Surprise!

Fridge Garlic Sprouts

When we went to make quinoa patties a couple of days ago, we found that of the three bulbs of garlic in our fridge, all but three cloves were sprouting! Surprise! Instead of tossing them, or chopping all of the heads off, we decided we would simply plant them (we planned on growing garlic anyway, so why not start with garlic that already wanted to sprout for us?).

We quickly pulled out our empty egg cartons (saved to help with seed planting), and pulled all the cloves apart, cleaned them off, and put them in the egg cartons. We haven’t yet gotten around to planting them (we plan to do that tomorrow morning) in our nifty little toilet paper tube cups.

Garden Surprises

We’ve taken to eating our breakfast at the dining room table. After eating all of our meals standing in the kitchen or upstairs in front of the TV for over a year of living here, we finally decided to start sitting down for meals together. It’s really stimulated conversation between us, and we feel closer together because of it. Another side-effect is that in the mornings when the sun is shining, we feel drawn to step right out the sliding door into the backyard and soak up the sun.

After breakfast, we now walk around the garden and check out how all of the different plants are doing – take notes of what’s doing good, what needs work, what we want to change, and so on. This morning Sean noticed an odd plant growing where we tore up the Rose-Mato bush last month. Here’s what it looked like before we tore it out:

Sean cocked his head to the side, looked down at this strange “intruder,” and said, “Huh, it looks like an onion!” I said, “Well, then, I guess pull it up and see.” Sure thing, there was an onion hiding under the dirt! Now, neither of us likes onions, so we’re going to offer it to our roommates for cooking, but it appears to be a medium-sized white or yellow onion. We can’t really tell for sure because (1) it doesn’t really look like the stuff you buy in the store, and (2) we don’t like onions, so we don’t pay much attention to them.

Well, after finding the onion, we started poking around the edges of the yard looking for other “surprises.” Along with finding two other onion plants (we left them there) over by the cherry tomatoes we left, I found another plant that looked similar. Sean said he thought it looked like another onion, and possibly bigger than the one he already pulled out. But on closer inspection, I decided the leaves weren’t quite right, and it must be something else. We we grabbed a shovel and dug it up (we couldn’t pull it out like the onion).

Sean frowned at it for a second as the root bulb fell apart in his hand. “Garlic!” I shouted. And sure enough, it was garlic. There were five cloves, but they were HUGE. The smallest one was easily the size of two or three cloves you get from the store. Here’s a picture. On the far left is an average-sized one that was sprouting in the fridge.

We’re going to plant these ones, too, seeing as they clearly have no qualms growing in our yard, and they are so big and awesome-looking. Right now all the garlic is sitting on the window ledge just outside the kitchen, and the whole kitchen smells like fresh garlic when the window is open.

Other Garden News

The avocados are still growing, and there are a lot more little flowers. Hopefully the bees will keep pollinating, because I love avocados. The plums are a little slow, but we think that’s because of where they’re located (almost directly behind the house, so they don’t get any sun after about noon). There are also some little plum trees sprouting up around the big one that we’re hoping we can transplant, but may have to just tear out. The rosemary between the avocado tree and plum tree is just going nuts. I don’t think we will ever use that much rosemary, so if anyone wants some, please tell us!

The apricot tree has been blossoming beautiful white blossoms, and this morning we noticed the first little fruits starting. The celebrity tomato bush is growing bit by bit, and we saw the first little yellow flowers today (4!). I can’t wait for fresh tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes need some pruning, but are still producing a few little tomatoes every couple days.

The serrano peppers are sprouting well. We’ve seen the little leaves pushing up the past week or so, and the past couple days they’re finally growing more leaves (4 little ones instead of two). We think they may be getting a little too much sun, because they seem to be favoring the shadowed part of the pot. The strawberries have a couple of little strawberries growing, but they’re still white. They will be a little sweet treat now and then (like… one a week, probably) until we can get the beds turned and plant more. Two little strawberry plants won’t produce much, haha.

The poor flowers didn’t like the minor heat wave we had over the weekend. They drooped and the flowers wilted pretty bad. We drenched the soil, hoping to bring them back, and it seems to have worked a little, but only time will tell. The romaine lettuce seems to be enjoying the sun (and daily watering), and is growing well. When we got it, it was sort of sparce-looking, and the leaves were a pale green-yellow. Now it’s really filling in, and the leaves are much darker and healthier. We can see where the different bunches are going to break off once they’re bigger (and boy are we excited to grow more of these once all the grass is gone!).

All in all, everything seems to be enjoying the weather, but we are having to keep an eye on some of the more fragile plants seeing as we aren’t getting rain here in So. Cal at this time of year. I’ll be sure to update when the plum tree gets its leaves, and when it starts to fruit, and if anything else exciting happens. Hopefully in a couple months we’ll have a lot of apricots and plums to give away (we don’t really eat them, but we harvest them when they’re ripe). We also want to try making jam and getting into canning more stuff after our foray into salsa-making a few months back (successful, but we want to start using our own produce instead of store-bought stuff).

I love comments and questions, so please bring ’em on!!

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About elizabethanne

I'm 22, living in Southern California, and trying to figure out this crazy thing called life.
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5 Responses to Surprise!

  1. tinyokgardener says:

    I still have at least 45 days before my last average frost date. But, I’m trying something new to me and have planted some seedlings and have them covered with 2 litter soda bottles. I hope this will give me a head start on om normally dry hot growing season.

    • elizabethanne says:

      Go for it! Our particular area of Southern California doesn’t freeze over, even on a winter night. I think the last time it snowed here was just a little dusting in the late 70’s, so we are VERY lucky to have a 365-day growing season. We are starting everything in little toilet paper cups and empty milk cartons (cut in half) because we want to grow, the garden just isn’t ready for us to start planting them in the ground yet.

  2. Lilybell says:

    Yummy garlic! I can’t wait until November to plant ours…urrrrgh! I wonder if i could do a spring to summer batch…

    I am going to plant my avacado seed today, and label the pot. They take like 4-5 months before they are ready to pop up!

    • elizabethanne says:

      Yes, we are also super excited for garlic! We planted all of them in the toilet paper cup pots this morning, along with a couple lemon seeds and apple seeds from the fruit we used last night/this morning. We’ve been saving all of the avocado seeds from the farmer’s market, and setting them up in pots. We’re hoping maybe to sell some of the seedlings to some local people if we can get them to sprout. I heard you stick tooth picks in the avocado seeds and suspend them half in water. We currently have four set up like that, but only one appears to have a little root growing out the bottom. How do you grow yours?

      • Lilybell says:

        My mother and I actually just plop them in buckets, label them with the date, and wait about a month and a half. They should be sprouted by then! I need to remember to label mine tomorrow.

        I was reading a little bit today about avocados grown from seed, and the Texas A&M Ag website said that it takes longer for store sprouted avocados to fruit compared to ones grown from cuttings. Maybe it is a genetic thing.

        EIther way I will be keeping my avocado trees mostly for fun and to have another plant to care for =) And in ten years maybe I’ll have some little avocados!

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