Addendum to Citrus, Ginger, and Avocados

Not as much as last week, but it looks more tender.
Not as much as last week, but it looks more tender.

Just a quick update to the last post.  We harvested the last two ginger plants and netted 3 lbs.  Less than I expected after getting 4 lbs. from the first plant.  Nevertheless, it was 7 lbs. total back from a half lb. planted.

We harvested the ripe citrus fruit also.  Most of the clementines have already been picked and enjoyed over the last couple of months.  But here's what we got a few days ago:  navels, minneolas, and still a few clementines.  There are still quite a few stragglers on the trees too.  I've found that the Meyer lemons last longer on the tree than in the refrigerator, so we've just been picking them as needed.  All of the citrus are starting to put out new growth and more blooms too.  It looks like we might possibly have a fairly steady supply of fruit, instead of just a once a year harvest.

The avocados are starting to bloom.  Looks like it's going to be profuse, like last year.  We received our shipment of mason bees.  We ordered 2 batches of 25(+/-) bees, and when the cocoons arrived, they counted out to 52.  We set out 17 of them on Jan. 26.  The brochure says they will emerge in 1 to 7 days.  We haven't seen any of them flying around, but only 6 of the cocoons remain.  Not sure what happened to the eleven.  We're wondering if they went out the vents.  At any rate, we set out the remaining 35 today.  I hope to see some of them emerge and go to work.  Really good news though:  today I saw a bumblebee flying and lighting on the citrus blooms.  I guess the underground hives in the greenhouse from last summer were viable.  I hope there will be more following him, and that they find the avocado trees.  Between the mason bees and bumblebees, we're hoping to get a crop of avocados this year.

We planted celery in the small raised bed in the tree greenhouse last fall.  I've grown celery 3 or 4 times in the past and never had a lot of luck with it.  Funny, but several of the gardening books I like say the same thing.  So far, this crop is coming on strong though.  Loose, well-drained soil (with biochar) and lots of water (daily) seems to be the trick.  I started wrapping the plants with red rosin paper and rubber bands to blanch the stems.  I'm hoping that works better than hilling them with soil.  It will definitely keep soil out of the crowns; I hope it keeps enough of the light out to actually blanch them.  Carol and I sampled a couple broken stems today, and they were juicy, crunchy, tender, and tasty.  So far so good.

Celery plants wrapped in red rosin paper.
Celery plants wrapped in red rosin paper.

---Steve