Captain’s log: December 31st 2018

Well. Last captain’s log of 2018. That’s something.

The weather here in not-so-sunny California is dry, bright and windy.

So. SO. Windy.

The back trash can got blown about 20 feet away from where it’s supposed to be, and separated itself from it’s lid.

It’s kinda hard impossible to photograph wind, but sad trash can comes close.

This happened last night, and boy trying to sleep last night was hard, the wind was howling and howling and howling.

Luckily the only thing knocked over was a trash can.

I was slightly worried my Gerry-rigged tomato setup would get blown over, but it’s hanging in there, and the little tomatoes are continuing to ripen.

The Mystery Mole peppers are continuing to grow, which is nice, even if I have no idea what they are supposed to look or taste like.

The seed packet I ordered came in, so I planted some peas that are (hopefully) not dead.

And the turnips in front of the peas are doing nicely.

Snow peas are the perfect winter veggie, they love the cold, and they’re a legume so they grow super easy and with little extra work.

I’m not sure the basil is going to survive the winter sadly. African Blue Bush Basil can become a perennial in this area, but it’s a coin toss. Basically it just has to survive one winter and then you’ll have it for 7-8 years if you’re lucky. It’s looking like I’m not lucky.

This entire herb bed has been weird. The Hyssop and savory are gold, the oregano is acting all weird, and the purple sage looks perpetually sad, but alive. The regular sage seems to have rebounded though, so there’s that.

In far better news, the dill has sprouted! Was worried about it, but hopefully dill from seed is heartier than dill from plant.

The lemon balm I perhaps foolishly planted in the main herb patch is doing it’s minty thing, which means I’m expecting a takeover. This herb bed is where the tarragon pot lives, and that plant is doing kinda not great. Maybe I should have bit the bullet and just put the plant in the ground, root takeover be damned. Oh well.

The Pac Choi look fantastic though.

Happy New Year to all, and here’s to all your gardens growing well in 2019, both actual and metaphorical.

See you next year!

Captain’s log: December 21st 2018

I hope everyone is having a good solstice. This year certainly was… interesting. I have a few surprise additions for the garden coming up- but the timing isn’t right yet so it might be a week before I put them out.

But all the lovely seedlings are sprouting.

Those little green stalks are baby green onions. They took their time to sprout but I knew they’d come through. Funnily enough, either because of the torrents of rain or just the unbridled enthusiasm of onions- several of these little guys totally escaped the soil, as if they overshot in their vigor. Oh well. I sowed a ton of them, and in a month when it’s more clear who survived I can always sow more.

Now the pea seeds may in fact have been too old, as the have not sprouted which is a surprise because legumes are usually the first arrival- but the turnips have sprouted. It goes without saying I’ll have to thin them- but it’s nice to have a plant you can rely on, and you can always rely on a turnip.

Speaking of cabbages and reliability, every Pac Choi I’ve put in is thriving. Some are definitely bigger than others, but that just means I can stagger eating them. It’s always nice to have a cabbage in the back ready to pick- though if I had to guess it’ll probably be 3 weeks to a month before the largest of these is ready to harvest. Maybe a little longer.

The Swiss chard has gotten a second wind along with the spinach:

It’s amazing what a good drenching and cool weather will do for your leafy greens. Now I definitely have some work to do trimming and weeding (to say nothing of the pepper conundrum) but I think I’ll harvest some spinach this weekend and go from there.

I was worried that my various succulent pots would drown in the rain, but all seems to be well. This particular aeonium is loving it- it’s growing over the jade plant in its pot. Both are cuttings from larger plants that live in a tiny strip of dirt in front of my house- those mother plants are also loving the rain.

Reminds me I have to weed the front patch too.

Yet another of the tomatoes is becoming ripe which makes me very happy indeed.

What really makes me happy though…

Life has officially given me lemons. This tree in the back is ancient and wise and it just… is. We don’t do much with it- it needs a prune but I’m terrified I’d somehow hurt it so I just leave it alone. In return every winter and spring it gives us its bounty- oceans of lemons.

It’s officially green season in San Francisco!

Pre-rain planting, and re-planting aka last seeds of 2018

Well last seeds of 2018 as long as they take. Which in the case of the peas is… questionable.

First things first- the dill plant did not rally, it died. So I ripped out the dead plant, put a little more soil in the pot, and sowed some dill seed right on top.

Wow! It’s a sexy photo of dirt!

Yeah this isn’t going to be the best post photo wise.

Now it’s just a matter of waiting to see if it comes up. You can’t bury the dill seed too far, it needs light to germinate. So it might take some trial and error before anything sprouts. (Which is why I really wanted the plant to take instead of sowing from seed, but you can’t always get what you want.) It’s gonna rain tonight so that’s why I’m doing my planting now.

Now I’ve wanted to rip out my heat damaged lettuce for a while, and I thought a good winter crop would be some kind of pea. Problem is- I actually didn’t have a ton of pea seeds that weren’t super duper old.

This was the one that was least old and most tasty. Who doesn’t love snow peas?

I was hoping I had a packet of sugar snap, but alas it was not to be…

Mind you if these don’t come up I am totally buying some sugar snap seeds but, hopefully these come up.

I thought I’d grow something else too.

So I love turnips. And I’ve grown them before fairly successfully! I made the mistake of growing them during the summer unfortunately though- and maybe half my turnips were gobbled up by cabbage grubs at the time. The other issue was that I planted them in the ground and not in a raised bed which was just begging for trouble.

Which is why you plant your cabbages in the winter!

It was pretty easy to dig out the bad lettuce, add a few liters of extra soil, and sow my seeds. A back row of peas, and a front row of turnips.

I’ll have to thin the turnips once they come up- and they will come up. I’ll probably only get like 5, but I’m the only one in the house that loves turnips so that works. And if I want more it’s fairly easy to tuck a few turnip seeds in another bed or pot if you have the space, they’re a fairly low maintenance crop.

Whether the peas come up… is a question mark.

So here’s one more sexy photo of dirt!

Yay! Dirt!