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Have you ever had a sunburn?  Maybe a better question is, “Who hasn’t?”  

Well, did you know that many plants get too much as well?

I recently made a house call for a client who was worried about her newly planted citrus trees.

new citrus trees planted in pots.

Sunburned Citrus

This particular client has a large courtyard with several new citrus trees in pots.

The citrus were planted in spring and as summer progressed, the client noticed the leaves on her orange tree turning yellow.

sunburned citrus

Now yellow leaves can indicate a number of different problems.  But in this case, the diagnosis was rather simple – her citrus tree has a case of sunburn.

Here are some common signs of sunburned plants:

– The areas of the leaf that are yellow are in the center and NOT along the tips or edges.

– Often, the yellow areas begin to turn brown.

– Signs normally occur in the summer months.

– The sunburned leaves are usually located on the south and west-facing parts of the plant.

– This particular citrus tree is in an area that receives reflected, afternoon sun.

So, what can you do to prevent sunburned citrus?

In this case, the solution is simple – moving the citrus tree to another part of the courtyard that receives afternoon shade is all that is needed to prevent further sunburn damage. OR, 50% shade cloth can be used from mid-May through September.

Citrus do best when planted at least 10 – 15 ft. away from walls, which absorb the heat of the day and re-radiate it out.

Avoid planting where they get the full force of afternoon sun.

This past week, I was blessed with harvesting produce from two different gardens.

One was from one of my vegetable gardens…

Harvesting produce

Harvesting produce

About a 1/4 of my side vegetable garden is planted with cauliflower.

Over the weekend, I was able to harvest my first cauliflower of the season.  

Harvesting produce

Now, I am aware that some of you may not care for cauliflower.  Personally, I like it raw but NOT when it is cooked.

I’ll share with you a little secret that I have used to get my kids to eat cauliflower…

Harvesting produce

I cut the tops of the florets off, dice it and then sprinkle it on top of our dinner salads.  It looks like grated cheese.  I also slice carrots, celery and cucumbers to add to our salads, which not only add great flavor to salads – they are also a great way to get more vegetables into my kids 😉

The cauliflower was so delicious – it tasted like butter – seriously.

The next harvest was of another kind and from a different garden…    

grapefruit tree

On the family farm, my mother has a large grapefruit tree.

Now, as anyone who has ever had a grapefruit tree can tell you – these trees are overly generous in the amount of fruit that they produce.  

grapefruit harvesting

Luckily, my mother has 4 kids who are more then happy to help share with her bounty.

With my husband standing ready holding grocery bags, we picked some delicious fruit from the tree.

*While all the grapefruit looked ripe, some were not quite ready to be picked.  If they did not come off fairly easily when lightly pulled/twisted, then we left them alone.

If I am going to be perfectly honest with you, I do not like to eat grapefruit – at all.

But, I have another purpose in mind for my newly picked grapefruit – I am going to make a natural cleaner from it using vinegar.

I promise to blog about it soon, so hold onto some of your excess grapefruit or maybe offer to take some off of your neighbor’s grapefruit tree 🙂

Okay, I know that I am terribly late in blogging about Christmas.  As a result, you will probably not be surprised that I didn’t get organized enough to send out Christmas cards this year either 😉

But, we did have a wonderful Christmas.  Much of Christmas day was spent at Double S Farms, where my mother, my sister and her family live.  

It was a beautiful day and I stole out into the garden to take photos of all that is growing….

My mother's vegetable garden is growing like crazy

My mother’s vegetable garden is growing like crazy….

We always enjoy fresh broccoli from her garden in winter.  We all love it....even the kids.

We always enjoy fresh broccoli from her garden in winter.  We all love it….even the kids.

Curly Parsley with Marigolds planted nearby to discourage pests

Curly Parsley with Marigolds planted nearby to discourage pests.

My mother makes a delicious salad using her Romaine lettuce.  I promise to share our family's special salad dressing recipe sometime soon

My mother makes a delicious salad using her Romaine lettuce.  I promise to share our family’s special salad dressing recipe sometime soon.

Lemons are ready for picking at Christmas time

Lemons are ready for picking at Christmas time.

So are the grapefruit.

So are the grapefruit…

The apple trees are almost bare

The apple trees are almost bare.

The chickens are oblivious to all the festivities

The chickens are oblivious to all the festivities.

Although their coop is decorated with a Christmas wreath

Although their coop is decorated with a Christmas wreath 😉

Wonderful Christmas, My mother's beautifully decorated table.  Notice the table gifts are decorated with a feather from the chickens

Wonderful Christmas, My mother’s beautifully decorated table.  Notice the table gifts are decorated with a feather from the chickens.

We had a wonderful day and a delicious dinner.  It was so much fun enjoying each others company and the fact that now we all live within 20 minutes of each other.

This Christmas was extra special to me because of my new granddaughter, Lily….

Wonderful Christmas

She is just so darling and makes me so happy.

Not so special was turning 46 the day after Christmas…

My nephew, Finley getting ready to help me blow out my candl

My nephew, Finley getting ready to help me blow out my candle 🙂

Although, I must say that I was so grateful to have my family all around to spend my birthday with.

I must say, that I feel pretty good being 46….so far 😉

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We are finishing up our special project that I mentioned earlier.  This project is for my mother’s 70th birthday, which is coming up this week.  I can’t wait to share it with you all once we are done!

I hope you are having a good week.

January GBBD – Winter Flowers in the Garden…

Yesterday was a glorious winter day accompanied with warmer then usual temperatures; 68 degrees F.  I went over to Double S Farms to help my brother-in-law (Farmer Dad), prune the fruit trees – (the fruit trees had sadly been neglected and mistreated by the previous owners, so we had to quite a bit of corrective pruning).

I brought along, my now repaired camera, intending to take pictures of how to prune fruit trees for a later post.  Once I arrived, I was so happy to see early signs of spring all around me….

A single peach bud, just beginning to show a flash of pink.

A single peach bud, just beginning to show a flash of pink.

 Snap Peas beginning to grow in the vegetable garden

Snap Peas beginning to grow in the vegetable garden.

The grapefruit tree is heavily laden with delicious fruit.

The grapefruit tree is heavily laden with delicious fruit.

signs of spring

The “Formerly Overgrown, Neglected Rose – Glamis Castle” beginning to leaf out.

signs of spring

The apple trees were full of buds and I was able to find this glimpse the pink petals impatiently waiting to burst out.

signs of spring

Double S Farms resident Costa’s Hummingbird, was happily perched on top of the almond tree watching over our activities.