What we did today:
- Cleaned up after this week’s high winds.
- Planted artichoke from 4” container (Star Nursery) on top of sunken bed.
- Weeding: False barley (Hordeum murinum), silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium), tumble mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum), tumbleweed/Russian thistle (Salsola), common rye (Secale cereale) or wheat, annual bluegrass (Poa annua). (Tentative IDs)
What we observed:
- April brings winds. How can we harvest this energy? Look to plants that use wind for pollination and seed dispersal. Pay attention to air patterns.
- Pollinators are very active now.
- Many seedlings planted 3/28 have been eaten by critters [Jericho Romaine (GF), Daikon radish (source?), Chichiquelite (NSS), etc.] In some cases, leaves are gone but stems remain. These seedlings may survive with intervention.
- Bisbee Black cowpeas (PLG saved) are performing well.
- Amaranth varieties (NSS) planted 4/2/15 around top of sunken bed are germinating.
- Basil transplanted from 4″ container (from Sprouts Market) into herb spiral is doing well.
hibiscus, strawberries, artichokes, asparagus, herbs, and flowers are performing well. Looks like amaranth will thrive, too. Update: Hollyhock, not hibiscus.
- So far, it looks like we will be able to count on these crops for saving seed: Amaranth,
hibiscus, cowpea, artichoke, arugula, cilantro. Update: Hollyhock, not hibiscus.
- Ready to harvest (Note: Do not harvest if saving seed): Strawberries,
hibiscusflowers, artichokes, sorrel, chicory, lettuce, thyme, sage, pansies, calendula. Update: Hollyhock, not hibiscus.
- What’s in bloom:
Hibiscus, aloes, brittlebush, mesquite trees, snapdragons, daisy in herb spiral, pomegranates, alfalfa, ocotillo, some opuntia cacti, globemallow, calendula, pansies. Update: Hollyhock, not hibiscus.
- Weeds: See above, and Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), lambsquarters (Chenopodium berlandieri), filaree (Erodium cicutarium), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), sowthistle (Sonchus ssp.), prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola), and common mallow (Malva neglecta). (Tentative IDs)
- Can any of these weeds become our allies in the garden, or is removal the best option?
- Critters: Lacebugs have arrived and are found mostly on sunflowers. Weevil seen on shade structure. Large rust-colored dragonflies are present. Cochineal scale continues to infest prickly pear cactus in southwest corner of garden. Mockingbirds are very active now (with fledglings.) Small perching birds are very active (sparrows, etc.)
- Artichokes continue to host aphids and swarms of flies. Pay attention to this seasonal mini-ecosystem. What can we learn from it?
- Think about a long-term management plan for the bindweed growing in the northeast corner near the jujubes. One expert (source?) suggests a 3-year plan involving tilling every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. This will eventually starve out the roots. Is this a course of action we want to take?
- Think about a management plan for the Bermuda Triangle.
What to do next time:
- Can/should we acquire more seeds and do a follow-up planting of crops sown on 3/28/15?
- Increase water to sunken bed? It may not be receiving enough water to sustain seedling growth.
- Put floating row cover over seedlings to stop critters from eating them.
- Continue spreading screened compost.
- Plant melons, cucumbers, squash under fruit trees.
- Plant sunflowers?
- Install dried sorghum stalks (stacked by north wall) to support purple Yeome beans if needed.
- Observe and record what is germinating, what is being eaten by critters, etc.
- Continue weeding (mostly grassy weeds, currently.)
- Screen wood mulch before spreading.
- Transplant artichoke from sunken bed to top of sunken bed.
Water meter reading: 268,192