Thursday, April 22, 2010

First Lily Flower of the Year

My first Lily Flower has bloomed!

This Lily is always the first one in my garden to bloom and at roughly the same time of the year (see this blog entry).

On difference this year is that I dug up the Lily from its place in the ground and put it in a small container. There is no noticeable change in the Lily from the move.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kishu Mandarin Flowering

The Kishu Mandarin tree that I planted 1.5 years ago (see this blog entry) is doing really well.

It is producing a lot of flowers (see the picture to the right). I expect a lot of Mandarin Oranges next fall.

The picture below shows how the Kishu Mandarin tree looks today.

The picture below shows how the Kishu Mandarin tree looked a year ago. You can tell that the tree is much fuller than before.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cherry Tomatoes Forming

I have Cherry Tomatoes forming!

The picture to the right shows my Sungold Cherry Tomato plant with several little Cherry Tomatoes.

This is about the same time that I saw Cherry Tomatoes last year (see this blog entry), so my mishaps with the weather (see this blog entry) have not delayed things too much. I am still on track to have Cherry Tomatoes ready to pick by the end of May.

All of my Cherry Tomato seedlings are now in the ground.

I am planting only 6 Cherry Tomato plants this year, compared to 11 last year. I had way too many Cherry Tomatoes last year that I ended up giving a lot away.

This year, I also spaced out the maturity of the Cherry Tomato plants, so that they don't all start producing at the same time.

The picture below shows 2 Sungold Cherry Tomato plants. The one on the right has been in the ground for 7 weeks and is the one that has the fruit forming. The one on the left has been in the ground for 2 weeks.

The picture below shows the other 4 Cherry Tomato plants. These are all Sweet Baby Girls. I transplanted the one in the front about 3 weeks ago. The other 3 were just transplanted.

With this arrangement, I hope to have a much more manageable crop of Cherry Tomatoes

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Growing Sweet Corn in Southern California

I have a patch in my garden where I grew Okinawan Sweet Potatoes last year (see this blog entry). I had a difficult time digging up the Sweet Potatoes, so I am switching to mostly growing them in containers this year. This leaves an empty spot in the garden.

My family likes to eat sweet corn. Sweet Corn is plentiful and cheap during a few weeks in the summer, but is expensive the rest of the time. So this year, I decided to try to see if I can grow Sweet Corn in my garden.

I read on the Internet that there are 3 types of Sweet Corn: Standard Sweet Corn, Sugary Extended Sweet Corn and SuperSweet Corn.

Standard Sweet Corn is easiest to grow, as it is most tolerant of germination temperature and planting depth, but loses its sweetness rapidly after harvest.

Sugary Extended Sweet Corn is sweeter than Standard Sweet Corn but is harder to grow. It needs higher soil temperature and needs to be handled carefully after harvest. It can keep its sweetness for up to 4 days after harvest.

SuperSweet Corn is the sweetest Sweet Corn but is the most difficult to grow. It needs even higher soil temperatures than Sugary Extended Sweet Corn and precise planting depth. It can keep its sweetness for up to 10 days after harvest.

Since this is my first attempt at growing corn, I decided to plant the easiest Sweet Corn to grow: Standard Sweet Corn.

I bought a packet of Early Sunglow Sweet Corn from Park Seed last December and waited until the soil temperature got warm enough.

A couple of weeks ago, I thought the weather had gotten sufficiently warm that I decided to plant the corn seeds.

I planted the seeds very close together (about 8 inches apart) in 5 rows. Corn needs to be close together, as Corn pollinates by wind and if all of the kernels do not get pollinated, you get blank spots on the cob. Eight inches was probably too close together, but I did not know how well the seeds would germinate.

The picture above shows how my corn seedlings looked today. They started to emerge a week ago (about a week after planting). Of the 21 seeds that I planted, I got 18 seedlings. an 85% germination rate. I was very surprised.

I am going to let them grow. If things start to get crowded, I'll thin them out a bit.