Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Critter Protection

Happy Autumn!!!!  

And it's still hot here.  It was 102º on Sunday and only cooled off to the 80ºs at night   Yuck!   We had a nice(r)  couple days but it's supposed to be 97º through the weekend :-(  

Anyway I'm SO HAPPY to report that my Sweet Pea seeds sprouted!  Yay!  That's the good news. The bad news is that some critter(raccoon, possum or skunk most likely) is still digging up my raised beds for those delicious, uh,  disgusting fig beetle grubs.  I MUST protect my seedlings(because I love Sweet Peas so much!   So I just put some protection over them in the form of hardware cloth curved and poked into the soil. Let's hope the critter is not smart or strong enough to know that it can be lifted off. Maybe I need to wire or stake the pieces. Ugh!  Not sure how I'm going to cover the whole other bed when I plant my lettuce seeds.  

 And that's my grapevine that's was planted a year ago June and hasn't grown at all!  

Do you have to fend off animals who want to mess up your garden?  What do you do?  

Happy Gardening! 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Rain Lilies

OhMyGosh I love these yellow Rain Lilies! Zephranthes citrina or Z. sulphurea- they must have changed the name. They like full sun and grow only about 6-8" tall. I bought 2 pots of them about a month ago when they were in full bloom. They bloom, I deadhead them and they bloom again. I swear I cut them back only last week. And here they are looking so fabulous again! I wish the weather would cool down so I could plant them in the garden. Research says that if you don't deadhead them they will reseed. I'll be happy if they do become a "pretty weed".

I first planted the pink ones from bulbs about 2 years ago. They bloom off and on and the flowers are large, maybe 2". But they haven't put on a show like the yellow ones. Maybe they need to spread more. The yellow flowers are about 1 1/2". I also have a peachy colored one that I got at The Huntington. Those flowers are smaller maybe only 1" and haven't bloomed a lot.

I've read that they're called Rain Lilies because they bloom after rain. But we don't get much rain. They're in the Amaryllis family and and native to the Western Hemisphere. They grow in zones 7-10 in SoCal we are zone 9. So they like warm climates.

Do you grow Zephranthes?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sweet Peas & Jicama

It's probably too early. But I planted my Sweet Pea seeds today. In SoCal we're supposed to plant them in Autumn. Last year it was hot for so long that I had to do three rounds of planting to get them to sprout. It IS still Hot here but I'm hoping for cooler weather. I soaked the seeds for a day and a half. I hope that's not too long.

An update on my Jicama seeds that I planted last Spring. It was not a good summer for veggies in my backyard. My onions all rotted(and that is one of the WORST stinks I've ever smelled). My Basil hardly grew. A critter kept digging up my beds so my zucchini and corn never produced. As I was pulling out the last two dead Jicama(one is still green) to plant my Sweet Peas I couldn't pull them. I had to dig them out and found two little Jicamas!

Winter vegetables usually do better for me as long as we have cooler weather. And please bring on El Niño. I plant a whole bed with lettuce as I'm a huge salad girl. What cool weather veggies do you plant?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Double Flowered Perennial Aster

When I was in San Diego in May I picked up this lovely double flowered Aster at Walter Anderson Nursery. I wish I knew the name. But you know how they put the name on a sticker on the pot these days instead of a tag. And where does the empty pot go? It might be in a stack to be recycled. Or it might be gone. 

Anyway this Aster was in full bloom when I bought it. All the perennial Asters I know have been single Daisy-like. I was dazzled by its double flowers and succumbed to its charm and brought it home. There were 3 plants in the pot. So after the blooms faded, I split them up and planted them in 3 separate places in my garden. And now they are blooming again! What a fabulous plant! I love it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Whitefly Yuck!

Happy September!  
August was SO HOT here in SoCal.  I know that Sept and sometimes Oct are hot too. But I am happy to have survived another August and to have it behind us.  

Every so often I find Whitefly on a plant. They do like Canna Lily leaves.   Whitefly is a sucking insect found on the underside of leaves.  See the gross pics below.  They fly around in clouds if disturbed.  The will damage the plants.  I got grossed out just starting to read the wikipedia page.   wikipedia Whitefly   Ew!  Usually I don't spray insecticide on Cannas because you're supposed to cut off the spent flowering canes all the way to the ground after blooming anyway.  So I just cut them off and deposit them in the trash.  I once had to cut down a whole 20 foot long row of them that had whitefly. I had to wear a bandana over my mouth because of all the flying nonsense.  And they make all this fluffy cottony mess too.  

This pic(stolen from the internet) is a close-up view of the little pests.  They aren't really that gross by themselves. 

If you see them on your plants, you could spray with an insecticide found at your local nursery. Make sure by reading the label that it is safe to spray on the plant you have.

Happy Gardening!