Fire Mountain Garden Exchange

July Plantings by Editor
June 30, 2011, 8:25 pm
Filed under: Fruits, Vegetables

Thanks once again to the Reliable Seed Catalogue of 1994 and our on going respect for Charles Ledgerwood for the planting information he provided us.

For the Vegetables we have:

BEANS, beets, carrots, cantaloupe, celery, CORN, CUKES, LIMAS, okra, SQUASH, NZ SPINACH and Swiss chard.

For flowers:

Cinerarea, Centaurea, Cosmos, Dusty Miller, Fountain Grasses, Gypsophilia, Lunaria, Nasturtium, Pansy, Phlox, Salpiglossis, Snap Dragon, Verbena, Viola and Zinnia.

I would add a second planting of tomatoes ASAP, lettuce and basil, we are having a late season this year or we are having climate change issues, in which case we might have to edit some of Mr Ledgerwood’s advice.


No Nectarines for 2011 by Editor
June 5, 2011, 8:29 pm
Filed under: Fruits

a flourishing young tree

I have planted a few fruit trees in my time. All to no avail. Avocados…too far away, forgot to water them. Nursed a peach tree back to health in the bottom of the canyon, then the birds ate all the fruit.

So this year I was determined to have a lovely nectarine tree and make it work. Well, first it became diseased with peach leaf curl (I think it came from a neighbors tree that happens to creep over into my yard). Then it also had some type of bug eating some of the leaves…bah! I search all over the internet and looked in my gardening books and found that Neem Oil was the most recommended for both situations. I was fairly vigilant in spraying the tree – every few days or so and to my surprise, it worked!  Here’s a link to a great site I found while dealing wiht that issue that has a very straight forward list of green solutions for bugs, etc.

Evidence left from the animal party

So one day my husband reminded me of the peach tree that was ravaged by birds. I said “…that was down in the canyon, this is close to the dogs, etc…” blah blah blah, it won’t happen to me again. But of course, the next morning I came out and the promise of yummy nectarines next month vanished.

I’ve posted a photo of the tree and a close up of one of the fruits left from the party. I’m not sure if it was birds or another animal, but of course now I’ve searched the web to find solutions for next season. There are a few ways that seem most effective and here’s the short list:

  • Put something shiney in the tree- suggestions include tin cans (aka hillbilly windchimes), old cds/dvds, and shiney silver twist ties.
  • Put a fake plastic owl or a a scarecrow in or near the tree (seems like most birds eventually figure these out and get brave enough to come back)
  • Place a fake plastic snake in or around the tree
  • Put up a small circular wire fence around the base of the tree – wide enough that it can grow and any critters can’t get up over it.

Next season, I’ll be trying out a few of these. Wish me luck!

June Rant by Editor
June 1, 2011, 8:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Thanks for small blessings, as I reviewed last June’s missive I noted we were deep in June Gloom. This year, who knows, yesterday was low 60’s with overcast and blustery winds, today was mid 70’s and full sun. The poor plants must be spun out. I don’t have high hopes for the firs


t part of my tomato crop, they have grown to 30” with some sets but more lost blooms than anything else.

I just planted 6 more heirlooms on Saturday that seem to be doing well. I bought them at Green Thumb in San Marcos, their selection was substantial and the tomatoes were not root bound (do not be shy about knocking the plant you want to buy out of it’s container to check for root growth before you purchase, as we get later into the planting year some of the nursery offerings are a might long in the tooth!).

My egg plants have been really slow to take as have the basil sets, I attribute this also to the lack of consistent warmth.

I sprouted Kentucky Wonder green beans( in a moist paper towel on a plate in the kitchen) and put them in small pots of potting soil as soon as the bean had popped, I let them sit in the small pots until they got their first set of real leaves then put them in the garden. They are bootin’!I set up a four legged tee-pee of bamboo poles for them to climb on. It has worked really well in the past.  It is still a great time to plant lettuce and my arugula continues to take over the garden paths.

My beets and onions continue to rock out, I don’t think I have bought a bunch of onions for 3 years; the ones in the garden just keep propagating. I am waiting on planting cucumbers until the night time temperature stays above 55 F. I just planted a bunch of different herbs in 5 gallon pots to keep near the kitchen, I have had great success with oregano, Italian Parsley, Parsley and thyme.

I wrote last month that I got a truck load of mushroom/manure compost from a mushroom farm in Escondido, so far it seems that it has not been too “hot” for the baby plants and seedlings so I would recommend it as an amendment to our sandy soil.

Get to work!