In pleasant southern California weather, a vegetable & herb garden can be an all year event. Herbs and vegetables can be planted over several weeks to extend harvest seasons and growing a healthy, productive herb and/or vegetable garden need be no more difficult than growing a flower garden.
There are five important considerations to a successful herb or vegetable garden. First, the soil must be adequately prepared before and after planting. This is where trouble starts for most gardens. Soil for vegetable and herb gardens needs to be amended at least 12 inches below the surface to provide adequate area for roots to grow. If you have poor soil, which many of us have in southern Californian, consider building a raised planter bed. Check out our video on building one here
Second, plot out your area for the type of vegetables and herbs that you want to grow. For example, melons get really big and need space, while an herb like basil likes a little protection from the sun. Placement is very important so you do not have a jungle down the road.
Third, how will you water your vegetable and herb garden? If you choose to do it by hand, you have to be sure you are going to have the time to water each one deeply. This could take a while. If you choose to flood irrigate, which means flood the rows in between the plants, then you will be creating a lot of work down the road with the germination of weeds in between the rows. Plus, we are in a drought and it is better to get the water directly to each plant. A well thought out drip system and a timer will be your best investment.
Fourth, select hardy varieties and plant during their peak growing season. It does no good to plant a summer vegetable in the winter, even in our moderate climates. Many newer varieties are more drought tolerant and more resistant to disease, but do not pass up on true and tested favorites like Better Boy tomatoes. Those are really yummy!
Finally, as your plants are growing and once they are mature be very diligent with inspecting your plants and fertilizing thoroughly. Look out for insects on your plants like aphids and caterpillars.Check the soil around the plants for snail trails or gopher mounds. If you start to notice yellow leaves, brown spots, or anything that does not look right give us a call, we have the solution. A good vegetable and herb fertilizer is E.B Stone’s Vegetable and Herb. Follow the application rates that are appropriate for your plants.
Currently here at Evergreen Nursery we have our best selection of herbs and vegetables. Cilantro, dill, basil, fennel, tomatoes, peppers, beans, and lettuce are just a few of the many varieties we are carrying.
So hurry in and get that garden going. There is nothing better than homegrown herbs and veggies! Trust me, they will taste better.