Gardening in February? Okay!

Gardening in February logo.jpg

One of the things I’m most looking forward to about living in California, is the ability to grow food almost entirely year round.

I’ll be leasing a community garden plot starting in just a few weeks, but this past weekend I got my home garden well underway. Limited to a space in my landlord’s yard amongst old appliances and miscellaneous building materials, the photos will be…I’ll say unique.

There has been, and will continue to be, a significant learning period for me as I adjust my assumptions of growing seasons from one of the colder Northeast, to the Mediterranean climate I now inhabit. Thankfully I’ve found a surplus of local resources, from gardening centers with knowledgable staff to seasonal planting charts produced by local Universities and agricultural extensions.

Cool weather crops

While I wait patiently for the weather to really get warm, I’ll be growing some cooler weather crops such as:

  • Dwarf Gray Sugar Peas
  • Calendula
  • Polka Dot Mix Bachelor Button
  • Beet Chioggia (candy-cane beets)
  • Santo Cilantro
  • English Thyme
  • Common Oregano
  • English Tall Lavender
  • Oriental Greens Mizuna
  • Tat Soi Asian Green
  • Italian Lacinato Kale
  • Mesclun Blend
  • Green Star Lettuce
  • Spinach
IMG_0506.jpg
The new pots seeded with herbs and a few flowers. 

IMG_0495.jpg

IMG_0508.jpg

Warm weather crops

Come springtime, my seed collection is ready to test my green thumb with:

  • Chenopodium Quinoa
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Peruvian Fava Beans
  • Italian Fava Beans
  • Hutterite Soup Bush Beans
  • Tricolor Pole Beans
  • Italian Genovese Basil
  • Green Finger Cucumbers
  • Moskovich Tomatoes
  • Sweetie Tomatoes
  • Striped Roman Tomatoes
  • Goldie Ground Cherry
  • Sugar Pie Pumpkin
  • Muskmelon
  • Doux D’Espagne (Spanish Mammoth) pepper
  • Loofah

Starting my home garden

Deciding what to plant in my community garden plot, vs. in the backyard ended up being pretty easy. I’ve settled on herbs at home, making it easier to run out and grab what I need whilst cooking. Flowers will also be grown in the backyard, so I can get them into water faster post-cutting (or into salads for the edible ones).

The centerpiece and most prized botanical element of the garden, is my new fig tree. Potted in a quite pricey, but high quality organic soil, I’m hoping to keep the tree here for several years (it’s a dwarf tree). Named Francine the Fig, she may look like just a bare branch in a pot at the moment, however I have no doubt that come August, she will bare much fruit (or a least have some leaves?).

IMG_0511

IMG_0513

Looking forward

If nothing else, this next year will be an extremely educational experiment. I know many of the seeds I plant will not germinate, and even the ones that do, not all will produce edible food. I’m mentally preparing myself for unexpected pests of all sizes and plant diseases I’ve never seen and won’t know how to handle.

And while the ultimate goal is to produce food for myself, part of the reason for doing this is to learn about nature, agriculture, and form a deeper appreciation for all that mother earth can provide. The science, and truly magic, of seeing that seed transform into something that can nourish one’s body, is a beautiful thing.

Garden on my friends! 

 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s