May is the month when your garden is alive and there is a lot of things to do in your garden. In this episode, we will cover the garden tour, harvests that we made this month, some things to do and look at some cool gardening products.
We decided to move all the containers along the edges in our patio area. Our patio gets a lot of sun and it looked good aesthetically.
We have the Black Nightshade (Manathakkali) and Turkey Berry (Sundaikkai) which produces berries that can be dried and consumed. It has lot of medicinal properties and good for your health. We also have some eggplants (Black Beauty and Amethyst varieties), peppers (Thai, Bell Pepper and Anaheim Chilli Pepper), pumpkin, fenugreek, husky cherry red tomatoes, Nombo giant okra, corn, piper betel leaf plant, mint, dwarf Meyer lemon which thrives well in containers and Jasmine(common jasmine and pink jasmine variety) planted along with a trellis.
In the first raised bed we have planted some onion sets. Towards the center we have the loofah(luffa) plant and pineapple ground cherries are planted on the side.
In the second raised beds we have okras, cilantro and beets growing. It’s been so hot lately that the beets and cilantro which are cool season crop have struggled to survive.
Our third bed has peppers interplanted with a flowering plant called Portulacas. We haven’t been very successful growing pepper plants last season but this season we have made sure to prepare our beds well and have been feeding the plants worm tea every 10 days. Portulacas are flowering plant which act as good companion plants for pepper, add color to your raised bed, and will also attract lot of pollinators.
Fourth bed has tomatoes. We have eight different tomato varieties growing and they are inter planted with lettuce. We used the bagged Dr.Earth’s compost which is a very good quality compost when planting the lettuce in the raised beds. Tomato plants when they grow larger will provide shade to the lettuce.
Finally, the last bed has an assortment of plants growing sunchokes, kale, eggplant, taro plants and ivy gourds on a trellis towards the back of the bed.
Fruit Trees (Planted in the ground along the periphery)
We have planted a semi dwarf brown turkey fig, pineapple, blood orange, papaya, tropical white guava tucked in the corner so it has ample space to grow, dwarf cavendish banana, curry leaf plant, Washington navel orange, moringa tree, Kishu mandarin, mulberry, loquat, Parfinaka pomegranate,
Caribbean Pineapple, dwarf avocado, grape vines (Waterfall & Lollipop), Mexican key lime, gold nugget tangerine, Little gem mango, Bay laurel tree surrounded by night flowering jasmine, Cherimoya tree, Arabian guava, blueberry, goji berry and holy basil tree. We are looking forward to sharing their growing progress with you over the coming months.
We harvested blueberries which produced abundantly in containers, mint, thai peppers, pineapple, strawberries, tangerines and husky red tomatoes. The husky red cherry tomato variety produced abundantly and we highly recommend gardeners who are just starting to try growing this variety in their home garden.
Things to do
Amend your garden soil using
Compost – We have a two-chamber tumbling composter which we use for making our own compost from collected kitchen scraps and brown matter like leaves. Compost is very useful, beneficial amendment that you can add to your soil to build its quality. We spread the compost on our raised beds and use a rake to mix it in with the soil, it helps with moisture retaining capability. We also added a handful of Mycorrhizae which are beneficial organisms that bind to the plant roots and help with the uptake of nutrients. Once you add the compost you need to water the bed thoroughly.
Vermicompost – Vermicompost is an excellent quality amendment that you can add to your soil in raised beds or containers. You can buy these at www.VermisTerra.com and get 10% off using coupon code cag. It’s a great quality product and we have been using their products for some time now.
Steer Manure – We added steer manure to our okra bed which looked very dry and didn’t have a lot of organic matter. We just spread the manure around the plants and mixed into the soil to work it into the top layer of the soil. By raking into the soil, you also aerate the soil and make it nice and loose. Steer manure will add a lot of life to your soil and remember to water the bed deeply to make sure the plants are not burned.
At our local Costco we saw plenty of calla lilies in various colors, hybrid tea roses and mandevillas. They also have miracle gro organic choice potting mix and Whitney farms organic planting soil available for cheap.
Watch the California garden in the month of May episode – California Gardening May 2020 Garden Tour