Tangent Gardening "Extras"

Urban Gardening in unnatural heat... Why Not?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Projects a many!

I hope that most everyone had a Happy Memorial Day Weekend...
I realize that I am a bit behind...

I have been working on keeping my garden watered and plucked free of tomatoes and Zucchini..  I am doing a little replanting of my hanging baskets among other projects...

But, Hooray, The plans of extending the backyard has started to commence.. We have an amazing amount of projects... I can't wait to see the end result..  Photos will be endless, on all projects..

The soil is nothing to right home about!

The soil is so incredibly nasty. We can't do much with it..  I mean look at it! It is nothing but caliche mud!! ERRR!  But that's okay cuz' we are amending it! Maybe?
But instead of extending the wall, this area is going to be the secret garden, minus the secret. Hahaha!

We decided using these shrubs that the hummingbirds love so much as "our wall,"
called Orange Jubilee! It reminds me of the honeysuckle, of course it isn't!

It won't take long for them to fill in and grow tall! Hence the "secret" garden, know one will be able to tell that the garden  is there until they turn the corner!! (it will be more of an area for sitting and enjoying than  gardening!)

My cucumbers still haven't produced... ???

Everything else is so very happy.

I read that cutting back my tomatoes in mid July, to about a foot high should produce some new growth and blossoms in September... I certainly will be trying that...

Peanut and butter are up to their ol' antics...

Peanut being to curious!

Butter checkin out the harvest!

also being too cute!

Piglet just lounging!

More to come soon!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Seasons of Desert Change...


There are things I never realized in this type of environment, that which are so very subtle no one person would be able to pick it out, well, except an experienced desert gardener. Those subtle realizations would be the seasonal changes. One can make the same mistake, as I, thinking that the desert has only two seasons.

   Really! The thing is, I believed for the entire time living in the desert and felt the extreme heat and extreme cold. I must admit that is/was all that I knew...

    In fact, the desert  has many facets to it's life. There seems to be 6 small seasons, not just 2. Mr. Brookbank broke the facets down to a way of making total sense.  May I say, I'm very excited, because I have a chance to play around six times a year...  In the Garden that is...LOL...

    Now, here is the thing though, these seasons are short... I have something like 60, 90 days, in each of the seasons which makes it incredibly short and challenging... That means, I have to stay on top of things, like sowing seeds all the time, transplanting, constantly working in the organic matter, etc... most harvests happen after 60 days, I have to get these plants to produce within this time frame... it can be done, obviously because Mr. Brookbank made it happen... Right?

     I have learned quite a bit so far, I do know that I need to sow my melon seeds, to get them in the ground sometime in end of May beginning June...

First tomatoes of the season!!!

     Looking back at all of my notes, the warming summer season - Mid March - to Mid June (90)
this is the time to set out tomato plants- (sow corn) and squash seeds, set out pepper plants, eggplants and sow melon seeds, I'm not familiar with Chinese pole beans... but "them" and okra, black eyed peas which I don't care for, but really haven't given it a chance...

     So the challenge is to myself!, learn the six seasons, that was said to be here in the desert, and be successful at it!

     For mothers day, My extremely generous husband bought me a gift!  I have been in desire of a new smaller more simple to operate camera! You know a point and shoot, but with a little oomph! So I have been messing with it and took some pictures this morning! What do you think? Will it do?

     I have been wondering when my cucumbers were going to start to do something!  Finally, It is!

Finally, growing on the trellis!

     Will I actually get some cucumbers this time?  I think maybe! I just can't understand why it is taking forever!

     Look at this Zucchini I am so very happy! I finally found a variety that I can have luck with!

     So far I have harvested about 7 zukes! I can't believe it! After last years fiasco! I can now count on the a bountiful kind of zucchini!  Whats the song? "Rollin, Rollin Rollin, keep those "zukes" a Rollin"  lol!

Monday, May 14, 2012

RIP our garden friend!

Nice to see you this morning!

    I have very wretched, sad news to share tonight...  It all started Friday evening... Rylee went out to spend some time with Adolf and it was apparent.  You see, Adolf came into our lives sometime in Nov of 2011... I think there was a purpose... He was homeless, and hungry..  I watched from a distance and realized he needed some comfort and a bit of security.  I watched as he started to crawl up in to the engine of my car. Knowing that was not a smart thing to do... I called him over to my front yard... and struck a deal with him.. " I said, Now If you want, I will let you stay here at my door... But in return you have to keep an eye on things, like keep the scorpions away and other cats at bay... I will feed you and make sure you have water..

     Adolf agreed. He remained under the bushes in front to stay warm at night, When it got real cold, we put warm blankets out for him. He would curl up and be as happy as a snug bug  in a rug...  He kept other intruders away.
     He was very happy to stay where he was, until just recently... A group of huge dogs were rampaging the streets, and stumbled upon Adolf... He by the skin of his teeth got away, Thank goodness.. 

     So we decided to put him in the back yard.. He loved being back there. He, I don't think would ever have left, He had catnip at hand for whatever whim, food and water, bedding and a garden to dig in and make surprises for Rylee to clean up... Every day he would have his meal then waltz over to the sandy area, and well have a really wonderful, good feeling dirt bath...

    Friday night Rylee went out to feed him his insanely delicious meal as usual... But Adolf had no appetite.. Well, we thought that was odd... so the thought was it is hot out and he probably doesn't have much of an appetite.. that's okay...  Saturday morning he looked lazy and very sleepy, strange almost. Rylee mentioned that there seemed to something not right.. I told her, lets keep an eye on him and see what happens. Sunday comes around. He was a bit worse, and  not eating or drinking at all.  Now it's Monday and still nothing better... So Rylee and I talked about what the worse would be when we took him to the Vet.. We agreed if "it" had to be done, we needed to make sure that he wouldn't suffer.

Having a good stretch in the garden...

     But, the reality hit Rylee hard. The inevitable words were spoken.  "The kindest thing to do is not let him suffer any longer"...  Oh, my little girl, took it very hard, and there was not anything I could do to take her pain away...
    The Vet felt he went a wandering, Thursday night, and in his adventure got in to some trouble, possibly hit by a car, which seems entirely impossible because he never left the backyard.. Or that is what we were let to believe.  Oh Adolf, Why did you leave the back yard?
    The reality is he was an unneutered male cat, that roamed and did what all cats do.. If people keep thinking that having pets is the most wonderful thing, all I would ask is please be responsible and spay or neuter them so roaming would not be so important to them... Possibly keep them indoors where they belong... The senseless killing and hurting of animals as such, destroys compassion and love for anything that breathes. Maybe, some people look at it as that they are just animals, not people, but  people can say when "it" hurts, our furry friends have to endure when they hurt.. Is that the right thing? Not in my life time!

     Rylee, You are a brave responsible person, what furry friend wouldn't want you to be their heroin! I am very proud of you! We did the right thing, I promise that all will be okay!

     Adolf, I dedicate this post to you and all those precious furry friends that don't have the people that can give compassion for those unfortunate...

You will be missed my furry garden companion!

The sun feels so good this morning!
RIP Adolf   May 14, 20012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Let me share this!!!

     I found the most incredible book ever... I know that this book is specific to the environment... BUT, when a person finds something that is a gold mine of info... what-else can one do, but share!

"The" Garden Book

     I was in need for extreme guidance over Tangent. I was, what do you call it, "the blind leading the blind", but in this case, I was the only blind one wandering aimlessly through the desert. And to say, Doing the 40 days of wandering is very exhausting by the way.

    Okay! Yes, rambling... Whatever...

     Anyways, I found out  about  a  Master Gardener whose name is George Brookbank... He wrote, The book,  Desert Gardening  Fruits & Vegetables.

     It is like the bible for the desert gardener... I now have a major understanding in some of the questions that I have had for sometime..

     This man talks about the crazy seasons, the caliche soil, the specific insects that are a trouble here...  Well, except for the "SQUASH BUG!!!", that I am having to deal with!  But that's okay... Working on it, as I type... the fungus that affects only the desert area...  How to prune the fruit trees properly for this enviornment... 

     George, where have you been?   Well, nevertheless, I have found you! I fully intend to be a practitioner of this book!!

     As I mentioned in the paragraph above,    I am experiencing the infamous, "SQUASH BUG". I found three this very morning and afternoon... Can you believe it?
Dead Squash Bugs in soap water!

     I was in hopes that with spraying and the tillering and that extra effort... that I did, done, then conquered and eradicated them from my garden... So Tonight, the insecticide will be applied and enforced...  Do I hope this works? You betcha, will it work, not a clue..

    "I" on the other hand...Have some great news... I harvested my first zucchini, four eggplant, and two chocolate bell peppers yeah I know they are not chocolate but I just wanted to pick them any way...   Yep!Yep!

     Tomatoes will be coming soon with a another harvest of eggplant and zucchini,  Now if I can get these cucumbers to grow... all will be right with the world..

Grow already!

     I have learned this type of zucchini  is best for the desert region...
Grey Zucchini!

      I also learned about another type of cucumber that really isn't a  cucumber at all, it is a type of Muskmelon...  Ready for this, if you don't already know which I did not! 
     It is called the Armenian cucumber.. Now it seems similar to an English cucumber.  It grows to a length of 30 to 36 inches. But best pick at about 12 to 15 inches. Another name for it is snake cucumber, But can not be confused with snake gourds...

    Will I have better luck than the traditional cucumbers?  I must say, I think I might because, the Armenian cucumber are grown in an arid environment... Well, I wish I had a picture of it... but I can do the next best thing put a link in so you can see this incredible "fruit"!


     I have so much more to talk and to post about, but I really have to do a little more reading and well spray for those squash bugs. "Stupids" so, off I go and start my mission!

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