Welcome to “California Gardening.” In this blog, we’ll take you on a tour of our bountiful harvests starting this month. We’ll also share gardening tips and more. So, let’s get started.
First, let’s talk about our hummingbird tree leaves. We grew this tropical plant in a container, and it provided us with nutritious and delicious leaves. Although it’s not frost-tolerant, we treated it as an annual and enjoyed frequent harvests. The leaves looked beautiful and healthy.Amaranth Greens[/caption]
Next up is our banana bud harvest. We harvested the banana buds while the fruits were still developing on top. These can be used in various recipes, such as the dish cooked with lentils and coconut.
Our sweet corn plants, densely planted in a raised bed, produced mature cobs. Once the corn silks dried slightly, we began harvesting the cobs. Corn is an excellent crop for high-density planting, resulting in abundant yields.
We also had a successful harvest of sour cucumbers (dosakai) from our raised beds. These cucumbers are ready when they turn slightly brown. They are commonly used in Southern Indian cuisine, especially in dishes like sambhar.
Multiple eggplant varieties thrived in our garden. We harvested beautiful Indian purple eggplants and large Aswadik eggplants. Small Indian eggplants, ideal for stuffing, also grew well. All these varieties provided us with delicious eggplants.
Our mission fig and little miss figgy plants yielded sweet and flavorful figs. Mission figs are known for their taste and dark color. Both fig varieties thrived in containers and were easy to maintain.
The hyacinth bean plant in the ground produced an abundant harvest. These beans need cooking before consumption and were harvested throughout spring and summer, providing us with consistent yields.
Our ivy gourd plants, both in containers and raised beds, flourished. Ivy gourds are prolific growers, making them ideal for small spaces. They continued to produce through the summer months.
Our moringa tree grew large and provided us with moringa pods and leaves. We designed a moringa plucker to reach high pods easily. Moringa is a nutritious addition to our garden.
We grew various okra varieties, including the Nombo Giant, Emerald, and Red Burgundy okras. The Nombo Giant was a standout, producing large, tender pods. Okras were harvested repeatedly during August.
We successfully grew betel leaves in our greenhouse. These spicy and delicious leaves are popular in South Asia and make for a unique addition to our garden.
Our papaya tree bore its first fruits this month, including the Solo variety. Papayas are a tropical delight and a rewarding addition to our garden.
We had Santa Fe Grande and Senaka Chili peppers growing. Senaka Chili peppers, though not very hot, offered a great taste. Pepper plants were prolific, producing numerous chilies.
Ridge gourd, also known as Chinese okra, had an impressive season, producing tender gourds. We harvested consistently throughout August.
Strawberries thrived in our Greenstock leaf planter, staying clean and free from pests. We also propagated new plants from the runners, ensuring a bountiful harvest.
Taro roots grew well in containers and the ground. They provided excellent quality taro with a nutty flavor. Taro plants are ornamental and add a tropical touch to the garden.
Lastly, our single-stem tomato plants continued to yield tomatoes. We also started a new batch of tomatoes. Despite minimal pruning, these plants kept producing.
Tomato Harvest and Garden Tour:
Tomatoes often suffer from sun scald, especially in hot regions like Southern California. To prevent this, some gardeners choose to harvest their tomatoes a bit early, but I prefer to wait until they fully ripen on the vine. In our garden, we have Roma tomatoes in raised beds, while the Bush Roma variety is another excellent choice for home gardeners due to its delicious determinate tomatoes. Additionally, we’ve been growing Indian heirloom tomatoes in containers, which have also proven to be of high quality. August has been a fantastic month for our tomato varieties, resulting in a beautiful and abundant harvest.
We recently planted a new tomato patch in July using volunteer plants from our compost, and these strong plants are now producing plenty of high-quality tomatoes.
Garden Tour – Raised Beds:
In our first raised bed, we have tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and some pumpkin plants that sprouted from our compost. We also pruned our beans to encourage regrowth.
In the next raised bed, we’ve planted more eggplants, including the purple Indian and small Indian varieties. Beets and okras are also present, though the beets have struggled due to the heat. Our ridge gourd plants have grown tremendously, covering the trellis.
The newly planted tomato patch in July has thrived, with volunteer plants from the compost producing robust tomato plants and abundant fruit. We also have sour cucumbers, ridge gourds, and taro plants.
The final raised bed contains various seeds, including radishes, carrots, and beets. We’ve also planted a couple of pepper plants, and there’s a thriving ivy gourd plant.
Container Garden Tour:
– A four-in-one apple tree
– Firecracker plants
– Overwintered eggplants (Black Moon)
– Heirloom Indian tomatoes
– Serrano chili plants
– Holy basil
– A large container with a thriving mission fig tree
– A dwarf mango tree in the corner
– Pepper plants
– More nombo giant okra plants
– Newly sown pole beans
– Egyptian onions
– A tomato plant (Beefsteak style)
– Snake gourds showing new growth
– Additional okra and ivy gourd plants
– A thriving mint plant
– Papaya trees
In our GreenStalk Planters, we have onions grown from seeds and another planter filled with thriving strawberries.
Pest control is a crucial task in the garden. Neem oil is recommended to combat garden pests like corn worms and tomato hornworms. Regularly monitoring your plants and pruning your tomato plants is essential to prevent diseases.
Building a Sturdy Trellis:
We demonstrate how to build a robust trellis using wire remesh between raised beds. This trellis can support various climbing plants like cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, and more.
Ivy Gourd with Peanuts Recipe:
We share a delicious Ivy Gourd with Peanuts recipe using freshly harvested ivy gourds from our garden. This flavorful dish can be enjoyed with tortillas or rice.
Watch the video here Gardening Tips : Harvests Galore! California Garden Tour, Plants, Tips, Recipes!
Thanks for joining us in the July 2022 episode of California Gardening. If you found this helpful, please like and subscribe for more gardening updates. Happy gardening!