Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why it does NOT make sense to plant Sweet Corn in my backyard garden

It just does not make financial sense to plant Sweet Corn in my backyard garden.

I dedicated a small 3' x 3' area of my garden this year to growing Sweet Corn (see this blog entry). After about 3 months, I harvested 16 ears of Sweet Corn (see this blog entry)

The local supermarket sells Sweet Corn for $0.25 to $0.33 each, so this 3' x 3' part of my garden saved me $5.

In this equivalent area, I could grow a Strawberries or Cherry Tomatoes.

Strawberries are going for $3 a pound at the local supermarket. I can get a pint of Strawberries from a strawberry plant in a season and a 6 foot tall Strawberry Tower can hold 36 Strawberry plants (see this blog entry). However, this part of the garden only gets sunlight in the morning (there is a big hedgerow behind it that blocks the afternoon sun), so I can only have 20 productive Strawberry plants in this part of the garden. A pint of strawberries is about 0.75 pounds, so 20 Strawberry plants would yield 15 pounds of Strawberries per year or about $45 worth of strawberries.

In this same 3' x 3' area, I could grow one Cherry Tomato plant. A pound of Cherry Tomatoes goes for $5 at the local supermarket. Although I have not added up how many pounds of Cherry Tomatoes a plant can produce in a season, I did record how much Cherry Tomatoes my garden can produce in 1 week (see this blog entry from last year). I think 20 pounds of Cherry Tomatoes per plant is a reasonable estimate or $100 worth of fruit.

So, I can grow $5 worth of Sweet Corn, $45 worth of Strawberries or $100 worth of Cherry Tomatoes. I really cannot taste the difference between my backyard Sweet Corn and the supermarket Sweet Corn, but I can taste the difference in the Strawberries (mine are sweeter). As for Cherry Tomatoes, I cannot even find Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes in the supermarket and in my opinion Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes are the best tasting Cherry Tomatoes.

From now on, no more Sweet Corn in my garden.

I converted this area to growing Cherry Tomatoes (see this blog entry).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cloned Sun Gold Cherry Tomato Plant

With my Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plants starting to falter in fruit production (see this blog entry), I decided to clone additional Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plants.

I cut off the growing tips from a couple of branches of one of the the two Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plants and stuck them into the ground a couple of weeks ago.

The picture above shows how the cuttings look today.

I rooted 2 cuttings in case one of them did not survive .I am glad that I did this 2 weeks ago, as it has gotten extremely hot this past week (almost 100 degrees F during the day), and I doubt the cuttings who have taken root. Fortunately, the cuttings look in good shape.

This spot in the garden was used for Sweet Corn earlier. After I harvested the Sweet Corn, (see this blog entry), I decided to convert the area to Cherry Tomatoes for the rest of the season (see this blog entry for why)

I will transplant one of the cuttings to another part of the garden next week.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Winter Melon Flowers Forming

This has been a very unusual summer in Southern California.

The mornings have been cloudy and the days cool. Last weekend, was the coolest July we had on record.

This weather has not been good for my Winter Melon plants. They flourish in hot weather.

Last year at this time, I had already harvested my first Winter Melons (see this blog entry).

This year, the flowers are just forming (see picture at the top).

The weather has turned hot the last couple of days. We have reached the 90s and more hot weather is on the way. This should make a difference.

Plumeria Transplants Doing Well

The Plumeria cuttings that I rooted 6 months ago (see this blog entry) are doing very well.

I gave away the original plant, but I kept the cuttings.

The picture above shows how the cuttings look today. There are lots of leaves and more branches are starting to form. No flowers yet, but I hope to see them soon.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Harvesting Cherry Tomatoes

My Cherry Tomato plants are producing a lot of fruit. Although not as much as last year (see this blog entry).

This week marks a change over.

My Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plants have been producing fruit for the past six weeks (see this blog entry) and are starting to falter.

My Sweet Baby Girl Cherry Tomatoes were transplanted much later and are only now starting to produce.

The picture above shows my harvest from today. There are slightly more Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes than there are Sweet Baby Girl Cherry Tomatoes. I think starting from now on, I will be getting a lot more Sweet Baby Girl Cherry Tomatoes.

The picture below shows how my Cherry Tomato plants look. The 4 on the left are Sweet Baby Girl Cherry Tomato plants and the 2 on the left are Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plants. All of the plants look the same height, because they are all supported by 8 feet tall Texas Tomato Cages (see this blog entry). However, the Sun Gold Cherry Tomato plants have branches that drape well over the Tomato Cages. If you look closely at the picture, you can see that the Sun Gold Cherry Tomato cages are starting to tip over from the weight of the branches that have draped over.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July Lilies

More of my lilies are starting to bloom.

The one on the left is "Silk Road" and the one on the right is "Muscadet". Both are from the Lily Garden.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Charentais Fruit Forming

My Charentais plants have fruit! It was a little over a month ago that the plants were starting to produce flowers (see this blog entry)

I have 4 fruits forming. The fruits are the size of a baseball.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thai Chili Peppers Ripening

The peppers on the Thai Chili pepper plant that I bought a few months ago (see this blog entry) are starting to ripen

The red chili peppers are deep in the middle of the plant. I had to spread out the leaves to find them (see picture to the right). Most of the chili peppers are still green, but I was able to pick a couple of them.

The picture below shows how the plants looks today. It has grown considerably.

I expect to have a lot more chili peppers in a couple of weeks.