The July Farm And Garden Report

by the other theo

Drought is the operative word in California this summer.  There was no snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains this winter, so there is no water further west during the summer.  Water conservation should be on everyone’s mind.  We’re doing our part: I installed a low flow shower head and dual flush toilet valve months ago.   We also didn’t turn on the sprinkler systems at all this year:

IMG_1414Sadly, we see other lawns that are still green.  Rumor is that the the city has started issuing fines to people who are watering too much.  Lawns need to go brown.  I hear on the news that California needs to cut water use by 20 percent.  So far, water consumption has only dropped by 5 percent.

There is still some greenery.  The geraniums are still holding their own under hand watering:  IMG_1419The blackberries running wild around the side of the house are also producing fruit, slightly early this year.  The ripest berries are sweet in ways that commercial berries never seem to be:

IMG_1413The apple tree is having some trouble.  I didn’t water it through May and June and it seemed fine, but it started dropping an apple a week during the last three weeks:

IMG_1415It’s now getting the same hand watering treatment as the geraniums. I hope we still have some apples left on the tree by November.

My most critical concern is the lime tree I planted back in March.  The little thing doesn’t have the root system to gather the water it needs.  It looks so withered at times.  It bloomed back in April.  I was hoping it would produce a few fruit this year, but it dropped what fertilized buds it had in the last few weeks.
IMG_1418Perhaps it needed some fertilizer tea?  I’ve been late with that for the fruit trees this summer.

My son’s preschool class planted flowers.  I should remember the name of the variety but it escapes me at the moment.  We were wondering what they were when we got the seedlings, but they finally bloomed:

IMG_1417Finally, the fuschia have recovered from their annual winter die back and have started attracting hummingbirds: