Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Garden: Garden Journal March 15-March 20

March 15
It really has been feeling like spring these last few days. It has been in the 70’s and 80’s with the sun out every day.  I decided to spend some time outside with Tristan and continue working in the garden.  This Christmas, Santa brought Tristan some gardening gloves and today was the first day he got to use them in the garden.  Most of the time he pours water on them and uses them to pretend he is taking his red car through the carwash. I love the imagination of kids!

We pulled out lots of weeds from the vegetable bed and step areas. I also took as much old dirt out as I could so that I could add new fertilized soil. I did not like how there were so many leaves in the planter above the vegetable bed and took out the old plants and the dried up leaves. I left a lavender plant there but another lavender plant did not make it through the winter. I really don’t understand why, because they are getting watered each day.  I want to get some flowers to fill up the planters and I am thinking about getting some rocks or mulch to cover the dirt up. My plan is to start from the bottom and work my way up so the vegetable plants  have the most time in the garden.  Another day of progress and I cleaned up so much. Tristan is having lots of fun helping me and getting dirty in the garden. We saw lots of worms, ants and bees in the garden and I was surprised he did not get scared and just kept helping me clean. This is going to be a good bonding time for me and him. I decided to take him with me to the nursery tomorrow and Robert will stay with Austin. It is important that he has some alone time with me and this can be a project him and I do together. 

March 16
It did not take long for me to have my first problem in the garden. Some pests/rodents have gotten into the garden bed and uprooted one of the broccoli plants, four of the lettuce plants and one basil plant. Not much harm was done to the plants but if this continues to happen the plants will not be able to survive. I went to Sego Nursery, my favorite plant shop, and spoke to one of the employees and he advised me that it was most likely raccoons, squirrels and or skunks causing the havoc in my garden. They are searching for insects and bugs under ground and it is easier for them to dig right after I have loosened the soil.  He told me to sprinkle black pepper, chili powder and ground mustard over the loose soil and that will deter the animals from digging up the soil and plants. I only had chili powder and black pepper and decided to also sprinkle red chili flakes and make it really spice for those little critters.

At Sego I picked up some more vegetables and flowers to continue filling in the garden. Tristan and I went and we bought squash, pumpkin, tomatoes, thyme, butter lettuce, chives, green onions, white onions, cucumbers, and swiss chard and flowers.  We spent the whole morning planting them and our so excited to see them grow.
March 20, 2014
Another beautiful day in the 80’s. It's the first day of Spring! It has been a few days since the pests have returned so I think the chili powder/black pepper mix I have been sprinkling at night has deterred them.

Today I went to grocery store with the boys and Tristan and I noticed that they had some plants and trees for sale. He quickly stops me and says “Look mom some plants, lets get some.” I can tell he is really liking this gardening thing and we have not even picked vegetables yet. I look at them and tell him there is a blueberry plant and we don't have one in the garden and he responds “I like blueberries. Lets get that. I want to plant it in the garden.” So of course we got a blueberry plant for our garden.

As soon as we get home we went to the garden and found a spot that has a sprinkler to make sure the plant will be watered, and we dug up a hole and planted our blueberry plant.  I also had some bell pepper seeds and decided to start those in a pot. We made more progress in our garden and Tristan is so excited for his blueberry plant.

Here is a recap of the citrus and vegetable plants we currently have growing.

In the top section of the garden we have planted; one dwarf orange tree, one lemon tree, one rosemary plant, one grape vine, one blueberry tree and one avocado tree.
In the garden bed we have; broccoli, basil, parsley, shallots, tomatoes, bib lettuce, red leaf lettuce, swiss chard, cucumbers, thyme, mint, cilantro, green onions and chives.
in the small bed on the side we have one pumpkin plant and one zucchini plant.
In pots we have bell pepper and white onions.

We have continued to sprinkle chili powder, black pepper and red pepper flakes over the garden and so far the pests have stayed away. I hope it continues that way.