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How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Toplef10How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) I22gcj10How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) 14dhcg10

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How is your garden growing in SoCal? :)

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How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Empty How is your garden growing in SoCal? :)

Post  Coelli 4/7/2013, 11:27 pm

I admit no small amount of satisfaction that my garden is thriving, I have baby tomatoes and strawberries already, and that I'm back in SoCal where such things are possible this early rather than shoveling snow in MA, where I spent several (non-gardening) years. Smile

How are everyone's gardens going so far? What's growing?

I just planted bush beans and chives today, leaving me only 3 empty squares where I'll plant carrots later in the year. Also transplanted two Mustard Habaneros into a bucket. Most of the tomatoes in buckets (14 of them) are blossoming and some are setting fruit. The Scotch Bonnet Habaneros will blossom soon too. The Sequoia strawberries are standing tall and also setting fruit.

Not everything in my raised beds is thriving, but I think the compost I amended with when we rebuilt them was not entirely finished. This happened to me last year too and it took a couple of months for everything to really settle in and take off. The direct-seeded baby melons (Tigger, Honeydew, and Golden Midget Watermelon) look fantastic. The Black Beauty Zucchini that were started indoors are blooming, but look sickly and I might direct-seed some next to them and see if those do any better.

I also mulched everything with rice hulls - $11 for a big bale at the feed store - and I think that's the way to go here. They are very lightweight and repel water, and so far they are doing a great job of keeping the top of the soil moist without waterlogging the plants at the crowns. I watered yesterday (1/4" soaker tubes) and the rice hulls are bone dry, but the soil right underneath them is nice and moist. Hoping that they do the trick this summer!

How are the rest of you CA folks doing? Smile
Coelli
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Post  No_Such_Reality 4/8/2013, 1:05 pm

My tomato from last year has rebounded from the late Feb/early March frost hit. It's producing tomatoes already.

Bush beans are up.

Surviving peppers don't know what they want to do.

Lettuce grew madly over the last week or so. It went from baby mesclun to mess. Hacked it all back, I'll see if I'm too late for a come-again.

Strawberries struggling a bit.

the onions have survived the aphid assault, thank you lady bugs!

the shallots did not. I've turned the plants out and will plant german butterball potatoes.

the garlic is doing okay, pretty slow, spent a lot of time snipping out the clover that was taking over. The two elephant garlic are doing much better than the regular garlic.

The oregano has completely taken over the half wine barrel. It's smothered the thyme.

The plum tree had tons of flower, but I see no fruit. :-( It's supposed to be self fertile, but... Oh well, only second year in from a bare root planting.

The Asian pear I planted in Feb has yet to sprout.

The oranges bloomed nicely I should have a bumper crop of oranges come Christmas!

My apple tree is worrisome. I'll post another thread in the general section, don't know if it's fire blight, anthracnose or just scorch with the heat. I don't see the infamous black goo with fire blight, but it looks like fire blight.

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No_Such_Reality

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Post  Coelli 4/8/2013, 2:05 pm

My peppers that are in the raised bed are stunted and unhappy. The ones in regular potting soil in pots are doing okay. I just started some seeds this weekend and might wind up replacing the ones in the beds if they don't recover and the seedlings are thriving.

When did you plant your garlic? I'm half-tempted to stick some here and there in my beds - even if it bolts or does whatever, it might still help repel pests/
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Post  Lindacol 4/23/2013, 8:35 pm

Here is what my garden looks like as of April 20th.

Bed 1- on the left are 3 elephant garlic, then 5 tomatoes. Onions are planted along the long lines. The darker, watered squares have carrots planted. In front besides 1 marigold is empty squares where the corn did not germinate well. I will be replanting those squares and adding maybe bush beans by the tomatoes.
How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Pic_0410

The next 2 pictures are bed 2 which was a problem bed last year. Now it looks great. The lettuce is bolting and I just pulled the spinach which bolted (from the bare areas on the right). Will be replanting these squares soon. There is also a squash and extra tomato at the far end.
How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Pic_0411


How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Pic_0412

This is bed 3, a tabletop with garlic & onions along the long lines. Lettuce ready to harvest. There are also a couple of dragons tongue beans and of sweet peppers, and cucumbers & delicata squash in the far end
How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Pic_0413
Bed 4, also a tabletop has lots of onions and some garlic, with sweet peppers on this end and cucumbers and squash on the far end.
How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Pic_0414

Extra onions - had to make up more MM for them.
How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Pic_0415
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Post  southern gardener 4/28/2013, 2:50 pm

The tomatoes are looking really good. DARK green and thick stems with lotsa flowers. Some even have baby tomatoes on them! Growing a variety called San Diego, anyone ever tried them? Supposed to grow well in our area. The Brandywine vine looks amazing, can't wait to try them after so many people talking about them. Arugula is ready to harvest, boy is it STRONG tasting! wow. Harvested red and white icicle radishes. Harvesting swiss chard and small leaves of kale too. Peppers are getting lots of blossoms, corn is up about 8". Potato barrels are about to the top already! Squash and pumpkins are up and super dark green with thick stalks. Hope we get some this year! Carrots, beets, lettuce, spinach are all up and green too. Eggplant is about 18" high with some blossoms showing! Onions and garlic are about 2' tall and lush looking. Yard long green beans/dragon's tongue and lots of cucumbers are up and reaching for the trellis too! Can't wait to eat some of this goodness. How are your gardens??
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Post  Coelli 4/28/2013, 11:48 pm

Sounds like everyone is rocking along! Smile

I am having mixed results but that's in large part my own fault for using too much store-bought compost to fill up my beds when we rebuilt them this year. It wasn't really finished and a lot of what I planted was stunted. It's taking off now.

My strawberry bed is GREAT; I started it last year but didn't let them produce.

I have 16 tomatoes in buckets and most of them are doing well except for one whose top I accidentally broke off and two who unexpectedly terminated. I'm hoping to encourage them to sucker and keep going.

I think my Chinese Noodle Beans might have some variety of mosaic virus. Sad Going to give them a little more time and then pull them if they don't seem to be recovering.

My Golden Midget watermelon is starting to vine like crazy, the honeydew and Tigger melons are also looking good. Beets and carrots are rocking along and some baby chives are coming up. Onions, chard, basil, and hot peppers are finally recovering from the nitrogen depletion.

Here are some pictures (apologies if you saw them already in the other thread) - I am absolutely enthralled with the Blue Berry Blend tomatoes which are also by far the most productive plants out of the 12 varieties I planted!


The Guardian of the Strawberries
How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Img_5910

First pea
How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Img_5911

First radish
How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Img_5912

And Blue Berry Blend Tomatoes
How is your garden growing in SoCal? :) Img_5913
Coelli
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Post  brainchasm 4/29/2013, 1:38 am

I see you're using rice hulls (I think?) for mulch...

how is that for helping the mix retain water, and keeping the temps down? I bought the silver plastic mulch to try, but it's way too much hassle this far along into the season - the mulch keeps blowing about with the slightest breeze.

My first inch temps are getting a little brutal, even under shade cloth. Thankfully, I can drop 5-10 degrees by the second inch, but I am really looking for something to keep that top inch moist and cool(er).

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Post  Coelli 4/29/2013, 3:05 pm

brainchasm wrote:I see you're using rice hulls (I think?) for mulch...

how is that for helping the mix retain water, and keeping the temps down? I bought the silver plastic mulch to try, but it's way too much hassle this far along into the season - the mulch keeps blowing about with the slightest breeze.

My first inch temps are getting a little brutal, even under shade cloth. Thankfully, I can drop 5-10 degrees by the second inch, but I am really looking for something to keep that top inch moist and cool(er).

The rice hulls are AMAZING. Very lightweight, water goes right down through them (they don't absorb much, they're 45% silica) and doesn't come back up. You can brush the perfectly dry hulls aside and the top of the soil is nice and moist right underneath. I think they're perfect as a mulch...

BUT...

Two things. The first is that their light weight means they'll blow away in a strong wind. The second is that they attract birds, which is actually a bigger problem. My beds are covered with tulle anyway, but I have had to put bird netting over everything else I mulched, like my tomato buckets. Unfortunately I came home yesterday to find two 12" alligator lizards entangled in the netting. One had already succumbed but I was able to carefully cut the netting from the other and free it. Really sucks that the things I use to keep other animals out keeping trapping and killing the lizards. Sad
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Post  Lindacol 4/29/2013, 6:02 pm

Regarding things getting caught. In some of my pictures above you can see that I have lines the chain link with cheap plastic fencing with holes about 1"x 1 1/2" to keep out the rabbits and help keep the squirrels out. Only a couple of days after putting it up I found 2 red racer snakes caught in the same hole. One was dead and my daughter managed to save the other one. We had to cut the fence to get it out.
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Post  Coelli 4/29/2013, 6:38 pm

Yes, my garden is fenced around with plastic hardware cloth and last year we lost 2 lizards to it. Only one has gotten stuck so far this year and my son cut him out (he's 12 - I was at work and talked him through it over the phone. He said it was like defusing a bomb Very Happy ).

So far the alligator lizard in the netting yesterday is our only casualty this year. I felt so bad, it seemed like he hadn't been dead very long. I try to remember to survey the fence all the way around frequently to make sure no one has gotten trapped in it again!
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Post  No_Such_Reality 5/1/2013, 4:58 pm

My garden seems to be falling farther behind. I need to revamp and move. The tomato, though is still doing great, loads of toms growing.

The bush beans are up nicely.

The onions are setting? What do you call it when they send up the stalk with the miniature onion?

My clover war continues, cut cut cut, grow back.

My watermelons and cucumbers are finally sprouting from seed, fear I'm going to be too late.

The potatoes have sprouted nicely.

My strawberries seem to rot before I can pick them.

My aphid bout has been won, for now.
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Post  Coelli 5/2/2013, 1:16 am

I think I planted my onions too late! Same with garlic, none of it came up.

On the subject of lizards, I've removed as much of the bird netting as I can get away with after a third lizard, the prettiest fence lizard I've ever seen, got tangled up. I actually thought he was dead at first but decided to try to cut him out anyway and after a minute he moved one of his legs after I freed it. He was so tangled up it took a few minutes to get him out, clipping the strands of netting one by one with tiny scissors. He was unhurt, though, and I let him go on the other side of the garden. I really don't want any more casualties. Isn't this guy beautiful, though? I've never seen one with so much blue, and I almost wonder if it's because he was lying in the netting on top of astroturf and might have changed color to blend in. Smile

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Post  jazzycat 5/2/2013, 1:25 am

awww. He's pretty. It's sweet of you to take the netting down for them. Smile
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Post  Chopper 5/5/2013, 9:37 pm

No_Such_Reality wrote:My tomato from last year has rebounded from the late Feb/early March frost hit. It's producing tomatoes already.


Did you treat your tomato like a perennial?
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Post  No_Such_Reality 5/6/2013, 12:10 pm

Chopper wrote:
No_Such_Reality wrote:My tomato from last year has rebounded from the late Feb/early March frost hit. It's producing tomatoes already.


Did you treat your tomato like a perennial?

No, it never died out. It stopped producing fruit when it got cold, but didn't die. It was a slow grower last year, struggling through my water mishaps and some other nutrient issue. I corrected them and then ignored it and then noticed in early December that the plant had rebounded. It kept growing and the cold snap, light frost, if any frost, only damaged some of the plant, the more exposed branches.

Now my problem is it is truly massive. Already measuring 5 foot high and about 4 foot in diameter with branches everywhere. I'm going to try the snipping suckers to start new plants.

I spent the weekend clearing a roughly 15-25 foot area of over growth of run-away ornamental plants. Thick thigh high vines, nasturtium, asparagus fern, mint, hacking down the rosemary that was close to 6 foot high and has a base stump on it that is 3 inches in diameter. Now to call the tree service to remove the hibiscus that has chronic white fly problems. And then, to build raised beds.
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