measurable amount of rain finally fell overnight, as puddles greeted me when i opened the blinds this morning. i went down to the community garden anyway, not to water, but to spray some diatomaceous earth that had washed off from the rainfall. i was the only person there, other than two muscular men exercising in sacramento field with their shirts off.
when i got to belmont, the first thing i did was to check the rain barrel level, which was nearly full. i gave my father a floating plastic bead i found in my backyard that fits perfectly in the rain gauge rubber tube; he'd been using the end of a plastic toothbrush as an indicator, but it had a tendency to get stuck in the tube; this plastic bead will work better.
i helped my mother make luxurious ramen for lunch. so thought it was a crazy idea adding an egg to the broth that only cooks from the heat of the water used to boil the noodles. but when she finally tasted the luxury ramen, she had no more complaints. one thing that was lacking was not enough garlic; i thought there was a garlic press but we couldn't find it and ended up using a garlic grater to add a small amount of garlic. next time we'll try the buldak ramen.
i then spent the rest of the day outside, only coming back inside around 5pm. the weather was unbearably pleasant compared to the past 2 weekends: first it was rainy, then it was super hot, but this weekend the temperature will be seasonable and dry.
i moved out the gardenia since nearly all the flower buds have either fallen off or blossomed. after my father pruned it down to a small bush, i sprayed it with insecticidal soap to kill the aphids. afterwards i sprayed the gardenia with water to wash off the dead insects. i sprayed the jasmines as well, washing off the accumulation of oils and pollen. i mixed 2 gallon worth of acid-loving soluble fertilizer for the gardenia; whatever i had left over i poured onto the southeastern hydrangea.
while working in the southern bed, i noticed a rustling in the tall grass. then when i saw the baby rabbit. my father and i tried to flush it out, but it was small enough that it could still pass through the gaps underneath the fencing. bunnies i can tolerate; larger size rabbits are a bigger issue, since they're capable of eating whole plants.
the stock flowers growing in the elongated planters have started to blossom. the one that i saw had fuchsia-colored flowers. apparently they're supposed to be very fragrant, but even when i held my nose directly onto the flowers, the most i could detect was a slight clove scent.
some squash flowers have blossomed, all females. the first flowers to appear initially were males, but my father removed them since it was too early for flowers. but now we have female flowers with no males, so these immature fruits will abort. the flowers have yet to attract any cucumber beetles or squash bees. it's just a matter of time. my father has been diligently watching youtube videos of taiwanese squash farmers explaining their techniques.
some of the milkweed flowers have started to blossom as well. the phlox that i got from the community garden also came with some yellow flowers that look like some kind of primrose. the thai chili pepper plant have also started to form white flowers. orange nasturtiums have bloomed. shasta daisies aren't far behind, they'll also bloom within the coming days. of course there are still plenty of foxgloves, and old peonies. the predominant backyard flower color is some shade of pink.
cypress vine seedlings continue to appear in RB4. early in the season i'd transplant them to pots to plant elsewhere, but we have so many now i don't even bother. i dug up a little bit of the monkshood so i could transplant a gladiola that was growing in the same spot. i thought gladiolas had big bulbs but they from from corms. the lotuses now have 3 floating leaves with the 4th floating leaf sprout emerging underwater. the cactus buds from last week that looked a little yellow and anemic are doing much better. they're still a bit yellow, but they're solid and they're starting to swell, which means they're growing.
i forgot that i have two different varieties of eggplants this season. they're easy to tell part: the japanese variety have black stems, while the taiwanese variety have green stems. the japanese eggplants are also bigger in size apparently.
i mixed two more spray bottles of insecticidal soap, one for home, one for the cafe. i then mixed about a gallon worth of immunox (2tbsp of concentrate) to spray the grapevines.
i'm seeing a lot more predaceous insects. a few weeks ago it was all about the ladybugs. we still see them, but now i also see long-legged flies, drone flies, and robber flies. not to mention the occasionally jumping spider. aphids and mealybugs have no chance when there are so many beneficial predators around. i also noticed a lot of leaf cutter bees visiting the foxgloves, but i haven't seen where they're gathering their leaves.
around 4pm i noticed some dramatic clouds in the sky and took the drone up in the air to get some photos. i was using my asus tablet. it behaved for the most part, but coming back and flying over the nearby park, the app froze. a DJI fly app crash on the asus tablet is a much more gentle affair, and i could still access all the system functionality. after about 10 seconds and when i finally regained control of the app, it didn't something weird: everything was working except i wasn't getting a video feed. i ended up guiding the drone back via the map view, which was still tracking the drone. midway on its return trip, the video feed finally came back again.
after dinner my parents both had a brown sugar boba popsicle while i ate the last of the green tea fish ice cream sandwich. i rather have a boba popsicle! i returned to cambridge around 7pm.
as soon as i got home, i walked down to the community garden again to check on my plants. i was imagining there'd be a lot of people there, but once again i was the only one. i saw some flea beetles on bagged eggplant and sprayed some more diatomaceous earth. i also brought home all my empty pots, didn't want it crowding an already crowded garden.
i tried the kettle brand krinkle cut truffle & sea salt potato chips tonight. it's actually very good, a very savory flavor. they used to make an avocado oil himalayan salt chips but i think it's been discontinued. these truffle sea salt chips are a good replacement.