Eggplants, powdery mildew and figs

David has been busy in the yard, playing with power tools.  We have one final stretch of morning glories to get rid of.  Yes, they’re beautiful.  I’m sure that anyone not in California would be happy to have these plants.  But here, they live year after year, stacking on top of each other until…

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It creates a tangled mess probably full of toxic mold and dust.  To be fair, it could be healthy to breathe in the dust that flies out when we touch the dead vines, but we’re both very cautious.  We’ve also decided it’s time to clear out the morning glories from the fence completely.  This process will take a long time.  David has perfected the method, as he originally cleared our garden space this past January.

For now, David used the string trimmer to cut a border along the bottom of the vines. Many of the vines have begun to die, which made me sad to see this morning, even though I thought I had come to terms with their death.  The hummingbirds have been more active recently; I even saw one hovering in front of the kitchen window and it looked at me.

The morning glories were cut at the roots to make space for our new irrigation in the backyard.  Because our house has weird plumping, we decided to run a 100ft hose down the side of the driveway, and then lay soaker hose in the garden. We’ll then have it on a timer and watering can happen with ease.

The tomato, tomatillo and cucumber plants in the former-morning-glory-filled-back-garden are looking really healthy!

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The delicata squash (left) and cucumber (little leaf on right) recently got powdery mildew, like most of our back yard squashes.  The straight 8 cucumber (larger leaves on tripod) is much healthier.  We’re still picking cucumbers and David recently mixed up a milk, Dr. Bronners, baking soda and apple cider vinegar spray to help with the powdery mildew.  Ask if you want to know more about it, as I know he did research into ratios and rationale.

In the back left, you’ll see the basil.  After the pictures I cut back all of our basil and made about two and a half dozen pesto ice cubes to use later.  We added parsley to this batch of pesto, which helps cut the strong flavor as well as keep it more green for future use.
P1020504We have a small zinnia patch, and we’re loving it.

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The eggplants are finally starting to do something!  Most of our pots have stunted peppers and eggplants.  After the fertilizing, and then a fish emulsion treatment, they have finally started to grow!  Again, we’re lucky to be in Los Angeles as our hottest months can be August and September.

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In the backyard, the rosa bianca has a cage around it to protect it from Rosie’s trampling.  Rosie follows us around the garden while we’re working.  She doesn’t notice if there are plants in the way, as she just wants us to throw her ball.

The above picture has two rosa bianca and two japanese eggplants.

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And the japanese eggplant is starting to grow!

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We cheated a little with the poblano peppers in the front yard pots.  When we were at the farmers market last week, the plant guy had beautiful plants and we decided to buy two since ours were stunted.   P1020521

Our tomatoes, for the most part, are doing great!  There aren’t as many flowers as I’d like.  The black krim that we planted late is finally starting to flower, if you can see it there next to the giant bushy San Marzano.

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The San Marzano is laden with green tomatoes, and we’re getting our sauce pot and salsa recipes in order while waiting.

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Next to the San Marzano, I planted arugula, a couple of green onions and a celery plant. The celery is in the foreground, if you can see it without being distracted by Rosie or the giant pepper! We were waiting for it to turn red, but decided today that it was time to pick it.

Lastly, our neighbors have a fig tree that borders the fence.

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Last year I cut back their tree, because it smelled like cat pee.  I love figs.  I think legally even though they’re on our side of the fence, the figs belong to them.  We’re thinking about picking a few.  We could ask our neighbors first.

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Mardi doesn’t want me to mention it, but being the dominant cat in our territory, it’s possible that the figs could smell like cat pee again this season.

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9 thoughts on “Eggplants, powdery mildew and figs

  1. Never feel bad about mowing down the morning glories! 🙂 Beautiful pictures, and I’m jealous of your eggplant!

    • Too bad they’re a challenge to grow there. We picked our first eggplant and a handful of green peppers today. We are growing two San Marzano and one mystery roma variety. They’re mostly green but starting to ripen more and more each day!

    • I’m not sure, honestly, but the mix did kill off the leaves with the powdery mildew. Our next step was pulling off the dead leaves… And then reapplying.

    • My husband did the research and decided to make a spray with a little bit of everything. He mixed 2 cups whole milk with 9 cups of water- milk kills the mildew. He then added 1/8 cup baking soda, which helps prevent it spreading and makes it harder to grow because it raises the pH. He added 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar to also raise the acidity. The last thing he added was 2 tablespoons dish soap (Castille soap is recommended)which helps spread the baking soda. He combined a bunch of different things and with reapplication every two weeks, we’re optimistic!

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