The EcoWongs

Thoughts, Aspirations, and Projects of the Wong Clan

Garden update September 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — gnowetan @ 8:39 am
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The Meyer Lemon is making a comeback!

The Meyer Lemon is making a comeback!

Our greenbeans are bearing fruit, as well

Our greenbeans are bearing fruit, as well

Pumpkin flowers!

Pumpkin flowers!

And a second round of figs!

And a second round of figs!

The basil is growing nicely, as are the snow peas (growing up the trellis)

The basil is growing nicely, as are the snow peas (growing up the trellis)

And our chinese balloon plant has a lot of seed pods growing

And our chinese balloon plant has a lot of seed pods growing

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Increased Readership? + New garden! September 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — gnowetan @ 8:49 am
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It’s been quite a while since I posted here, and because this blog was listed in the Online Newsletter for Evergreen SGV (evergreensgv.org), I figure I’d better have something more recent than four months ago.

We’ve moved across town, and one of the numerous benefits of this new house is that we have a garden again!!!

By far the best looking plant of the bunch thus far is our pumpkin.  This plant came from seeds that fell out of a decomposing pumpkin in our compost pile from last halloween.  Maybe well have homegrown jack-o-lanterns this year!

By far the best looking plant of the bunch thus far is our pumpkin. This plant came from seeds that fell out of a decomposing pumpkin in our compost pile from last halloween. Maybe we'll have homegrown jack-o-lanterns this year!

One of those Basil plants from Trader Joes that had all but whithered away and died as I put it into the ground; it has made an amazing comeback!

One of those Basil plants from Trader Joe's that had all but whithered away and died as I put it into the ground; it has made an amazing comeback!

One of the beans that was transplanted from the other house.  Its one of the few holdovers.

One of the beans that was transplanted from the other house. It's one of the few holdovers.

Snow Peas!

Snow Peas!

We reassembled our compost bin, and our landlords left their old one!  Two bins, twice the compost!  Wahoo!

We reassembled our compost bin, and our landlords left their old one! Two bins, twice the compost! Wahoo!

Our little garden helper.  Is he wearing pants?  Maybe. Maybe not.

Our little garden helper. Is he wearing pants? Maybe. Maybe not.

Attempt #4 by our Meyer Lemon tree to create fruit.  Well see what happens.

Attempt #4 by our Meyer Lemon tree to create fruit. We'll see what happens.

That’s it for now.  We’ll keep you posted on how the garden is coming along.  If you’re local, and you want a pumpkin, we’ll be happy to distribute if we get any!

 

Gardening is easier in the sunlight… April 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — gnowetan @ 8:09 am
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It’s been awhile since we updated about the garden, but everything is flourishing nicely.

We took an old chicken bag (from trader joes, we washed it thoroughly) and put a bean plant in there.  Once it got strong enough, we hung it upside down.  Its still growing, but its now bending towards the sun.

We took an old chicken bag (from trader joe's, we washed it thoroughly) and put a bean plant in there. Once it got strong enough, we hung it upside down. It's still growing, but it's now bending towards the sun.

Our hanging tomatoes are starting to flower.  We should see fruit soon!

Our hanging tomatoes are starting to flower. We should see fruit soon!

Our pea plants are almost up to the top of the fence!  Were eagerly awaiting the firstfruits of this plant.

Our pea plants are almost up to the top of the fence! We're eagerly awaiting the firstfruits of this plant.

As to our aforementioned aphid problem, we went down to our local nursery and bought some ladybugs and I released them last night.  This is how I found them this morning:

I’ve also read online that ladybugs can eat fruit flies, so we may have found a solution to our compost/fruitfly situation.  Eat up, ladybugs.

 

IPhid, YouPhid, we all Phid for Aphids! March 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — gnowetan @ 7:35 am
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Christina brought to my attention the new residents on our tomato plants:

APHIDS!  We’re looking into biological, sustainable ways to deal with these guys.  Word around the ‘net is that ladybugs feast on these things.  One ladybug can eat 1000 aphids.  Home Depot sells ladybugs.  We will go to Home Depot.  And keep you updated.

 

Planter made out of found materials March 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — gnowetan @ 2:26 pm
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In order to accommodate our ever expanding patio garden, we’ve had to get creative and build some things out of found objects.  Our latest frankenstein’s monster is a planter fashioned out of some old screen, a tire, and the bottom half of a director’s chair:

I cut one of the sidewalls off the tire, inverted it, and sandwiched an old piece of screen between the two sidewalls.  We then filled the tire with potting soil and planted a bunch of honeydew and canteloupe seeds in there.  Here’s hoping!

 

Garden update: February 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — gnowetan @ 10:02 am
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Because Christina’s been home over the weekend, we’ve had the opportunity to do some work on our “garden”:

We got two plant hangars from Big Lots! ($3 for 2) and have hung two tomato plants.  This may change later, but well see.

We got two plant hangars from Big Lots! ($3 for 2) and have hung two tomato plants. This may change later, but we'll see.

Our Rubbermaid planter is continuing to sprout Cilantro.  Should be coming up with leaves any time now!

Our Rubbermaid planter is continuing to sprout Cilantro. Should be coming up with leaves any time now!

We think this is a pinto bean.  God knows whats going to come of this.

We think this is a pinto bean. God knows what's going to come of this.

The China Doll that wont die.

The China Doll that won't die.

Our little garden helper, helping.

Our little garden helper, helping.

The peas are getting pretty tall!  We had to add another tier of twine for them to grab on to.

The peas are getting pretty tall! We had to add another tier of twine for them to grab on to.

Interesting story about this pallet.  We were walking to the Post Office and we came across two of these pallets in the alleyway (we have alleyways running between all the blocks here in uptown Whittier).  Christina says to me, “we should take it.” (people often leave unwanted things in the alleyway.  In the alleyway = up for grabs).  I said,

“It’s too big.  We don’t have a car right now.  Maybe I’ll pick it up on the way back.”

Emmett fell asleep before we got to the post office, so Christina headed back home before me.  As I’m on my way back, I get a text message:

“All done?  Pick up the pallet?”

So I grabbed it on the way back.  Now, the pallet is slightly taller than my shoulder height, so I couldn’t just sling it over my shoulder and walk back, I had to hold it about 3 inches above my shoulder (which I could only sustain for about 10 yards at a time).  It was about a block back to our house, and after about 2 or 3 stops to readjust my grip, I finally made it back.  So pallet #1 was safely delivered to our backyard.  A few days later, I resolved to turn that pallet into a table:

Pretty good, no?

As I was cutting the legs and nailing them to the pallet, Christina says (with Emmett sitting on her shoulders), “I’m gonna go get the other one.”  I replied,

“Huh?  You’re crazy.”

About 5 minutes later, between sawing and hammering, I hear a distant, yet distinct, “MR. NATHAN!”  I run out into the alleyway to find my wife walking down the alley, one hand holding on to Emmett’s ankle and the other hand holding on to the other pallet (remember, it was difficult for me to carry, and I’m a good 5 inches taller than Christina).  Emmett, meanwhile, is gripping on to Christina’s hair for dear life.  As I’m soaking in this moment, Christina yells, “WELL?  ARE YOU GOING TO HELP YOUR FAMILY?!?!”

I ran over and grabbed the other pallet and we all made it back to the house safely.

Oh the things we’ll do for free things.

 

Spring? February 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — peasprout @ 9:39 pm
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One of the perks of living down here is the perpetually good weather that makes it favorable to plant a garden. When we first started out, I was all set to put down seeds in the ground, but despite our landlady’s well-wishes, we have no ground. (all puns intended.) After a fairly fruitful start last year, I was looking forward to improving on our first starts with more plants, and better set ups. Alas, we were thwarted again as our landlady said, “well…i really want to landscape this whole area and put in a new lawn. I have a friend that is going to help with ideas…etc, etc.” Bottom line, dig out your funny-looking plants, I want my piece of dirt back. Fine. Whatever. I don’t have time for all the landscaping plans whatever they may be and when they will happen. So last weekend, I dug up all my newly sprouted peas, and my blossoming raspberry twig (which is just beginning to recover), and the tomato we JUST put into the ground last week. Everything got potted and we started the move into the “backyard” a strip of space behind the house that’s all cement. Fabulous, non? Anyways, spring is in the air and we have a lovely start as it is…

Inside the house, we have citrus plants sprouting in a wet paper towel.

as well as apple seeds from E’s current favorite snack: organic Fuji apples.

Our China Doll that’s coming back to life:

peas asproutin’!

raspberries acomin’!

our herbs digging in for the season…

either i’m finally getting’ something from this pot or it’s just a weed…

Til then, this is the last vestiges of our upturned garden, we just have the green onions to dig out…

there’s our taro plant, too, still in the ground. But I don’t really know what to do with the poor thing, so I might just leave it for them…

And that’s that for now.