04-08-2009, 01:25 PM
I decided i should probably learn how to grow food to save some money this summer so I signed up for a city garden near my house. The house I rent HAS a garden, but my landlord owns half the houses on the street and uses all of the gardens for herself lol.
I get 2 4x8 lots, not sure if they are together, possibly and I have no idea what i should grow that is hearty for frequent weather changes and dry heat.
I want to have things like zuchini, peas, green beans and a few tomatoes (dont like them much) but I don't know what else. I'll have to find out where I can get organic seeds from as well, either locally or off the internet. Any thoughts?
04-09-2009, 03:21 AM
Plant some Lettuces for Salads and Greens, such as Collards, Turnips for Smoothies. Is the Garden Close to you? Others here use Earth Boxes. Your list is a Good start. Good Gardening to you.
04-09-2009, 03:23 AM
Great idea! I would grow spinach, roquette, lettuce and wild greens. Have fun in your garden!
04-09-2009, 07:45 AM
hey veronica--i dont know what specifically will grow well in your area because i dont exactly understand your climate, but it sounds like you get alot of heat, so i would try crops that like heat. spinach doesnt tend to like heat, but there is something called amaranth that we have to grow in the greenhouse here because it needs heat. that might grow well for you--ONLY get the "edible red amaranth" though..its called cho hu sin or something, anyway, the only source ive seen for it is www.botanicalinterests.com... but it was really nice. pretty too. ive gotten other varieties of amaranth and they have ended up being composted because the leaves were too bitter and ick, but this one is really nice and its a good spinach substitute. also, it grows tall, so it might give you some shade to grow other plants in that prefer more shade, depending on where you plant it in your garden in reference to the sun. Also, I think that zucchini will do well, and melons love heat too (we actually cant grow them here, not warm enough :( ) you WILL have to keep things well watered though. obviously. Also, some of the plants that you would normally forage for, you can plant in your garden too...you can order organic seeds for things like chickweed from mountain rose herbs. it transplants well if you can find somewhere to transplant some from though instead of buying the seeds. chickweed is really nice and grows really fast, though i think it prefers cool, damp, lush environment as opposed to dry heat so it might not grow well for you.
if you think your going to have the plot for more than a year, and you feel ok with investing a little money in it, you could also put in a berry bush or two. BETTER, theres something called a cape gooseberry that I THINK will produce the first year, though not sure. If it is hot there, then i think you are lucky in terms of being able to grow fruits like melons and berries. the things you will have a harder time with are things like spinach and peas, which prefer cool, though you might be able to use other plants to shade them a bit and can certainly plant them for a fall crop. tomatillos are a nice alternative to tomatoes if you dont like tomatoes. they are in salsa and mexican food and grow to cherry tomato size in a papery husk. they have a tart-sour flavor. i think they like heat too.
also, BASIL thrives in heat (you are so lucky ;) )
I dont know how beets do in heat but i grow the beets just for the greens and pick off leaves as needed.
Red mustard grows fast, but again, im not sure how well it does in heat.
i saw a posting recently on this site where someone had posted all sorts of sources of organic seeds/companies. search for it, it was pretty extensive. i got some stuff from botanical interests because they had stuff i couldnt get elsewhere (red amaranth. not organic though but they say their stuff is not gm), also, Shiso (perilla) is a basil-like cinnamonish flavored herb, and they have nice mixes of red org lettuces, etc. www.botanicalinterests.com.
Also, seeds of change, but they are a bit more pricey. Richters is out of canada and has some organics and a pretty extensive supply of non -gm herbs/seeds too.
DONT FORGET TO PLANT EDIBLE FLOWERS. they are beautiful and make your salads happier and more enjoyable to eat. nasturtiams, borage, and calendula (pot marigold) are the big three that i know about ,oh and also pansies and johnny jumpups (heartease) and violets, there are others too..the herb listings in the richters catalog tells you others you can eat too. edible flowers are my FAV. nasturtiam is hot/spicy, calendula is bitter, and borage is mild cucumber flavored and SO pretty. calendula and sometimes nasturtiam will re-seed for you in the same spot.
Try to plant some perrenial things if you can, as that will save work next year. your zone i bet gets cold during the winter though so i dont know what sorts of things would be perrenial there. good resources are www.pfaf.org and also www.susunweed.com and www.healingwiseforums.com and also there is a "vegan farming" website but i forget the web address.
have fun :)
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