Re: [gardeners] Sunday in the garden

Ron Hay (
Mon, 06 May 2002 08:31:59 -0700

Good morning, friends.

It's a cloudy, overcast and coolish morning in Van Nuys. The artichokes
are ready for the picking, with a few really huge ones still on the
stalk: about 2# apiece! On Saturday, we picked two that were slightly
smaller than these monsters, which weighed in at 1.25# and 1.5 #,
respectively. Often veggies that grow large are not tender; not so with
these chokes, which had leaves almost 2" across at the base and hearts
4" across. The stalk was even more tender than the heart. Amazing!

Tomatoes and eggplants are growing apace, nicely spaced apart, this
year; but, lo and behold, a crop of yellow pears and the children of
Sweet Millions are cropping up by the carload, along with epazote and a
stray squash seed or two which the compost did not digest.

I feel like some sort of axe murderer contemplating rooting out the
seedlings, most of which are likely from the yellow pears we did not
pick during the winter. I just hope I can find good homes for them.

As soon as we remove more of the rear lawn, we will replant the
tomatillos and volunteer yellow pears which sprouted about a month ago,
properly spaced, as last year we overbought and planted things too close

George, are you aware that Fuyus are alternate year bearing trees,
related to ebony? Last year, I don't believe we had two dozen, after a
bumper crop the year before. This year, I fertilized it with triple 15,
the same fertilizer the Sub Tropical Horticulturist in San Diego County
recommended as one of the fertilizers macadamias benefitted from. Just
winging it, I put the same amount on the Fuyu. Never has the tree either
grown so much nor had so many flowers. If only 20 percent of the fruit
matures, we will likely have close to a hundred. Time will tell.

I have been chary about fertilizing it since Sunset's Western Garden
Book states that overwatering and overfeeding causes fruit drop.

Overwatering is not likely here as we probably won't have any rain until
November; and I will err on the side of caution and not fertilize it
again until the first rain, and then, with calcium nitrate.

The macadamia, on the other hand, likes to be fed 3x year, with triple
15 the end of February, and calcium nitrate the end of June and the end
of November.

Speaking of calcium nitrate, I am going to put a spoonful around each
tomato plant, to supply additional calcium and to retard the possibility
of blossom end rot which occurs during the 100 plus degree days, when
even deep watering is sucked up by the 10% humidity.

Well, it's time to head in to the office. Have a great day and enjoy
your gardens!