Harvest and Planting Monday, Feb. 15, 2010

Spring is definitely here in southern California, and this has been a busy week in the garden with both harvesting and planting.

Harvest for week ending Feb. 14

12 EGGS

2 leeks, 3 oz.

2 Meyer lemons, 8 oz.

4 navel oranges, 2 lbs, 6 oz.

1 yellow bell pepper, 3 oz.

2 green onions, 0.5 oz.

lettuce, 1 oz.

TOTAL 3 lbs, 7.5 oz. plus eggs

The big surprise here was a ripe bell pepper in February. The leeks were the first I’ve ever harvested, and the first I have ever grown from seed. I was quite pleased with them, even though it took them a year from planting the seed to harvest. I think I let them sit in their starting pots way too long and they languished over the summer. Live and learn.

I’m well into my spring planting as well. This week I planted:

rainbow chard

Chioggia and Lutz Greenleaf beets

baby bok choy

green onions

gingerroot (I’m going to grow my own ginger!)

12 Chandler strawberries (transplants)

5 Quinault strawberries (transplants)

Red Saladbowl and Blackseeded Simpson lettuce (transplants)

This gingerroot sat on our kitchen counter so long that it sprouted a new shoot. So I planted it in a pot, along with two other roots. They make a beautiful, ferny plant, and if I'm lucky, I'll be able to harvest my own gingerroot next fall.

I must say, I’m having more fun with my garden than I ever have in the past, and planting a much wider variety of produce. I’m growing things like gingerroot that I’ve tried only once in the past, and growing strawberries in a strawberry pot for the first time. And although we kept chickens for a couple of years, we haven’t had any for over 20 years. This 2010 season really is going to be my best garden EVER.

I planted the Chandler strawberries in the holes in the sides of the pot, and the Quinault berries in the top.

Blogging has enhanced my garden experience so much. I love being able to share my garden with people from all over the world.

Also, the start of my blog last October coincided with being nearly retired, with only a newspaper column a week and one work day every 2-3 months at the Orange County Conservation Corps. My reduced workload has allowed me more time in my garden and has given me time to blog.

While I thought that last year’s garden would be my best ever, it wasn’t. It was still too soon after the deaths of my mother and older son in 2005. Grieving can take a long time and goes at its own pace. I would start plants, then neglect them. Also, I was working on the infrastructure of my yard last year, putting the framework in place on which I would hang this year’s crops. Now the fruit trees are maturing, the raised beds are in place, the soil has been built up with homemade compost, and the chicken coop is completed and even has chickens in it. The yard is ready to produce.

Now I’m also ready, body and soul, to forge ahead with the 2010 gardening year. Already, I have more different types of fruits and vegetables growing than I’ve ever had at one time. And I’m not done planting yet!

(To read more of Lou Murray’s environmental writing, see her weekly column, Natural Perspectives, in the Huntington Beach Independent at www.hbindependent.com /blogs_and_columns)

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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13 Responses to Harvest and Planting Monday, Feb. 15, 2010

  1. Daphne says:

    That is a nice harvest. I can’t wait to see your ginger grow. I think about it all the time, but since I live in the north, I’ve never tried it.

  2. Great harvest! That’s the base of several meals. And thank you for reminding me to put up that ginger that I just got, shoot intact, from the local grocers.

    Looking forward to hearing all the 2010 gardening details!

  3. Thomas says:

    Thanks for reminding me! I had wanted to experiment with growing ginger this year as well. I’ll have to run out a get a nice chunk!

    • Hi Thomas, I look forward to hearing how ginger grows in your area. I’m pretty sure that you can grow it indoors, putting it outdoors when the weather is warm. Encourage Daphne to grow some too.

  4. GrafixMuse says:

    I never thought to try to grow ginger in a pot. Thanks for the idea. I think I will give it a go.

    I am looking forward to seeing your garden grow this year.

  5. Nell Jean says:

    I planted Quinault strawberries in containers last year. They were not overly happy and the dog worried them, so I put them in the ground. I hope for berries this year.

  6. mac says:

    Nice harvest, all those eggs remind me of custard pies I used to make.

    I have to try ginger this year, but it’ll be quite a challenge in our desert environment, like you say grow it in a pot and overwinter indoor, it’ll make a nice houseplant.

  7. Meredith says:

    This is very exciting, and it’s the first time I’ve stumbled upon your blog. A nice post to start off an introduction, I think. 🙂 I’ve never grown strawberries in a strawberry pot, either, and can’t wait to hear about your results.

    Best wishes for 2010 to be the best garden ever!

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