February in the Garden 2017

February 1, 2017

Already we’re a month into the new year!   February is the month I start seeing the possibility of my summer garden.  We’ve had lots of good rain so plants have gotten a good soaking.  As days are getting longer and the sun is shifting higher in the sky, plants are getting ready to start growing for the warmer months.   Pruning, weeding and fertilizing are going to be a major focus for gardening in February .   Get out there and garden!!!



Frosty came to visit….

January 2, 2017

We’re waiting for more rain, and the weather has been pretty nippy where I live. Frosty came to visit a few weeks ago.  So far, no frost damage in my garden, but the potential for damage is definitely there. I’m on the coast so it’s not as big a concern for me as it is for others, but I’m paying attention in my garden.

Succulents can really suffer when we have the double whammy of rain and frost. I’ve tried to move my more tender succulents under the protection of eaves, and I’m trying to make sure they drain well if they do get rained on. Too much water saturates the plant cells, and a frost will finish off tender succulents by damaging the saturated cells, killing whole sections of your succulent, if not the whole plant.  I found this out the hard way a few years back.

Another important point  to remember: If your other shrubs and small trees sustain frost damage, DO NOT PRUNE THE DAMAGED GROWTH!!! Leave it on the plant until you see new growth in the spring.

Frosty came to visit

That’s a thick frost on my neighbor’s roof!


Wow, here we are at the beginning of another year!

We’ve had great rain in the last couple of weeks, with the promise of more coming in the next week.  Worm castings and mulch are the priorities at the moment for me in my garden.

It’s cool in the yard, so most plants are in their resting phase.  They work hard the rest of the year, so let them gain their strength, because as soon as the weather hints at spring, they set their growing into motion.

Very importantly, I remind everyone at the new year to check your shot records for your last tetanus shot.  With our hands in the dirt, it’s important to be up to date on that one!

Here’s a more detailed list of things to do in the garden in January. Happy 2017!!!

Happy New Year 2017!  January in the Garden


Tomato Time

May 20, 2016

Here’s an interesting infographic on tomatoes.   I didn’t know about the copper wire around the base of the plant to prevent powdery mildew.  I wonder if it really works?

Tomato infographic by Victor PaiamCredit: Victor Paiam

A few more tomato tidbits for you:

A guide to Pruning Tomatoes

A guide to Grafting Tomatoes

And if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty, here’s a page from Cornell University.


Wild fruit before domestication look very different than we would recognize today.  I thought this video was very interesting!


May in the Garden 2016

May in the Garden 2016Weeding, mulching, fertilizing and watering and pests; that’s what needs to be your focus this month.  The weather is getting warmer, the smell of flowers is in the air and most of us feel the need to get our hands in the dirt on a daily basis.

Personally, I’ve been cleaning up my garden supplies, fertilizing a lot, and repotting succulents that are looking a bit ragged.  Ladybugs have been dispersed and my garden is relatively pest free at the moment.  I’m going to spread diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of my house and in some of my carpets to keep the roach and flea problem down to a minimum.  Even with my little house and yard, there is always a project!

Since we’re spending more time in our gardens, don’t forget to sunscreen up and wear a hat!  Happy Gardening!!!!


Aloe Leaf Propagation

April 27, 2016

Aloe destructionHaving a puppy has its challenges, and Lassie has challenged my garden quite a bit over the last few months.  Today’s victim was a pretty aloe that spanned this pot.  The yellow arrow is pointing at what’s left of this pretty aloe.  There are a couple of pups that were hiding under the plant before Lassie chewed it up so that was a nice surprise.

2016-04-24 10.12.01I found a few leaves that Lassie hadn’t destroyed yet, so I’m going to give aloe leaf propagation a try.  I like this particular aloe a lot because of the pink edges and dots.  I would love to make more of these beauties.  I cut them as close to the base as I could, leaving a clean, straight cut that I let heal over for a day.

I use a porous potting mix.   In my reading, it was suggested that the cut end be dipped in a rooting compound before being placed in potting soil.   I stuck three pieces in soil without using Rootone.

Aloe Leaf Propagation Aloe Leaf Propagation

I dipped the last two leaves in Rootone and planted them the opposite direction so I remember what I did!   I won’t water this for  a few weeks.   It will be placed in an area with good light, but I don’t want the sun hitting full blast because I think it will fry these leaves. I guess it will take about 4 to six weeks for roots to develop for repotting.

Aloe Leaf Propagation Aloe Leaf Propagation

Now we wait…..   If they actually do set off pups, I’m interested to see how much difference the Rootone makes.  I’ll report back on this eventually.



My Fig Trees

April 24, 2016

I’m growing two figs in pots on my roof deck.  One is a Violette de Bordeaux and the other is a Janice Seedless Kadota Fig.  I chose these two varieties because they grow well in containers, and also for my coastal climate. So, here’s a little info on the care of fig trees: Irrigation: Young […]

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Propagating with Honey

April 23, 2016

I have never tried propagating with honey, but it makes sense since honey has enzymes that contain a natural antiseptic and antifungal properties. Pure or raw honey is better to use than generic honey you would buy in a store which typically are processed or pasteurized which would remove the beneficial properties. One method is […]

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Take two aspirin……

April 3, 2016

I’m always so hopeful when I plant my new tomatoes, but dread seeing first signs of leaf fungus on the bottom leaves.  I’ve been blasting the plants with my hose in the morning so they can dry during the day, but I’m going to try an aspirin treatment this year. Aspirin for tomatoes; hmmm, interesting […]

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Botanical Nomenclature

April 2, 2016

BOTANICAL NOMENCLATURE IN A STANDARD FLOWER SHOW – If you are going to enter plants into Flower Shows or other competitions, it is important to understand the botanical nomenclature so your plants are labeled correctly.  Here’s a basic example: Genus: Sedum Species: rupestre Variety/Cultivar: ‘Lemon Coral’ (Variety occurs in nature Cultivar is cultivated by someone) […]

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