Archive for March, 2010

I’m drowning in new ideas for My Patio Farm.  I’m thinking this spring/summer season is going to be all about levels. (You’ll see).  But this past weekend I was busy preparing for a seder, and next weekend we’re off to the desert for a wedding, so for the next couple of weeks, the Patio Farm will have to run itself.

Luckily, it seems perfectly capable of doing so. Look what I found when I ripped out our sad, wilted, aphid coated lettuce:

This cheerful, sturdy looking mint volunteer has been around long enough for someone to have taken a few nibbles out of her, but I only just noticed her on Saturday. I guess now I know which pot this year’s mojito mint will go into.

I am also happy to report that contrary to my last post, I think the sugar snap peas are producing just fine.

And finally, the blackberry bush–shown here surrounded by bok choy–has defied my expectations, and is starting to put out a significant number of new leaves:

I don’t know why I’m so hard on all the plants on the farm. Like my (almost) two year old, I need to learn patience.


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Sugar snap peas, mustard greens, and lettuce on my patio farm.

The blog may have gone dormant over the winter, but not My Patio Farm. This is Southern California dudes. We’ve got a winter growing season here.

I’m already scheming for my spring/summer garden, but first I’m going to catch you up on what happened over the past few months:

In December I planted sugar snap peas, mustard greens, parsley, two pots of lettuce, bok choy and a blackberry stick. We’ve enjoyed (a few) mustard green and bok choy sautees, but I completely ignored my lettuce. I think it’s time to give up on the dream of salad fresh off the deck. The sugar snap peas are flowering like crazy, but so far they’ve only produced enough sweet and crunchy pea pods to pick off the vine and eat right away, not enough for a side dish.  The blackberry stick has made a total of about 8 leaves. I’m not holding my breath that I’ll have blackberries any time soon, but it was definitely worth the seven bucks to try. And I haven’t given up yet. Plus, I put it in the same half whiskey barrell as my bok choy. I’m trying to get better about putting a mix of plants in my pots. We’ll see.

That's a blackberry stick surrounded by bok choy.

What’s happening this summer? Lots of tomatoes, another zucchini, herbs galore, maybe carrots, and perhaps some flowers. I love the idea of edible gardening, but I’m ready for some more color out there as well.

And the final idea I’m toying with: Expanding the farm with an actual bed on the hillside below the deck.  Lisa Boone, one of my colleague at the Los Angeles Times, wrote a story last year about a no dig garden. It’s basically a raised bed made out of compost, bone and blood meal and hay. It’s supposed to need very little water, and Lisa says hers has been producing like crazy. Apparently all the materials only cost $30, so if it doesn’t work, it’s not like I’m hundreds of dollars in the hole.

I’ll keep you posted. And if anyone has had any experience with blackberries in pots let me know. I want to give that little stick a fighting chance.

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