Wednesday, June 23, 2010


In my slow evoution towards suburban homesteading, I am trying to grow more food. This has been a difficult task for two main reasons: a. the backyard is 90% patio and mostly shade  b. our soil is clay.  Last year Max received a container garden for his birthday, and two of the tubs are brimming with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini and oregano. The little fenced portion in the back there is the only patch behind the retaining wall that gets a decent amount of sun, but something keeps eating whatever I plant there. I've never been able to actually find any critters on the plants, but they get munched nonetheless. My spearmint seems to be surviving this year. Yes, I know mint is invasive, but let it invade all it wants, as long as something green grows in that patch! It's a nice bonus that we can eat it, too.

The basil is pretty happy in the backyard, as well.

The front yard gets sun, although the soil stinks. Yes, I have ammended, but I've always had a hard time getting things to grow along this little strip. So, when my lavender died from frost, I decided to try some veggies over the summer. My tomatoes seem to think it's a lovely spot.
The zucchini like it, too.
We're even getting a few carrots.
We've had strawberries tucked in with the landscape flowers for years, but the snails get to most of them before we do. Dang snails.
And the hydrangeas? Well, I know you can't eat them, but they're just so pretty! So next year, I'm definitely putting more food in the front yard. For fall I think I'll try lettuce again (if I can keep the snails away) and calendula flowers. I'm not sure what to put in over the winter. It is the front yard, so I hate to keep a bare patch of dirt, and since we are in California, we don't get any snow to cover it up. Any suggestions for winter crops?

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