In my backyard, I have created two small raised garden beds. I get immense pleasure in observing plants grow from seeds into prolific producers of the freshest vegetables. Over the last 2 years, I have successfully grown many vegetables. This is a list recording the successes. I will be constantly updating this list based on my experiences, so stay tuned.
Tomatoes are the easiest to grow in San Ramon, CA. I have tried many different varieties: beefsteak, red cherry, black cherry. They produce abundantly. If you are starting from seeds, start indoors in late December, and sow outdoors once the danger of frost is over, usually end of March.
Bell peppers are prolific producers in San Ramon, CA. Follow the same regime as that for tomatoes. Starting from seeds indoors in late December, and moving outdoors after the frost.
I have had great success with Marketmore cucumbers, but my friends have grown other varieties successfully too. Cucumbers need to be started directly outdoors after soil starts to stay warm and danger of frost is over.
Follow the same regime as bell peppers. If you prefer your jalapenos to be hot, water infrequently.
Great fall and winter crop for your backyard. Once you have gotten rid of most of your summer or early fall produce, this might be a great filler till the temperatures turn warmer again.
Start directly outdoors in June and reap okra through fall. Note that each plant produces only a few at a time, so if you wish to have enough to make anything out of them, you will need more plants.
Great leafy salad crop for the fall/winter months. These are the times when the Kale tastes particularly amazing. I have tried the lacinato or dino kale successfully. You can sow it in Jan/Feb, and reap harvest through the year, with limited uninteresting harvest in summer.
Similar to Kale, this works great in the colder months of the year. Can be sown in Jan/Feb.
Cilantro bolts really fast in summer, but is a great herb to plant for the rest of the year.
Parsley grew slowly for me initially, but once it was established it was quite bushy.
Mint is like an invasive species in here. I just planted a twig of the bunch I bought from Whole foods and it grew like wildfire. Because it has the potential to take over your entire yard, it is better to constrain it to a pot. Initially, it might seem that it is not growing fast enough, but if you poke the soil, you will find that it's roots have taken over all the available space. For a few days, just put the twig in a small cup of water. When the roots develop plant it into soil.
My friends have grown squash in abundance.
I have had some success with zucchinis. Start directly outside around the same time as Cucumbers when all the danger of frost is over. If you want to start indoors, do so in peat pods. You need to plant at least two to get good yield.
They grow every easily and very fast.
I have also grown onions, but they take up space, and you have to be really patient for the bulbs to develop.
Potatoes are super easy and can be grown as filler crops while other crops mature slowly. Just drop them few inches below the soil. When the leaves start wilting, it is an indication that the potatoes are ready for harvest. One way to avoid digging is to grow them in boxes or cylinders that can then be just turned over to get your potatoes.
Great crop for the soil in San Ramon. Needs no fertilizer. Infact because it is a nitrogen fixing crop, it can fertilize the soil if the foliage is put back into the soil after the pods have been harvested.
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