Raspberry Pi Home Automation
Custom Discovery Roof Rack
August, 2012 - Sierra Backpacking
July 22nd, 2012 - Hiking in Santa Barbara
July 15th, 2012 - Valley of Fire
May 5th, 2012 - Afton Canyon
April 28th, 2012 - Devils Playground
Convict Creek Trail
January 2012 - Mustangs
January 3rd, 2012 - Heart Lake
August 7th, 2011 - Kelso Dunes
August 5th, 2011 - Lundy Canyon Hike
August 2011, Mammoth Archery
Birds in the garden
June 4th, 2011 - San Gorgonio
May 29th, 2011 - Sequoia National Forest
April 23rd, 2011 - Living Desert
April 2nd, 2011 - Death Valley
March 8th, 2011 - Mountain Palm Springs
February 13th, 2011 - Iron Smelt
November 13th, 2010 - Mojave
October, 2010 - Mammoth
September, 2010 - Mammoth
September, 2010 - Duck Lake Trail Backpacking
Iron bloom forging
August 28th, 2010 - Mt. San Jacinto
OSM Import: US Designated Wilderness
July 25th, 2010 - Mojave Mustangs
July 17th, 2010 - Mojave Exploration
Bloomery furnace iron smelting
Open Street Map: Mojave Project
June 13th, 2010 - Mojave
June 6th, 2010 - El Cajon Trails
Wolf Mountain Sanctuary
March 28th, 2010 - Salton Sea
March 21st, 2010 - South Main Divide
March 13th, 2010 - Anza Borrego Wildflowers
March 7th, 2010 - CSULB Japanese Garden
February 2010 - Mammoth
Dakota and Asha Celebrate Christmas, 2009
November 21st, 2009 - Mojave Road
November 14th, 2009 - Anza Borrego
Exploring The East Mojave: The Afton Canyon Area
Broken flex plate
Remote Image Serving
Astro/night photography in Inyo National Forest
Wild Mustang Sightings
September 26th, 2009 - Night Photography In Frazier Park
August 15th, 2009 - Catalina dive trip
January 24th, 2009 - Mojave Exploration
July 2008 Mammoth Vacation
President Barack Obama!
April 12th, 2008 - Wildflowers and Landmarks
My Grandfather's Alfa Romeo Spider
March 8th, 2008 - Carrizo Plain
Bridge To Nowhere
October 20th, 2007 - Big Bear Camping
October 22nd, 2007 - Fire
Scottish Highlands, Aug 7th, 2006
Scottish Highlands, Aug 6th, 2006
August 5th, 2007 - Duck Lake Trail
May 26th, 2007 - Kelso Dunes
Culloden Battlefield, Aug 5th, 2006
May 20th, 2006 - Irwindale Renaissance Faire
Edinburgh, Aug 4th, 2006
The Clifs of Moher, Aug 3rd, 2006
The Burren, Aug 2nd, 2006
Bunratty Castle, Aug 1st, 2006
May 5th, 2007 - Mojave
Truck Audio/Data Network
2007 - Master Bath Remodel
The Ring of Kerry, Jul 31st, 2006
Victory in 2006!
Blarney and Killarney, Jul 30th, 2006
Dublin and Cork, Jul 29th, 2006
Dublin, Jul 27th & 28th, 2006
What Can I Do?
April 30th, 2006 - Anza Borrego
New desktop: Intel 805 D
Jan 7th and 14th, 2006 - Hiking
Whiting Ranch Hiking
Digital Photography with Linux
September 5th, 2005 - Living Desert
August 19th, 2005 - Mammoth
Hiking and Photography
July 30th, 2005 - Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
Death, Fright and Photography
May 14th, 2005 - Red Rock
April 2nd, 2005 - Death Valley
Count Every Vote Act of 2005
Linear Logic ScanGuage
November 6, 2004 - Mojave
Super Tuesday, 2004
Canon A80 Camera
Jul 25, 2004 - Death Valley
May 4th, 2004
Landscaping - My Front Slope
Stump Pullin' Yeeee Haw!
Feb 22nd, 2004
Feb 16th, 2004
PostgreSQL Logfile Analysis
Mountains? Desert? Jan 30th, 2004
Jan 28th, 2004
Ceiling Cargo Basket
Front Bumper Version 2
Land Rover Valve Jobs
The Matrix: Revolutions
Greg Davis CDL Linkage
Mom's Turkey Gravy
Julian Pie Company
The KB1DIG 2-meter Halo Antenna
Gardening is hard!
Aug 13th, 2003
SQL and Perl
Jul 9th, 2003
Jun 17th, 2003
Some People's Comments
Dakota is a silly dog
The Matrix: Reloaded
Chris' Stage Bottle Harness
April 23rd, 2003
DVD Burning Under Linux
My Satellite Phone
My Near-Death Experience
Laser Cannon Revival
Front Bumper, Version 2
KPC 3 Plus and HTX-252
Moving, moving moving...
New new house
In Truck Dr. Pepper
My Favorite Toilet
Late Thoughts: Dr. Pepper Cooler
265/75-R16 Tires on a DII
George W. Bush
Horses Sep 14 2002
Sawdust Bellydancing 2002
August 17th Yukon Dives
My Custom Front Bumper
Bracketless, Renamable Links
Jul 28 2002 Day Trip
Jedi Group, my T1 and money
A Bumperless Discovery!
My Custom Rear Bumper
Vanessa's 24th Birthday
Jun 30th Dive to Long Beach Canyon
PHP/PostgreSQL String Quoting
Tonsillectomy, Uvulaectomy and Turbinite Reduction
240 Watt CO2 Laser Cannon
The Tulsa Rib Company
The quality of hard disks these days
Email notification of articles
Email notification of comments
erikburrows.com source code
Renisance Faire Jun 9, 2002
Computers hate me, and it is mutual.
Star Wars Sucks!
Horses, Jun 1, 2002
Land Rover Mileage
Insomnia, Robin goes evil.
100 Watt Diode Laser Test Firing 1
2001: A Space Odyssey
TDI Deco Class
Horses, Apr 30, 2002
My Truck Batteries
The Zope Bible
100 Watt Diode Laser
The New www.erikburrows.com
Hunter the Kitty
Matts Desert Pics
|Gardening is hard! -   2003/08/14||Viewed 330 times this month, last update: 2004/08/26|
Gardening is hard! When Vanessa and I moved into the house, we planted a bunch of stuff, grass, ground cover, hanging pots, even some cacti. Most importantly however, we planted six trees:
Two avocado trees (of different, cross-polenating types)
A cinnamon tree
An apple tree
A tangerine tree
And a giant redwood!
All of these plants have required lots of TLC, especially just after they were planted.
The avocado trees weren't too hard initially, but grew slowly. After a few months though, one of them (avocado tree B) started dropping leaves! It dropped all it's leaves, and stayed a stick tree for a while. Then, in the early summer, it sprouted a few leaves. These grew thick and healthy, but because there were so few of them, the trunk got sun burnt, and started dying! So, today it got painted for sun protection. Sheesh.
The cinnamon tree needs sandy soil and high-tech drainage.
The tangerine tree is being eaten alive by bugs.
The redwood is doing it's own battle with the southern californa sun.
About the only thing that's growing like crazy is the apple tree! No idea why, but it's thick, strong, and covered in new growth. What's most amazing was the fact that we got it "bare root" which is techy plant-head talk for a stick with roots sticking out of it.
Gardening is hard!
Here is a close-up of the damage to the tangerine tree. Looks like bugs to me.
For the last few months, I have been using a new all-purpose fertilizer: Neptune's Harvest, Fish/Seaweed Blend Fertilizer. This stuff is awesome! In just months, my Redwood Tree has put on four feet easily. It's come back from the brink of death by heat to sprouting feet of new growth in every direction! It's like it's bursting with new growth. It's put on so much height, I might have to stabilize it for this year's wind! It has also revived our Lemon plant from the point of a few wilting leaves to bristling with new growth and flowers!
It's worked wonders with our potted flowers, and even some really tough parts of my lawn!
Where can you get this stuff? My Mom's nursery (Laguna Hill Nursery in Mission Viejo) carries it, so it can't be too hard to find. It's reasonably priced, and goes a long way. My redwood showed dramatically increased growth after just two applications. (It needs about 10 gallons of the fertilizer mixed with water per application. The lemon tree needs just one or two gallons.)
Ok, the downside? This stuff is ground up fish and seaweed. To say it smells bad would be a substantial understatement. It smells only "bad" after about a day. Vanessa says she can smell it a couple of days after I've spread it around to all the trees. And I kind of go nuts with it. I give all the trees, vines and potted plants an application every 1-2 weeks, depending on how healthy they are. But, I'm telling you people, this stuff is thick, brown, foul, GOLD!
Here's a picture of the new growth on the redwood, believe it or not, these needles are very soft to the touch:
Steve Kehlet (2003-08-18): I would have to agree. I thought a bit of gardening would be fun at first, but pretty soon I just came to accept I have a black thumb. Everything just dies. It's all too much work. I even hate cutting the grass now. I'm wondering if the CCBs in Rancho will allow me to roll out astroturf and silk plants.
Erik (2003-08-18): Haha! It's not your thumb Steve, it's the soil around here. We both live on a graded hillside in a desert. We're trying to plant in dead material in baking sun.
I just started watering my whole yard with a program that runs four times a day, just to try to get enough moisture into the ground. If I water more than 2 minutes, it just runs off. If I water less than 5 minutes per day, everything dies. So, it's 2 minutes four times per day, and every new plant gets a 18 inch ring of potting soil.
Still, I am enjoying it.
Kindigulous (2003-08-21): Compost. Compost. Compost. With all the vegetables and fruits you eat, you should be able to get some good humus in your soil.
Erik (2003-08-25): Actually, my mom who is a landscape designer and botonist, says that compost isn't good for planting, only for looks and weed supressing.
Compost will continue composting after you pack it around your plants, and in doing so will suck all the nitrogen out of the soil, starving your plant.
Planting soils made of peat moss, sand, and pummice stone is much better for planting.
Name Mom (2003-09-04): Commentwhat kind of bugs are eating the tangerine? Usual ones are aphids - at the tips on the new growth mostly. If this is the case, hose them off. If it is something else, let me see it, or describe it to me.
Erik (2003-09-05): Ok, there's a picture of the damage for you, Mom.
Name Mom (2003-09-05): Comment It looks like snail damage or caterpillar damage. Check the plant in the cool of early morning for snails. They are pretty easy to see and pull off, put into a baggie and toss in the trash. If you can't find evidence of snails (or their poop) bring me a real leaf on Monday eve. BT is a bacteria that destroys caterpillar digestive tracts, and in theory doesn't have effect on anything else. There are not too many leaves being affected, so you might want to consider the alternative of leaving it alone. good picture!
Meloncolia@msn.com (2004-03-20): I live in the high desert and want to find a avocado tree that will live here. I miss having my own tree. Anyone know of a tree that will survive up here??????
Erik (2004-03-20): From what I've seen, Acocado trees need:
My trees almost burnt to death in the So. Cal. sun, and were only saved by painting their trunks and branches with white reflective paint. (Latex I think, this paint was specifically made for this purpose. I got it at the local nursery.)
If you want to grow Acocado trees in the desert, plant them in a shady area, or keep them in pots in a shady area, at least until they're grown a bit, and make sure they get plenty of water.
Sheena (2004-05-20): Hi, I am botanist in UK and here compost is great. The all encompassing comment about compost is open to argument. It depends on soil and climate !!
Tim (2006-11-29): I have an avocado tree in a pot. It's only eighteen months old and frost nearly killed it last winter, hence the pot. It has thrived throughout the summer (on the coast near Brighton) and I have now brought it indoors to prevent a repeat of last years frost damage. (What frost???) Most of the leaves are going brown and shrivelling; is this due to central heating? I have put it outside today and sprinkled it with water from a can. Any ideas?
Erik (2006-12-04): I don't know Tim, I'd check to make sure it's getting enough, but not too much water, (dig a couple of inches down into the soil, it should be moist, but not muddy) and make sure it's getting enough sunlight.
Roxy (2010-08-15): How does the avocado tree do in the cold winter in the mojavi desert?
Erik (2010-08-17): Roxy,
I think the tree would be fine with the cold in the Mojave, but the heat is a problem. I have had to paint the exposed green branches of some of my trees with white latex paint as kind of a sunscreen. If some of the green branches are left exposed to direct hot sunlight, they can burn, and you'll loose those branches/leaves, which opens the tree to more sunlight...
I think if you can plant your tree(s) where they can be shaded partially, paint the vulnerable branches, and keep it watered properly, it'll probably survive.