San Francisco perils: wind and sun

It’s been sunny and clear for several days thankfully, and it will continue to be clear for a while yet. (Fingers crossed!)

Unfortunately while it has stopped raining, it has not stopped wind-ing.

Ha ha oops. There goes the garlic chives! My fault for using that old plastic pot I guess- I had gambled that the weight of the soil would be enough but apparently it was not!

Well that’s the advantage of seed packets- I had plenty more. But I scooped the soil into a new heavy pottery pot and re-sowed.

Small- but heavy.

There’s a reason I prefer the larger terra-cotta and glazed clay pots, it’s partially an aesthetic thing of course but it’s also because the backyard can be really really windy. Weighty pots are safer.

Owl down! Owl down!

The other problem is that the clear sunny skies are drying out the soil really quick, despite the fact that a week ago it was practically flooding.

But there’s an easy solution for that- mulch!

There’s my leeks, all lovingly swaddled with redwood bark. I also mulched the romaine and the green onions in the 4×4 bed.

Now there are only a few green onions that sprouted largely because of how wet and cold it was, so I decided to put up a few more for later transplant.

If I just keep putting out more scallions in the seedling cells I’ll have plenty to transplant all over the garden.

It’s fairly easy to tuck scallions wherever you have space for them, they’re super skinny and you don’t even need to thin them as long as you space them right. Dad eats a lot of green onions so I’d really like to grow a ton of them. So I guess every week or so I’ll put 12 more seeds out. Accounting for a few dud seeds I should have plenty in the ground by late April.

Now it’s just a matter of waiting til Friday- soil day!

I’m so excited!

Seedling rescue

Well I messed up. The leggy seedlings definitely needed to be outside, but they certainly didn’t need to be in the way too hot greenhouse.

Those are some damaged seedlings. Problem is- it’s actually kinda warm out now. Warm and sunny. So in the greenhouse bench it wasn’t warm- it was hot! Luckily the raised temps and sunny weather means the greenhouse is unnecessary so I took the plastic off of it.

Then it was just a matter of repotting the survivors.

I managed to save three zucchini, one Boston pickle cucumber plant, two romanesco and two sunflowers.

And there is absolutely no guarantee any of them will survive their early transplant.

But they look ok, and by being in the sun but not in the greenhouse they should toughen up.

I took the opportunity to move the indoor seedlings outside- and to plant some more.

Another 6-pack of romanesco and sunflower, along with a 6-pack of the telegraph improved cucumbers and Swiss chard because you can never have enough of them.

So my greenhouse bench is now just a bench. It might sprinkle tomorrow which might mean I have to take the trays indoors or move them to the table, but it should be clear for at least a week and a half.

Of course I gave up trusting San Francisco weather forecasts a long time ago, so I’ll just have to be on top of things.

I am slightly concerned about wind knocking things over- so I put a bunch of rocks inside the drip trays to try and weigh things down. That also could fail. We’ll see.

At least hopefully I saved a few of them.

Mowing adventures

Between hefting a pot and plants on two buses yesterday and pushing a mower through thick weeds today- I’m definitely getting my exercise.

Besides the usual moving pots and bags and benches to get at the grass and weeds, there was also a lot of hand pulling to do, because certain weeds get really woody with time and rain, and the mower just can’t do it.

I did a pretty good job in most of the beds, moving things around and just getting on with it. There was one major problem though.

This- is mint. Growing completely feral behind the sunny herb patch. This is mint of a species I have not planted in 4 years.

Oh man you just cannot kill this stuff! I’m both mad and in awe!

I can’t kill it- but it can kill my mower.

The culprit: a clump of mint root.

The victim:

Man down!

Luckily my push mower is pretty basic and cleaning the blades was fairly simple. So crisis averted- but I’m not making the mistake of mowing mint again.

(Mint. Goes. In. Pots!!!)

All in all it was a good afternoon’s work.

Look, the greenhouse bench is no longer on a thicket!

I still have more work to do today- I have to plant the chervil and mint (in. Pots.) but I’m taking a break right now- I’m really tired!

Captain’s log: February 1st 2019

Man it’s just been a week of nothing. Between the rain and just waiting for things to sprout I’ve been left twiddling my thumbs.

But despite that it’s been an exciting Friday.

First things first- the weird purple Rosy Bok Choy is… being a weirdo.

It’s growing a stalk and flowers. All edible of course- that’s the glory of the Brassica family of vegetables, after all Broccoli and Cauliflower are just edible flowers. It’s still really weird though! You can see in front of the Bok Choy my baby romaine lettuces are growing nice.

The leeks in a pot and green onions (the ones that came up anyways) are growing well. Even more excitingly…

Baby potatoes have begun to sprout! Only one bag so far- but we’re getting so much rain the other one will sprout soon, potatoes are a long project, I probably won’t get a single spud til at least August.

The turnips are doing great, though I noticed some yellow old leaves. I think the constant rain is washing some nutrients into the ground water, so what I did do today was give everything a very light fertilize.

The turnips are super pretty though. A few days ago I put a few more turnip seeds in the gaps, for maximum turnip. The peas never sprouted behind them. Which is ok at this point, since as soon as we have a warm spell I’m putting in the first of my pole beans.

But we had a visitor in the night!

That’s some cat prints in my arugula pot. Since there was no cat poop in the arugula pot- I don’t care if a local kitty decided to patrol. Keeps the rodents down. But there were more exciting activities in this pot:

Itty bitty baby arugula sprouts! The sassy salad mix in the pot next door has also sprouted which is grand. Weirdly the two Swiss chard pots have not sprouted yet.

Eh whenever they sprout they sprout.

I’ve got a lot of weeding ahead of me. Both mowing and hand pulling. Nothing for it!

I also have some work up here.

I’ve ordered two new 8×2 beds, for up here and over here.

Both areas need to be mowed, and the bench has to be moved. I have other work too- but this is the most pressing. All in all I have work to do.

But hey- the dill is growing spectacularly! And that’s worth enduring a deluge.

Captain’s log: August 14th 2018

It rained in the early morning hours.

Fuck everything.

Look at that wet concrete. God everything was wet. Mind you for 90% of my garden that’s a good thing. Just not for the tomato. God the tomato.

God bless it. It put out a new flower. It lives in hope. But ugh look at those gross leaves. I’m just going to have to pray we have some sort of run of sunny days for like a week- otherwise I’m pretty sure the baby tomatoes aren’t going to ripen. I’m also postponing my weekly fertilizing. I fertilize the peppers every two weeks- and the tomato every week with a seaweed based fertilizer. But I’m not putting anything wet into that tomato pot until it dries out at least a little.

I had an idea of getting an extension cord for a hairdryer… but that’s nuts… right?

At least the rain drops made for some pretty succulents. They haven’t been watered for some time, because you want to water succulents once a month if that- so luckily they should all be fine.

The rosemary was showing off its many spider webs this morning. I didn’t have the heart to destroy them- spiders are the backyard bug I love the most, besides ladybugs of course.

Also the sage was very pretty. It also didn’t give a crap so go sage.

Some of the peppers always get water caught in their leaves- but unlike their cousins the tomatoes- peppers aren’t so water-phobic. Peppers evolved from a nightshade that was basically a weed, then cultivated by various indigenous groups in Mexico around 6000 years ago. Tomatoes, also a nightshade, also cultivated in this region, but they originated in western South America, not Mexico, though it was the various people’s in Mexico that bred it into its many forms.

Regardless of their similar origins, Peppers>Tomatoes is what I’m saying basically. They need a certain amount of heat- but they don’t get weird like tomatoes do the second the weather goes a little wonky. At least I’m not growing a paste or beefsteak tomato. They would have straight up died by now- but the cherry varieties are more hearty.

The fava beans are loving every second of this.

The parsley also. The bench in the back is not loving this.

I’ve got to do something with it. Seal it? Paint it? Wood chipper it?

It’s one thing for it to be gloomy- it’s a whole other thing for it to legit rain in mid August. Like- we’re still recovering from a drought, so yay rain!

Be real nice if the rain didn’t kill my one damn tomato plant though!