. This year I’m trying to take care of them and get them on a regular fertilizing schedule. The lime tree has dropped a lot of blossoms already but I’m not giving up on it.
We have three grape vines and those too have been neglected. One year we did get a large crop of very tiny grapes. This year they will be fertilized and watered better and I’m hoping we get nice big purple grapes. Can you see the little green grape clusters already forming?
We also have two pomegranate trees in the yard. We’ve always gotten lots of fruit, but they crack and we forget to pick them. Not this year! I’m going to take care of them and feed them and see if we can get something that we can turn into juice!
I didn’t get a picture of our sad little peach tree. We used to have two, but one died. The remaining one will be taken out next year if it doesn’t do better. It seems for some reason that only one limb has leaves on it and it only has two peaches. But darn it, we had tons of them last year and the birds ate them all. (Question, why does the HOA forbid us from having chickens in our yard when I have BIRDS in my yard all the time trying to eat all my peaches!!! What’s the difference!?!)
Ah, our pistachio tree. I’ve waited three years for this tree to produce something. The first year, nothing, nada. The second year, one little cluster that died. Last year, we actually got three pistachio nuts. This year… woohooo… there are lots of clusters on the tree!!!! I heard that it takes a few years to get nuts, maybe this will be the year.
Now for the new stuff. At the beginning of this month I was at Wal-Mart and bought one of those tomato hanging basket kits. And then last weekend I bought some tomato plants. So I decided to plant those in the basket instead of waiting for the seedlings to get big enough to plant. I know you can’t see it very well in the picture, but there is one hanging from the bottom and two or three in the top. I hung it from our grape trellis and it did really well yesterday during our 40+ mph gusts. I was really amazed that it didn’t get blown off or that the plants didn’t get shredded. I watched it for a while during the wind storm and it seems that the grape vines made a wind barrier. I’ll have to keep that in mind for future baskets.
It seems I only had one leaf casuality from the wind yesterday. That seems incredible to me, but I’m happy. My poor little strawberry plant (photo left) now has one less leaf, but the buds and tiny strawberries are still intact. Peppers (photo right) also did well.
Three of the tomato plants have been planted in an old tire and covered with bark. Here in the desert, you can’t plant anything directly in the ground. So I use raised beds (upper left of the photo), barrels (strawberries & peppers), large pots (lemon & lime trees) and used tires. I’ll try to take a picture from the balcony so you can get an idea of how much space I have and how much is still free to use.
The main issue in my garden is irrigation. Two years ago I tried to have a garden. I hooked up irrigation with a timer to a hose bib in the back of the yard. Everything was fine until we went on vacation. I arrived home to find that the irrigation line had split and the only part of the yard that was getting watered was at the break… I lost all the plants in the hot sun. It was so sad. We do have a main line on a timer running through the yard, but it’s hard to dig to find it. So this year, I’m dumping the hose bib irrigation and just using what is existing in the yard. Hubby needs to find a free weekend to go through everything and to make sure that the timer is set correctly. Let’s hope that we get this figured out and can produce something edible from the garden!
“Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” – Genesis 2:15 NKJV