Friday, April 27, 2018
Around The Garden and New "Neighbors" Show Up.
While looking at a location for sowing my Roselle (Hibiscus Sabdraiffa) this year, this little guy (about 3/4 of an inch long) shot out across the soil! If I had not been looking closely at the ground I would never have spotted him and probably stepped on him/her. I have never seen a hatchling Praying Mantis before - usually much larger when I spot them. It took me a bit to coax it onto a leaf to lift it up to a plant where I thought it would be safer.
The next "neighbor" showed up crisis mode and we came to its rescue, but first I want to follow up on my "Watering..." post the other day.
"Betty" was around off and on delighting us with her presence and we watched her go from hobbling to walking without difficulty very quickly. Yesterday at twilight about 60 hours after her rescue she lifted off the ground like a Harrier Jet and shot out over the tree tops. I was hoping to see her this morning, but she may have decided to go find other digs. Wishing her safe life.
We think of our gardens as an oasis and quite obviously critters do also.
Other Fun Things Around the Garden.
Caper Spent Bloom, new flower bud and from the spent bloom - at the left is the beginning fruit a berry like an olive. Some of my friends and I growing capers think it is more productive to wait for the fruit to pickle than the buds.
I have Jerusalem Artichokes growing in the ground in a patch and a pot. The pot is filled with new growth.
Cilantro is flowering. I have been using even the flower tips in my meals, but time to let them go to seed for harvesting for re-sowing in the fall and also to use the spice.
I have been checking my garlic regularly for sign of the scapes, the flower stalk and so far no sign on the two regular varieties. I did cut the scapes from my Elephant Garlic a week or so ago. I am concerned that our warm winter has once again caused the garlic to fail to send up a flower so I pulled two - one from each variety - to let dry and see what is usable. If the cloves do not form, I may only get a large garlic bulb, which I would need to chop and dry or freeze. This happened last year and the plants simply died back with nothing usable. Keeping fingers crossed. FYI I hang them in the shade of the trees to dry.
Harvested some carrots, beets and more asparagus the other day. This year's warm winter really delayed the beet and carrot growth, so I'm going to try another area next year to see if adding more direct sun access (there is a lot in the existing bed, just maybe not enough to compensate) might help with warmer winters.
Happy to see my other Horseradish liking its new "digs". Yes, that is a Poinsetta near by - I got several small plants in the little self-watering setups this past Christmas - gave some away, and transplanted my two (1 white (not visible in the picture) and 1 red to pots then they were doing so well, I put them in this bed which gets some shade in the summer. So far they are loving it as the Horseradish is.
My Honeysuckle if blooming and when I remember I pick a flower and sip the nectar. Fun childhood memories. This vine was so vigorous I recently pruned it back a lot. It shares a bed with my bananas and a mango (grown from seed - doing okay).
I used the last of my Molokai Sweet Potato and made fries. Oh boy are they good. I "cure" them in our laundry shed which works great because the hot water heater is in there keeping if warm and humid.
Speaking of capers. Did you know you can use the immature Nasturtium seeds to make a "poor man's caper" using whatever pickling process you use? They are even nice added to a salad dressing for a bit of horseradish taste. Caution: Pregnant or lactating women should not eat these or at a maximum just a few - you know few means 3 right?
Lastly in one of my prior posts I mentioned garden ornaments. The first one is a small solar fountain. Now I have a solar Chandelier!!! I spotted this idea when visiting family over in Sun City and while out for a walk with my sis, I literally backed us up when I spotted something like this hanging in a front yard. I wanted it badly. So mys sis gave me one she had for a number of years not quite knowing what she would do with it. My Deane had a deer-in-the-headlights look when I was explaining what I had in mind, but when I showed him the idea with one existing, but old, solar path light, he immediately took the wiring out and then we found some solar lights with a close enough color top to match the old bronze of the chandelier.
We are tickled with this. Now when the late afternoon temps are too hot to sit on the patio, we wait until night and enjoy the evening. Is this cool, or what? That is the solar fountain in the foreground. Should have moved the watering can for the picture. :-)
I hope these inspire you to try new things in the garden.
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Don't Worry, Be Happy, Grow Food!
-- Catherine, The Herb Lady
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