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  • Lights, Camera, Action: Hollywood’s Fan Palms September 18, 2014
    Sprinklers let loose— Water is softly spraying a neighbor’s yard, and it sounds nice, even though it is only a plain green lawn that’s benefiting.  Well, not just a lawn— Out the window I see both a tall California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera) and a more robust Phoenix Palm (Phoenix Cunninghamiana) standing together in the […] We love hearing from you! P […]
    Kathy Vilim
  • When the Gall Moves, it Probably isn’t a Gall September 12, 2014
    I was walking past the Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) tree, one of two saplings I have planted on the southwest side of the pond. Bald-cypress are known for getting species-specific insects known as Cypress Twig Gall Midge (Taxodiomyia cupressiananassa). The smaller of my two trees has a few sprinkled throughout. Galls are housing created from […] We love […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Gardening for Wildlife at the Flower Farm September 11, 2014
    On September 28th last year (2012), my husband and I closed on our first home, a 1.5 acre property that backs out to a nature preserve and is surrounded by woods on all four sides. I wrote about our gardening efforts last year in an article I called “Wildlife Gardening in Rivendell,” because the property […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see […]
    Jesse Elwert
  • Jack-in-the-pulpit September 9, 2014
    Anticipation Anticipation makes my world go ’round. I find something, perhaps a plant, just beginning to emerge in the spring. I return to the infant plant often. Watching and waiting. Looking forward to its grand finale. This is the story of anticipation from beginning to disappointing end, of a Jack-in-the-pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum. The photograph above, […]
    Brenda Clements Jones
  • Little Lacewing Life Cycle September 8, 2014
    Lacewings are delicate insects that are considered to be beneficial to your garden.  I’ve observed them in my beautiful wildlife garden during the day and at night.  To the casual observer they appear to be clumsy fliers, but that may serve as a survival technique.  From what I’ve read, they have sensory organs at the […] We love hearing from you! Please cli […]
    Judy Burris
  • Cream of the Gardening Crop: Skimmers September 5, 2014
    I’ve a new dragonfly at my place.  I was excited when I saw the overall purple hue of this beauty.  I knew it was one I had never seen before and at first I struggled to identify it. Anyone can make up a  checklist of Dragonflies and Damselflies (order: Odonata) based on their location.  I […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beauti […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Vampires in the Canyon September 4, 2014
    Is there a vampire in the Canyon?  If you were hiking through the Santa Monica Mountains this month, you would most certainly run across patches of strange-looking, yellowish vine-like plants. What is this plant that is laid out across the chaparral bushes as if it were strangling them? Is it really hurting the bushes on […] We love hearing from you! Please […]
    Kathy Vilim
  • Duckweed For Wildlife September 3, 2014
    Duckweed is the smallest flowering plant in the US If you have a wildlife pond, I’m sure you’re familiar with Duckweed (Lemna minor) as it can quickly cover the surface of your pond. Duckweed is commonly found in ponds, lakes, marshes, and slow moving streams. In streams where the water moves more quickly, the Duckweed is […] We love hearing from you! Please […]
    Carole Sevilla Brown
  • Flowers With Wings over the Southwest September 2, 2014
    The cooler days of autumn herald the arrival of winged visitors to the skies the Southwest. Along with migratory birds are the beautiful butterflies. Many different species of butterflies! There are butterflies that migrate down into warmer valleys from cool mountain tops. Butterflies from northern climates, not just the monarchs, migrate southward, on their […]
    Jacqueline Soule

#GardenChat

Dirty Hands, Happy Heart

Nature is the art of God.  ~Thomas Browne

Gardening is my favorite distraction, and the indoor garden is proving to be a wonderful November alternative to its declining outdoor relative. I always intend to check the indoor garden quickly, but ultimately I am drawn in and spend an hour or more puttering around watering, adjusting lights and just looking. Everyday there is something new to see and I am amazed by it all!

organic-raddichio-seedling-red-leaf-indoor-garden-lisa-gustavson

Red tinges on a radicchio leaf.

Today offered a reason for spending a while in the garden, the plants needed re-potting. With my assortment of clean saved and salvaged pots and compost mix (as well as our Yorkie, Bogey, to keep me company) I got to work and after an hour I was finished. Transplanting is easy (see here) when the seedlings are still small and roots haven’t intertwined into a tangle.

bogey-yorkie-lisa-gustavson-pet

Bogey, my faithful companion.

I started with the greens. Kailaan, Tatsoi and Wong Bok were planted into a large tub about 2″ apart. The salad greens went into a second tub, the third holds radicchio. The tomatoes are potted separately and planted up to their bottom leaves. New roots will grow along the stem. Vegetables that grow upright (as opposed to growing in rosettes, like lettuce) should be planted the same way.

seedlings-indoor-planted-greens-lisa-gutavson

With true leaves beginning to develop on most of the seedlings, it’s time to begin bottom-watering the pots. The pots sit in trays that will be filled with an inch of water every few minutes until the soil in each pot is moist. The soil is allowed to dry a bit between waterings. When the true leaves have fully emerged, diluted fertilizer will be added to the watering routine every couple of weeks.

organic-honey-oatmeal-wheat-bread-lisa-gustavson

With the indoor garden tended to, I had time to bake a two loaves of oatmeal honey wheat bread. I love baking bread and nothing tastes better with dinner. Look for the recipe Wednesday with the other Thanksgiving recipes, the bread is wonderful for making home-made stuffing with fresh herbs!

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