I promised my readers in the Huntington Beach Independent that I’d list the vegetables that I’m growing in my garden this year. Since it’s only March and spring planting is still underway, with summer and fall plantings only a dream, this is not just what I’m growing now, but also what I plan to grow in 2010.
My seed orders from The Cook’s Garden and Kitazawa Seed Company have already arrived, and I’ve made purchases of Botanical Interests and Lilly Miller seeds from our closest Armstrong Garden Center. I also have some free samples from Ferry-Morse. I still need to place my order with Seed Saver’s Exchange. I save seeds, so I have plenty of packs left from last year to choose from as well as some seeds that I saved myself from heirloom varieties of vegetables.
Most seeds will last two years, and some will last five. But I have to confess that I have some seed packets old enough to drive and one old enough to vote! Those seeds are too old to sprout, so my husband plans to use some of them to make a display of various seeds for his introductory biology students at college.
Here are the vegetables that I am or will be growing this year:
Artichoke (Green Globe)
Bean (Blue Lake pole, Cherokee Trail of Tears pole, Golden Wax bush, Kentucky Blue pole)
Beets (Chioggia, Golden, Lutz Greenleaf)
Bok Choy (baby white stem)
Broccoli (I had yet another crop failure this winter with broccoli. I never seem able to grow good broccoli, so I’m giving up on growing my own in favor of store-bought)
Cabbage (Chinese Kaisin Hakusai, Chinese Chirimen Hakusai, Green Savoy, Red)
Carrot (Danvers Half Long, Kyoto Red)
Cauliflower (Candid Charm, Cheddar F1, Graffiti, Violet Queen)
Chard (Bright Lights, Lucullus, Rhubarb)
Chinese Broccoli (Ryokuho hybrid)
Cucumber (Tendergreen Burpless, Japanese hybrid Summer Top, Spacemaster)
Eggplant (Black Beauty, Ichiban, Millionaire, Neon Hybrid, Pingtung Long)
Kale (Lacinato Italian, Scotch Blue Curled)
Komatsuna (Hybrid Green Boy)
Leeks (Blue Solaise)
Lettuce (Amish Deer Tongue, Black-seeded Simpson, Forellenschuss, Grandpa Admire’s, Green Oakleaf, Lollo Rosa, Red Sails, Red Saladbowl, Royal Oakleaf)
Onion (Cipolla Babosa, Evergreen Bunching, Red, Yellow)
Peas (Amish Snap, Golden Sweet, Mammoth Melting Sugar, Oregon Sugar Pod, Snow Wind, Sugar Snap, Sugar Sprint, Sugar Pea Taichung 13)
Radish (D’Avignon [French Breakfast], German White Icicle, Pink Summercicle, Redhead [Roodkopje])
Spinach (Bloomsdale, Olympia–my spinach always seems to come out stunted whether I grow it from seed or transplants and it isn’t worth the space. This is another veggie that I’m giving up on in favor of store-bought.)
Squash, Summer (Aristocrat Zucchini, Bennings Green Tint Patty Pan, Early Prolific Straightneck Yellow, Gold Nugget, Lebanese, Lunar Eclipse Hybrid Patty Pan, Yellow Patty Pan, White Patty Pan)
Squash, Winter (Blue Magic Hubbard, Green Kuri Miniature, Ponca Butternut, Red Kuri Miniature)
Tomato (Better Boy, Black Krim, Brandywine, Champion, Early Girl, Mortgage Lifter, Roma)
I have some Amish Pie Pumpkin and Moon and Stars Watermelon seeds as well, but I had been counting on Huntington Beach to get a community garden this summer to give me the space to grow them. Not sure it’s going to happen in time. I have so little garden space that I’m growing things in felt Smart Pots in my driveway this summer. Well, there’s room for more pots in the driveway if the community garden isn’t ready in time.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
(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)
Lou, what a great list! Since I garden in a similar climate, I’ll make sure to check the varieties that you suggest to find things that I might like to grow too.
Broccoli is not easy to grow in our climate. After giving it up for a few years, I tried it again this winter and it turned out better. I didn’t get a great crop, but I didn’t get an absolute crop failure either. Oh well…
Hi Angela, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has had trouble with certain crops like broccoli. The nice thing about having chickens, though, is that they can eat what I consider a crop failure. 🙂
Where is this community garden to be located? My sister lives in a condominium in Huntington Beach and may be interested in getting some space.
Hi Turling. The community garden committee is negotiating with the city of HB to obtain a lease on land owned by SoCal Edison under the power lines at the end of Atlanta Ave. So far, no lease. Very discouraging.
Wow, that’s a lot of different vegetables! But, you’ve got a really long growing season so it won’t all be growing at the same time. . .
I’m surprised that you can grow cauliflower but the broccoli doesn’t do well. I’t always been the reverse for me. And spinach, I’ve given up on it as well, it’s never been happy in my garden.
On a whim I sowed some 10 year old tomato seeds. . . more than half sprouted and are growing on just fine. On the other hand, the freebie tomato seeds that I got just last year had 1 out of 16 seeds sprout (zero last year). Go figure.
Hi Michelle. One year I tried sowing all of a pack of zucchini seeds that were 10 years old, hoping that I’d get one to sprout. I got 27 zucchini plants! I didn’t thin them though, and they all failed to produce zucchinis due to overcrowding and low sunlight. 😦
If only there were veggies that tolerated less than 6 hours of sunlight! We have a towering eucalyptus in the backyard, which gives great shade, but that leaves only a corner of the yard in the very back, and the front flower bed along the driveway for sunshine. Cement block walls don’t help, either. I’ve had some success with lettuces and beets in the shadier areas – they just take longer to grow.
By the way, we have a huge beet plant – it wasn’t harvested several years ago, and just kept on chugging. I harvest leaves from it both for salads, and for extra beet greens.
Hi Kathy. Shade gardening is certainly a challenge. That’s why I’m growing veggies in the driveway. Sheer desperation. Thanks for the tip on the beet greens. I was going to pull my old beets, but their greens look fine.
Looking good Lou! It looks like you’re well on your way! I would love to have potatoes growing right now.
Hi Thomas. I’ve seen the photos of your yard that you posted this week. It’s under water! Too early and soggy for potatoes in your neck of the woods. BTW, I can’t get the images of your lovely salad boxes out of my mind. I’m going to try my hand at building some.
Your veggie list looks good, I’m going to try the Smart Pot for growing potatoes this year, I’ve seen good reviews for the cloth pots. I’ll use anything that’s convenient and light weight (lazy gardener~~moi!)
Hi Mac. Once the pots are full of potting soil, I can’t pick them up. I slide them a bit to reposition them. They will probably dry out pretty quickly in your dry desert air. So far, my potatoes are growing gangbusters in them, best growth I’ve EVER had for the green part of the plant. I sure hope they make potatoes down in the dirt.
Lou, big time!
So how many hours do you spend in the garden each day? How many percent of your meal is from your garden?
This week I had the first meal entirely from my garden. http://hoiyinip.com/blog/?p=864
Our group’s community garden project is seriously taking off! We are building 15 gardens in a neighborhood, will host a garden tour in June. 🙂
Hi Hoiyin, good to hear from you. I don’t keep track of the amount of time that I spend in the garden. I walk around each morning, admiring my work. That takes a half hour. I’ve been watering 2-3 times a week, using rainwater that I stored in water barrels. That takes an enormous amount of time, probably 2-3 hours. Using a hose is MUCH faster. I don’t have many weeds, so that doesn’t take much time at all. When I’m digging up and planting a new spot, that generally takes me a whole morning because I’m old and slow. Some days I spend 8 hours in the garden, but that’s just on planting days. The vast majority of time, I’m out there for an hour or less a day. As for percent of our meals, right now all we’re getting is a salad every other day. That will change greatly in summer when the green beans, squash, eggplants and tomatoes are ripe.