I live in Los Angeles on 6,400 sq feet of potential garden space. Take away the size of my house, garage, driveway and other unusable areas, and I probably have about 200 sq feet of in-ground space, 100 sq feet of container gardening space on the deck and about 200 sq feet of flower garden beds in the front yard.
One day, my garden space may grow and take over the remaining grass that’s left, but for the moment I am growing most of my vegetables in portable containers made up of anything that can hold soil.
My preferred irrigation method is currently a watering can, with the occasional use of the garden hose.
My garden sometimes gets nibbled and raided by the following: aphids, caterpillers, leaf miners, tiny flying things, squirrels, one neighborhood cat, possums and parrots. (Seriously, our neighborhood has a weird flock of wild parrots that squawk louder than any bird should.)
My mother is a gardener and I’m hoping that it’s genetic, as my first stab at gardening began in September 2013. Prior to that I’ve killed every houseplant that has ever been given to me. Now, with a backyard, positive thinking and google, I actually made it through 1 full year of gardening!
So far, I have had about a 50% success rate of eating what I planted. (It really isn’t cost-effective but brings me joy to eat what I’ve grown.)
Here are some things that have done well in our SoCal garden and others that need more encouragement.
Alpine strawberry (seedlings): tasty and cute
Asian salad mix (seed): one good crop
Basil, Genovese (seed): so much pesto
Carrots, all sorts (seed): wonky shaped but oh so tasty
Celery (seed): doing swell
Chili, Thai (seedling): spicy and prolific
Chili, Kung Pao (seedling): tasty
Chili, Super (seedling): tasty but small
Chili, Black Cobra (seedling): tasty. Hot.
Chili, Habanero (seed): tasty
Chinese Celery (seed): one good harvest
Cilantro (seed): tasty
Dill (seed): tasty with pretty flowers
Finger Lime (trees): so cool
French breakfast radish (seeds): oui oui
Jalapeno (seedling): tasty
Leeks (seed and seedlings): mmm. seedlings were dug up by critters though
Lemon (4 ft tree): a dozen lemons so far
Lemongrass (seedling): taking over front yard
Lilikoi (seed): going strong
Mesclun (seeds): tasty when they survive
Napa cabbages (seed and seedlings): so much napa
Oregano (seeds and seedling): good
Parsley (seeds): pretty good
Pea sprouts (seed): fast and tasty
Peas (seed): so tasty
Potato (tuber): fun to harvest
Radicchio (seed): tasty and hardy
Rosemary (seedlings): Still going strong.
Sage (various seedlings): Still going strong.
Shishito pepper (seed): prolific
Spinach (seed): tasty
Tatsoi (seedlings): one good harvest
Thyme (seeds and seedling): Still going strong.
Tomato cherry (seed): Had several good harvests.
Tomato heirloom (seedling): Had a handful of tomatoes
Tomatillos purple (seed): had several good harvests
Watermelon baby (seeds): had 3-4 melons
Watermelon, yellow (seedling): had 3-4 melons
Zucchini (seed): So many zucchini…
Anaheim chili (seed): never sprouted
Artichoke (seed): burnt or nibbled
Basil, purple (seedling): bolted
Beet/chard mix (seed): grew to 4″ then squirrel attack
Black cumin (seedling): burnt to a crisp
Bell pepper (seedlings): burnt
Cauliflower (seed and seedlings): got eaten or bolted
Chili, ghost (seedling): burnt. Now they are ghosts.
Cucumber lemon and pickling (seed): burnt. The Japanese cucumber gave us 3 fruit.
Daikon radish (seed): flooded or bolted
Edamame (seed and seedling): tempermental
Salvia (seedling): Burnt to a crisp.
Thyme, Lemon (seedling): dried up
THE ON PROBATION
Adzuki bean (seed): Still sprouting
Alpine strawberry (seed): Still sprouting
Avocado (5 ft tree): starred branching but got toasted in sun. I might’ve killed it. 😦
Artichokes (seedlings): up to 18 inches tall
Arugula (seed): hit or miss
Asparagus (crowns): Probably won’t be edible for 2 years.
Bottle gourd (seed): one fruit so far
Blackberry (bare root): Had a few flowers but then got burnt by the heat wave. I think I killed it.
Broccoli rabe (seed): hit or miss
Brussel Sprouts (seedling): they were doing okay but seem to be attracting aphids
Bunching Onion (seed): Still sprouting. About 3″ tall now.
Bush Beans (seed): ok but not a lot of beans
Chinese Broccoli (seed): Tasty when they survive caterpillers
Collard green (seed): They are getting pretty big.
Cucamelon (seed): were just about to fruit when it got cold
Garbonzo, black (seed): still sprouting
Garlic (bulbs): in the ground
Kale (seeds and seedlings): Tasty when they survive caterpillers
Lemon, variegated (2 ft tree): Not doing as well as the Eureka lemon tree.
Lime (3 ft tree): Made 1 fruit so far
Luffa gourd (seed) : Still sprouting
Onion (set): Still sprouting
Pak Choi (seed): still sprouting
Parsnips (seed): Still sprouting
Pomegranate (5 ft tree): Made 3 fruits in first year; still sprouting.
Radish, black (seed): Still sprouting
Sorrel (seed): up to 4″ now.
Strawberry Attila (seed): Still sprouting
Strawberry Gauva (4 ft tree): growing lots of leaves
Thai Basil (plant): Flowering.
Watermelon Radish (seed): Ate 3 radishes before they bolted.
Yuzu tree (4 ft tree): no fruit yet but flower buds are forming
Baby kiwi (seed)