Edible Landscape Update, May 15, 2014
Here are some shots of my back garden from yesterday. It was a scorching hot day! The temp was 105 on the “sad dog” thermometer that’s hangs on the shed in the shade of a Crepe Myrtle tree. The other thermometer, with a picture of happy speed boat people, read 120. That one is on the garage, in late afternoon sun. So hot.
There’s a pool in the middle of our back yard. Sitting with your feet in the pool while drinking a cold beverage on a hot day is good times. Around the pool there’s a path and then planting areas that go from the path to the fence line. Our perennial food plants in that area include blueberry shrubs, 2 kinds of grapes, Passionflower, which just started blooming, a Pluot tree, a Pomegranate shrub, and Artichokes. We swap out annual vegetables seasonally. When we first moved here, I planted palm trees and tropicals, which have big, tough roots. So, in amongst the tropical items we have pots and containers with greens and vegetables growing. There are also two raised beds, one with summer vegetables, the other with a crop of potatoes that needs straw mulch.
The last of the red and gold beets got pulled, about 20 or so in various sizes. They were so delicious, and the beet greens were delicious too. I split the harvest with my sister, who is my awesome garden partner. In the raised bed where the beets were growing, we added compost & fertilizer and planted peppers, tomatoes, parsley, eggplant, California Poppy, zucchini, and a few cucumber seeds next to the trellis. We started seed trays with bush beans, a hibiscus called Thai Roselle, basil seeds from the basil plant that went to seed, Cherokee Purple and Sun Gold tomatoes for succession tomato growing, and Arugula seeds from plants that went to seed. The Arugula seeds sprouted in about 3 days. Arugula is awesome, it’s very easy to grow and so peppery and delicious.
We’re harvesting fava beans, which are time consuming. You seed the beans from the pod, then give them a quick steam, and peel the tough outer white skins before eating the tender little beans inside. They’re so delicious though! Fava beans set nitrogen in the soil, some farmers grow them as a cover crop. They grow in cool temperatures, so they’re just about done for this year. When they come out, I’ll cut the plants down at soil level, and keep all that nitrogen infused soil to help the peppers, tomatoes, etc which are planted close by.
We have kale and cabbage growing everywhere, mostly in pots. The tough leaves of the cabbages and kale are hardy in the dry heat. I keep them watered and they keep giving me big delicious leaves. When I see aphids on them I spray them off with the hose. Artichokes are still growing, blueberries are still bluing, strawberries are good, I need to fertilize them. The potted Rainbow Chard is doing great too. I think it’s going to be my breakfast in an egg dish with some of that Tarragon and leeks from the front garden.
Happy Gardening Everybody!