Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do April Showers Really Bring May Flowers?

March and April have been particularly wet months in Los Angeles. The rainfall received thus far has surpassed the average for the entire rainy season. Along with the rain, we've also seen record temperatures at both extremes. But will all this rain actually lead my plants to bloom in May? We're still a couple weeks from finding that out, but so far I like the results.

Here is a healthy looking onion seedling.

A couple more onion seedlings. The one on the right already looks like a tiny onion. Using individual seeding trays has proven to be a much better for the onions. When I previously used a larger container to plant multiple onion seeds, the seedlings died after a few weeks. I recommend that if you plan on growing onions, you start them off in seed trays then transfer to larger containers once the seedlings are sturdier (at least this is what I am planning to do)

Above are the banana yellow pepper seedlings. Overall, the plant looks healthy but I haven't seen much growth in the past few weeks. I am thinking about taking one or two of the seedlings and transplanting them to individual containers, but I am afraid of disturbing the root. I will wait a few more weeks and observe their progress before I proceed with that plan.

Here's a couple pictures of the flower box. The rain and sun have definitely helped these seedlings as I've noticed tremendous growth over the past couple weeks. I had all but given up on the flower box a few months ago, but it appears like i may one day see actual flowers growing here.

The two squash plants each with two squash seedlings. Depending on how quickly they continue grow I may split them up and place each seedling in individual containers.

Italian basil. I had plenty of success with this plant last year so I expect no problems this time around.

This here is a spinach plant, which has proven to be the most difficult to grow. In past attempts the seedlings get to about the point where they are in the picture above then shrivel up and die. This time, however, I am using smaller containers to grow them in. In the picture below the plant at the front is also a spinach seedling.

So far, they seem to be doing well, but the real test will come when the temperature are consistently above 80. Spinach does best in milder temperatures, which is why i planted them earlier in the year this time around. Ideally, in Los Angeles, you should plant spinach seeds between November and January. Since I was in the process of moving at the beginning of this year, I was not able to plant them until mid February. Hopefully they mature enough during the cooler temperatures of spring and are able to withstand the heat once summer rolls around.

Here is a wide shot of all the plants. At the moment they are sitting in the middle of the patio, but once I get new patio furniture I will need to rearrange them so that they don't take up so much space.

Finally, I thought I'd throw in a picture of one of the bougainvillea plants. As you can see, the rain and sunshine has helped the bright and colorful flowers attain full bloom. To anyone looking to add a vibrant splash of color to your garden or patio I recommend picking up one or two of these plants. They are relatively cheap and very low maintenance. The plant is native to Southern California, so it does quite well in full sunshine and requires little watering. Below you will find the "Before" picture and above is obviously the "After" picture. Very dramatic transformation in only a few weeks.