Saturday, February 28, 2009

Herbs, Fruits, Nuts & Vegetables

I live in Southern California, so our growing season is long. As we wrap up winter here, our thoughts on our ranch turn towards spring. We've been on this property for almost three years now and have planted herbs, fruit trees, nut trees, berries, and have a vegetable garden every year.

We will track our costs involved so that we can see what we spend and what we save on. Gardening is a hobby for me and my wife, so this is not a scientific study. We know how expensive fruits, nuts, vegetables, and herbs can be at the market. Plus, homegrown taste so much better!

This year we will continue by starting the vegetable garden by planting what worked last year. The tomatoes and squash did very well. However, the corn, bell peppers, lettuce, carrots and cucumbers faired poorly. I think we will not plant corn, but will try again with all the others. The seeds we purchased last year were very cheap. I think this had a lot to do with our lack of abundance last year. So this year, we have budgeted a little more towards our seed inventory.

As for the herbs, the rosemary, lavender, mint, and parlsey have done well. I would like to add a few more herbs, so I will read up on what we can add in this zone in Southern California.

The trees have done well. Some are new like the avocado we planted last year. This one has survived the few nights of freezing temperatures. The first one we planted didn't. We have several citrus trees, including lemon, orange, and lime. We also have fig, asian pear, olive, and cherry trees around the property. The nut tree is a pistachio that is thriving here.

For the berries, we have a blueberry bush that likes it protected against the house. We would like to add some more berries, so I'll be online looking for them.

Since we live in an area that is full of wineries and vineyards, I had to plant a grape vineyard. I have cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel and chardonnay grapes. The vineyard is small, but it's fun growing grapes of different varieties used in wines.

For more good ideas about home gardening, Get Rich Slowly did a post about magazines that discuss self suffiency. I found it very enlightening on what is out there. Happy gardening.

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