I just turned the compost and wow those soaking rains bring the FATTEST volunteer earthworms into the compost (or encourages them to gorge & get happy in the compost). We do have volunteer resident worms in the compost, though in the summer they stay at the very bottom.

    Shedding of a mantis on our rosemary plant.upside down mantis shedding hanging off a rosemary branch.

    All is not great in our garden though. We still have a heck of a time with end rot on our tomatoes despite amendments with calcium. Into the compost these went! 🌱

    Before our trip to Germany, I pruned the first big leaves off a sunflower because they were shading out a pepper. Now the sunflower has a flower near each prune cut. Great for attracting bees to our peppers!

    Gray Hairstreak butterfly on one of our pepper plants.

    Harvested our first homegrown Valencia orange this year. So very sweet. Even the pith isn’t bitter. We may want to harvest the rest early if there’s a freeze later this week. Fortunately there’s only a dozen-ish. ~243 mandarins harvested so far — makes great juice 🌱🌳

    sliced valencia orangejuicing mandarins

    Today I noticed my cultivated native grapevines we’re leaking water where I recently pruned them. A quick search revealed that is totally normal. I’ll try to grab a photo tomorrow. 🤯 🌱

    We started our peppers today: ancho, jalapeño, serrano, shishito, santa fe, and two tomatoes. Trying for variety this year. 🌱

    seed starter under an LED lamp

    Today we moved our lemon grass over a few feet to give our new Asian pear tree some room. Then we finally mulched the area. Looking good! BTW, our electric tiller is amazing. Way better than hacking away at compacted soil with pick & shovel.

    Perma-loc splice is an okay fix for drip tape punctured by fighting cats. Please keep your cats indoors. Cats are destructive of not only wildlife but also your neighbor’s stuff.

    Spice in the form of home grown assorted peppers. Turned these fine frozen specimens into hot sauce last weekend.

    We have a crazy amount of tomatoes ripening all at once — this is just one plant. We have three more.😳 Marigolds we started from seed are finally blooming.

    ripening tomatoes on a plant with human hand for scalemarigolds with seranos behind them

    Our back porch grapes look awesome this year! The fullest they’ve ever been.

    grapes vining below a porch coverdeveloping clumps of grape flowers

    Peppers and tomatoes garden update: tomatoes are flowering and peppers are finally growing post-transplant. The Drip Depot crop row irrigation kit is ace. 🌱

    Our mandarin tree is in full bloom. 🌱🌳

    The “Fantasia” nectarines are coming along. First ever crop. We’ve had to thin a dozen or so because its branches are too young. We’ll thin more soon. 🌱🌳

    a young nectarine fruitthe nectarine tree

    Backyard Elderberries are seeking pollinators.

    yellow elderberry flowers against elderberry leaves

    Our “Bacon” Avocado tree is blooming basically right on time as compared to last year on April 11th. It has yet to produce any fruit and it is supposed to be self-pollinating. 🌱🌳

    I just hooked up one more drip line to the little Antelco eZyvalve valve box. I think I’m done for the season reconfiguring our drip system. Time to see how reliable this thing is. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the last two valves. Spares for now. 🌱

    Our native California grapes have been very busy over the last week! 🌱

    We planted all our indoor pepper and tomato starts. The Serranos looked most distressed prior to transplant 🤞🌱

    I just installed this Antelco eZyvalve 4 Zone Valve Box. I’m very pleased so far. We’ll see how durable and long lasting it is. I’ll be connecting drip to it. It’s wired to my Rachio Gen 2 irrigation controller.

    Row Crop irrigation kit from Drip Depot installed. Really pleased with this so far. I need to stake the tubes in a bit. Will be planting in a week or two. The peppers & tomatoes are hardening now. 🌱

    Took a Potensic D58 drone photo today of the backyard (bottom photo) to compare against January 2020 (top photo). Looking real nice. Fun to have unusual views of the yard.

    Jan 2020 photo of lawn on top and then a 2021 photo of new garden rows at the bottom

    Slowly preparing the backyard garden rows over the past few months 😅 Almost time to plant the peppers, tomatoes, and direct sow the herbs. No more lawn!!!!!! Tilling is amazing at removing thatch and dead lawn. 🌱

    before most of the lawn removal, showing three garden rows but not yet preparedtilled and rocked with three garden rowscompost atop the three garden rows.

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