Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Vegetable Gardening in Southern California

With Halloween just around the corner, there's no denying that the holidays are not too far away.  I've been busy this week trying to finalize several different travel plans involving multiple trips "all over the country" (five states in three different time zones count, right?) while attempting to coordinate with many different family members' holiday plans as much as possible.  But that's almost all done now, so back to blogging!
Since there isn't much going on in the Indiana garden right now, I'll provide an update on my California garden.  Yes, I call it my garden now, instead of my mom's garden.

Last time I was in CA, I weeded the whole side garden and added some more soil/compost.  I also put down some 12 inch paver stones so that I could walk across them and reach the back part of the garden, because it was almost impossible to reach the part of the garden against the wall without breaking my back while kneeling/squatting on the concrete side path.

This is what the finished garden looked like.  After my aggressive weeding, the only thing left in the garden was the cut-and-come-again lettuce mix.

Side profile of the new and improved garden

This side garden is approximately 4 feet wide by 24 feet long.  After I finished preparing the garden, I planted it with all kinds of seeds for cool-weather crops: radishes, sugar snap peas, cilantro, parsley, carrots, parsnip, kale, bok choy, tatsoi, mustard, swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, etc.  According to my CA peeps, the garden has fully germinated and is now full of lots of healthy two-week-old seedlings. 

Cherry Belle radish seedlings

Daikon radish seedling

The seedling pictures - taken with an iPhone camera - are courtesy of my sister, whom I've been bugging to email me some picture updates of my garden babies. 

 Sugar snap pea seedlings

I'll be visiting CA again in a few weeks and will provide more updates then.  It's really exciting to have a "new" fall garden to look forward to, while my Indiana garden (a bust this fall anyway due to all kinds of evil garden pests) is hunkering down for the winter.  We're expecting our first frost tonight in Indiana.  In contrast, I think the average daytime highs in my California garden will remain around 60 - 70 F degrees for most of the winter, with the nighttime lows around 40 - 50 F degrees.  As a new vegetable gardener, I totally have a newfound appreciation for the mild climate in Southern California!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the pic's. Since I can garden year round in SoCal I do not post pics of our lovely winter harvest seems a cruel thing to do to those out there under feet of snow. Loved seeing the pic's looks like my yard right now. Still getting a few tomatoes every few days, nothing like fresh salsa with Thanksgiving turkey. Robin

Robin said...

Your CA garden looks great! We might have our first frost tonight too!

~Holly~ said...

Nice job on that CA garden!!

Mr. H. said...

Very nice, I love how you used the paver stones...wish I had an extra garden plot in California this time of year.:)

Stefaneener said...

It's so hard to have to rely on people to give you garden updates when you're crazy to get them.

I also feel too smug posting my fall/winter gardens in Northern California! Poor snow-people.

kitsapFG said...

The pavers at the back is a great solution and makes that great space even better. Lucky you to get to enjoy the southern Cal gardening experience AND your own. Each area has it's advantages and challenges. Your garden experience will be magnified for having both options to experiment in.

thyme2garden said...

Anonymous Robin - you are so considerate to not post pictures of your SoCal winter harvest when the rest of the country is struggling under snow. I just can't hold myself back like you. :)

* * * * *
Robin - thank you! We had our first frost a couple of nights ago. Happy winter, almost!

* * * * *
Holly - thank you!

* * * * *
Mr. H. - thank you! I might have to consider being a snowbird later in life just to be able to garden in the wintertime. :)

* * * * *
Stefaneener - I haven't seen any updates from you recently, I guess you've been busy!

* * * * *
kitsapFG - You're totally right, I've been really glad to have two climates to garden in during my first year, so I can really see the difference between soil, weather, location, etc.

Dan Owen said...

Your CA garden will give the rest of us something to look at from time to time over the cold winter months!

thyme2garden said...

Dan Owen - yes, I'm looking forward to the same thing while I spend most of the winter in Indiana! :)

meemsnyc said...

Your California garden looks amazing. I love what you did with adding the pavers.

thyme2garden said...

meemsnyc - thank you! I had some trouble getting the pavers to balance perfectly level on top of the garden bed, but the end result was worth it!

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