Saturday, October 8, 2016

I ordered for my Denver friends Michael Mowry and Amy Cara the Racombole garlic that thrived incredibly for me for 14 years in Denver, but that inspired me to AGAIN to research obsessively on garlics that MIGHT grow here in Tampa where day lengths and temps are SO wrong for garlic. For years me and friends in surrounding cities and in rural areas have tried SO many types of Creoles, Spanish, and Cuban garlics that MIGHT grow here but we all got the same results.....a winter annual with delicious leaves but an utter refusal to make bulbs. Garlic won't even grow at all in the summer here! So I looked on line, wrote down new candidates, looked them up, and ordered them from Filaree Garlic: Mexican Red Silver, Mild French, California Early, and Early Red Italian. $35 plus $12.50 shipping. I think of this as gaining knowledge to share....I am no longer a garden writer but share on FaceBook, a Florida gardening forum on Yahoo I've been a founding member of since 2002, plus my blogs. Each variety will be labelled and in different parts of my yard to avoid a mix up. IF any work here I will know by late next spring IF the foliage yellows and dies back and IF I pull up actual new bulbs from the planted cloves. Today I learned there are MANY types of Racombole.....I will never know if the one they got is the same as my Denver one. My instincts tell me that these four might very well grow in Denver.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both." -- James Michener

I THINK this is the ID of the tree that germinated in my southeast back bed.

My fifteen year old avocado seedling of a large green smooth fruit has never bloomed or fruited and has badly shaded my formerly productive container gardens behind my house. So I will do a severe crown reduction and use all the many downed branches as mulch. I will have light again for those gardens, and perhaps the new tree growth will bloom and fruit. I've learned that mine is a seedling of the tropical type called West Indian, and I was taught much about varieties, grafting, laurel wilt, own root and girdling by smart people like Oliver Moore, Craig Hepworth and Josh Jamison. Along with the intense crown reduction I will take Oliver's advice and do a full girdling of the main trunk with a single cut and leave the bark in place. I will use a hoop saw to remove easily 80% of the branches to admit light to my gardens and see what happens. I planted that pit long ago when I still lived 90% of each year in Denver (38 degrees tonight!) in my then empty yard to celebrate having my retirement home in Tampa. I will be so glad to going back to growing crops in those gardens due to the light, and surrounding the entire area with four foot tall goat fence to keep out my chickens...already I have planted the forage rape 'Bonar' that I love as a winter crop.