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Amparo Bertram

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08:06 pm: Hours in the day
There are just never enough.

I had a full overtime shift yesterday, leaving me with a one-day weekend. I spent as many daylight hours as possible working in the yard.

First, though, my garden report. The fig tree in my front yard is beginning to produce fruit. For those unfamiliar with the way figs grow, the fruit that sprouts from older wood is called the breba crop, and it matures first. Later in the spring, new branches grow, and the fruit that comes from those new branches becomes the main crop, which matures in the fall. Reportedly, in hotter areas like Southern California, the breba crop matures early while the weather is still cool, and so it doesn't receive enough heat to reach its full sweetness potential. In cooler areas, the breba crop matures closer to August or September, so the temperatures are warm enough to produce good fruit, while the main crop matures so late in the fall that the temperatures have cooled again. I'm not sure which crop is going to turn out best in this zone, so it will be interesting to taste the figs and discover that for myself.

My chickpeas have finally begun flowering. They have adorable white blossoms. Now it is a race to see whether they can produce any green chickpeas worth harvesting before my asparagus arrives. If the crop looks promising, I may be able to keep the asparagus crowns in the garage for a week or two to let the chickpeas mature. I'm thinking that I might actually plant chickpeas in the front yard this fall, wherever I have extra space. The foliage is pretty, like ferns, and the flowers are attractive.

I'm really excited that my sakura blossoms are beginning to swell. The flowers should start opening very soon. I can't wait to see the whole tree in bloom.

My Cinnamon Spice and Hauer Pippin apple trees are beginning to break dormancy. The Cox's Orange Pippin hasn't yet, but I suspect it will soon. The plants that haven't shown signs of waking up are the persimmon and the wisterias, but I keep reminding myself that it's still early in the year. Both the male and female kiwi plants are showing tiny green buds, which is a relief. I wasn't sure how well they would recover after the squirrel damage last summer.

Now, on to my weekend report. I began the day by watching a bit of TV, when at about 5:30 I was startled by a faint earthquake. It turns out there was a 4.0 quake centered in Berkeley. (Actually, there were several quakes, but that was the only one strong enough for me to feel on my side of the Bay.)

Once the sun came up and the temperature rose enough to work outside, I began trimming weeds. I managed to get some of the worst patches under control, though of course there is still a lot more ground to cover. I then proceeded to transplant a number of flowers from pots into the ground. My Japanese garden is really starting to take shape, especially now with the camellias blooming and the maple trees beginning to unfurl their little leaves.

The dragonfruit didn't fare very well over the winter, despite how unseasonably warm it has been. I suspect this zone is just too cold for the poor things. Rather than let their trellis go to waste, I planted one of the sprouting chayote that I saved in the place of one of the cold-damaged dragonfruit. I'm hoping that I can train it up the trellis and keep it pruned to a manageable size. If it turns out to be too much trouble, I can always plant a grape vine or something else there next year.

I was hoping to plant some parsnips in the vegetable garden, but I ran out of sunlight before I got around to it. Sadly, the weather is predicted to be cloudy and cold next weekend, so I don't know how much work I'll be able to get done then. I intended to go grocery shopping, since I ran out of bread, but I worked so late that I lost interest. I think I'll just bake some bread in the morning.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:nitasee
Date:March 6th, 2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
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Too bad about the dragon fruit. I love dragon fruit.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:March 8th, 2012 03:04 pm (UTC)
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It really is a shame. I guess I can't have everything, though. I'm lucky that so many other things grow here.
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