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Garden Diary - April 27, 2016 - Edibles

Well, it's been a very long time since I did a diary post. Things have changed quite a bit since then. I'll post pictures later, but for now, just want to catch up. Sorry this is so long.

Things are finally actually growing, and I thought they never would! We've had
some rain, which helped immensely, and I've been fertilizing everything once a week.


I may actually get a few tomatoes. There are four fruits on the Early Girl, blooms on the Mortgage Lifter and just saw two fruits on the Cherokee Purple. It's still cool enough in the mornings and at night for them to pollinate, so I'm hopeful I'll get something. They are growing as well as can be expected, and the sun is getting higher in the sky, so they're getting a little more sun.

My first planting of the Black Cherry seedling was chewed off at the bottom, presumably by a cutworm. Since I luckily had a couple more seedlings sitting around, I replanted after wrapping the stem in aluminum foil. So far, it's doing o.k., but it may not get a lot of extra roots, since it was small and the foil covered most of the bottom stem. Still, I'm sure it will be fine.

The volunteer NOID tomatoes turned out to be Everglades, so I planted a few out in the south wall garden  and tossed the rest, since I have an over-abundance of those right now. I planted the one NOID large cherry tomato under the large pigeon pea plant, since I had learned you can do that and use them as stakes. It seems to like it there, and the Everglades planted next to it seems to as well. I planted more pigeon peas, and two sprouts came up. I put tomato plants next to the sprouts, and I'm going to push the pigeon peas to grow quickly, so I can use them as stakes.

I have a Roma seedling that I'm not sure I'm going to plant. I have enough cherry tomatoes to get me through the summer, so it may be unnecessary. Still, I may stick it out into the outside garden just so it won't go to waste.

Other Veggies and Edibles

The one yellow straightneck squash has given me one squash, dropped two female starts and now has two more babies coming up. it seems to like growing in a pot. This fall, I'm going to plant them in a large plastic container to give them more room to spread out -- or not -- all depends on if I move into the apartment next door or not.

The edible ornamentals are doing well outside and in. The Albemoschus manihot (edible hibiscus) is coming back and is growing slowly. It will really take off when it gets hotter, and I'm going to use it as shade for the west side of the courtyard, where I want to put my shade-loving tropicals. The two Hibiscus radiatus plants are doing well outside the wall. I didn't plant the H. mechowii or H. sabdariffa yet. I may not. I have to see how much room I have.

I had four New Zealand spinach plants volunteer in one of the cell packs. I planted them last year, and they never came up, so this was a nice surprise. They are still in small pots, but are doing well. I don't know yet where I'm going to put them, but probably will grow them in 2-gallon pots.

The large pigeon pea was harvested for green peas earlier this month, and it is setting new blooms. It has some dried brown peas on it now, and I'm just leaving them for the time being. The small pigeon pea is acting as a nurse plant for the banana, which is growing like mad and has two pups.

Red sweet potatoes from the one vine I had last year are coming up all over the outside garden. The original, of course, is growing fastest, but I've replanted others in different places so I can use them for the leaves and dig them for potatoes later on.  The Celosia Argentea I transplanted have not really started growing well yet. I think I will start fertilizing them this week. The Ceylon Spinach (Talinum fruticosum) is planted in three places inside and outside the courtyard, and seems to be growing well. Some volunteer potatotes have come up here and there from buried peels, so I'll just leave them for a few little potatoes later. I'm not going to try to hill them or anything.


I've not had a good time with peppers this year. Planted and then replanted cayennes. I must have put in 2 dozen seeds, and now have three plants after one was killed by a cutworm. They seem to be doing well in small pots for now. My friend sent me some more cayenne seeds, and I planted them all. Got 8 sprouts, two damped off, and the others seems to be taking their sweet time putting out true leaves, or even pushing off the seed husk. 

I planted Red YOLO Wonder peppers from seeds given to me by a friend last year, but none came up, so I replanted. One came up but died. I finally just planted some California Wonders. Out of a dozen seeds, only five came up and two damped off. They did so well last year that it's a surprise they are giving me so much trouble.

On a whim, I planted the two Angled Luffa plants out in the corner with all the gravel. I'm going to keep piling up organic matter around them, but I doubt they will grow well. I just didn't want to throw them out.


The lemon grass is still growing and spreading. I'm going to try to thin it out without digging it up. I'll probably just take some sprouts from around the outside to plant elsewhere. I found a bunch of the old clippings still alive under the leaves when I raked them up, and thought about planting them, but I have quite enough.

I planted the rosemary out into the outside garden, and it is settling in nicely. I started 12 cuttings, and 9 of them took, so I want to start a low hedge of it along the east end of the outside bed. I planted basil this year, and have several plants that I'll be putting into pots. I'll keep some inside and put a few outside until they start bolting.

Spearmint is starting to grow in the container it was in last year, and the peppermint that was here when I got here is going crazy. I really have to figure out what to do with that before it gets too far out of control.

So that's it for now. Again, sorry this is so long. I have a lot more edibles than I planned to, so I have to take care of them all.