Category Archives: Gardening

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Sifting out the secret to growing big ferns.

Ferns and palm trees spell the tropics to everyone, I dream of a garden with huge lush ferns everywhere. I found the secret to growing big ferns on pinterest. Reading the article I learned; ferns like moisture, check, that is’t a surprise; ferns need excellent drainage, most plants do, nothing new; ferns will grow to fill their pots, I never gave that much thought.   I have several many an overwhelming amount of  ferns, 2 types of asparagus ferns, artillery ferns, sword ferns, and Boston ferns I even have fern whose name I don’t know.  I like to grow Bostons in shallow pots, so I looked for larger pots in the shed. All the hanging pots in my stash are too small unless I wanted to divide the ferns. My goal being growing big ferns, not having a bunch of small ferns, I looked for an alternative. Looking around, I ruled out recycling anything I already had.  Sometimes, even I just ...

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DIY self watering planter

DIY self watering planter  tutorials are all over the internet. Ever since I learned about the EarthBox® Green Container Gardening System I’ve wanted some for our roof garden. Amazon sells a 12-Inch Self-Watering pot for a very reasonable price. However, in tune with goal of using what I have and DIYing my life. I decided to make my own. Wild Bill has several on his roof that gave me a severe case of garden envy. His containers were made using 5 gallon buckets. Since he’s an engineer, he also made some refill automatically when the water level drops. I went out and priced 5 gallon buckets, I already had a few in my possession. I got excited in Home Depot when I saw a $29.99 mxn (about$2.50 usd) sign plastered on a stack of buckets, until I realized that was the price just for the lids! I can’t remember the price on the buckets themselves but it was enough that I decided ...

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Somebody please explain it to me

As a procrastinator on a professional level,I do a lot of web surfing. I like to blame it on Pinterest, but pinning just makes it seem more like I am accomplishing something. I have ways to justify my habits, I am doing research, I am refining my tastes, and I am learning new things. Mostly, I just lose track of time, my sense of time is not good. I can be on time, I can stick to a schedule but I have no way of judging how long something will take or did take unless I use a watch. Back to my theme. I keep seeing blog posts and pins that I don’t understand. The bleach pen phenomena for instance. There seems to be a trend to stencil or draw on clothing with a bleach pen. Admittedly, it is a cool looking effect. But, here is my problem, it’s BLEACH. You know the stuff that rots fabric even burns holes if ...

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where’s the heat?

“March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb” is a phrase I remember from my childhood. Winter in our part of Northern California meant monsoon like rain rather than snow. Here March and spring means heat and the beginning of the warm months. Last week the weather was just perfect, warm enough to swim during the day but cool enough to sleep under a blanket (or at least under a sheet). I almost envied those Merida natives who had flocked to the beach for semana santa. Monday, a new frente frio came in. I’m glad that I was slow in putting away my winter woolies or what passes for winter woolies for me. As I type this I am wearing a long sleeve button down shirt and have a (light weight) sweater draped around my neck, preppy style. I was wearing the sweater earlier but felt too warm after awhile. Using it as a scarf seems to ...

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activities for cooler weather

As the firecrackers scent the air with gunpowder and create patterns in the sky, I am reminded of various folk remedies to end drought, where rockets are shot into the air to bring down rain. The rains have finally come, nice long afternoon showers cooling everything off. Saturday, I scattered  flower seeds in the gaping maws of the huge cement pots where the skeletal Flor de Mayo trees are planted. Little seedlings seem to be sprouting, I can’t wait to see what I’ve sown because I indiscriminately broadcast the remnants of the outdated seed packages I have been saving.  The only planned sowing were Swiss Chard in a package label something like rainbow silver beet which I hope to see poking through  the zatar (also known as oregano grueso) in my big bushel sized tub. Gardening has been taking a backseat to my other activities, the yard is looking tamer these days. The gardener and I seem to have settled ...

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Look what turned up!

My very first homegrown turnip ever! I have never grown turnips, we rarely ate them growing up. I remember going to the grocery store with my mom as a kid. Whenever she came across an exotic new vegetable she would turn and ask a fellow shopper how to cook it, if no one was around to tell her, she’d buy it anyway. That’s how turnips made it into our diet. None of us were real enthused about them boiled and mashed.Looking them up in her cookbook she found out that they were good raw in salads like radishes. In those days it was hard to find  plantains, yucca and jicama in the supermarket and she has always been willing to try new things. I think of her when I am grocery shopping and encounter a new fruit or vegetable. The tops are going in a stir fry and the turnip itself is getting chopped up with a couple of tiny ...

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Theresa Tomato Seed

Eating at El Pendulum, the restaurant that has replaced La Luna Papaya at the corner of Calle 64 and 64A, is our Sunday morning tradition. We have struck up a friendship with the two girls who run the place, Anna and Erica. It turns out that Anna and I have the same names. She is Anna Teresa and I am Teresa Anna (okay, mine is really Theresa Ann, but to my Spanish speaking friends, I am Teresa) amazingly enough, we also have the same last name. Maybe, that isn’t so odd, my maiden name is the Spanish equivalent of Jones. We also both like plants. Anna is a beginning gardener but an enthusiastic one. She planted a handful of melon seeds, most which sprouted! I gave her the sad news that she needed to thin them out, she had about thirty sprouts in a gallon pot.  Anna  shared her melon seedlings with me. When I got home, I selected the ...

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Why I do it.

I woke up with this idea for a blog post, receiving the following comment (and the unsigned anonymous comment  that I deleted because it was unsigned asking pretty much the same thing) convinced me it was a good topic. Calypso said…I can not wrap my brain around gardening here in Mexico – The veggies and fruits are so good here and inexpensive for the most part – it just doesn’t inspire an effort to grow your own. Being from California, I am not all that impressed with the quality or variety of vegetables available here in Yucatán,. When we went to Chiapas I was stunned by the variety of vegetables and beans available. Huge cauliflowers, colourful beans, and berries. Here you can buy two types of tomatoes, either a paste type or a round one. Most of the vendors buy their produce at the centro de abastos (google translates this as supply center, I think of it as the wholesale ...

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Plot thoughts

 Mysterious goings on in the vegetable patch, there is only one surviving zucchini bravely soldiering on while  the remaining solitary cucumber vine is on life support. There were lots of blossoms but only a couple of zukes which rotted on the vine. The cukes produced oddly shaped fruits which provided me with some snacks while watering but nothing of note. The sunflowers which were so gay and lively now are black stems with sagging heads, their small seeds having been harvested by birds or just blown away on the wind. The plan had been for the cukes and zukes to embrace the stems and grow upward on the stalks. The stalks remain to mock me. I’m pinning my hopes on the tomatoes. Three of the tomato plants have lots of very nice green tomatoes decorating them in clusters, like Christmas ornaments placed on the tree by small children. I’m torn between thinning them or letting them grow and taking my ...

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