Grow some stuff
One of the most important things I could tell someone who is looking to grow more of their own food is there are a lot of things you can grow, but will you actually eat it? It sounds simple but why waste space growing things you will never eat. I sometimes get carried about with 75 different kinds of peppers or lettuce. These plants take up space in the garden and I rarely eat them. I certainly wouldn’t be able to live off of them.
When I first started growing plants in a garden I started with everything I could find, eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and of those things tomatoes are the only one I eat on a regular basis. So it would make sense to make more space in my garden to raise tomatoes.
Step one in planning your vegetable garden starts right in your grocery store. What do you buy on a regular basis? That should be the first thing on your list to plant. Next, what would you like to buy more of but find yourself passing on it because it’s usually too expensive. That should be second on your list of things to plant. Depending on where you live, you probably can’t do anything about the high prices of mangoes and avocados but you can grow shallots and even mushrooms pretty much anywhere in the country.
A few of the things i grow or plan on growing, details to come!
This year I have planted 6 Brandywine tomatoes. They did really well for me last year. So I decided to stick with them.
I also have seeds for San Marzano and Red Oxheart. I really need to plant these if I ever want to get any tomatoes from them.
These are all indeterminate so once they start producing, they should continue until first frost..or until it gets too hot and dry. Hopefully that doesn’t happen.
Blue Lake Bush Beans
I normally buy these as plants but this year I planted seeds directly in the ground. They are growing quite well and are already small plants after 2 weeks.
I have 6 celery plants this year. I’m not sure what kind. I’ve never grown celery since they are more for cooler weather and they require a lot of water. Also I don’t cook with them much and they don’t store well but I figured I would try them. Maybe I will find some benefit to growing them rather than buying them.
Sweet Banana Peppers and Cherry Peppers
I planted 6 of each of these plants. The Banana peppers are good for frying the cherry peppers are good for preserving. Hopefully I will get enough for both.
I bought 4 of these plants this year. They are of the Black Beauty variety. Hopefully I will get a lot of flowers for frying.
I bought Fennel plants to try this year. I planted them in mid April and they took pretty quickly
In May of 2010 I bought two Brown Turkey Figs. I planted one in a container to bring indoors for the winter and I planted one outside and wrapped it in dead leaves and plastic to protect it from the cold.
Well my indoor fig started sprouting at the end of February/1st week of March. After the initial sprouting it grew pretty quickly and even grew a breba crop of figs but these yellowed and fell off due to lack of sun indoors. I brought it out doors in Early April. It lost of lot of it’s lower leaves and has begun sprouting new leaves. I thought having it indoors would give it a good head start and I guess it has but I didn’t get a an edible breba crop and I think that is the main reason for bringing a fig indoors, in northern climates. I will have to see how to does vs my outdoor fig tree. The indoor fig has more and longer branches than the outdoor fig at this point, so theoretically it will produce more fruit but only time will tell.
As of May, my outdoor fig is just now beginning to create leaf buds. It appears my insulating it, didn’t do much to protect it because most of the upper stems died and new growth is coming from the bottom. I’m not sure if I will wrap this coming winter. Of course this will produce no breba crop as it probably won’t even have leaves til June but I am hoping it catches up with my indoor fig and produces a lot of fruit.
In April 2010, I planted 8 blueberry plants. The varieties were Blue Jay, Jersey and Duke. Almost all appeared to have died over the summer due to the excessively dry weather we had in the area and I could not keep up with watering them, everything was just too dry.
This year 5 of the 8 came back. 3 died. They were 3 difference varieties but all in the same location, so that area must have been dryest. I exchanged at home depot as they have a 1-year guarantee.
Now my original 5 have no flowers but the ones from home depot do. I think the stress from last years drought may have affected the original 5 and they might skip a year and produce fruit next year. At least that is what I am hoping.
I have one Anne Raspberry which I planted in spring of 2010. It as a yellow raspeberry. It produced some fruit in the spring but no fruit in the summer as the weather was too dry. It has been growing pretty quickly this spring and flowers are forming so I hope to have fruit by next month.
Dwarf Red Gala