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lulugardens 09-27-2007 09:51 AM

growing year round?
Hello. I'm pretty new at this gardening stuff and I was hoping to get a little guidance. I live in a very mild climate (Los Angeles, CA) and I imagine I can probably grow veggies/fruits year round here. But, I'm wondering what I should do in between pulling out one plant that's done producing and putting in the next? Is that too much for the soil to continually grow like that? Is there something that I should be doing to treat the soil in between these productive phases?

Thanks for any input!

cia007 12-02-2007 08:34 AM

I'll have to research this some more, but I do know that some crops must be rotated-- some plants are nitrogen suckers-- most of what I have encountered is with beans and peas you need to be careful, but I think if you are continuously rebuilding and replenishing the soil with compost, worm castings, and such in raised beds, this may not be as much of an issue. Anyone with more experience care to comment? I'm wondering how much I need to do to my own raised beds this year...

EnnaJettick 12-14-2007 07:19 AM

Growing year round - reply
You might take a look at a new book by Eric Toensmeier (?) called Perennial Vegetables, published by Chelsea Green. It has a lot of suggestions for plants that can be established and then harvested at regular intervals. In Los Angeles you might have lots of options since many of the plants are tropical in origin, and would thrive in your climate with some protections. It has suggestions for cooking many of them, too, helpful since a lot of them you might not know. You could probably grow artichokes!


lulugardens 12-14-2007 10:16 AM

Thanks. I will check out that book. I actually do grow artichokes! They've been growing very well in this climate and they're extremely easy to grow. I've been growing them for 2 years now. I just trim them back when they start to wilt and they keep coming back over and again. It's great!

paul b long 12-17-2007 03:06 PM

"Green manures" are a great way for fixing nitrogen in the soil and keeping weeds down at the same time, in between planting vegetables. I am currently growing wild beans and winter tares on parts of my plot in north London and will dig them in in the spring before planting root vegetables and salad crops.

As far as rotation is concerned, I find it helps prevent pests and diseases. You need to avoid planting carrots, parsnips and turnips on freshly manured soil; and you certainly need to rotate brassicas, and possibly add lime, or you'll end up with club root. You probably know all this already.

nasreen222 09-01-2009 01:06 AM

If you love fresh spaghetti sauce or pesto, than you've just got to have fresh basil and other herbs all year round! Sure, a nice 1 X 4 window garden getting at least 4 or 5 hours of direct light from a sunny window will give you something to pinch here and there. Gardens with mint, rosemary, bay leaf, savory, oregano, chervil, sand thyme are some of the easiest to grow this way.

But what if you need your basil...and lots of it? Basil and cilantro need just a bit more light, and really prefer 8 hours or more of direct light each day. In addition to this if you want fresh pesto, just a pinch here and there is not going to cut it. Here's what you can do about it.
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