What's Happening in the Fall of 2017


Unbelievable, now at 45,000 acres, and still still no containment. Lots of evacs being ordered. Strong winds all day won’t help, and humidity expected to drop into single digits.

Just saw some tweets about some homes on fire in east side of Ventura. Yikes.


Is that a mason bee nest on the fence post? Your blueberry bushes look nice. Manny looks like she is enjoying herself.


Why thank you! Yes that is a mason bee nest or at least I hope it turns into one. I put it in last spring. Haven’t noticed a whole bunch yet. Just trying to attract more bees.


Gotta look at the whole thread before replying to a question - already properly answered. Sheesh, will try to restrain myself!


BTW, I posted pics of saffron crocus picked and cut last month. There are three more trying to develop, but winter has set in - temps swaying daily between 20 and 34 degrees F for another week. That harvest is done for this year. Can’t complain: 47 total. Probably more next year, as I planted another patch of about 50 corms, making about 150-200.corms in the ground. They take a couple years to size up and then bloom.


Fires in the LA area are really bad. The Thomas fire is over 100k acres now, and only 5% contained.

Found this video of the night view driving on I think is the 101. Astounding.


Original owners let some of the backyard get wild. Spent the summer getting most of it up top. Now I’m digging through the ground to get what’s underneath, using my trusty little tool:

Not sure what that tool is called…it’s like a hammer on one side and a dull axe on the other. It’s useful for so many things. Anyway, in this amount of ground:

I’ve found this:

These bulb-like looking roots grow a big thorny vine. Not sure what it’s called, but the thorns are pretty punishing!

Looks like it’s gonna be a lot more work than I thought. :grin:

Want to get it done this winter, though. I think I’m going to plant my blackberries and raspberries back there


Looks like an adze - a very ancient tool


Sorry I was MIA on the no-dig discussion. Here is one of my gardening gurus explaining it and the experiments he did over 10 years or so comparing a dug bed to an undug bed. He weighed all the produce (he is a market gardener) and the no-dig bed produced better. He has many videos…check it and save yourself time and work and weeds and money.


Yes, I have seen lot’s of examples about keeping soil structure. Some say they have seen no difference. Well a couple things, are you using chemicals? Or organics? I’m not against chemical fertilizers, but it is said they destroy soil structure. So that could be why you have not seen increased yields. Also once gone, you need at least a couple years to get it back. So with time you should see increased yields. I don’t really have much of a weed problem either.


That is called a splitting maul, just in case you ever need to split some logs :wink:… And it looks like you dug up some type of smilax aka greenbriar


Had to harvest our satsuma. Going down to ~20 tonight.


Lol, I had to blow it up to see it good enough with that dirt on it but you are right, an axe eye splitting maul it is


I have one of those, my neighbor threw it out, I grabbed it. Mine was also very dull so I sharpened it.I like it because I’m dealing with large rounds and I need both axe and a sledgehammer to split rounds. Way too big for just an axe. My other neighbor has an axe with some kind of expansion joint that expands when you strike the wood. You can split huge rounds with it. This year I split some rounds that were 36 to 42 inches in diameter. Hard work, I’m way to old for this! Red Oak, great wood!


I don’t know if Ponderosa Pine has much of any difference in its chemical make-up from your “Suthun pahnes” but found fresh needles can precipitate turpene. Fresh needles killed a healthy rosemary.

Next time I’m getting a low & slow growing rosemary to keep in a pot indoors, (Territorial Seed has Roman Beauty). Usually winter here is just too cold for 'em anyway.
As for pine straw, I’ve kept a barrel of it over the winter and used it the next season; seems to make the difference.


That’s too bad that happened. When i harvest most are well aged already. I like them for pots. I only get enough for my containers. I use straw and leaves outside as mulch, and compost too.
Their are so many Rosemary cultivars! I have Arp, I like it a lot. had it about 4 years in a pot. I put it outside in the summer. It seems never to change. In a good way, it maintains well indoors, and is an easy plant to grow.
Here it is right now, starting to flower.

Another view

I have to try and propagate and plant out. Arp, Salem, and Hill Hardy are the hardiest ones I have heard of. As bad as winter is, spring rains are just as bad. They need very well draining soil and don’t do well in clay. Companion plants has 17 cultivars including all three I mentioned. I’m not an expert on Rosemary and I bet some they have are for ornamental reasons or attract beneficials. I like the way Arp tastes and I’m happy with it. I would also add that the rosemary oil keeps indoor pests like aphids and white fly away. I have had other plants infected and they stay off the rosemary.


Ha ha, yes, I can be hard on my tools, there is a reason I have a bottle of CLP in the shed, lol.

The splitting maul has become a great all purpose tool for me. Hammering rebar stakes into the ground, getting out roots…I forget what else I’ve used it for, but it hammers things, it chops things, it breaks things…what is there not to like?


I looked at some pictures and you are right about the smilax. Holy cow. No wonder cutting it back and cutting it back didn’t cause it to die. That root system looks like it has enough stored for 20 years or so!


IIRC S’ern pines grow in an acidic soil. Ponderosa pines are at home in alkaline soils out west (although they might do well in other soil types too). Not sure if that will make any diff to the rosemary plants


I grew Arp - three times, I liked it so well, but only one Seattle-style winter allowed it to survive here into another season.
It is probably a slam dunk to propagate come April. I’d try cuttings then and again in May to root.