Monday, January 2, 2012

The Post-Apocalyptic Garden

My description of my garden as post-Apocalyptic is tongue and cheek, but is does look like it has been through a war of sorts. The once lovely canopy that kept me and Hubby cool on hot summer days lost its battle to the Santa Ana winds. The skeleton frame is clearly visible while the shredded fabric flaps in the breeze.

My poor deciduous fruit trees are shells as well, leaves dropped unceremoniously in the dirt to rot. I began my winterizing plan by removing (shaking or picking off) the rest of the dying leaves. I sprayed them down with water to remove debris and bugs and I will follow up with a dormant spray to protect them from infestation.

While the plum, pomegranate and fig while away their dormancy, my citrus has come alive with vast quantities of fruit. I harvested my lime completely since fruit left on the tree turns yellow and mushy. I am hoping I will get a second crop so Hubby can continue making garden cocktails. Otherwise I am out of luck. I harvested the tangerine as well; no amount of harvesting can get all the fruit off that tree! As it is, I eat 3 – 4 tangerines a day (no scurvy here)! Our co-workers will get a post New Years treat when we return to work. I continued my citrus care with a good hose-down, knocking down debris and bugs. I will need to follow up with an anti-aphid and anti-scale remedy; I hope to find a product that is organic or at least reasonably mild environmentally speaking. I will need to fertilize and deep water. Despite being at approximately 16 inches of rainfall (6 over the average rainfall for this time of year) the forecast continues to be be dry for the next 10 days.

I try to use organic methods when possible, but sometimes, I just have to employ the death from above approach. I do not carpet bomb, by rather take out strategically determined targets, those horrible winter weeds. I sprayed the weeds on the east side of the yard in our mini-orchard and spot treated parts of the front yard as well. I do not plan to use poison on the produce beds, but rather grind up the weeds as insta-mulch when the time is right for planting.

It feels good to be back in the garden after a holiday hiatus. I am still formulating my garden goals and plans for this year, but I am confident the year will be full of flowers, urban wildlife, and of course, plenty of tomatoes!

Proof of life! Here come my Calla Lilies!

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