lwood: (Default)
[personal profile] lwood
My three Fearsome Chili Peppers are coming along nicely, each nearly a foot tall. Next Monday, more fertilizer.

Shout-out to the other pepper herders: how are yours coming along? Let me know!

[livejournal.com profile] dpaxson's have hardly grown at all since going into their larger pots, alas, probably because they're in a conservatory that gets hardly any light much of the day. They would do MUCH better upstairs on the second-floor deck (are you listening, O Denizens of Greyhaven?), and [livejournal.com profile] dpaxson knows this, but spaced it between Baycon and Trothmoot. If someone would actually move those guys up there, you'd only be doing what she wanted anyway, and you can always blame me later. 8-)




In other news, the first attempt to sprout gourd and zucchini seeds failed some time ago--I think the heating pad under the peat pot tray made the ground too warm, such that instead of encouraging things like it did for the chilis, instead they got boilt.

So, I gave up on gourds for now, and picked up some more Raven zucchini ('cos, whoa, ravens).

This second set had a much lower heating pad, and that for less time before I nicked it away to make yogurt--and even so, after a week there was nothing. The peat pots may be too acidic to make the zucchini happy. Anyway, I left a towel on top so the sunlight wouldn't be too bright, but otherwise gave up on 'em.

More fool me! Hooray!

I has more plantbabies!

Four zucchini have sprouted in both root and stem, with at least two more rooting but not stemmed. Happily, as Raven has a bushy habit, these do well in pots, as, well, that's what I can do in my apartment abode. Miz Diana "but I like zucchini and and and RAVENS OMGz" Paxson will, I think, be graced with another two, and as [livejournal.com profile] trogula likened them unto a Certain Godly Attribute, I know he's good for a couple, and we'll see how it rolls from there, as I know [livejournal.com profile] wolfs_daugher already has some. The No Chili Left Behind act sort of got steamrolled by [livejournal.com profile] purplevenus's headwash, as she was supposed to get three, but wound up with six, and hopefully they are also well.

I think herbs next, all the kinds I best like to cook with--yea, verily, there shall be a Mighty Pesto Bush, and oregano, and [livejournal.com profile] countgeiger wants sage, rosemary, and thyme.

But we are agreed that there shall be noooo parsley. HA!

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 04:43 am (UTC)
ivy: (sycamore)
From: [personal profile] ivy
I didn't heat my zucchini at all, and they almost all sprouted in peat pots. I think summer might be warm enough for them on its own.

Date: 2007-06-01 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
Heh--we also had one of our rare hot spells that week, which combined with everything else is, I think, what did them all in.

But "summer" in the Bay Area isn't like summer as she is spoke in most other temperate climates! We have the most exciting microclimates around here, each with its own ramifications.

I live, not on the coast, but it's a straight shot through the Golden Gate to where I live. This means most mornings and evenings bring a "marine layer" or low-flying clouds along with a good breeze, while afternoons and nights tend to be clear.

Then, there'll always be a few days where it's actually warm, no more than a dozen but enough to keep you on your toes.

One may visit summer, though: a trip inland past the first ridge of hills is instantly ten, or even twenty, degrees warmer, with respite only when the rising air currents over the baking inland valleys exert so much pressure as to draw the sea fog inland, as up a very long chimney. Where I have many cool to comfortable days and a few real scorchers, someone well inland will have a lot of hot days with a few breathers. We'll both have good wind as dawn and dusk, whether or not it's enough to stir the sea fog.

This week, where I am, near-but-not-on the coast (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=94611&ie=UTF8&om=1&ll=37.830938,-122.219639&spn=0.100331,0.138702&t=h&z=13), high temperatures will be in the high fifties to low sixties, lows in the high fifties. BUT, in nearby, more inland, hill-girded Concord (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=94520&ie=UTF8&om=1&t=h&z=12) , they are instead looking at mid to high seventies during the day and the same low fifties at night--a disparity that will only widen as we roll through June and into July.

What that all means is that when I really want things to grow well that want lots and lots of sun, I send them out to [livejournal.com profile] wolfs_daugher in Dublin (another inland valley town), [livejournal.com profile] trogula in Castro Valley (halfway), [livejournal.com profile] purplevenus in Concord (remember Concord?) and so on. My peppers will grow, hopefully bloom and set, but where I am they will not thrive, so I have contingencies. 8-)

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] murstein.livejournal.com
What that all means is that when I really want things to grow well that want lots and lots of sun, I send them out to . . .


You know, in your position, I'd be looking into what plants actually prefer your microclimate. They may not have cool variety names like Raven, but they're likely to grow and fruit without need for hot pads or transplanting to friends' homes or such.

Date: 2007-06-02 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
You know, in your position, I'd be looking into what plants actually prefer your microclimate. They may not have cool variety names like Raven, but they're likely to grow and fruit without need for hot pads or transplanting to friends' homes or such.

Well, the zucchini actually neither needed nor wanted the hot pad, so that's a good sign. Where I am will be okay, but not ideal, for sunlovers, and I know that going in and am okay with it.

I'm not all that thrilled about growing tomatoes, which was the last thing that I heard about that had specifically shade-loving varieties.

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-08 01:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] murstein.livejournal.com
Oh, there's more to what I'd do than look into shade-loving varieties. There are entire species that like the shade. For example, I chose woodruff in part because it loves moist and shady conditions that approximate the forest floor. [livejournal.com profile] laureth's tomatoes (and other veggies) have the sunny end of the deck, and my woodruff has a shady spot, next to the tree where I empty my offering bowl. (It's not in the ground for the same reason that milady's veggies are in containers, not in the ground.)

Date: 2007-06-08 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
*nodnod* And, indeed, I have mint coming, and picked up some borage last night!

-- Lorrie does know how to plant her climate...she's just also ornery.

Date: 2007-06-01 05:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brigidsblest.livejournal.com
I have one each of cayenne, jalapeno, and red, green, and yellow bell peppers.

All are bearing flowers. :)

Date: 2007-06-01 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
I have one each of cayenne, jalapeno, and red, green, and yellow bell peppers.

All are bearing flowers. :)


Huzzah!

When I was at the store last night, pondering what to tackle next, I was jealous of the 4" pepper seedlings for sale, as they were all much further along--due to my Climate Issues, as I mentioned in my response to [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands. That, and my balcony is a primarily western exposure, when really what any good nightshade wants in life is SUN SUN SUN.

So I went home and encouraged the peppers instead. They do not yet appear to be setting blooms, but I sang to them and told them they were beautiful, which is fluffy as all get-out, but what the hell. My peppers, my rabid fluff, so there.

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lastwaykeeper.livejournal.com
There's actually some small scientific evidence (this is off the top of my head, so I don't have proper documentation) that the fluff may be true.

So don't worry ;)

Date: 2007-06-01 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
*whispers*
I know, I've heard too!

Besides, it does no harm and keeps me happy which, given my usual proclivities to obnoxious negative bitchiness, is a worthy end of itself. 8-P

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 05:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pearlshadow.livejournal.com
wahhhhhhhhhh i am brown thumb of doooom. my plants have all died...

Date: 2007-06-01 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
wahhhhhhhhhh i am brown thumb of doooom. my plants have all died...

Oh, no! Did you repot them? Keep them watered?

[livejournal.com profile] countgeiger is a wondermous husband and remembers to water, which is good as his wife is occasionally a space cadet...

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 06:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leanne-opaskar.livejournal.com
But we are agreed that there shall be noooo parsley. HA!

So I take it there will be no tabbouleh either? (:

I'm growing parsley and finding that it's actually quite useful -- good for stock, good for Ranch dressing, good for vinaigrettes ... not that I use it by itself, it's always with other stuff. But it definitely contributes.

Date: 2007-06-01 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
So I take it there will be no tabbouleh either? (:

[livejournal.com profile] countgeiger is agin' parsley. I like it--for all the reasons you've stated--but I'm afraid it would just bolt in my often absent-minded care, and anyway he's helping with the said care, so keeping him happy is a goodness.

Besides, I is growing PESTO BUSHES, which beats out parsley any day. Mmmmm, basil...

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dasubergeek.livejournal.com
It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places raise herbs for the betterment of food, for on the night in which He was betrayed, our Lord took bulghur, and added chopped parsley, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, and said, "Take this and eat it, this is my side dish, given for you."

However.

DO NOT PLANT MINT
DO NOT PLANT MINT
DO NOT PLANT MINT
DO NOT PLANT MINT


Also, I don't know how experienced you are growing basil, but remember that you must pinch off the blossom stalks before they bloom, or the basil will bolt and you will end up with sad, dry, pale leaves. In this way I have kept basil growing continously for almost three years now despite its tendency to want to be an annual. It will be sad and shrunken in winter but it will not die!

Zucchini doesn't need peat, and it doesn't need a heating pad. It's supposed to be planted when the days are still cool, it takes usually 60-75 days to mature fully, and then ZOMG ZUCCHINI WTF. Also, I'm sure that you, the Damn Good Cook, know that you can reduce your zucchini load by plucking the flowers (and then stuffing them with the ricotta-based filling of your choice, dipping them in flour-water-leavener batter, and deep-frying those mofos)... in any case you'll want to pick the male flowers (the ones that don't have the incipient zucchini on the end, natch) because once they've served to pollinate there's no further use for them -- they are ricotta and preserved-lemon bait (or just cut them in large pieces and toss them with diced tomato and the bleu cheese of your choice, then dress with olive oil).

When you eventually end up down here, I will have to take you for a walk to the House of the Rising Chile Peppers. These people have serrano chile plants in their back yard that are -- I swear I am not making this up -- ten feet tall. Gangly as all hell but absolutely covered, even this early in the year, with chiles, some of which are public fruit!

Date: 2007-06-01 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dasubergeek.livejournal.com
Oh, and try borage -- it's easy to grow, it's really quite decorative, and the blossoms have a very sweet taste, and the leaves have a veeeeeeery slightly astringent bite, akin to real cucumbers (not that foot-long waxed crap available in Safeway).

Remember that sage, in California, will grow to be taller than you are... rosemary too, but you can attack rosemary with clippers and it will make a very lovely hedgebush.

Date: 2007-06-01 05:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
Oh, and try borage -- it's easy to grow, it's really quite decorative, and the blossoms have a very sweet taste, and the leaves have a veeeeeeery slightly astringent bite, akin to real cucumbers (not that foot-long waxed crap available in Safeway).

I did consider borage, it's so pretty...

Remember that sage, in California, will grow to be taller than you are... rosemary too, but you can attack rosemary with clippers and it will make a very lovely hedgebush.

Again: containers will help, here. Although I am tempted to have one box with mint at one end, sage at the other, and have them duke it out for supremacy...

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dasubergeek.livejournal.com
It will look like the sage is winning, but if you bend it back and really look, you will see that the mint is undermining the soil from which the sage stems. And I had a potted sage that was taller than I was.

Date: 2007-06-01 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
*snrk* Noted. I'll get the mint its own pot, and that not large.

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
DO NOT PLANT MINT

I know mint is invasive, and migratory, and so on--but I am in containers, here, and dammit I like juleps. And mojitos. Which I never make because the store is out of mint whenever I look because everyone else wants a damn mojito, too.

Also, I don't know how experienced you are growing basil, but remember that you must pinch off the blossom stalks before they bloom, or the basil will bolt and you will end up with sad, dry, pale leaves.

Yep, knew that--learned it while growing the related Coleus. One may pinch any initial pair of leaves too, bifurcating all nodes for great justice pesto. 8-)

Zucchini doesn't need peat, and it doesn't need a heating pad. It's supposed to be planted when the days are still cool, it takes usually 60-75 days to mature fully, and then ZOMG ZUCCHINI WTF.

I'm only getting under 50% sprouting from the seeds in the packet, but I'm told I can rest assured that this is wow way more than enough to achieve the desired goal...

Also, I'm sure that you, the Damn Good Cook, know that you can reduce your zucchini load by plucking the flowers

'strewth, although [livejournal.com profile] countgeiger is leery of eating flowers. Obviously, I shall have to settle for inflicting them upon a grateful Hrafnar...along with spicy zucchini pickles, baby zucchini crudite, and zucchini with a flaming-pitchfork mob.

When you eventually end up down here, I will have to take you for a walk to the House of the Rising Chile Peppers. These people have serrano chile plants in their back yard that are -- I swear I am not making this up -- ten feet tall.

Fun!

Not happening in my situation, but fun nonetheless...

Gangly as all hell but absolutely covered, even this early in the year, with chiles, some of which are public fruit!

The Thai Bird peppers of earlier also promise to be prolific producers...when they finally set blossoms.

*eyes porch warily*

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dasubergeek.livejournal.com
I have mint pretty much so that I can construct table salads for the wanton destruction of Vietnamese spring rolls -- basil, perilla, ngo gai, mint and I buy the lettuce at the market because lettuce sucks to grow.

Date: 2007-06-01 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
Hm. Really? Why does it suck? I got leaf lettuce and spinach seeds specifically to harvest from box to table in mere moments.

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dasubergeek.livejournal.com
You may have more luck than I did -- while the Geek Valley 4.0 Garden of Eatin' was ridiculously prolific, it was just too warm in the Valley of the Damned to successfully grow cold-season crops like that... they gave forth a tiny bit of foliage, then bolted.

Also, I inherited some mesclun, and I have to be honest here -- all those fancy things that go in "mesclun"? Yuppie weeds that taste terrible. I like LETTUCE -- Bibb, romaine, butter, even, yes, iceberg (with some lardons and caramelised onions and homemade buttermilk-bleu cheese dressing, mmmmmmm...).

Date: 2007-06-01 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
You may have more luck than I did -- while the Geek Valley 4.0 Garden of Eatin' was ridiculously prolific, it was just too warm in the Valley of the Damned to successfully grow cold-season crops like that... they gave forth a tiny bit of foliage, then bolted.

Yeah, remember we have that whole marine fog coming in, not so much on cat feet, but with big lardy cat BUTT. This is what makes Salinas a salad bowl...plus, at least some of them will be inside.

Yuppie weeds that taste terrible. I like LETTUCE!

Yeah, I got a lettuce mix what is all lettuce, and some spinach. 8-)

-- Lorrie

Date: 2007-06-01 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dasubergeek.livejournal.com
I'm sure lettuce would do better here, even -- everything we've planted is thriving, including the "turd plant" (that's plumeria to you)... oregano, parsley, dill, basil, lemon tree, banana tree...

Date: 2007-06-01 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
Yay, plants!

-- L

Date: 2007-06-01 04:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] abhasana.livejournal.com
Yay babies!

Date: 2007-06-01 05:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
Yes! Yay!

-- L

Date: 2007-06-01 06:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] faeryl.livejournal.com
>If someone would actually move those guys up there, you'd only be doing what she wanted anyway, and you can always blame me later. 8-)


*looks around sneakily*

I'll go find the darlin' and move it upstairs as soon as I get a chance. Think it'll be OK with the chilly temps over here?

:-)

Date: 2007-06-01 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lwood.livejournal.com
I'll go find the darlin' and move it upstairs as soon as I get a chance.

There are four li'l darlin's:

Three in big (12") pots, one in a little clay pot that will soon want transplanting and/or guerilla gardening in that little plot at the bottom of the hill.

Think it'll be OK with the chilly temps over here?

The temps on my porch are as chilly as those on Greyhaven's porch, and my three are fine--I can't think of any other way for them to get more sun, can you?

Chilly chilis are not dead chilis--frosted ones are, though, and sun-starved, and aphid-gnawed. Frost is no danger, sun needs fixing, and aphids are for watching.

-- Lorrie

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