Many people enjoy growing food in their own yards with a small garden. You do not have to have a large yard to enjoy fresh, year-round produce; even a small garden can yield plenty of food if you plant wisely. However, it is very important to understand the nature of the vegetables or herbs you are planting in order to get the right results.
Vegetables can be categorized into four groups as follows:
Hardy vegetables. These plans are not injured by light frost, and the seeds will germinate at relatively low temperatures, making them good plants for nearly year-round produce in San Diego. You can plan to grow onions, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kohlrabi, turnips, radishes, rhubarb and asparagus early or late in the season.
Half-hardy vegetables. These seeds germinate quickly under low temperatures, but a frost can harm them, so they must be covered if they are to thrive in colder weather. This group includes carrots, lettuce, beets, chard, parsnips, parsley, broccoli, potatoes, garden peas, celery and cauliflower.
Tender vegetables. These plants will require a bit more care than hardier varieties; do not plant until all danger of frost and low temperatures is over. This group includes sweet corn, sweet potatoes, snap beans and tomatoes.
Very tender vegetables. These vegetables thrive in warm soil, so save them until the later part of your planting season. This group includes peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, squash, pumpkins, watermelons and lima beans.
Preparation for planting should include tilling the soil thoroughly to a depth of 12 inches to break up clods. Rake the surface smooth after tilling and add organic compost or manure. You may also want to use a fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. It is best to use manure or compost four to six weeks prior to panting in order to avoid “burning” your plants and to give the fertilizer time to break down in the soil. Follow fertilizer directions to continue applications throughout the growth season.
You can enjoy fresh food and still have a beautiful yard. Incorporate your vegetable garden into your overall landscaping plan and add some bright annual flowers around the edges for a truly beautiful greenscape. Juniper Landscape Company in San Diego can help! Let us know your plans and we will work with you to create a truly beautiful yard that produces both flowers and vegetables. We can also help you maintain your yard with our professional services.