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Garden update: spring is springing!

February 17th, 2010

I went out to the garden this afternoon and I have to say it looks really lovely right now! Things are beginning to bloom – namely the white nectarine tree (left), the snap peas (below right) and the pluot (bottom), though the daffodils are also springing up, as are the snapdragons.

Everything else is looking lush and vibrant as well! The artichokes have taken off, and the rich burgundy leaves of the bull’s blood beets provides beautiful contrast against the bright green of the fennel, daylily, marjoram and various lettuces.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the garden you should head out there soon as the winter vegetables will be harvested next week, and the produce will be given to the food bank!

Luckily we have a great selection of veggies that will be planted for the spring. Thanks to Seeds of Change we will have yellowstone, scarlet nantes and dragon carrots, silverado and rhubarb chard, ruby orlach heirloom mountain spinach, D’Avignon and hailstone radishes, and nasturtium. A very exciting variety!

And if you haven’t yet, make sure to check out our new flickr page to see all of our photos. It’s hard to believe the garden made its debut almost a year and a half ago! There you can see the progression of the garden as we have photos chronicling its growth from the very beginning! View our flickr page here. You can also see the rest of the photos that I took today.


Lettuce Mold? Don’t Pull It Out; Just Prune It Back!

February 8th, 2010

All the rainfall we’ve been experiencing here in the Sacramento Valley has been great, but, as many of you have probably found out, it can be hard on your edible gardens, especially when combined with all the wind! Arlene, the UC Davis Good Life Garden Gardener, would arrive at work to find a small tossed salad of mixed greens scattered about our planting beds and on the pathways.

Needless to say our lettuce and greens took a beating by the wind, the rain, AND some kind of weird mold! After looking spectacular all season, our ‘Sucrine’ lettuce variety began to develop a strange moldy substance on most of the leaves, so Arlene opted to cut it all back to the ground and, thankfully, as you can see in the photos below, it’s already sprouting up again without any mold!

Do you see the whitish-brown stalk on the right of this photo? That is all that was showing after Arlene pruned it back to combat the mold. Now new baby leaves have already emerged after just a few days.

Arlene chose to prune the leaves back at different times so the patch wouldn’t be completely bare. In this photo you can see how well the leaves that have had a few more days to grow are progressing.


Gardening Along with Arlene: Winter Demonstration Garden BEFORE & AFTER Update!

February 1st, 2010

Well, it sure has been a while since our last installment of “Gardening Along with Arlene” and we apologize! Don’t you think it is about time you saw how her plan is growing? Here are a couple before and after shots for you to enjoy! In this next few weeks we’ll let you know more tips and tricks that you can use in your own home gardens!

In case you missed the first couple installments; these posts will get you up to speed:

Gardening Along with Arlene: Amending Your Soil
In this article Arlene explains the amendments we use and why.

Gardening Along with Arlene: Seed Planting Techniques
Here Arlene gives you her tips for sowing success!

Gardening Along with Arlene: Survival of the Fittest
In this post Arlene lets us know how to thin our crops for the best harvest.

Gardneing Along with Arlene: Winter Garden Plan–Now Available for Download
This link will give you the layout of the land–what we’ve planted and where.

This photo was taken in September as Arlene showed us how to amend our soil.


Hasn’t Arlene been doing a great job? How is your winter garden coming along? We’d love to find out!