Ecograndma's blog

Garden Update 5-17-15
Posted on May 17, 2015 12:31 PM

Our home garden and community garden plots are doing pretty good so far. We are having strange weather in Northern California this year so I have a feeling it will be hit and miss with some crops. We have had some heat, then some rain, then heat, then rain and today it is overcast and cold. Go figure!!!

Community Garden

Our two plots at the community garden are doing fantastic. One reason is because of the full sunlight exposure, great soil and the fact I am only there a few days per week to water. The tomatoes all have blooms and some tomatoes are forming. We also have two cucumber plants that are blooming in one plot and we started some pepper seeds in another. This year is the first time we are growing some unusual tomatoes, Indigo Blue Berry and Cherokee Purple. The Cherokee Purple has been around for awhile, but it is the first time we are growing one. The Mortgage Lifter and SunSugar tomatoes are half way up their large cages. Thank goodness we secured these cages since these plants are going to be monsters.

Elk Grove Community Garden Plots
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Blue Berry Tomatoes
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Home Garden

The home garden is doing good as well. The stock tanks are full of veggies (planted too many) and the blueberries, tomatoes, cucumbers and pepper starts are all doing great. We had one problem with the garlic this year. I found rust spores on the leaves and had to cut the leaves off. I think the garlic will be fine, but will not be able to plant garlic in our raised planter for a few years. We will just grow next years crop at the community garden. My pomegranate plant is insane! This is its third year it has been in the ground and we espaliered it on a trellis we built. It is a huge! Last year I was able to get about 40 pomegranates from it. This year there are hundreds of flowers and fruit forming. This is one situation where we placed the right plant in the right place. It likes the heat and terrible soil so it is thriving. We are thinking of getting one more for another hot, dry area of the yard. These plants are extremely drought tolerant, beautiful to look at, and the pomegranate is my favorite fruit. We also have an area that receives about six hours of morning sun, but the soil is soaking wet (from our neighbor's over-watering). So we are placing three large planters in this area and will add three more Southern Highbush blueberries (my husband's favorite fruit). Hopefully at that point I can say no more plants, but you never know.

Pomegranate Plant (Eversweet Variety)
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Pomegranate Flower
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Copper Tank (yellow carrots, sugar snap peas, Mexican sour gherkins)
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Teal Tank (edamame, black carrots)
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My little bit of heaven
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Happy Gardening everyone...:)

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What's in the Garden 2015
Posted on Apr 18, 2015 5:09 PM

I thought it would be fun to blog about our gardening experiences for this year (2015). My husband and I live in Elk Grove, CA in a Del Webb community. We have very little space to garden so we have come up with efficient ways to grow food and to assist my husband (he uses a wheelchair) to access the garden as well. Besides our garden at home we are members of the Elk Grove Community Garden and have two-ADA plots which are raised 16 inches and measure approx 4 x 8. We grow only organic vegetables and fruit at the community garden as well as our home garden. On top of all of this we live in California and are in our fourth year of a drought. So we water wisely and everything is on a drip system or I gather water from our showers and sinks to hand water the plants.

This is what we have planted:

In October 2014 we started 43 "Music" garlic cloves in our home raised garden bed which measures 3 x 8. The garlic is now three feet high and should be ready to harvest in June. The garlic fills our entire raised garden bed so we had to create new garden beds for seasonal veggies and fruit. We have three-stock tanks that measure 24" x 24" x 6'. One of the stock tanks has three varieties of blueberries. The other stock tanks have seasonal veggies, soy beans, snap peas, carrots and Mexican sour gherkins. We also have two pots that contain one blueberry each (we love blueberries) and two pots that contain Bush Slicer cucumbers and three pots that contain tomatoes (Pink Berkeley Tie Dye, Sweet Million and Indigo Blue). We also have one Eversweet pomegranate that is growing on a trellis by our fence. Our community garden planters have four tomatoes, Mortgage Lifter, SunSugar, Indigo Blueberry and Cherokee Purple as well as two Bush Slicer cucumbers. The community garden donates most of the food to our local food bank. There are 84 plots and last year close to 5,000 lbs of organic veggies and fruit was donated. We are hoping to increase that amount this year.

Like I said we have no room in our yard and every inch counts. I also grow Iris, clematis (on trellises), salvia, flax, yellow dogwood, pineapple sage, a Japanese maple "Bloodgood", some bamboo, Cousin Itt plant, Chinese lantern, Meyer lemon tree (in pot) and assorted succulents. I like color and texture in our small yard (really just a long patio that wraps around the fence). So you have an idea on our gardening selections and what has worked for us. Of course all gardening in local and we have had to make adjustments in the past 2 1/2 years that we have been here. But, so far so good.

I will provide updates on our gardening adventures this year and share how we are adjusting to the drought. Today, April 18, 2015 it is close to 85 degrees. That is hot for this time of year. We can only water on Wednesdays and Sundays so we are adjusting.

I have attached some photos of our "gardens".

Community Garden
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These are photos of our home veggie/fruit beds:

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