January 23, 2005

Pulling Out Vines....And More Vines....

Pulling out Vines....

I spent a good hour in my raised garden beds yanking out vines that had invaded my yard from my neighbor's property. They spread by long stems that root into the soil ever few inches and the vines cover over rock, trees...anything that gets into their path. They had wormed their way through the redwood plank fence that separates my property from that of my neighbors.

I had thought that the vines had burst through in two places along the fence, but having looked over the pattern of the vines layout, I now realize that they only came through one place and that all these hundreds of yards of vine came from that single source!

I am considering stapling a wire mesh along the bottom of the redwood fence where the offending vines had invaded. I had lined the bottom of my raised beds with this wire mesh to keep moles from burrowing up and stealing carrots and beets, I don't see why it couldn't keep vines out as well....and I should have some of it left in my gargage.

January 19, 2005

Herbs and Pepper Seedlings Spotted

As I work on re-landscaping my backyard, I have been visiting various nurseries in the area in order to purchase plants. I've bought flowering maples, mexican false heather, and camellias so far. All are plants to develop the shady areas of my yard. I was delighted to see the first of the herbs and pepper plant seedlings at the nurseries. It is too early for me to purchase and plant peppers and tomatoes, but seeing the seedlings makes me smile and I long to start putting together new herb baskets. I will not have time to prep my square foot garden beds this month, but I'm looking forward to the time when I will be able to get my herbs and vegetables growing again.

January 16, 2005

The Joy of Fresno Peppers

It was a joy to discover a few ripe fresno peppers in my raised bed this morning. I harvested one for my breakfast. Unfortunately, the pepper was not very hot. I fear that there is not enough heat and sun during the winter to give the chile its bite. I might go ahead and take the last few peppers out of the bed in the next week or two. It is time to start getting my gardens ready for planting in late February.

I have tentively decided to NOT hire a clean up crew for the backyard and side yards and to do the work myself. There are many plants that I want to purchase to add to the color pallet and to make the yard more lush this year. If I pay for the cleanup to be done, I might not have funds for the plants and I certainly would not have funds to get the cement work done. Besides, there is a certain pleasure in doing the work myself.

January 11, 2005

Loss of My Potting Bench

The rains finally came to an end today. According to the weather services, the past 15 days have broken all records for rainfall here in California. I well believe it. Never can I remember so much rain and for so long. Supposedly, more is on the way....

The sun has been shining over my little fallow pepper beds and the water that has flooded my backyard by several inches has soaked into the earth. There is much damage to my gardens due to the storm. Pine fronds lay everywhere and much of my patio is covered. The cement dried enough to allow my dog to go outside. She sat and suned herself, listening intently to the birds and sniffing the wind.

During the afternoon, I heard a loud crack. Going outside, I discovered that my little wooden potting bench had collasped and all the terracotta pots that I had left on it had tumbled to the ground and broken. I am not heartbroken over the loss of the bench since I had been considering throwing it out this year, but I will miss the pots. They were glazed a beautiful cobalt blue and I had found them to be very pretty. Damage is part of winter and of storms. Once the rain is over, I will have much to tend to in my gardens.