Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Road to DC

Look what my friend is doing. Please help her, as she has never asked for anything before.


The Road to DC


$1's and $5's work well too!
Just make sure you egg her on to update this and write all about it.

xoxo
love,
funtimehappygardenexplosion

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

This guy made it his job!


Photo Credit: Peter DaSilva for The New York Time

After lots and lots of craziness these past few months, I finally had the chance to browse the internets and came upon this great article in the NY Times.



This guy makes it his job to plant and maintain urban backyard organic veggie gardens for his lazy (or busy) clients.

Here is a link to the article, I suggest reading this. It is a fun and easy read.

Monday, July 14, 2008

dear friends

Regretfully, I will be taking a hiatus from this blog. There are other things I need to take care of at this time. Sadly, my poor garden has been suffering from my extreme lack of time.

Please feel free to ask questions. I will post them with your permission along with any reply I can offer. Any question is welcome. Even if it is in regards to things other than gardening.

For the time being, please look at this amazing site from some folks over in Los Angeles. They are doing some simple and amazing things.

Fallen Fruit

Also watch this great video about "Animal Estates", brought to you by the same guy who did "Edible Estates", Fritz Haeg



xoxo, love funtimehappygardenexplosion.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Survived the First Heat Stroke.

Here where I live, Spring is usually about two weeks long. I envy those with longer springs. Take a look at the past weekend, from thursday until yesterday(Monday).



I have had to water everyday.

A good way of checking to see if you need to water is to stick your finger in the soil about a couple of inches.

Also, have you guys been noticing the ladybugs? I've been seeing a lot lately.

XOXO
love,
funtimehappygardenexplosion.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

This is what I would LOVE to do



This is from wikimedia.org

World's biggest tomato plant

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fun Time Happy Explosion! : Propagation by popping

This is a delight!

I had no idea this could happen.





Take a look at those little seed pods.
The other day, I pet this guy on my way out. It started popping like crazy. I thought it was a bug infestation and got scared.

A week later, I came back out and tried it again. This time, I was delighted that I was wrong.

The plant produces seed pods in which the seeds incubate over time. This swells the pods and its contents are under pressure! Once touched, the seeds EXPLODE out of the capsules and shoot off in every direction. This is so the plant can spread out as far as she can.



POP POP POP POP!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Water Conservation and Recycling

This spring/summer, I am growing beans!

Not only are they healthy and nutritious, beans also need little water and LOVE warm weather and heat.

So far, I just pushed some beans into my soil about an inch and covered them. That is how easy it is to grow them. Just water every now and then, just to keep the beans moisturized.

They grow really fast.



This is what they looked like about a week after planting.

I left for work, and when I came back only 5 hours later, they had actually grown 2 inches!

The great thing about beans is they are perfect for guerilla planting.
*(Tips: wear high heels to poke the hole into the ground. Carry a little water and sprinkle after planting. Make sure you plant next to some kind of fence. Those ugly chain link fences work magically.)

Q: Can you grow them next to your ugly bus stop?

A: Why yes! That would be perfect! Especially if you live in an apartment with no where to plant. While you wait for your bus stop, you can water it every morning if you want. Then you can come home and see how fast your beans have grown! Isn't that better than watching TV?

Right now, there are some beans growing in LA at the bus stop on the corner of Detroit and Wilshire. If you happen to be by there, Water the ground. :)


The reason why I bring up beans is because it is great when you can conserve what little water there is.

Other ways to conserve water is to reuse and recycle water in your own home. You can save the water you use when you wash your veggies and fruits. It is very easy. Just keep a big bucket/bowl in your sink to collect the water. I reclaim the water I use to wash my rice before cooking. This is especially great because the water has many valuable nutrients from the rice. My friend Maryanne reclaims the water she uses to clean out her french press. The coffee grinds add a magical compost flavor for the plant.

Another easy idea is to stack your plants. This is a no-brainer for everyone with little space. I have an old shelf I found on the street. I put the plants that need more sun on the higher rungs and those who prefer shade on the lower. When I water the ones on the top, they drip down to the bottom. (remember to let your pots drain properly) Not only am I saving water, I am also saving space.


BOTTOM FEEDING

I know some people like to put a bowl under their pots and let the water accumulate and bottom feed. This is ok for water plants or plants that need excessive water. But make sure you check your water. The water in Riverside has a lot of calcium and will leave calcium deposits in your soil.

The easiest way to find out if your water is "hard" is to look at your pots. Is there a whitish stain on your pots? If so, you have hard water. Here is an example:



See the white stains?


DISTINGUISHING WATER THIRSTY PLANTS

Look at the roots. The roots will usually give away the thirsty ones. Usually, the roots will have bulbous compartments for water storage. This will ensure the plants will survive if there is a dry spell.

Bulbous roots:


When the plant does not get enough water, the plant will dramatically slow down or even shut down growth. Though the plant will look like it is in bad shape, the roots will still be alive, waiting for water. I do not recommend shutting down a plant in this way, it stresses the plant tremendously. If you are a clumsy gardener and forget to water a plant like this for a while, at least read a bedtime story to it later.

From experience I have learned that if you have severely angered a plant, you will have to make voices for the different characters of the story.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Summer in Spring. Tips and Tails.

I transpanted my carrot tops yesterday from my shallow water dish to my outdoor box. One thing to remember is only half to three-quarters are likely to make it once transplanting into soil.

here are the victors:


and here lie the slain:


Carrots are basically large "tap roots" (actual scientific name), with little tail roots that branch out. My friend Maryanne is trying to do this top-recycling method with her beet tops. I saw them yesterday and they are amazing. The great thing about beets is their leaves are very much edible. They are delicious and very nutrient rich. I think I should have tried the beets first.

For the growers in other parts of the country: count your blessings. Although the winter was tough and snowy, our riverside springtime has been curtailed. It is now summer with temperatures above 95F. I dread the over 100F temperatures just around the corner.

For you living in Riverside, please please please remember, NOTHING should be left out in full sun, unless it's a cactus or other desert friendly plant.

My best advice for growers interested in veggies is to plant against the north side of your place. There should be adequate morning sun and good evening shade shelter for 1pm and thereafter. The east wall might be ok but at all costs, avoid the south and the west.

Here is a scientifical diagram to help you plot out your growing areas.



Find out what side is north and go from there. Either that, or go outside at 3pm and see where there is shade. That way is the easiest and very scientifical-professional.

Another tip for dry-area gardening is to stack your pots. This is a trick I actually learned by accident. This is great for those humidity-thirsty plants like ferns.



The trick is to put a bit of soil in the bottom pot. Make sure your drainage is good enough to deter mold. I usually find a rock the size of the hole made when you connect your index finger and thumb. I stick the rock on top of any drainage holes the size of a dime or larger. I know a lot of books tell you to use broken pottery or gravel, but I'm a beginner and it doesn't bug me.

Ok, so this is what the bottom pot looks like:



Also remember that during the dry season I know your first instinct is to water your plants like crazy. Try not to do that. I've killed more plants by overwatering than underwatering. In fact, if one of my plants seems to be dying, I move it outside or inside depending on where it was, and just kind of let them tough it out without me.

Since I'm usually clumsy it seems to do the trick. I guess it depends on what kind of person you are.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pictures Finally! Funtime Happy Carrots!!!



Make sure there isn't too much water. About a centimeter of depth should suffice.

DON'T FORGET!!! CHANGE THE WATER EVERYDAY! otherwise, there will be mold and slime!

Side view:



Check out the auxiliary roots!

Recycling Carrots

My carrots are all about ready to transplant. They all have little auxilliary roots sprouting. What would really be lovely is if I had some kind of plexiglass raised bed so I could watch to see how they grow.

My apologies for not showing any pictures. I have taken a few, and I promise you'll see them shortly; I am still without a USB cable.

Are any of you guys growing recycled veggies?
I've tried bok choy in the past. Here is a link to that post:
Attack of the Baobab!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On Recycling Plants: Gardens with a Minimal budget

So like I said in my last post, I will be experimenting with a veggie garden using a minimal or absent budget.

My new project begins with carrots. Try this out with organic veggies from a local farmer's market.

I've cut off the tops of delicious carrots and are now soaking them in a shallow dish of water. So far, the tops have sprouted into small devilish cute little greens!

I would show a picture here, but I am unfortunately without a USB cable.

Once auxiliary roots begin to grow, I will transplant them outside in my deep box, the same one I used last year. For instructions on making a box, go to this post:
Build A Box!!!

Another veggie I will try out next is a beet. Perhaps a regular bloody one or the golden variety. Either way, if I am successful, I will be able to enjoy the yummy greens in salads, sautees, or soufles. or in risottos.

A plant I wish I could afford right now is a dwarf orange or lemon tree. I would like to opt for a non-stunted variety, however I do live in an apartment without a yard.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's Just About Time! :)

It's just about time to begin the great growing process. Are you guys ready?

I usually can tell when i'm ready to grow when my mint comes back from the winter.



It's been a long winter, hasn't it? My thoughts go out to all those growing in snowy areas. Have you kept up mini gardens indoors? A kitchen herb garden in the livingroom? I wonder if any of you grow in the attic? Probably a good place to hibernate bulbs, huh?

What else have you guys been doing? In Riverside, we've been pretty lucky. I think the lowest temperatures we've had here was about 40 degrees F. Other than that, we've had good rainfall and sunny skies.

Has anyone else in southern california tried growing strawberries? The ones I planted at work were thriving, from what I've been hearing. Unfortunately, I have been laid off of my job like many other small town Californian residents. It's been pretty bad here, 3 other of my friends have also been laid off. To give you a rough estimate, I have a fistful of friends.

They have also substantially cut back on city arts budgets, in fact they hired a guy to basically turn down project proposals left and right. So this year, I think I will delve more into garden recycling and other low budget growing.

Another thing I just realized is how much my awesome-jawsome has grown. If you see my profile picture above, there is the same plant. In that picture, I believe the plant is only about 6 inches in height. Now, awesome jawsome is almost as tall as me, about 5 feet tall!!!!!

Remember how I told you it was about to flower? Well take a look!!






Also, ive been having some problems with mailing plants. I guess it could look suspiciously leaky, and also, worries about sending plants in different states. It is also so so so so expensive!

Please let me know, what will you grow this season? I'm so curious and could use some new ideas myself!

Also, I gave my good friend a tip about gardening for beginners. Don't fuss too much over your plants. Let them grow, and don't water them too much.

Any tips from you, readers?
till next time...

XOXO
Love, Funtimehappygardenexplosion!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

today is super tuesday

It's time to vote, all you californians!

If you live in Riverside county but are unsure of where your polling place is, go here:
http://www.election.co.riverside.ca.us/polls/root0205/pollplac.htm
Click your zip code, then street name, then click on the street name & block link to see where your polling place is.

if you have never voted before, you will need to bring your driver's license or other photo ID to your polling place.

If you are registered and ready, but not sure who to vote for, please take a look at this website:
http://www.2008electionprocon.org/
It describes the various candidates and details their positions on a variety of important issues. It provides quotes from speeches/books/voting records to further explain candidate positions.

If you are not yet registered to vote, please go here:
http://www.rockthevote.com/home.php
to fill out the registration form. You can print it out and mail it yourself, or submit it online and they will mail it to you to sign and mail to your registrar.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Get ready your seed bombs!

Who wants a seed bomb? They contain beautiful california poppies. They have shiny dark orange petals that suck onto your nose when you smell them.

Email me for a few seed bombs

xoxo
love,
funtimehappygardenexplosion

PS check to see if the poppies are invasive to your area first! remember to be conscientious.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Return of the blaurgh. Winter plants and the marvelous things they do.

I don't want to gloat too much- I apologize to those who are knee deep in snow. But wintertime is here, and look who strolled in a little late.



That's right. Cute litte cheery cherry tomatoes. A couple of round happyfaces. I will nurture them and baby them and talk and sing to them until they plump up with rosy cheeks and then I will devour them like Saturn devouring his children.. yuuum.. crunchy....

Anyhow, remember how I told you my cloning plant grew a flowering spike? I really don't know why it does this when it is already so prolific in progeny. Let me show you the babies the clones gave off:



These are only about 10% of the baby clones I kept. There were so, so many of them. Let me know if you want me to send you one. I think they're really ready to go now.

Well, back to the flowering spike- This is so beautiful, I wish i could capture the beautiful red and pink tones through a lens. Unfortunately, all I have is this picture.



I will try to capture as many pictures as I can through this process. Hopefully something spectacular and climactic happens.


XOXO
Love,
Funtimehappygardenexplosion.blogspot.com

P.S. I was wondering if anybody has happy citrus growing right now. This would be the magic hour for them. I would love to see pictures. Plus, to all my fellow Southern California gardeners, those citrus must be ├╝ber sweet since we've had so much rain!
Please send pictures of orange blossoms. They are my most favored aromatic flowers, oh swoooooooooon!

P.P.S. This is what I will look like when I devour my leetle cheery cherries:

Monday, January 28, 2008

It Only Comes Once A Year

I've been very busy. That's why I haven't updated.

But I have been thinking a lot about all of you, my dear readers.
What kinds of wonderful winter crops have you all grown? Zucchini? watercress? other yummy, crunchy things?

I have noticed a lot of ornamenal kale growing around my town. It is a pleasant surprise, different from the more common succulent garden. I have also been wondering if anyone has planted strawberries?

I have planted strawberries at my work, which I have been spending a lot of time at. They are growing very happily. Everyday I visit them and we have a fun time happy talk together.



Something else of mention is this is the ony time of the year when the wild things grow very happily. It is very nice to see everything in nature drinking up the rainy season (which hasn't been present for 2 years due to drought). Ryan and I have taken a vaccation together to enjoy the uncultivated and unpaved areas which bring me more smiles than an urban garden.

New Zealand



Snow on the mountain



I haven't seen so much natural green in such a long long time. Though very wet, and cold, and soggy, wintertime is my favorite because plants are so easy to grow!

Also, I have good news for you.
The plant I named Awesome Jawsome the Crazy Cloning Plant has for some reason decided to flower. I'm not exactly sure why it flowers since it clones like crazy. You would think that it had evolved to not expend so much energy flowering when it already has such an efficient means of procreating.

I will take some pictures tomorrow morning if weather permits it.

XOXO
Love,
FunTimeHappyGardenExplosion.blogspot.com.