Saturday, March 15, 2014

Yarrow - Achillea Milleforium

Yarrow - Achillea Milleforium a native that I adore.

When I first got interested in Native plants and attracting more varmint's with wings into my yard this was my go to plant.

Hardy, Happy and Yellow.

And a Native drought tolerant plant.

I planted 4+ last year and just went on a Field trip to
Matilija Nursery and got a boat load more. Here is the skinny on these little loves!








 This is the one Native that I planted two years ago on a whim and it comes back with vigor and love every spring.  It is another California Native and can grow up to 3 feet tall. The leaves are evenly distributed and near the middle and bottom they are the largest.






The flowers are like a disk when they form. It is a flat top cluster. The flower smells sweet and like a chrysanthemum. They are drought tolerant. They compliment any butterfly garden. It will also attract predatory wasps, ladybugs and hover flies. It will need well drained soil in full sun and is not a picky plant so experiment. It can become very invasive.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Daffodils

Daffodils are a great bulb to plant and now it is the time. I planted a lot of them last year to see if they did any good with those Gosh Darn Gophers. Wa La it worked.

I planted them on the East portion of the grand hill. And there was not a gopher in sight. .They bloomed great and the color was pretty exciting with the hill having been so blahh prior.



You can see on this post where I planted them. 

So this year I went to my local garden and picked up another pack of 20 bulbs. I do not know why I did not think of bulbs sooner. They are a great opening to Spring and a seasonal way to keep your garden looking different each season. Plus the simplicity of them is amazing.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Season's and Life cycle of butterflies

How long long do they live ?

This is a complicated question because it has two season's of life here is a calendar view

 

February to March : Monarchs hibernate here in Southern California and Mexico and February and March is when they wake up, and start the search for there new mate. Once they Mate then they take flight north to lay their eggs. Then their life cycle is complete. They have lasted through the Winter just to do this for us.



March and April : The first Monarch's are born and start the life cycle through the rest of the months. It repeat;s the same cycle from May/June to July/August then in



 
September and October : The last (4th) generation is born from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis then butterfly.  The difference with the 4th generation is these have a longer life cycle. It Migrates south and lives 6 to 8 months in Mexico or here in Southern California. Then the whole cycle begins again in February and March of the following Spring when they lay their eggs.

Here are some pictures for you to look at it is quite interesting.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sue's Baby-z

These are the girls. My neighbor's little girls. This is where my egg's come from. I want chicken real bad but with so much on my plate this year I am living through Sue! Thank you Sue!
Her latest thing is to feed the ladies spaghetti.
 Yes I said spaghetti !
She takes it out and they leap in the air to be the first to get the pasta. These are Italian Birds. LOL


What the Peck!


YUM!

But now I am excited because she is starting a garden!


Friday, May 17, 2013

10 Tips for Success with Tomato's

 This year we are trying something different.


Two of the plant's are in moveable pot's. More on those in a different post.
I also picked a part of the yard that I would have never thought of.
Last year I put down some newspaper and compost in the Fall and just left the area alone.
The plan was to make a butterfly and hummingbird area. Then the more research I did the more I realized I could more with the little plot of hill.

I popped some daffodil bulbs in that bloomed through out the early spring then when they stopped blooming .......



I planted some tomato plants. My husband friend Jose' said put them in an area that gets morning sun. This is perfect area.

The tomato's are thriving with so far no pest problem.

I have surrounded them with butterfly flowers and some trailing lantana. 




Here are the 10 Tips from Scott at Tomatomania

  
1. Read Labels carefully and choose varieties that are right for you. Choose early, mid season and late tomatoes. Let the "Days to maturity" be your guide.

2. Find the Sum : Tomatoes want sun and heat. Six hours of full sun is the minimum for success, 8 is optimal. In super hot areas however, it maybe necessary to shade the plants during the hottest part of the day. As you decide where to plant remember that it's a good idea to rotate planting each season.

3. Add organic fertilizer and liberal amounts of soil amendments and/or composts to your chosen garden spot. The better the soil, the better the tomatoes. Layering the nutrients across the top of the soil, is advised, as frequent aggressive tilling can disturb soil systems. Combine planting mix and potting soil in your containers.

4. Dig Deep plant Deep as you set out your seedling. Snip off the lowest leaves and bury part of the stem, leaving only the top 3-4inches of the plant above the surface.

5. Water correctly, which means soak the root ball, every 3 to 4 days for the first few weeks. Once tomatoes start growing, water deeply and less frequently. As tomatoes grow, the plant will inevitably yellow in places. More water won't fix that and too much water can dilute taste.

6. Fertilize wisely. Add an organic food in the hole at the planting, and feed again once that plant begins to flower. That is all they should need unless you know your soil is desperately lacking nutrients. Follow feeding along the way is a good idea just do not over do.

7. Container growers disregard numbers 5 and 6 ! Your plants will need water as often as every day in the hottest part of the season. Do your best to soak the pot each time you apply water. Feed them every 10 to 14 days.

8. Support your plants with bamboo stakes, a sturdy trellis or the cage your choice  as they grow. Support don't have to be pretty.. Just hold them up.

9. Be diligent! Watch your tomatoes each day in order to note any changes that might signal a problem. Exercise your option to prune (pinch) side growth if you need to limit the size or the spread of your plant.

10. Enjoy your tomatoes when they are truly ripe! Just because a red tomato turns red does not mean it is necessarily at the peak of flavor. Wait!!! Look for true deep color and some softness before you devour your harvest. That's how you'll get the most out of the season/.

I hope this helps you.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Bee's We need them

Here first off is the best Bee Link to help the bee's they say and I quote

 "Over the past few years, scientific studies have suggested that both honey bee and native bee populations are in trouble. What we don't know is how this is affecting pollination of our gardens, crops and wild lands. In 2008, we started this project as a way to gather information about our urban, suburban and rural bee populations and to give you the tools to learn about what is happening with the pollinators in your yard.







 Right here is a bird house that filled with busy little bee's.







The Bee's love Sunflower. I will buy a packet of seeds and just pour them all into one area .












Plus you can save seeds from the flower for next year and eat the rest. It is a win win for the Bee's and you!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Letting you Broccoli go to seed

 This was a good experiment letting my broccoli go to seed. What a great lesson in gardening. I am getting more into letting some of  my vegetables and flowers go to seed. My sister  Casey use to let her Delphinium and other flowers go to seed and would give me seeds all the time. I am still finding paper bags of seeds from her. I thought she was a bit nutty but now I see her point.

To the left you see a broccoli plant that I did harvest quite a lot from. Once I was done with it I let it go to seed. See the pretty yellow flowers?


Now it has grown out as mush flowers as I think it can.  It gets long and stalky. The seeds are strange looking they are long like a green bean with anorexia.

Here are the direction:

1. Allow the broccoli plant to bloom instead of harvesting when it is in the bud stage.  The broccoli plant will send up a flower stalk covered with yellow flowers that are very attractive to bees and other pollinating insects during the blooming process.


2. Place a paper bag over the broccoli flower when the seedpods are brown and beginning to split open. You can see the black broccoli seeds inside the split seedpods when the seeds are ready to harvest.

3.Grasp the paper bag with one hand so it creates a seal around the stem. Cut the stalk with a pair of hand-held garden shears so the flower head remains in the bag. This prevents seeds from falling to the ground when the flower stalk is moved.

4. Turn the flower head upside down so it stays in the bag.

5. Remove the flower head from the paper bag and spread the seeds on the dry newspaper. Crumble the seed pods to release the numerous broccoli seeds and separate the seeds from the dried plant material. Allow the seeds to dry for three weeks while spread over the dry newspaper in the warm and dry location.

Place seeds in a dry jar with a tight-fitting lid and store at room temperature until the following season. Broccoli seed will remain viable for one year if dried and stored properly.