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#41 Priscilla

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 07:59 AM

From the The More Things Change Dept.: What do you think is opening on the former Laguna Hills Nursery site?

A NURSERY! Living Green Nursery, by name. The link is to the blog of one of the partners in the new enterprise. A cursory glance suggests chock-a-blockness with good info.

This good news arrived in yesterday's edition of the pretty indispensable Dirt du Jour blog I've mentioned before, up there somewheres.

And, additionally in the Good News Dept., there's a coupon for a free hairloom tomato plant in both links.

Seems I'd best go take a look-see, eh? But will they have their own Mocha the Cat? One can hope.





#42 Priscilla

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 01:53 PM

Fruit & veg competitions at the OC Fair... noted over in Food Happenings.


#43 Priscilla

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 07:19 PM

I keep forgetting to post, until now: The excellent proprietary planting media from the currently erstwhile Laguna Hills Nursery are available for purchase while a new location is sought.

Details are in the link. Available for online order and delivery from LHN's online presence, and stocked at three Orange County businesses: M & M Nursery in Orange, Plant Depot in San Juan Capistrano, and The Plant Stand in Costa Mesa.

This is great news... being cut off from LHN soils was the WORST thing about their closure, besides missing little Mocha the cat. SO much better than the garden variety, so to speak, wood-chip-ridden stuff at big box garden centers. Now we just need a source for Mocha.

#44 DanGarion

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Posted 30 June 2010 - 11:23 PM

QUOTE (Priscilla @ Apr 29 2010, 03:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I keep forgetting to post, until now: The excellent proprietary planting media from the currently erstwhile Laguna Hills Nursery are available for purchase while a new location is sought.

Details are in the link. Available for online order and delivery from LHN's online presence, and stocked at three Orange County businesses: M & M Nursery in Orange, Plant Depot in San Juan Capistrano, and The Plant Stand in Costa Mesa.

This is great news... being cut off from LHN soils was the WORST thing about their closure, besides missing little Mocha the cat. SO much better than the garden variety, so to speak, wood-chip-ridden stuff at big box garden centers. Now we just need a source for Mocha.

M&M is just a walk around the corner for me. smile.gif

Edited by DanGarion, 30 June 2010 - 11:24 PM.


#45 Joan

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 11:16 AM

We've had an explosion of rabbits in our neighborhood. My beeyooteeful yellow/gold Old German tomatoes are being snatched off the vine right as they ripen! Argh!

Strangely, the rabbits ignore the greens I planted nearby. Hmm, maybe it's not rabbits. We also have raccoons and sloths. Horrible looking animals, those sloths. They also have big appetites. Appetites for destruction.

However, I did managed to salvage some tomatoes with bitemarks. I cut out the bitten parts and boy, those are some of the best bicolor yellow/gold tomatoes I've ever had! Rich, sweet, and very meaty. Nicely sized too. I got my plant from Roger's Gardens, in Newport Beach. I used to grow from seed, but no more.

I also grew bush haricot verts which were great while they lasted, several kinds of cucumbers (wonderful), Japanese eggplants which are doing nothing, squash which are strangely squashless, various kinds of mint and various kinds of thyme, perilla, French tarragon, and Chinese green onions.

I fertilize using cotton seed meal, though there are doubtless better fertilizers out there. I don't put enough on.

#46 Joan

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 08:40 PM

I stand corrected. It's not sloths that are attacking my garden, but ugly, inedible possums.

#47 Priscilla

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:10 PM

Aw, possums are cute! EVEN though they will happily snack on just-ripe tomatoes I was going to pick the next day, I still like them. Very cute to see a mother possum with all her babies hanging onto her back.

So while they DO eat just-ripe tomatoes, in their omnivoracity they also eat snails and slugs, and probably other garden unspeakables.

And possums, unlike raccoons, don't strip a plant of all its fruit. Joan, is it possible you have raccoons too? They travel in family groups and eat a LOT. We lost all our red flame grapes literally overnight the other year to Raccoon Family Robinson.


#48 Priscilla

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Posted 04 August 2010 - 02:33 PM

Joan, Ivan just harvested a first tomato from a plant I thought was called (Something German) or German (Something) that was SO GOOD!!!

Is a red tomato, though, quite round and tomatoey-looking, very pretty.

Excellent acid content! I thought of your yellow gold Old Germans... but this is not yellow nor gold.

#49 Joan

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 08:00 AM

There are lots of tomatoes with "German" in the name, so that's a hard one. Could be German Johnson or German Pink?

I got lots of Persian cucumbers from my vines this year. I'm happy. But 113 in OC? Say it ain't so!

The kale is still going on strong. I love kale. I will always plant kale.

The tomatoes are gone, but now I'm picking early persimmons. Also, planting romaine lettuce for the winter harvest.



#50 DanGarion

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 09:32 AM

I didn't have the best of luck with the tomatoes this year. Had bottom rot on my San Marzanos, and some issues with with our dog eating ripe tomatoes off the vine, along with pests. But of what we were able to harvest most of it was great. I also had some issues with skin splitting this year, which I didn't last year. I really need to work on getting a proper watering system.

Our peppers have been great most the year, but they have been in spurts and one of the plants hasn't really produced anything, even though I've seen a lot of flowers. Onions have been amazing! We got 25 out of the ones we planted. And now it appears we are getting even more. I have counted 17 growing and I'm not even sure where most of them came from. I had separated a bunch that I planted after I realized they were all clumped together, but it had seemed like they all died, and now all of the sudden I have another 17. Really looking forward to what we end up with.

As for the asparagus plant, it's growing, but it's still pretty small, it's about 7 months old so far so it's making progress.

Apple tree has lost the 4 apples it came with. Clementine has grown a little, but not much. The avocado trees are still small, but one of them has a fruit on it. I need to email Gary and ask him how I can tell the difference on the trees, since I forgot when one was which!

#51 Priscilla

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 07:00 PM

Our fig tree planted some months ago has visible growth... but I await the fast growingness for which figs are known.

It's an homage, of sorts, to Cussin' Jim, the Bowdlerized eponym of the sub-canyon abutting our sub-canyon, who in his time had a fig orchard, of which the bird-borne offspring still exist around the canyon.

I'm hoping for lots and lots of Japanese beetles, too, my ulterior motive for planting a fig, because I LOVE Japanese beetles.

And figs... love figs too, of course!

Our apple tree had a tremendous crop this year, which is not always the case, but oh we are SO happy when it is, the case. I have a vat of applesauce simmering at this moment in fact, some of which will be processed for later use and some of which will be inhaled by Le Mangeur and Ivan in their usual way with homemade applesauce. And yet so many more fruit to be used. Riches!


#52 Priscilla

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 10:45 AM

The aforementioned fig tree has suffered in the 20-something-degrees we've had some overnights this winter... hope it makes it.

However we know from experience it may not, as the Hass avocado before it did not.

Citrus there, an area we euphemistically call The Orchard, doesn't mind the cold so much, and the Satsuma mandarin and Moro blood orange do pretty well, even with the restricted daylight they get for some part of the year.


#53 Joan

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 10:28 AM

Priscilla, what's your favorite place for composting needs? As in bags of compost. I am composting, but mine isn't ready yet.

#54 Priscilla

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 11:32 AM

Hi Joan!

I know what *I'd* do if looking for compost & related answers, what we ALWAYS do, to paraphrase the Brain's answer to Pinky: Go see Gary @ Lag Hls Nrsry, see what he sez.

Conveniently gives one the opportunity to have a superb pizza from TJ's Woodfire's mobile pizza unit, IF one goes to the Great Park on Sunday. Howevah Gary's also at the Friday afternoon farmers market in RSM.

Overall, I can tell you that when I was madly composting & all that involves, and I know you know what I mean, our attending Gary's soil classes sort of put a stop to it. Gary says compost is useful as mulch, but that's about it. Not that there's anything wrong with that--God knows mulch is the secret to a happy garden. But you already knew that!

Still, I'm sure he'd have some helpful, educated stuff to say. AND there IS that pizza...

#55 Joan

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 06:43 AM

Thanks, Priscilla!

I don't have a pile yet, so I bought some compost and spread it over the ground and watered it in.

How's the garden going these days?

#56 Priscilla

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Posted 14 June 2011 - 01:30 PM

Well, some refreshment, and the trad planting of much basil. And tomatoes.

Also, a new microorchard in front in a space embraced by our new fence. Ivan moved the fig to this new spot, which is SO much happier there it's not EVEN funny. And last night we already saw a Japanese beetle in the garden, which was my ulterior motive for having a fig tree in the first place. Nothing against figs, I love them, but I love Japanese beetles too.

We have 3 Bearss limes and two Hass avocados there too, one some new hyphenate that Ivan''s parents gave him for his b.d.

And a Gold Kist apricot in the cold, cold spot down near the creek, where the fig formerly was. The apricot, which supposedly likes and needs the cool, is leafing out like mad. Gary said that creek beds are the low, cool type of environment that has enough chill for apricots, so we shall see.

What about you, Joan? What have you got growing?

#57 Priscilla

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 01:38 PM

Excellent tomatoage this summer, esp. a Russian varietal. Ivan and his Russki tomatoes! Not that we're complaining.

Basil continues to run rampant, thank goodness, because the occasional grey day when you think fall might be here get walloped the next with 108-degree temps, which of COURSE cause the immediate basil craving.

And tarragon, lovely lovely lovely tarragon, which I featured in Taste of Orange County the other week.

Must reiterate what I mentioned in that piece, beware the false, OK, Russian, tarragon. It might be large and powerful and have the earth's largest repository of natural resources, but it is NOT something you can use in a fine B?arnaise or any other preparation requiring actual lovely, subtle, tender, delicious tarragon. Beware beware beware. It is everywhere among us, but has no place in food-like substances.

The Adriatic fig surprises and delights, because it continues to bear, wait for it, Adriatic figs! Adorable, delicious, gorgeous figs, right in our own microorchard. Riches beyond expectation.

How do your gardens grow, this year?

#58 Priscilla

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 02:17 PM

One nice surprise in the garden (gardens, as we know, do hold surprises) this year was extra saffron crocus blooms.

Garden Special: Saffron Crocus was my Taste of Orange County post about the happening.

Still don't know yet what I'm going to spend this year's stigmas on, howevah.


#59 Priscilla

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 03:55 PM

We were dutiful composters, all right, plant matter and eggshells all poked and prodded with a pitchfork until (a very small amount of) friable black soil created itself underneath. But other than that, enough for a flowerpot at a time, perhaps, there was just... the compost itself. Composting everywhere was an inescapable topic, and there were (are?) ridiculous products like a little "compost bucket" you're supposed to keep under your sink, I guess, and take outside to... a compost pile? So you'll build up... a compost pile.

We got the news several years ago taking Gary Matsuoka's soil classes at Laguna Hills Nursery's temp site in Foothill Ranch. Someone, often more than one, in the audience would inevitably ask, "And is THIS when we add the COMPOST?" to which Gary would visibly wince. He must get the question a lot, I figured.

Finally, one class I asked, suspecting that freedom from the tyranny of the compost pile in my own garden was nigh, "Is compost good for ANYthing?"

Gary was relieved to answer, it could be used for mulch. But that is pretty much IT. Of course this is predicated on getting your compost components to be of a size and appearance that you wouldn't mind seeing thickly layering your garden surfaces. The little elven soil lignans will take what they need from this bounty.

WHAT a RELIEF. Where we live in the canyon, our sycamores and oaks shed enough to give us a malleable, good-looking mulch cover that obviously feeds the lignans just what they like. There are lots of mulch options out there for those lacking 100-year-old sycamores and 200-year-old oaks. The BEST part is: We've been free of a festering pile of leaf trimmings and eggshells and coffee grounds for YEARS now. Oh, now, not that our compost pile was actually festering, but it is SO GREAT to not have to go through the futile tending.

All this to say, in this week's Lag Hls Nurs newsletter Gary lays it on the line, compost-wise. To which I can only say, RIGHT ON. (if you don't yet subscribe to Gary's missives, the link is in there. It's SO worthwhile.)
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