In the Garden:
Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
August, 2012
Regional Report

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My very own garden, at least while our boat is out of the water.

A Garden To Love

I don't live with a garden. Any time I feel like getting my hands dirty I have to drive somewhere. Recently we had to haul the old trawler we call home. Refreshing the anti-fouling bottom paint is a necessary task that needs to be done every few years to prevent stuff from growing on the bottom of a boat.

Luckily my dear friends Joyce and Gary had scheduled a trip to Alaska at the same time our boat was going to be out of the water. They generously offered us their beautiful home in San Carlos while they were away. The difference in weather between South City and San Carlos might as well be the sun and the moon. South City is cool and windy while San Carlos is warm and calm.

Part of my duties while staying at their home was to keep the garden going. Joyce and Gary did a major re-landscape two years ago, and the garden is maturing beautifully. Of course, the moment they departed for the airport the temperatures spiked into a minor heat wave. It's nothing compared the weather that the East Coast and Midwest have been experiencing, but still a bit too warm to call comfortable.

You Can't Trust an Honest Plant
I noticed that a few of the plants in the vegetable garden were showing signs of wilting. I know better than to trust what a plant tells me without first checking for evidence. Sure enough, the drip system had been doing its job and the soil was moist. The plants were wilting because they couldn't take up water quickly enough to supply the amount lost through transpiration. As soon as the sun went down the foliage picked up. I'll check again tomorrow and keep my eye on things until the weather cools down.

Zucchini Are Storming the Town!
I am not a great fan of zucchini, so wouldn't you know that the peak of the zucchini harvest happened while we were staying at the house. If you don't pick these prolific squash frequently they will grow as big as a Volkswagen. I have no idea what I am going to do with all these darned zucchini. Oddly, they are the only thing the resident squirrels don't seem to like.

Joyce gave me carte blanche to do whatever I deemed necessary
in the yard. I immediately deadheaded the coleus that were trying to sneak off to bed early. If you prevent these beautifully colored foliage plants from blooming by tip pruning frequently, you can enjoy them until it's time to replace them in the fall.

I confess that I love wandering the garden in the morning, plucking the stray weed and gobbling the luscious ripe cherry tomatoes right from the vine. A garden is like a pet; the more love you give it the better it responds.

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