Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Puttering. 4.8.14

Mostly today I rested and did take-home work.

As for puttering -

I planted 6 pepper plants in the poly-tunnel,  raised bed that I set up for them during the winter.  Temp in that bed, before I opened the polyethylene top, was 80 F.  That opens up room in the fluorescent light stand for other plants.  Given the warmth and shelter, I think they will be fine, even though this is too early to plant in-ground without protection.  These are experimental.  I don't intend to grow as many types next year.

I planted a row of Phacelia tanacetifolia (Bee Friend) at the end of one of the raised beds.  Purpose is to feed bees some organic bee forage, and keep them attracted to my garden and yard.  I've never seen this plant in person.

I planted okra seeds that I had soaked overnight.  The varieties were Baby Bubba Hybrid, Burgundy, North + South Hybrid, Dwarf Green Long Pod, and Jambalaya.  All were chosen based on reported early bearing and smaller stature, compared to other selections.  Of the plants I tried indoors, Babby Bubba hybrid is the most compact and robust, followed by Burgundy.  Dwarf Green Long Pod was weaker and more leggy.  These were all new seeds, except North + South hybrid, which were 5 years old.

One lesson I learned last year.  Many garden resources say you can't start okra indoors and the plant outside.  The reason given is the roots are too delicate.  The ones that I started indoors last year did much better than the ones I direct seeded in the same ground.  The only ones to bear, although minimally, were the transplanted ones.  Some resources say you can transplant okra.  I'm glad I did the experiment.  It gets me ahead this year.

I cut a handful of small flower bunches from pears at home, took to Battleground, and played the bee using a paintbrush to pollinate the Asian pear there.  I noted, the smaller Asian pear I have been trying to salvage, is in bloom too, so I cross pollinated that one with the larger one.

I pollinated cherries with each other.  Sweet cherries and Almaden Duke cherry.

I noted, all potatoes are up now.  All plums are dropping flowers.  No apples are blooming yet.


  1. Anonymous8:38 PM

    Hello, hello!

    It's your Ridgefield neighbor here, posting on the cusp of a solid week's worth of gorgeous weather (if the forecasts can be believed). And look at all those gorgeous cherry and plum trees the sun will be shining upon! We had cherry trees at one point, but ended up ripping them out after they developed a terrible amber ooze that was getting worse with each passing year (and the birds ate all the cherries anyway). I've gotten pretty draconian about ripping things out that fail to thrive in the garden ...

    Meanwhile, it's almost time to pick up our bees, and i have to say, i'm brimming with excitement. I hope they don't escape in the car. That would be the stuff nightmares are made of! :)

    Looking forward to catching up on your blog, as always.

    Happy Gardens!


  2. Barbara,

    Please keep me posted! I'm picking up my second batch of bees on Wed.

    Having them get loose in the car sounds like something I would do. But the bee box is very secure. I don't think that is possible.

    Watching so many of my trees blooming, I think "I wish the bees were here to pollinate and gather nectar" but there will be more.

    I think they wait until after the California Almond pollination, before shipping. That way they get full benefit from them before shipping them out.

  3. Anonymous9:42 AM

    Oh wow! My romantic notions of the bees being raised lovingly and tenderly before being re-homed are now dashed! I didn't realize we were getting "worked" bees, but i guess that's ok. If all goes well, they'll acclimate over time in any case.

    I'm thinking i'd like to try to catch a swarm of feral bees at some point, but first things first. Hopefully, luck will be us both this year and our colonies will thrive.

    Cheers for now,