NORTHERN California Roll Call !!!!!

derby98October 26, 2009

Well I figured the southern Californians have their roll call how about we have one for the Northern CA folks.

I'll start with who, where, why & what,

My name is Ben & I am in Roseville CA. I garden for the peace it brings to my life. I am currently growing the following in my 3 10x4 raised beds. Swiss Chard, Buttercrunch lettuce, Romaine lettuce, Collard Greens, India Mustard, radish, Brocolli & California early Garlic.

How about you?

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Hi Ben! I'm Kris and I live in Humboldt County on 3/4 acre which was a bare, mowed rectangle when I moved in 20 years ago. Most of the past 20 years has been spent landscaping with evergreens, both broadleaf and coniferous. I also am obsessed with growing garlic and have around 350 planted in raised beds this year (gophers here are the worst, especially the "boomers" which are more like prairie dogs than small rodents.)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 10:06PM
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norcal916(USDA 9 / Sunset 14)

I'm Michael in Fair Oaks, CA (Sacramento County). I have a 10' x 30' raised bed vegetable garden...Also have several fruit trees which include Fuyu Persimmon, Santa Rosa Plum, Eureka Lemon, Bearss Lime, Valencia Orange, Brown Turkey Fig, Red Flame Grape, and Utah Sweet Pomegranate. I am a transplant from the Northeast and love gardening in the Sacramento Valley!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 1:22AM
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gcbunnell(8b/9a N.CA)

This is Carol in Butte Valley (just south of Paradise). I grow figs, persimmons, and grapes for the raccoons, a tropical garden that the moles have undermined, raised beds for vegetables that voles have climbed into, a huge melon patch that the cedar roots have found, palms that gophers love to munch, cherries for the birds, and, here and there, a few citrus that only my DH and I seem to like. There is no peace; it is more like war, still, gardening is my passion, and I am not deterred. It is good to know not all Northerners live in the Bay area. P.S. I like garlic, too!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 11:54AM
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jkom51(Z9 CA/Sunset 17)

Hi, this is Jean. We live in the Oakland hills, about 20 miles east of San Francisco. Just on the edge of the fog belt, so the weather is perfect. We're cottage gardeners, so that's usually where I hang out.

I'm retired now and my DH retires in a few months. He hasn't had to buy me flowers in years, LOL! We grow only a few food crops: Meyer lemons, Bearss limes, a few herbs. I wish I had room for more roses, dahlias and hydrangeas, but it's all I can do to keep up with what we have now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jean's website: our garden install

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 12:16PM
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Hi everyone!! my name is gloria, my bf and I and our two turkish angoras cats live in Ione, CA in the sierra nevada foothills. I"ve got starter plants in cups ready to plant in the garden. Brocolli, reg and purple califlower, brussell sprouts, and blue cabbage. Some of my summer stuff keeps producing....the last zuc that I thought was dying has two fruits on it and the watermelons have baby melons on them.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Central_Cali369(Sunset Z9, Fresno, CA)

Hi! Josh here in Chowchilla (San Joaquin Valley). I like growing drought tolerant plants and designing with succulens.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 2:50PM
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Hi, my name is Mike and I have zone denial complex...

In addition to approx. 500 sq ft of raised beds for veggies, I have a pond, bog garden, tropicalesque garden, desert garden, woodland garden and natives garden.

As you might guess, I spend a lot of time out in the yard. I'm almost glad that winter is approaching, because now I'll have a little more time to do other things besides weeding and watering... The only garden that will get much attention for the next few months is my 100 sq ft winter vegetable garden.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 7:53PM
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Santa Rosa checking in. I do greens all year and tomatoes in the summer, along with my wonderful three graft peach tree. YUM!

I like perennials and bold colored flowers. I do my toms in raised beds and am treating a heavy clay with lots and lots of steer manure this winter and will top with compost in the spring.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 8:53PM
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bhnash(z16(9) CA)

Hi all! I'm Heidi and I'm in Soquel (Santa Cruz area), just a mile from the Monterey Bay. I grow lots of Mediterranean and low water plants.

My soil is heavy clay which gets waterlogged in winter and bakes hard in summer. I made raised beds in the front yard of recycled concrete and filled those with purchased soil so those beds drain almost too well now. I had hoped to get by with watering only once every two weeks in the front yard, but they really need water twice a week to look really good, and they get by on water once a week. During the big storm a few weeks ago I was out in the pouring rain digging ditches to catch the water so it could soak in instead of drain off down the slope. The yard is pretty happy now and I have various reseeders popping up all over.

I have big plans to redesign the back yard and have started lots of seed of winter annuals and perennials to get into the ground before Christmas.

I currently have three raised veg beds that have become holding beds for some perennials I recently purchased for the newly designed spaces that aren't ready yet. My tomatoes didn't do well this year, a tree has given the veg beds more shade each year, and it is just too much now. The tree will get thinned and topped a bit over the winter, and the veg beds will be moved 10' north to get out of the eventual shade that will grow back.

I have two kids, a daughter 8 and a son 3. I put in my entire back yard when DD was 2-4, and then it got neglected when DS was born, and am just now getting back to it, so I hope to really get a lot done this fall. I do most of my gardening in November and December, with a break during the rainy Jan-March and back at it in April and May. By June kiddos are out of school and all I usually get done is watering. I really need to get my drip system working again, when I turned it on in May it didn't work, and I haven't taken the time to figure out the problem.

Okay, that is probably more than I needed to write LOL.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 9:34PM
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...sorry, I got so excited about talking about my garden that I forgot to mention that I'm in Folsom...

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 9:52PM
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queerbychoice(USDA 9a/Sunset 8 (CA))

Hello! I'm Gayle, and I'm in the Marysville/Yuba City area. I'm growing California native plants in a tiny, flood-prone rental yard with heavy clay and a bermudagrass infestation. It hasn't been easy, but the yard is definitely starting to look better than it used to!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 2:33AM
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wanda(Z9 CA)

Hi! Wanda from the southeast part of San Jose called Evergreen. It's still San Jose, but our temperatures are usually a few degrees warmer than San Jose proper.
My front yard is mostly all CA natives with a little section on one side of the driveway devoted to drought-tolerant succulents, S. African bulbs, etc.
The backyard is a hodgepodge of natives,I grow lots of plants, but my passion is S. African bulbs, Natives, Succulents and Clematis, but I find room for a few tropicals, etc., etc. Maybe I just have a passion for plants? LOL There is also a pond with a waterfall. I have a raised bed on the side of the house where I grow a few veggies and I have blueberry bushes, a lemon, mandarin, and grapefruit tree.
Luckily, I have no moles, voles, gophers, deer, etc. I do have squirrels that eat from my bird feeders and there are no fish (except mosquito fish) in the pond because I got tired of feeding racoons.
I have plans to convert the pond into a stream this year and redo the backyard...we'll see........LOL

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 11:30AM
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Hi, I'm Annie and I live in San Francisco.

I started guerrilla gardening the 280S Mariposa St offramp curve in December of last year. Caltrans and DPW have gone on to approve of it all, and encourage me! I named the garden Pennsylvania Garden as the offramp feeds traffic out onto Pennsylvania Avenue.

My garden is mostly drought-tolerant perennials (food crops are forbidden due to contamination in the dirt) with a lot of succulents and cacti.

You can see my garden blog below...

Here is a link that might be useful: Pennsylvania Garden Blog

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 4:37PM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

Kudos to you, Annie. Good luck on the continued success of your Pennsylvania Garden project.
I am in the SF south bay (san jose-ish). I have a shaded lot (due to neighbors growing towering oaks and pines) - and have managed to grow fruit trees, lots of citrus - lemon, lime, oranges,mandarins and one grapefruit, dozens of roses, a weedy lawn and this year I am making a second attempt at growing tropical fruit trees.
I am still trying to figure out how to get rid of the millions of weeds in my yard without using chemicals. I am also learning about ground cover.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 1:51PM
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Tom and Son here. We have a little over a 1/3rd of an acre with a hill side in San Leandro (East Bay just south of Oakland hills) with a PG&E right of way slicing through part of it.

We are slowly re-invigorating our yard's landscape. The former owners planted junipers in lava rock in the front and on parts of the side yard, and ivy most everywhere else. This past summer we finally got rid of the last of the junipers, and I'm working on getting rid of the most visible of the lava rock now. It is going slow as I screen each shovel, trying to separate the rock from the dirt & detritus. It is killing my back. Any ideas/suggestions? Anyone want to come over and help? hehehe

Out front, in the rock garden (where other junipers were), we've planted a number of perennials and are watering them by hose-in-hand until we get a soaker-irrigation system put in. We also have (at various locations throughout the yard) some dahlias, some roses, an apple tree, an avocado tree, a fig tree, a couple of citrus trees, and several other fruit tree seedlings in trash cans for now until we get to planting them. Finally, we have a number of orchids, and indoors we have some underwater gardens with freshwater plants.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2009 at 6:10PM
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thanks Ashley - come visit if you're in the area :)
That goes for everyone, actually!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 1:06PM
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Howdy. I'm Tina. My DH and I live on 5 acres in Monterey County. Mostly hilly, so we have landscaped with natives to blend in with the ceanothus and manzanita that is already on the property. Never used natives before, but we are liking it a lot. Besides all the flowers, we get a lot of hummers, quail, and cottontails. Currently in our raised beds we have brussel sprouts, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, and beets. On my front porch that gets late afternoon sun, we have about a dozen cymbidium orchids. DH is retired so he gets to do most of the work on the garden. I'm still working so I don't have much free time to help. I worked for about 15 years as a commercial cut flower grower. That's more my area of expertise.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 5:20PM
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caavonldy(8/9 N CA)

Hi, I'm Donna. I live on 5 acres in Orland. We are 100 miles N of Sacramento and 90 mi S of Redding, just a couple of miles west of I-5. We have mostly sandy and gravelly soil with lots of rocks as this was in the area of some creaks before they built Black Butte Dam. We get some frost in the winter and in the summer it gets up in the 100s. I have about 1/4 acre as a country garden with lots of weeds. I have arthritis and sometimes the weeds get ahead of me. We have about 8 fruit trees so far and we plan to plant some more this winter. Our vegetable garden is 30 x50. I spend most of my time battling deer and jack rabbits. The rabbits like to girdle our trees. I found that I could keep the deer from eating my tomatoes by covering all our plants with deer netting. One night we counted 15 deer in the yard. My son has promised to put up some fencing around the garden before spring. Besides the deer and rabbits, we have quail, raccoons, skunks, bobcats and a lovely red fox family living in a dry creek bed that cuts through one edge of the property.

We haven't lived here long and we still have lots to do before the place is really presentable.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 11:47PM
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Axel(12b/Sunset H2)

I'm Axel, I live in the foothills above Santa Cruz, on a Southwest facing hillside. The upper garden is a mild zone 16 climate that rarely freezes (knock on wood), but the lower part flattens out and collects cold air, so it gets pretty frosty in the Winter. There is enough chill there to even grow bing cherries, so it seems more in line with Sunset zone 15.

I enjoy the fact that Santa Cruz allows me to "double dip": I get to grow very tropical things right next to temperate plants that need medium to high chill in the Winter. It's fun to see bing cherries flourish right alongside cherimoyas, there just aren't many places where this can be done, we are very fortunate on the Central Coast and in the Bay area.

it's taken a few years to work this place into a garden, I got beaten up by drought, freezes, gophers, high winds, and lost quite a few of plants on the way. I must have hauled out a few tons of sandstone. But persistence pays off, and slowly, it looks like something neat is emerging.

The upper garden has morphed into a tropical paradise with a waterfall surrounded by rare palms from the cooler tropical montane regions of South America and Asia, and New Zealand, with cool growing tropical fruits mixed in, including cherimoya, mountain papayas, lucuma, white sapote, bananas, tropical guavas, macademia and avocados. As things are slowly growing out it's starting to look nice and lush.

The lower garden has turned into a fruit orchard paradise with just about every imaginable fruit growing there. We have a dedicated citrus orchard in the hottest part. Nature did it's selection work; besides the citrus, most tropical stuff died down there, and what has survived is a temperate fruit orchard with lots of apples, peaches, apricots, plums, pluots, pears, figs, cherries, the list goes on and on.

The soil here is not very good, too sandy, fast draining and nutrient poor, so we've been terracing, using drip irrigation, and mulching with wood chips for a few years now with stellar results. Slowly the fruit trees have come into production and we now have something to eat in the garden virtually year-round. it's taken quite a few years to figure out what will do well here, but slowly, we're getting to pick out some real winner varieties of fruit.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 5:47PM
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tammysf(9b/10a or sz15/16)

Tammy in marin here.

First year in our home and we live a few blocks from my parents.

Between our 2 gardens we are growing:

Veggie garden:
Swiss chard

Fruit trees:
Santa rosa plum
A few apples
Meyer lemons

Tropicals (in pots for now)
4 mangos

Here is a link that might be useful: marin gardening blog

    Bookmark   November 5, 2009 at 10:50PM
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I have a home that I inherited from my father on an acre of ground in Scott Valley, near the town of Etna. So far, it looks like I'm the northernmost Northern California post being I am only 70 miles from Medford, OR. I also have a home in SoCal, but travel to Northern California as often as possible because I love it so much. Can't live in Northern California regretably, or North State as the locals call it, because hubby is a city boy and he would go berserk out in the country.

I am enjoying reading about everyone's gardens. I haven't posted on the Garden Web for several years, but decided to give it a try again because I am looking for permanent plants for my front yard and driveway area for the Scott Valley house. It gets to 100 degrees in the summer and it is cold and snowy in wintertime. It has been known to have a frost on the 4th of July, so weather can be "iffy" I need a lesson in "Cold Climate plants for Dummies" so I can plant something pretty and hardy. Currently, there are mostly native plants in the landscape surrounding the house. Lots of Cedar, Pine and Oak trees and for large plants: Spirea, Lavender, Red Bud, Rose of Sharon and other plants that I cannot remember the names of. In May and June, the wildflowers are in abundance on the sides of the roads and it is just beautiful. Shasta Daisies grow wild en masse, so I know I could plant them.

If anyone has a similar climate and knows a good shrub or two, I'm looking for advice. The soil is extremely rocky and when it is dry it is dusty and like silt. Totally different than my clay soil in Southern California.

The deer migrate through my property and chew on everything they can. There are voles, fox and quail. The apple and pear trees are deer food. The vegetable garden has always had a high fence around it, to keep the deer out but it hasn't been worked much last year or this.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2009 at 8:23PM
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littlebird43(US 8/ Sun 14 Calif)

I'm Peg, I live in Windsor just north of Santa Rosa. Hubby and I just sifted the rocks from our little 10x30' vegetable garden. Now it's ready for some compost to 'cook' this winter. I have chard, beets and Italian parsley planted elsewhere in the yard. We lack full sun here because the yard is small but we manage to get more than we can eat in tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, beans and a few other things during the season. The garden and yard are, as always, totally organic.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 11:26AM
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lisascenic Urban Gardener, Oakland CA

I'm Lisa. I actually have two gardens in East and West Oakland, both of which are organic.

West Oakland is a former dumping site, that I have turned into a (mostly) native garden. This garden has more snails than you could possibly imagine, but it also has hummingbirds and lizards and many types of bees, which is pretty sweet, since it's in a totally industrial part of town.

East Oakland is where I just bought a little house. The garden was terribly neglected, but there's a lot of potential. Beautiful old lemon tree, a huge plum, a persimmon that someone BUTCHERED in the name of pruning, and a mulberry that's about to fall over. I've got all sorts of bulbs coming up. I may have more calla lilies than I know what to do with, and perhaps the largest population of little onion-y plants in all of Northern California. We're overgrown with vines and jasmine.

I'm a transplanted East Coast girl, so I'm giving the garden a year, just to see what it does. Other than taking out the mulberry, and hacking back at the jasmine and weeds, I'm just working on my soil, and watching what comes up. I've got a huge compost pile, which is cooking away nicely.

The birds love our yard, and the Western Scrub Jays are always burying acorns. We've got quite a randomly spaced crop of Coastal Live Oaks, which I've transplanted into what will hopefully become a native shade section of garden.

I'm also trying to figure out which of my formerly apartment dwelling orchids can go outside, and which get to go outside for part of the year.

It's all very exciting!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2009 at 11:19PM
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I'm on 6 acres (mostly steep hill) in Sunol (between Pleasanton and Fremont). This was my third summer gardening, but the first summer where I finally solved problems with awful soil (found a mound of good soil in the yard), deer (industrial electric fence), and water (plant in blocks rather than rows, mulch mulch mulch).

Last year garlic did really well for me and produced 45 heads, which were consumed by Sept, so this year I ordered garlic online and put in 14 varieties expecting over 300 heads next year.

I'm only starting to landscape the yard, but I'm planning on lots of succulents and xeric perennials.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2009 at 6:33PM
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momma_s(9b, SZ14)

Hi! I'm in East Bay. I moved here from the east coast last year, and in addition to adjusting to a new environment--not that it's been difficult with this weather--it's my 1st year, second season of gardening.

I have 32sq ft of vegetables split between 3 raised beds, a salad table, and have started containers (again). I also have a Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree, and three trees that came with the house: Comice Pear, plum, and sour orange. We're renting, so an added challenge for me is to get things looking/staying pretty without renovating the place, spending a ton, and making any changes removable if need be.

You're more than welcome to check out my blog to see what I'm currently attempting to grow. ;-)

Thanks for the roll call!

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening With Care

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 12:47PM
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East Bay - Concord 94519 . 1/3 acre and taking a break for winter with just some cover crop for now. Getting ready to plow that under if weather holds until weekend. Lemon tree and a fig tree. Lots of garden area to work with in the back and great soil. This land has been well taken care of for 50 years by a master gardener, the soil and produce it yields shows his years of work. I have been here six years now and felt like I walked into a gold mine for a garden.
Lots of azeales and evergreens in the front. Summer I do the full summer veggie list and herbs as well.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 4:38PM
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Hey everybody, another Concord gardener here. My SO and I bought our house last February and have a 1/3 of an acre. I built 3-4x8 raised beds for veggies, mostly tomatoes, basil, onions,hot peppers and herbs. I also had huge success growing pumpkins in the ground. I can't wait for next spring to do it even better! We have 18 trees in our backyard, palms, pepper tree, plum, lime, lemon, apple, to name a few.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 6:45PM
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I am Chris Brown from Soquel in Santa Cruz County.
I garden to eat. At first it was as a safety net issue in case things ever got too bad. But now I do it because the food I grow is so much better than the food I can buy.(But not necessarily cheaper) I use the square foot garden method for most table veggies. Potatoes, beets, greens, onions etc. I have a small orchard. In the summer I grow 16-20 tomatoes. I plant sunflowers in an empty field and I have a small pumpkin patch. I also have some ducks, chickens a turkey (Bought to eat. But now a pet.)and a few rabbits.
Right now (Mid Nov)in my garden I have fava beans, root crops, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, peas. I'm busy covering the garden in mushroom compost and preparing a new berry patch as my current one is tired. For the first time I'm going to try blueberries in containers and maybe strawberries. I came across garden web while googling for raspberry advice. Looks like a neat web site and I wonder why I never saw it before today?

Go Giants!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2009 at 3:33AM
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Charlotte Willner

I'm Charlotte, and my husband and I are on the Peninsula (Sunset 16). We rent a house that came with three well-tended roses and a beautiful rock garden in an otherwise overrun and neglected yard. Bamboo and red trumpet vine growing in from the neighbors' yards, mint running all through the flower beds, one totally barren bed comprised entirely of rocks and dust - a lot to take on in our first year of marriage AND gardening! Most of our gardening is devoted to keeping the house unconsumed by aggressive plants, but in our free time, we've managed to put in a few easy perennials - penstemons, salvias, etc. - and loads of nasturtiums and gaillardias. We're excited for our first full spring with this garden - we're going to have sweet peas, strawflowers, baby blue eyes, scabiosa, chamomile... or I hope we will, anyway. I'm most excited to see our canterbury bells bloom - we've been nurturing them all this year for next year's bloom. We weren't very successful with vegetables this year (our tomato only made two tomatoes!), but next year, we're going to try more tomatoes and maybe some squash!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 8:19PM
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hestlauss(8 ?)

Hi all. I live in Fort Bragg (northern CA) about 3 miles in from the ocean zone 8 but our micro-climate is about 10 degrees colder in winter and 10 degree warmer in summer than Fort Bragg). Large square foot veggie garden (lettuce, bok choy, tree collards, kale, squash, corn, pumpkins, violetto artichokes, potatoes, and a small herb garden)and a 20X20 green house (tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant and stevia) and then there are the fruits and nuts:
Almond: Garden Prince
Apple: Braeburn, Gala, Red Gravenstein, Granny Smith,
Jonagold, Jonathan, unknown mystery baking apple
Aronia: Nero + unnamed seedling
Asian pear: 20th Century and
Blackberry: Thornless Arapaho
Blueberry: Herbert, Jersey, Darrow, Chandler and 4 others
that have lost their tags)
Boysenberry: Thornless
Cherry(sweet): Stella
Cherry (pie): Surefire, Black Tartarian
Citrus: Owari Satsuma mardarin, Mineola
Currants: Jhonkeer Van Tets (red), Redlake, White
Fig: Petit Negri
Gooseberry: Jahns Prairie (red), Hinnomaki Gold (yellow)
Grape: Red Flame
Guomi: Sweet Scarlet + unnamed seedling
Hazelnut: bush, Rodes Zeller, Italian
Honeyberry: Blue Velvet, Blue Moon
Huckleberry: black
Loganberry  Thornless
Mulberry: Illonois
Nectarine: Artic Glo, June Glo
Paw paw: Davis
Pear: Warren
Persimmon: Fuyu, coffee cake, Izu, Chocolate
Peach: Babcock, Frost, Indian Free, Pereguin
Pecan: Northern
Plum: Satsuma, Burgundy, Nichols
Pomegranate: wonderful
Prune: French
Saskatoon: Smokey, Pembina
Service Berry: unnamed seedlings
Strawberry: Hector, Sequoia, Chandler, Tri-Star, seascape

We have also been trying grain on small scale (white wheat last year and hull less barley and oats this year).

All of this on a single acre. We enjoy growing heirlooms and we both love to cook and it's so nice to be able to pick things when they are at their peak and know exactly how it was raised (not to mention how much money it saves!).
Am new to forums but am learning so much from reading posts. Really lovely site.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 2:43PM
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Stan,sir!,Hayward,sir!,z17 si..ahh that's enough. I have a home with a cottage to the side and stand alone garage giving me not much open room for my love of sub/tropical plants. I have done natives and temperate plants...the tropicals just call me back. So far only the tropical papaya seems a no go,as Mangos to Pachypodiums,exotic tree Aloes and Euphorbias and stuff you might find around coastal soucal are doing fine. The books say no-but there they are. I even have some exotic tropical Bonsai. If its tropical,Stan will try it.
btw,Havent had a below 30F since 1998. Summers are around the 75H and 54L marks, water is Hetch Hetchy. Just pleasant, people weather.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 5:44PM
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Stan,sir!,Hayward,sir!,z17 si..ahh that's enough. I have a home with a cottage to the side and stand alone garage giving me not much open room for my love of sub/tropical plants. I have done natives and temperate plants...the tropicals just call me back. So far only the tropical papaya seems a no go,as Mangos to Pachypodiums,exotic tree Aloes and Euphorbias and stuff you might find around coastal soucal are doing fine. The books say no-but there they are. I even have some exotic tropical Bonsai. If its tropical,Stan will try it.
btw,Havent had a below 30F since 1998. Summers are around the 75H and 54L marks, water is Hetch Hetchy. Just pleasant, people weather.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 6:20PM
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Hi everyone. I'm Terri in Sacramento. Right now I am growing peas, garlic, bok choy, and lettuce. During the summer, I grow as many veggies as I can in my small suburban yard. I also have a pomegranate tree. Nice to meet everyone.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 1:31AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

I am in San Francisco. I have been gardening for about 20 years. I never did edible crops, but I added some planter boxes just this fall, and will start growing edibles this years. I have been growing mostly flowers, and I have a few small trees, not fruit trees, because it's very foggy where I live.

There was a peach tree when I moved in, but it had some kind of terrible leaf rot and all the peaches were left fallen and could not be eaten. The yard was filled with peach pits for years. I was cleaning up peach pits from the unwanted tree, which I got rid of. I think you need more heat to get good fruits, but I have seen some successful lemon trees in the nearby area.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 4:19PM
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Clare from Aptos, 10 miles south of Santa Cruz up in hills. We live on 2.5 acres and have been here over 23 years. I have learned a lot about what will and won't grow well up here and how to successfully get fruit and veggies even when fighting nature, weather & animals, almost non stop.

DH built 7 raised beds, now lined with stainless steel wire, for my veggies. He got tired of replacing the chicken wire then hardware cloth that rusted. He also made pvc covers with chicken wire to keep the deer and rabbits out. I usually have a vegetable garden growing all year long. I also had a walk in greenhouse, but it was too big so sold it. I now have a small 4x4ft. glass one for starting seeds and cuttings and for wintering certain plants.

I have Hachiya persimmon, unknown grapes, Stayman apple, Barlett pear, Dancy tangerine, 2 lemon (Meyer & Lisbon), navel orange and Mexican lime in the orchard.

I use to have over 50 roses but have cut way back to little over a dozen plants by the house and gazebo DH built. I have cut back recently on a lot of my flowers, due to the rising cost of water. We have switched over to landscape with either natives or drought tolerant plants. I have everything on drip or soaker hose. I have 3 compost piles and use to have worms, but they died during the heat wave last summer.

As I get older I find I enjoy just sitting on the deck and looking at all the trees and plants we have added to this blank slate over the years. I am doing less and less all over the 2.5 acres and am just happy playing up in my veggie garden. Also having a bad hip from a fall doesn't help. I am getting to the point of wanting to have someone else do all the work. LOL

Below is a link to pictures of my flowers and gardens.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 6:12PM
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Hello all! Another one from the SF Bay Area! This year my vegetable garden will grow tomatoes, peppers, green beans, peas, and cucumbers. Plus assorted herbs.

I am a newbie to these forums - been reading all winter in anticipation, and finally joined to celebrate finally starting seeds tomorrow (such a delay!).

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 7:26AM
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bettyn_gardener(9 Sunset 14)

Hi Everyone - I'm Betty from Davis... I have a small garden, mostly roses and perennials, some clematis, a few succulents and annuals. My garden is packed - probably over planted - the consequence of plant fever in the spring...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 11:18PM
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Brent from Auburn checking in. Literally live on top of a hill. My garden is 4 3'x10' raised beds (run from 18" deep to over 3' due to the slope) and 3 half barrels. 3 beds half barresls for summer, 1 for winter. Summer growing will consist of tomatoes, onions (red, white, yellow, walla walla), carrots, artichoke, lettuce, spinach, garlic, peppers (bell, wax, banana), corn, potatoes, melon (honeydew or cantelope). This will be the first year for a winter garden so not sure what all I'll have yet.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 12:02PM
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Hi. My name is Marcia and I live in Berry Creek (foothills above Lake Oroville). We moved here 8 years ago from Fullerton (Orange Co).

Gardening in the sierra foothills has been a challenge for me (not to mention a serious learning curve). I have, for the most part, solved my gopher and deer issues but the heat in the summer and alkaline well water remain my biggest challenges.

I grow what I like so my garden and landscaping is a hodgepodge of all those plants I've bought and that have come to me from other generous gardeners over the years. My garden has grown to a point that my energy level can't keep up. It's very beautiful this time of the year though.

I can't really say I have a passion for anything in particular. Here's a very short list:

Roses and asiatic lilies - in wine barrels
Fruit trees - apples, pears, fig, asian pears, plums, peaches, naval orange, kumquats, mandarins
Vegetables - in raised beds

I also have a vast array of perennials and bulbs for cutting.

Gardenweb has been a great resource for me and I check in to read posts on a regular basis. Happy gardening!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2010 at 12:39PM
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Hi all! I'm Cynthia in Clovis (San Joaquin Valley). New to California and new to roses, which are my current passion. I've added tangerine and blood orange trees to the lemon tree that was here when I moved in April last year. The house had been vacant for a while so my task this year is to bring the garden beds back to life (last year I addressed the inside :>)). Luckily, I just have a pretty small lot in a subdivision and not acreage like some of you. I'm trying to work in annuals and perennials that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. And I have some tomato plants in a raised bed.

I am learning so much from everyone's posts! You are all the greatest!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 12:05AM
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Hello, My friends call me Papa G, I live in Shasta Lake I'm a transplant from Mississippi Gulf Coast where I could grow anything, here thats another story. I've got garlic and walking onions going we also have permanent raised beds with artichoke, asparagus and strawberry's

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 10:00PM
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dirtscratcher2010(northern ca 9/10)

dale in american canyon mostly vege gardening but will be doing flowers as have bought new (old) house and starting with a clean slate. have to get all hardscapes in then flowers and whatever else evolves.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 11:22PM
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Hi there!I'm Missy and I live in Sacramento/North Highlands area. I'm finally starting a garden again. I had one yrs ago but then we moved and never had a yard or area to really garden! So here I am! I have tomatoes in the ground, along with the cucumbers. I have green beans, corn, and watermelon in the greenhouse box. I have lots of herbs (would love to buy/get more teheehe) I have rosemary, basil, spearmint, chocolate mint, thyme, lemon thyme, sage, dill, and lemon sage. I have wildflowers growing in a spot next to where I'm putting the corn and a ring around two trees. So, we'll see how things go!!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 7:02PM
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Hey, I'm Matt from Pacifica, just south of SF.

I have a small fenced side yard where I grow edibles and a few ornamentals. Well, I try to grow edibles. I always have good luck with tomatoes, chard seems to do well, the asparagus is just pathetic, and the fruit trees and blueberries have yet to fruit but we'll see.

Out in front, I just ripped out the lawn and replaced it with a mix of native grasses, bulbs and low-growing perennials. That's starting to look really nice, I'm very proud of it.

In the back, there's a steep slope that I've been trying to colonize with a few large shrubs and trees, although the deer make that almost impossible!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 2:47PM
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Hi I am from SF Bay area as well. I grow mainly fruit trees; they are still not at their peak (except two lemons and one pomegranate that I inherited when I moved into my house). Oh yes, I've got Blueberries that have been reliably producing.

I have planted 2 grapevines, citrus, curl-free peach (such a relief! My other peach is a pain due to curl), nectarine, apple. I plan to get more blueberries, 2 more grapevines, 1 apple and 1 pear espalier.

I have an area in my backyard where I keep dumping food and leftovers etc. and this year I was rewarded with a few tomato plants and some cukes (I believe they are cukes since they are definitely squash family and I do not eat any other type of squash). I am also planning to grow cantaloupes and watermelons this summer (perhaps too late, but we'll see).

Thanks for reading through my rather long intro!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 12:01PM
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Hi my name is Mark, and I live in the mountains east of redding near the base of mount Lassen... Close to a former town called Viola (nine miles east of shingletown).....

This is my first post, and I thought I'd start here... I am a complete newbie to all this, and have some specific goals in regards to gardening..

Would I be better off asking questions in the 'rockies' forum, where the climate and geography is more like mine, or should I post in this forum, since I live in Ca?

I want to grow avocado, banana, red grape, onion, potato, limes, oranges, garlic, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro, lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, cucumber, watermelon, tangerine, corn alfalfa sprouts, and maybe even some hops and grains someday (I'm into homebrewing).. among other things...

Since I live in snow country (about 4200'), I guess this means I'll be building some greenhouses on my little one and a half acre slice of paradise...

Is this the best forum to start at, or is there some other forum better suited for getting my edumacashun?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 6:59PM
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queerbychoice(USDA 9a/Sunset 8 (CA))

Hi Mark!

There are so many climates in California that I think it would be a mistake to imagine that the California gardening forum focuses only one one or two of them and not yours. There will be ways in which your climate isn't like that of most people on this forum, but I think the same is true for a lot of other people on this forum. It's certainly true for me!

There's certainly no harm in following the Rockies forum in addition, though, as long as you bear in mind that there are differences between your climate and theirs (see below for some details on that).

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 7:48PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Hello Mark and welcome to California gardening. Before you get your heart set on greenhouse growing, take a serious look at the cost of maintaining growing temperatures, in even the best greenhouse, in your climate. So many hobby greenhouses end up being abandoned as the expense is too much for a hobby only, with no return from sales. Al

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 7:49AM
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Thanks guys.. I have been thinking a lot about the costs of greenhouse gardening... But there are other offsetting costs...

I live in a very rural setting... And the closest store is 10 miles, a little country store where the produce is much higher in cost than in the city...

As a result, I buy lots of produce when I go into redding... That's $25 in gas, and 60% of the stuff goes bad before I have a chance to eat it.. Wasting a lot of money, and because of the hassle involved when I get the hankering to have some healthy food, I don't eat that healthy food...

So there is a money cost, and a health/lifestyle cost involved that offsets the cost of controlling the environment in a greenhouse...

That being said, I am not looking to grow 'for sale' but to have what I want to eat available, when I want to eat it, without all the hormones/chemicals, and genetic funny business that comes with store bought foods... I would also like to do a little networking/bartering with my neighbors... There's something very appealing about taking all the exchange of 'money' out of the equation too... and the interference of the govt regulators and what not as well..

I am assuming that you are mostly talking about the cost of 'heating' a greenhouse, correct? Or is there some other factors you're referring to?..

I've been kicking around the idea of digging a ten foot or so deep pit, roughly the size of the greenhouse or larger and placing a 'radiator' shaped layer or two of pex tubing, that would be then run to a radiator in the greenhouse, with a low wattage fan that blew air through it and a low wattage water pump to circulate the water through the pex..... I am told that at depths of about 8 feet or more, the temperature of the earth stays constant through out the four seasons.. That temp being in the mid fifties or so... A bit of initial cost (would have to trade labor with a buddy and his back hoe).. IOW, poor mans geo thermal heating..

I was also considering doing my composting in the greenhouse and using thermal mass water barrels (possibly looped in the geo thermal system)..

In addition to this, I am considering constructing the greenhouse(s) in geo dome fashion on top of raised walls.. All panel consisting of two layers of solexx separated by a few inches of air, and well sealed...

I have been led to believe that geodesic domes are cheaper to heat... yes/no?

The cost of heating is a definite concern, and I'd love to hear all your thoughts on it, and your experiences... I would love to be able to just walk outside and get an avocado when I want one, without having to buy 8 of them and watching half of them rot in the fridge... or to be able to go outside and grab just enough produce to make a days worth of salsa when I want..

Anyways, maybe I'm being unrealistic and maybe I'm not.. I desire to hash all that out ahead of time and make 'informed' decisions... I want to go into this 'eyes open'..

That's why I'm here...

Any other caveats I should be aware of? Any other ideas as to affordable solutions? Anyone try or know of someone who tried the geothermal route?

Positive/Negative experiences?...

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 10:25AM
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Elizabeth from San Jose, Silicon Valley. I live on 6000 sq ft lot that I pack with flowers(roses, bulbs, perennials) and edibles. I have been gardening for 18+ yrs. I love growing flowers and vegetables. I grow my vegetables in a raised bed loosely following square foot gardening method. I have a mature lemon, mandarin orange and avocado tree that came with the house. My lemon tree produces way more lemons than I can use. The lemons are super juicy.

I replaced my front lawn with drought tolerant and native plants two years ago. I am happy with the way it has turned out. I planted some native CA shrubs, laurel bay, English lavender, sages, Mexican sage and Hot lips Sage. I love drought tolerant plants. I love growing roses, bulbs especially irises. I have about 25+ rose bushes. I love fragrant roses and irises. If anyone want to trade irises or roses, contact me. I am happy to share.

In my effort to reduce, reuse and recycle, I use my local freecycle groups. There is a local plant swap Yahoo group in San Jose area called SJplantswap. Locals in the area can join and trade bulbs, seeds, gardening advices, etc.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 4:14AM
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Dick_Sonia(Sunset 17)

With regard to growing fruit and vegetables in greenhouses, many people erroneously believe that temperature is the major constraint that needs to be overcome. At latitudes above 30 degrees, however, it is LIGHT, not temperature, that is the primary limiter. Adequate levels of light for tropicals -- minimum 10 and a half hours a day of sunlight -- exist from about Apr. 1st to around mid-Oct. in far northern California. Remember that a greenhouse is a season extender, but not a season reverser or season eraser. The kind of photoperiod changes that cause plants to produce the kind of hormonal changes that result in flowering and fruit production will still be dependent on the zenith of the sun at your latitude unless you invest in an expensive system of artificial lighting to fool plants into thinking that days are longer than they are. You cannot simulate the climate of the tropics at a higher latitude merely by controlling temperature.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:30PM
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carolsun(z9 northbay)

Carol in Napa, with a very small (20x65feet) garden: one long mixed border against the north fence (irises, roses, vitex, loropetalum, perennials, mums, canna...), a small succulents and herbs bed (the "blue" garden), fig tree, tiny lawn, raised vegetable bed (3x10) and a few big pots and barrels. We try to grow tomatoes and a few other vegetables every summer, have better luck with winter crops: fava beans, spinach, lettuce, beets. Beautiful iris bloom this spring after 3 not-so-good years. Waiting for soil to warm up but lying awake in the middle of the night daydreaming about what to plant in any blank space I have. A big cotoneaster lacteus died last fall, removed it in Jan., amended soil last month, am ready to start a pole bean teepee in its place. Garden = peace of mind, even when battling the bugs.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 9:52AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

dick sonia is certainly correct about the light requirements for greenhouse growing. We found a HID light system was also required, which added to the initial expense plus 400 watts additional power consumption. Al

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 8:54AM
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angela in hercules here(east bay, abt 12 minutes away frm Berkeley up hwy 80 east)! glad you started the nor cal roll call. i'm just starting my raised bed garden - the dirt's going in on thursday.... hopefully! just have to decide what to plant and where to take advantage of the moving and limited amount of sun i get (abt 3-5hrs) due to the overly tall pine tree that my home owners assoc won't cut. whew!

any ideas?


    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 1:32AM
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Hello! Just joined tonight. I live in foggy half moon bay. I'm getting really into gardening. I dove right in, but I have gotten ahead of myself it seems. Anyways, I tilled up a small part of the field behind my house, about 10 by 25. The soil there is not too good, compacted sticky clay. I've planted corn, beans, squash and zucchini. I have a fig tree, 2 black berry bushes and a raspberry. I built a poly tunnel with tomatoes, peppers, eggplants. Also working on seeding the hills with edibles. I plan to plant artichokes, prickly pear, possibly some fruit trees, sunchokes, and many others.

I'm looking for some advice on coastal fruit and vegetable gardening. Mostly questions about tomatoes and melon varieties, and if anyone local has some advice on how to condition the soil here.

Glad to be here and very excited to see what I can learn!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 12:35AM
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Hi! i am Pady from Sacramento & i just have 7X10 feet patio to grow all i can .... i have 5 tomato plants, lots of petunia, million bells,lobelia & Alyssum hanging down my patio, then one Fushia plant, few Freescias, Snapdragon, Hibiscus, and not to forget my 1 redwood & 1 Avacado plant (both still babies)...needless to say -there is no place to sit in my patio but i can't help it.

In an year i plan to go and plant my Redwood & avacado in a forest but if anyone is willing to adopt my plant babies & take care of them i will be more than willing to give it to you. I will post a thread when i am giving away my plants...they both r healthy. Wish i was able to keep them but i have no place!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 1:35PM
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Howdy all--

I am in Sacramento. I planted currants and gooseberries on the north side of the house to see how they'll do. I have three figs, a kumquat, pomegranate, several flowering quinces, an australian lime, medlar, umeboshi plum, musk strawberries, quince trees (portugal and aromatnaya) a couple of apricots, a shipova and two grapes. I really like exotic and different fruits!! In addition, I have planted all the standards: tomatoes, carrots, onions, beets peas, beans, zuccini cucumbers and peppers. Any other ideas for exotic different strange fruits/berries that grow well in our area?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 11:56PM
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loribee2(CA 9)

Hi I'm Lori from Rohnert Park. We've got a new-to-us house that came complete with about 6,000 sq feet of lawn in the back. My first comment when seeing it was, "Oh, that's gonna go."

We're tackling it in sections, the first being a sunny side yard where we've built raised beds for vegetables. I haven't had a vegetable garden in 15 years so I'm very rusty. This forum has been a WONDERFUL asset! I've talked to a few of you already and very much appreciate the help and advice!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 3:13PM
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I'm in southwest san jose, between los gatos and campbell. Just bought a house a few months ago with no yard. So I started container gardening on the south facing patio. I'm taking an easy start and just got 2 dwarf meyers lemon trees, a pot of low-maintenance grass and perennial flowers, and some herbs. I plan to accumulate more perennial flowers over the years but I'm sticking with my current collection for this year and see how things go.

I mostly hang on the Container forum.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 5:57PM
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Maggie M.(z7 Sunset7 CA Sierra Foothills)

Hi, Maggie in Calaveras County. Had been online and posting here a lot when I lived and gardened in Pleasant Hill. I highly recommend all the plant swaps and that those of you willing to travel to Contra Costa get to the Diablo Valley plant sales.

Now I have 5 acres (mostly hillside) and have not yet tackled the landscaping here. Been keeping favored plants I brought along in my move alive in pots, a challenge. Like others, have deer and what they don't eat the rabbits, wild turkeys, voles, moles and others do. All of that can be dealt with. My biggest challenge has been that my well water goes through my home filtering system and the salt in the water softener does in many plants. Don't easily find lists of what's salt tolerant (some exist for ocean side gardeners) or salt tolerant info when looking at plant databases/Sunset. Irrigation straight from the well is planned before the gardens, I'm just not there yet. My plans are to only landscape around the home and build a veggie area - most of the 5 acres will be left in its beautiful au natural state.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 9:03PM
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nanelle_gw(9/Sunset 14)

Hi! I'm Nanelle, originally from NYC, but the last 20 years in Vacaville, "where the valley meets the bay"!.

I used to spend a lot of time on gardenweb, especially the tomato forum, but a few years ago, fig roots invaded my raised beds, and vegetable gardening has been a real challenge.

I still try, and usually wrangle dozens of pepper and tomato plants in the summer, favas, garlic, and lettuce in the fall, sugar snaps in the late winter, with grapes, figs, pluots, peaches, nectarines, figs, meyer lemons, blood oranges, and pineapple guavas that sort of do their own thing.

I came here today because i was wondering


and how is everyone handling it? Great for my sugar snaps and sweet peas, but whats going to happen with the pepper and tomatoes?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 11:44PM
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We moved to los gatos/campbell area late last year. The previous owner had a good set of trees, but a lot more landscape trees than i care for.

As far as the fruit trees go, we inherited a large plum of as yet unknown kind, a large apricot, a dark fig, navel and another orange of some kind, a mandarin, a buddha's hand, a couple of pears, a curl afflicted pear, a loquat, 3 lemon trees, a pummelo and what seems like an elderberry. Except for the peach, all the rest are doing well. The rains probably saved more than a couple of them I we didn't pay particular attention to watering. Now with the drip system in they have a higher chance of survival, lol.

We added 3 plums, two of which are the 4 in 1 kind. 2 figs (peters honey, and an italian heirloom fig from a friend), 2 more loquats (1 greek and 1 turkish). 3 pomegranates (wonderful, red silk and angel red). A pear (anjou), a valencia orange, 2 fuyu persimmons (yet to leaf). 2 guavas (pineapple, and pink tropic). A 4 in one apple, a 4 in one cherry.

The previous owner left a nice planter, so planted a bunch of seeds from heirloom tomatoes that we bought at the local farmers market. Was too lazy to mark the seeds, so there were a mix of types. There are a million seedlings growing, need to thin them out. Also some jalapeno plants from seed off of store bought chilis.

Squirrels are already getting all the apricots, hope the plums will be left alone. Thank goodness for all the rain. Next year, need to focus on the pruning and flowers.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 2:01AM
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spaghetina(SF Bay Area)

Hi all! Deborah from San Carlos checking in. I grew up in Pacifica, but only grew a couple things as a kid, and they were primarily in pots on my deck. I've been in San Carlos for a couple years now, and the weather here is definitely more conducive to gardening than P-town, despite the fact that I lived in the middle of the fog doughnut in Park Pacifica.

I've been vegetable gardening for just about a year now - started last summer by building a raised bed, and one turned into 3, and 3 turned into 7, which overtook my front lawn. Now, instead of a front yard with grass, I have 4 raised beds full of tomatoes, cukes, and beans. I'm battling tomato psyllids over here, so I'm not sure how my tomato crop is going to turn out, but I've got 20+ plants in now, with another 20 or so in their seeding flats, waiting to get a little bigger.

I'm so happy to see so many other people from the Bay Area here. I'm usually in the veggie forum, trying to soak up as much info as I possibly can.

I have my fingers crossed that the weather stays warm, but I'm not super hopeful since it's already cooled down considerably today. :(

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 11:28PM
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suprneko(9b/sunset 16 NorCal, S. Bay)

Hi, south San Jose here - Santa Teresa foothills. We have deer, possum, raccoon and of course !@#$#! squirrels.

We have been growing a few veggies for the past several years but this year I took over another section of the backyard. Unfortunately I have had a big problem with ONE freaking ground squirrel eating everything. I haven't seen him since Tuesday evening, hoping he is gone as I really need to plant the upteenth replacement seedlings....

Anyway, nice to meet you all! :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 1:25PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

What? gophers? I would say "Lucky you", but it sounds as though you have your hands full

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 10:52PM
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napapen(ca 15)

I'm Penny from the Napa Valley between Yountville and Napa. I have an acre but only use 1/2 of it for veg gardening and landscape. I do compost on the other 1/2 and have several compost happens piles. Just planted my veg garden a week ago because of the weather. Started almost everything from seed in my passive solar hothouse. I move out of it during the summer, although this is the latest it still has plants in it.

I like to experiment so this year was saving rain water in large barrels. It's working well when I need use a pail of water or to water small plants. I also put in swales afew years ago and they are great. I am on flat land but they still retain water.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 4:54PM
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Scott and Irene from Foresthill. Just outside of Auburn in the foothills.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 12:34AM
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Southern Humboldt representing at Morning Glory Manor, Ettersburg. This year we are rocking 350 sq ft of Grosso lavender, heirloom tomatoes include nature's riddle, hill billy, pierce's pride, purple cherokee, etc. we got black dakota popcorn, 240 sq ft of amazingly sweet strawberries, arugula, dinosaur kale, and I'd like to take this moment to thank our perenial friends the egyptian walking onion, jerusalem artichokes, rhubarb, and especially that nutrient rich compost maker comfrey, for all it's healing powers and rejuvinal splendor. Three types of french winter squash, Marquis de something, black ace watermellon, black zuchinni, and garlic, garlic and more garlic. Blue berry, black berry, apple, I love you. Let's not forget our goat and chicken friends whose wonderful waste we all rely on. Blessed be.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 6:08PM
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trace_stew(Zone 9)

Just outside of Oakdale....Bought 4 acres this December after living in Fresno. The house had been empty for 2 years or so. When we started to peel away the layers of weeds and vines, we found a pecan tree, a walnut tree, a Mulberry tree, 4 almond trees, a Ca pepper tree, wild grapes, and plenty of blackberries. So far, we've managed to put in three Brown Turkey figs, One Damson plum, one Santa Rosa plum, a Bartlett pear, four blue berries, an apple tree, a nectarine tree, and a Babcock peach tree. Right now we're relying on our CSA for veggies, but I've managed to plot out the garden and the lower orchard for next year. Now if I can keep the chickens in there to till it up for me, half my work will be done!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 1:33PM
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I moved recently to a very small lot in Nice, Ca, about 6 blocks from Clear Lake. I've planted my first summer garden at this site in bags of (amended) compost and top soil--a technique that has turned out remarkably well. The heavy clay soil here is neutral (that's good), but severely deficient in N, P, and K. The house came with one peach, one plum (in very poor shape), and a cherry tree, but I haven't seen a pollinator for it. I'm the "proud" owner of a power pole that stands in my front yard about 10 feet from the front of my house. I'm looking for a great vine to disguise it and came upon this forum this morning when I was researching trumpet vine (I saw a beautiful vine covering another power pole on my bike ride earlier today).

Next winter/spring, I hope to plant some thornless blackberries, my perennial onions and chives, my peppermint, and six grape vines, plus graft new cultivars onto my plum tree (which looks like it is about 2/3 leafed-out rootstock. I would love to espalier apples on my fence--I've only about 6 feet from house to fence on the east side of my house. Then there are raspberries, a fig tree.....

All in all, I want to get rid of the lawn, and plant an edible landscape.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 2:33PM
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Hubby and I bought a house in downtown Livermore this spring. The neighbors say the woman that lived here had a beautiful garden, but most of it must have been torn out and we've inherited an odd collection of mostly ornamentals. Hoping to do some major work this fall making raised beds and starting the typical winter rotation of greens, garlic, and onions. For now I've got an herb garden started and container-grown tomatoes and basil. Started the composting as soon as we moved in! I just posted about black spots/dots/scales on all my plants - mostly worried about the herbs. Chime in if you have any ideas!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 7:03PM
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Hi there! I'm in lovely Albany, which is right next to Berkeley, though we'll never admit it.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 10:31PM
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Rich from the San Mateo Highlands. I have the following trees: 2 peach, 3 apple, 1 almond, 2 cherries, 1 Asian pear, 1 nectarine, 2 tangerine, 1 orange and 2 lemon. Also have blueberries, onions and various vegetables that vary season to season.

I compost and grow all my lettuce and tomatoes from seeds that survive the composting process. I just top layer my compost and see what grows.

Major issues with moles and gophers this year.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:07PM
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Ahoy there!

Neil from Modesto checking in. We have a small backyard, so I've built some odd-shaped raised beds from 2x12 redwood.
Currently in the garden, we have 4 blueberry bushes, (this was their first year...small harvest of nice, sweet berries) 2 bell pepper plants of different varieties, one jalapeno, one Serrano, and one "mystery pepper" that was supposed to be a Fresno chili...but looks and heats more like a habanero. Also have 4 tomato plants that were supposed to be cherry tomatoes...but instead produce the nicest, sweetest softball sized fruit we've ever had. There are 2 Early Girl tomatoes, and we had one heirloom German Johnson, but it was too gangly and sprawling, so I had to take it out. (too much shade, very few fruits)
We also have a small dwarf Meyer's lemon and a small dwarf Elberta peach. (lemon planted last fall, peach this spring)

Anyone here have any experience with buddleia? I have a monster I need to prune back, but don't want to kill.

Nice to meetcha all!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2010 at 10:20PM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

Min here, about 20 minutes south of San Jose, CA. I'm trying to make and maintain a wildlife garden with 4 little ponds and a bigger one, 14'x 14'. I have made many mistakes over the 20 years of living here- so much to learn about gardening in such a dry area! >%^&*gophers are always a problem.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 10:00AM
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lindaca(Calif 9)

Hi, I'm Linda from Concord, east bay. I work in Albany (Hi Noahj) So good to see people who garden in my neck of the woods.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 10:52AM
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Looks like I am still the northern most resident to weigh in here. Glad to seen one other from my part of the state. We are lousy with gardeners here, but I guess everyone is too busy doing what they do to check in.

I'll be planting garlic starting tomorrow. Will start with the Italian Purple and will wait awhile before I plant the hardnecks who like a good chill before they get going.

What is everyone else up to?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 8:37PM
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Lalitha from Los Altos.. Just moved into a new home with a nice garden and very excited to be gardening again after a break of 5 yrs. Just figuring out the basics of tools/ equipment and wondering what I am going to be able to plant this fall.. Would love to get some bulbs/ perennials in before the rains start.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 2:04PM
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Hello Everybody!

My name is joanne8777. I live in Tracy, which is in San Joaquin County.

I had all of the water-wasting, labor-intensive lawn and ornamentals removed from my front and back yards three years ago when I had my fence replaced.

My ambition is to create an organic, edible, sustainable landscape. I am in the process of removing the old irrigation pipes, getting rid of rocks and killing off the remaining bermuda (sp?)grass.

I am planning to start my garden project with the back yard first. I'm having the yard rototilled, then will have 10 yards of compost delivered from the local Materials Transfer Station. (The compost is certified organic and free to the public!)

I'm planning to grow hairy vetch, field peas, red, white and sweet clovers over the winter months, then till it into the soil in the spring. Right now, I've been trying to come up with a plan for what types of fruit trees, vegetables and herbs to plant. I like to cook and bake so I'm looking forward to a steady supply of fresh produce.

Would appreciate any suggestions/tips from all of you. I haven't gardened in years and can use all of the help I can get!

Peace, love and tie dye!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 2:30PM
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    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 3:32PM
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Kelly from St. Helena (Napa Valley) on 1 acre very gravelly old alluvial fan (creekbed) Drainage excellent in summer, high water table in winter. Good summer heat and some winter chill. No well so I spend a lot on water---.

Just got a Pink Satin Pomegranate and Chandler Walnut, Started with nothing (not even a blade of grass. Garden is twenty years old. Mostly organic Grow lots of melons in summer.

Fruit trees (Some young):

Apple: Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Yellow Newton Pippin, Pink Pearl

Pear: Moonglow, D'Anjou

Plum: Weeping Santa Rosa (Highly recommend---ornamental and fruit), Elephant Heart

Peach: Strawberry Free, Frost lost my 20 year old Babcock ;-(

Nectarine: Juneglo

Citrus in pots: Dwarf Improved Meyer Lemon, Washington Naval Orange, Cara Cara Orange, Mandarin Satsuma Owari

Olive: Manzanillo

Strawberries: Diamante

Black Berries: Loch Lomond, Boysen, Black Diamond, Siskiyou

Raspberries: Caroline

Blueberries: Toro, Spartan, Darrow

Winter: Lettuce, peas, onions, brocolli

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 1:13PM
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We went for the Look, not fruit & veggies. We buy those at Safeway, or wherever. Anyway, we are in Sacramento, on a 75 acre lake, sandy beach etc, so we went Tropical, of course. So many palms they are hard to count, of about 6 varieties, Camellias (I know, they don't sound tropical, but they bloom for months in winter), various vines, and tons of potted f,lowers of differing types (annuals). Really pretty! So fun fertilizing, placing for the view, etc. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 9:06PM
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Thanks for starting this derby98!

I live in Pacifica, in exactly the neighborhood that spaghetina left!

We don't have much planting space, but I'm devoting what we have to fruits and nuts. I have an ultradwarf Nijiseki Asian pear, a plum with a Japanese name that I forget (but has yet to furnish any plums), and I'm trying hazelnuts this year.

Out back we have a weedy 45-degree slope (!) that I persist in planting things on, despite the fact that everything either dies of thirst or gets eaten by deer :-)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 1:37AM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Hi mlevie, long time no see!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 5:10PM
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My wife and I live on a couple acres in Loomis, a small town on the NE side of Sacramento. We have a variety of things growing, from citrus and peaches, to a 35' diameter water lily pond and lots of cannas, lots of irises, and some sages and other drier plants.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 11:02PM
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capricornboar(USDA 9/Sunset 7)

Haven't been on here in quite some time. Just moved from Placerville to Somerset, a few miles south/southeast from there. Starting to garden again after being away from it for over a year. Just circumstances. Anyway, I want to grow garlic and potatoes for the 1st time. Does anyone have any recommendations for this area? I guess I should be getting the garlic in the ground about now.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 5:00PM
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Hi all,

New to the forums here. I'm Jen, I live in Roseville, actually right on the intersection of Roseville, Granite Bay, and Orangevale.

Several months ago I purchased my first home, 1.5 acres. This property has never been landscaped - the entire property is clay hardpan! :( During the summer it was hard-as-rock (I literally had to use a pickaxe and jackhammer to dig out a bed.) Now that the rainy season has begun, the yard is turning into one giant lake. Needless to say, for the moment all my plants are in raised beds and pots!

In spring I'm hoping to rent a bobcat or something and literally just bail out a few feet of the ground for the part of my yard I want to plant in-ground. I'm planning to fill it in with compost... not looking forward to the cost of this!

This summer I had my first veggie garden in raised beds. I had some successes, some failures, and I'm looking forward to trying again next season.

One unexpected area of research for me is for bulbs/tubers, specifically irises. The old owners of this house left behind pots and pots of iris bulbs, many varieties, so I may as well see what I can do with them in the spring!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 7:48PM
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There are a few horse owners and horse facilities in your area. They'd probably be glad to give you lots of manure, straw and hay to till into your ground... might save you quite a few $$$.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 10:06PM
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My soil isn't great either. In Tracy, all of the greenwaste is collected bi-weekly by the local garbage company. The city makes compost out of it and it's certified organic. The compost is free to residents but residents must pick it up themselves. Residents can also pay a small fee and have it delivered, which is what I did since I don't own a truck. I had 10 yards of compost (A HUGE AMOUNT!) delivered for $140.

After I rototilled the yard, I amended the soil, then tilled again. I planted a hairy vetch cover crop (good nitrogen fixer for the soil) to overwinter and will till it into the soil in the spring.

I will be planting red, white and sweet clovers, field peas and buckwheat (good green manure nitrogen fixers) in the spring, tilling that into the soil before it goes to seed.

You might also check into the University of California Master Gardener's Program for Sacramento. I just got accepted into the San Joaquin Valley section and the classes start next week. I'm very excited about learning from recognized experts in the horticultural field.

I wish you well for 2011 in all of your gardening efforts!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 1:37PM
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Hi all, I suppose the thread continues on. My name is Ken, and I live in Vallejo (bordering on American Canyon). When I resided in San Francisco (Ocean View neighborhood), I had a lot of success with fava beans, cilantro, and parsley in particular. I also did okay with cherry tomatoes, as there is a lot of fog in that area of town. When I lived on Treasure Island (more like weather in Oakland I believe), I had success with a larger variety of plants, though I tried to grow more stuff: garlic, blackberries/boysenberries (got out of hand), tomatoes (the cherry grew like crazy), green beans, zukes, brocolli (cabage loppers made this one tough to grow), mustard, spinach, bok choy, blueberries, and rosemary/cilantro.
I also lived in San Jose, and had tremendous success with green beans, lettuce (Winter and Spring), zukes, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, and tomatoes (nice and hot down there).
In Vallejo, did tomatoes, zukes, and green beans last year with a reasonable amount of success, though it seemed cooler over all this year 2010 was first year here). Plan on getting some raspberries, blackberries in this week, perhaps with some blueberries. Will do tomatoes/zukes/green beans again, and perhaps get in some herbs and more green stuff (kale and mustards).

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 4:57AM
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This thread isn't quite dead so I'll check in too. Elizabeth in Vallejo (Hi Ken!). We are on our 4th year of having a veggie garden. We've had moderate success so are still trying to learn and improve.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 12:57PM
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mysticfoxtrot(North CA)

Well - I'm Rose from Roseville. New here. My husband and I moved to a place on 2 acres 6 months ago. Right now there are lots of Agapanthus and honeysuckle. My current favorites are just about any sage or lavender, so some of that Agapanthus is coming out to make room for the rest!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 10:57PM
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My name is Joe and I live in Waterford,My Mom had 8 kids to feed and I was #8,We grew everything on 13 acres fruit and veggies and everyone helped can it for later use.
I grow it for enjoyment and cost savings and for the great taste and health benifits of homegrown vs. store bought!
I grow corn.beans,potatoes,peas,melons,cucumbers,squash,carrots,beets,garlic,onions,leeks,fava's,broccoli,cauliflower,tomatoes,peppers,eggplant,spinach,kale,lettuce.radish,celeriac,asperagus,etc.Pretty much all organic.I have brought truck loads of horse manure,chicken and rabbit and my own compost into the garden over the years and the sandy loam is very rich.I love to hunt and fish so the spoils of the animal or fish is buried and I plant on top of it.Some think it gruesome but organic means blood meal ,bone meal etc.Fish is by far the best fertilizer in my book.
I mulch everything with alfafa hay and have zero weed problems.This year I went to a total drip system and I am still trying to perfect it.I think the drip irrigation suppliers should add a forum for the veggie gardeners so we can better coordinate on how to lay out the system at a minimal cost.It is a challenge to get the entire garden on one supply or zone based on the different demands for each veggie!Regards Joe

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 12:01PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

Hi, Joe. Yeah, those days were good. I grew up in grade school in Ceres and my Dad worked trucking and forklift....always bringing home lugs of tomatoes, peaches. apricots, asparagus...all the good stuff. It sure has changed a lot up there now...busy, busy, busy and I see so much good farmland being lost to housing. Too bad. Hope you have a very productive season coming on and lots of enjoyment from growing it.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:54PM
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Hi, DeneciePie here , also from Tracy. Last year we took our bananas in (they were in pots) and no Frost at ALL so this year when they overtop our house...big freeze. I think they are going to survive. Also have an unhappy Mexican avo and lots of very happy cherries, almonds, apricots and figs. We grow a lot of brambles and just put in a couple grape vines. We garden in 5 large raised beds, mostly a three season affair, but fall planted garlic is looking good and the Fava's are in bloom, at last.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 4:43PM
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Hello from San Francisco where the sun doesn't shine in the summer time! I have azaleas & camelias and a lawn I'd love to get rid of & will eventually! One of my current projects is a shade garden area under a Blue Atlas Cedar where I've planted some ferns, foxglove, hostas & calla lillies. Im also in the planning & research stage for planting new groundcover on a sloped area in the front yard. I have lots of succulents in pots too & I dream of having a vegetable garden but will need to hold off until I can afford a good raised bed set up! All in due time!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 2:15PM
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chefskate(Sunset 15/ CA)

Hi All, Renee in Los Altos here. Trying to grow some veggies. I'm researching plants for new landscape in the backyard. Lots of shade...

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 5:00PM
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Hello everyone! I'm Melody from San Francisco, and I just joined last week. I have a concrete backyard so I'm looking into some "creative" container gardening projects this year. I also have a rickety, ugly old back porch which I want to camouflage with some trailing plants. Any suggestions for the brisk, mild San Francisco climate?

I prefer to grow things from seeds, even if it takes much longer and is more work. So far this year I've planted seeds of nasturtiums, sweet peas, borage, cornflowers, calendula, carrots, green onions, poppies, thyme, basil, mexican sunflowers, lettuce, yarrow, parsley, and japanese eggplant (these are just the seeds I had left over from last year). My "pet" plant projects are one garlic clove which sprouted in my kitchen, two sunflowers from seeds I got from the bulk bin at Safeway, and a mayocoba bean which I sprouted.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 4:19PM
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Greetings everyone, I'm Elise from Santa Rosa, I have a slightly larger than usual backyard in my suburban home near Annadel State Park. I've been gardening for 25 years, my parents were organic gardeners, and my grandparents were gardeners/farmers. All 5 of my siblings garden, and all 10 of our grown children garden!

I have 4 fruit trees, 4 raised beds for herbs and veggies, as well as 6 wine barrels. I have lots of flowers in pots, and 2 large perennial flower beds and English roses. I love to garden, I love heirloom veggies and roses. It brings me peace and happiness. I just put up 6 dozen jars of apricot jam, and can a lot in the summertime.

I'd love to meet any other gardeners in my area!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 12:42AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

Hi, I am Laurel from San Francisco. I made a website, but I was pretty upset after the CEO of Go Daddy killed an elephant, and posted horrible photos of himself dripping in blood or something so shocking. So, I wanted to delete my webpage, but go daddy refuses to refund my money. So, there are big ads for go daddy that will appear, but to remove them I would have to pay an extra 55 dollars, and I refuse to give them any more money on ethical principles. I would like to point out that elephants are very intelligent and they even morn their dead, and I in no way believe in any type of sport hunting what so ever for any reason. So, with that disclaimer, you can look at my website. I have posted there a small history of my garden and how I changed it over the years. It went from all weeds to a lawn, to no lawn, because lawns use too much water. The soil in my garden is very sandy, and I do a lot of composting. I just put in a drip system, but it needs some adjusting to get everything working just right.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 6:44PM
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Hayward Hills! z 17. Just moved onto a large, neglected swath of land and am... um... lost. There's just so much to do. Wow.

I love gardening, but trying to not feel overwhelmed is difficult. Fortunately, the zucchinis are starting to come in and I don't think I'll have much time for angst soon. ;)
StanofH, any chance we could correspond? I kinda desperately need pointers and would love a local to talk with.

My email is:
ari (then add in the next group below)
sss (the next group is below)
sss (ditto)
at yahoo

    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 11:31AM
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Hi, I just found this thread as I was searching for ideas for a winter vegetable garden. I'm Georgia and I live in the Hayward hills (near Cal-state). We have lived here for 15 years now. We have 1/2 acre in which we have built 12 raised boxes lined with heavy duty 1/2" X 1/2" wire mesh (to keep the MANY gophers out.) I thought I would start thinking about the winter garden to get my mind off the summer crops! I am so tired of canning tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers! They are all still coming on, except for the cucumbers. This has been such a strange year weatherwise. I hate to pull plants that are still producing, but I want to start putting in the winter crops.
A dilema I should be ecstatic to have. At least we don't have to deal with frost and snow in October or November here in the Bay Area.
Anyway, I'll keep watching this forum/thread. I'd love to hear ideas, especially about native plants and of course vegetables.(and of course gopher proofing my garden!)
email me-you can do it through the website.
Happy California Fall!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 1:45AM
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Matt here. I'm just outside of Auburn, in Cool. Yes, really. Cool. I'm on 17 acres, most of which is ignored. We use horses to keep the grass down on some of it. And I'm collecting chip wherever I can to keep the weeds down on the rest of it.

As others have said, it's like a war out here. Between the deer, gophers, flat-headed borers, voles, geese, skunks, opossums, other birds, and racoons, one becomes tempted to get the vintage leg traps and a scattergun out.

Still, I've managed to get my first few pounds of apples this year, and got irrigation water for the first time, so things are moving forward.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 12:10AM
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spaghetina(SF Bay Area)

Just giving this thread a little bump, since it hasn't seen any action since November, and I'm suuuuure there must be more northern Californians 'round GW.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Recent USDA map changes make Hollister, CA 95023 9b now instead of 8b. I think? I live in a suburban home on slightly less than 1/4 acre but have dreams too big for my britches it seems! I have over 10 raised beds (4x8) and misc. areas for growing all about in our back yard. I have six ducks and a rather random chicken. Some fig trees that are just starting out, the beginnings of dwarf citrus and dwarf apple, peach, and nectarine trees. Oh, and let's not forget the worms. Lots of worms in a bin just for fun.

Two overstuffed compost spinners too.

Wish I found someone else in our area. It's a very agricultural area but the planting schedules still confuse me! Getting in touch with someone else to help me would be terrific.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 11:39PM
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I'm Paula, aka Rosefolly, and I grow all sorts of plants in the Silicon Valley, a quite nice name but I prefer the original Valley of Heart's Delight. My garden is packed full of heirloom and reproduction roses, but I also grow fruit trees, vegetables, natives, bulbs, perennials and about every kind of plant you can imagine except tropicals and cacti. I dip in and out of this forum, but spend most of my time on the Antique Roses Forum and Readers' Paradise.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2012 at 12:03AM
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Hi Angiemomma (and all) I was hoping for some help from you! Ha! I'm in Atascadero, which I'm guessing is similar to Hollister for scheduling. I think I am 8a or 8b. It's hard to tell from the map. Just across the hiway, where they're getting more ocean influence is a different zone, only a mile away!

Anyway, I garden for the love of it. Peace and contentment mixed with challenge and aggravation! I can forget about everything else. And it always reminds me of being a kid with my dad in our Montana springtime.... So, all you parents ( I am not one) you ARE making memories with your kids! Cheers!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2012 at 11:26PM
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Matt here, in downtown Marysville. Greetings to all and esp to my kinda-neighbor Gayle who has done amazing things with native plants in her yard (see above). I moved into my place 2 1/2 yrs ago and have been gradually transforming it into a mostly-natives garden, more or less inspired by the UC Davis arboretum. My place is cramped and urban, but i have a shaded backyard and a super hot sunny front yard. The back had a few old camellias which i couldn't bear to rip out, so i restored them and planted some companions. Filled in with western bleeding hearts, giant chain fern, columbine, Salvia spathacea, Carpenterica californica, snowberry, Lilium pardalinum, coffeeberry etc. I also have a couple of non natives: Salvia indigo spires and Arbutus unedo. The front yard was a massive mess of bermuda grass, which i destroyed using landscaping fabric and mulch. I put in toyons and native salvias mostly, but also an amazing Fremontodendron "California Glory", ceanothus, and Lupinus albifrons, the latter grown from local wild seed. One non-native that i couldn't resist leaving out of my front is Leonitis leonurus. I also reclaimed the median strip which is an explosion of native annuals in the spring (now!) and Calif fuschia in late summer/fall, interspersed with a couple of toyons and western redbuds. This year, i'm getting into native bulbs (Calochortus, Brodiaea, etc). My enemies are: feral cats (minor) and slugs/snails (a constant battle). Oh yeah, and i also have some citrus and heirloom veggies grown in containers. Good luck with your gardens.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2012 at 4:20PM
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New around this forum. interesting reading here. I am in Humboldt Co.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 7:15PM
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I have posted a few times already but will add myself to this list - I live in Palo Alto California and enjoy a much smaller garden area in our townhouse front and back yards. They were very neglected for years and this is the first time since childhood that I've had my own gardens to plant and tend so I am learning as I go!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 9:27PM
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Hi I'm Casey. After 26 years in Fremont, we moved to Livermore. I have 1/3 acre flat lot with a huge back yrd garden that I have been redesigning for 3 years. This summer I ripped out our over grown and messy front yard and planted scrumptious drought tolerant things to have more water for my back yard gardens. Water is getting VERY dear around here.

I'm happy when I wake up in the morning and realize I am in one of the best garden zones in the country...yea Northern CA!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 7:48PM
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Hi all, I'm Philip I live and Garden in Redding

With my Wife Jenny and My son Eddie. We live on 2 1/2 acres and I have a 90 ft by 90ft Backyard orchard and 3 4x10 raised beds We had a great year with Tomatoes, yellow rainbow , brandywines better boy black krim cherry tomato and a paste from San Marzano. Lavender touch and black beauty egg plants lemon cucumbers and blue lake brush beans,now on to winter veggies like kale chard garlic onions spinach Chinese cabbage. This our second year for the fruit trees 4 pluots 4 peaches 3 apples 3 pears 2 two cherries and 2 figs. got them all from Dave Wilson trees with the soft program Special order fruit trees. and have been enjoying there "fruit tube" Videos on you tube for Pruning. Check them out there free and really great.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 8:51PM
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I never officially introduced myself :)
I'm Cindy, live in Mountain View (silicon valley, near the south end of the peninsula )
I live in a rental, replaced as much clay dirt (or fixed it) and planted entire yard over again (with landlord's help) have been posting pics too.
Always been in apts or town homes with small gardens or container plants.
(but grew up in Los Altos with big yard, dad's helper, so learned LOTS from him with gardening.) but still an advanced beginner.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 2:27PM
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Howdy Ben, I live in Auburn Ca. Just up the hill from you. I am just about to plant my first vegetable garden. I will Stay in touch. (This is my new Garden Gate, Called Sungate)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 5:30PM
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Hello from Karen in Los Altos Hills (50mi south of SF) We moved into our 1 acre lot 7 years ago and has been dealing with deer, gophers, rabbits, squirrels, etc. and putting down lots of wood chips for weed control over 1/2 the property. Just finally put up fences and gate to keep the deer out, replaced the lawn with gopher wires underneath and starting to re-landscape. Planted fruit trees (meyer lemons, kumquats,satsuma, fuji apple, 20th century Asian pear, goji berries,) 9 hybrid tea roses, dahlias, lots of tall kagaroo paws, etc. There will be a lot of maintenance ahead so I'm glad to discover this site with all of your expertise, hopefully our garden will survive!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 3:09AM
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Sara Malone Zone 9b

Hello from Petaluma in Sonoma County! I garden using woody plants - conifers, broadleaf evergreens and deciduous. This forum is a great place to come to get location-specific advice, since so many of the books are East-coast (or England) centric! I write a plant selection blog called Form and Foliage.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2012 at 9:02AM
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My name is Casey, I am from Sacramento. I have 3 Coastal Redwoods, a Sugar Pine, tons of conifer seeds I hope to sprout, and some veggie plants.

I also garden for the peace it gives me.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 7:21PM
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HI, Im Cheryl,North of Chico,Ca - right now our pomogranate is loaded , we grow tomatoes & peppers in summer - this is the first time i am growing a winter garden - broccoli, lettuce, kales brusselsprouts,e onions, its been in the 80's but cooling off to mid to low 70's and raining now - so now i can get the rototiller out and work up my old garden area has been resting for a year.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 5:12AM
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Hi! I'm Eric, and recently moved to Oakland. I'm into edibles, and am looking for cuttings of fruit trees to root! I'm hoping to find several different trees, and am on a tight budget, so any help would be truly appreciated!

I'm down in Temescal, and have a nice chunk of space. I also plan to plant lots of veggies this spring.

Fruit-wise, I'm looking for:

Grape vines (that would fruit in Oakland)
Cherry (varietals that fruit in the bay area)

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:24PM
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Hi, my name is Jeff from Hercules, ca. I grow blueberries, strawberies, fuyu perssimons, meyer lemon tree and cymbidium orchid just for fun.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 9:09PM
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Hi, my name is Serge and I am in Alameda. I am growing rose trees in the front yard - get lots of compliments!

I have lots of Citrus, most of it planted Calamondin, Clementine mandarin, Meyer lemon, Cara Cara orange, another Meyer, Dancy tangerine, Bearss lime, Golden Nugget mandarin, Key lime, Nippon orangequat, Yuzu, a big yet-to-be-identified old mandarin, Kaffir lime, Meiwa kumquat, and a seedless Kishu mandarin (the last three are in containers and will stay there along with any future citrus).

I also have 3 avocado trees: Lamb Haas, Sir Prize Haas, and Pinkerton. Waiting for fruit... A Fuyu persimmon, multi-graft cherry, and Nijisseiki pear (last two in containers...looking for a spot in the ground that will work).

I also have 5 3x6x12 raised beds and grow veggies and herbs year-round. Right now I have lots of tomatoes, squash, tomatillo, mint, tarragon, chives, kale, and basil.

My biggest problems are the sandy soil in Alameda and the BUGS that just love whatever I put in the ground. Judicious use of neem oil, castille soap, and spinosad are keeping me sane. One bonus is that I have a freshwater spring and get 1,600 gallons of water a day. Hit it when we were remodeling - go figure. The water is good and when my piping is done it'll irrigate everything with it. Right now I use it for the raised beds and for a few trees.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 9:21PM
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Hi, I'm Clinton. I'm in Capitola, CA. I love hydrangeas at my house. Come check them out on the Capitola River if you're ever in town!

I also just started to make it easier for everyone to have beautiful yards and gardens. On our website, you choose from a variety of recommended plants, flowers and veggies to have delivered right to your doorstep. From there, Yrdscape can plant and maintain everything for you or you can do it yourself.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 3:47PM
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gwlolo(9b/ Sunset 15)

I am in Los Altos (peninsula area south of San Francisco). I garden in a half acre plot. I have a shady front yard but a nice sunny backyard. I have a mix of edibles with a nice potager and am indulging my passion for heirloom climbing roses and clematis. Currently looking to add a lot more fragrance varieties to the garden.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Hi! I'm Monnette and I'm in San Leandro, CA (squished between Oakland, Castro Valley, and Hayward). Just bought a house and am new to gardening! Focusing on planting edibles and dahlias and things that smell good or feel good... as well as weird plants (like the echium wildpretii!) and trying to convince my husband to get rid of our lawn!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 5:48PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

wcgypsy...recent transplant from San Diego County to Crescent City...will be growing familiar plants, looking forward to growing some new to me and listening for tsunami warning sirens.....

    Bookmark   March 20, 2014 at 6:49PM
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Welcome to Northern California, wcgypsy. Crescent City is a nice place, a lot different than you last place of residence, that's for sure.

I have several friends who are from there and it is about 75 miles from where I live.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2014 at 1:54PM
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calbayarea(9 SF Bay/Fremont)

Long thread... and still going. Hi everyone, my name is Guy and I live in Fremont. I love vegetable and flower gardening but most of my efforts are towards growing the food I eat. I do a lot of raised beds, self-watering containers, and dirt gardening. My speciality/hobby is utilizing space to grow vegetables in what otherwise would be space that is good for nothing. For instance, I cut down a Palm tree but didn't want to spend the $$$ to have to stump removed. So I carved out the inside with a chainsaw and planted an artichoke plant there. I also attend two vegetable gardening "MeetUps" in San Jose and one in Oakland.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 2:07AM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

Thanks, still kris....
Does that put you somewhere close to Miller's? If so, lucky you....

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 11:32AM
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I am Dot, in Rocklin. I have done a bit of veggies in containers, and finally have the yard graded so i can start building in-ground garden beds.

Winter veggie garden turned out great, and now i am planning a tomato strategy for my very hot yard during a very dry year. For 43 years i thought i hated fresh tomatoes until ii grew my own pot of Sweet 100s for my husband. And then i discovered Black Krim, and Black Cherry. Oh my! I am adding Super Sioux for its heat tolerance, plus some very early determinants to try for a crop before the really hot summer temps set in.

Longer term plans include fruit such as pomegranate, fig, persimmon, grapes, citrus, and also blueberries if i can find a suitable spot...i have mostly southern and western exposure, not much afternoon shade.

I am so glad to have found this thread!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 10:07PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

Oh, Dot...I do envy you with the persimmons! I will miss mine for sure, don't think they will do well here at Hachiyas and Fuyus...mmmmm.

Have fun with it...what a project!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2014 at 11:06PM
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xeres(USDA-8 Sunset-7)

I'm in Lake County [Middletown]. We have a small lot with some new fruit trees -- pear, apple, peach and quince. Already present were three old grape vines - both seedless and seeded. Last summer/fall we ate the seedless and turned the others into grape juice. That was probably an act of sacrilege - some day we'll find out that we made juice from award winning wine grapes. (or not) Three English walnuts are left over from the orchard days plus one mulberry tree.

I've done some Earth-box type plantings until settling down. We are preparing two raised beds for veggies and tomatoes - keeping things small because of the drought.

I've spent the morning cutting back two overgrown oleanders -- they are going to be pulled out completely. Next year (hoping for a wet El Nino), maybe I'll be able to put lilacs in that space.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 10:04PM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

yay for lilacs! Have you had a chance to grow them before?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 11:18PM
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Hey everyone!

I moved to the South Bay (San Jose) 2 years ago. I am loving every second of gardening down here...year round gardening is THE best!!!
My husband and I have completely redone our entire landscaping (the house was abandoned and everything inside and out was in rough shape).

Planted some arbutus, have a ton of aloes, agaves, sedums, citrus, a few palms, roses, veggies, grasses etc

We have no turf anywhere, so the neighbors probably think we are nuts!

We are also trying a backyard miniature orchard...should be interesting. We have 2 plum trees, a nectarine, 3 pluots and about 4 varieties of mandarins in a tiny raised area on our side yard.

I love this forum...everyone has been so helpful since i knew nothing about gardening in this climate as we came here from Ontario where there is snow on the ground for 5 months of the year!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 12:22AM
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I'm Zaven in Wildcat Canyon up in the hills above San Pablo. I have several levels to garden on around the house in the woods of bay, old oaks, redwoods, eucalyptus and pines. The filtered sun through the trees does not allow for that citrus vegee potager others get to have. I put in palms, tree ferns, flax, and yucca with various under plantings for what a friend calls the Jurassic park look. Like other posts have mentioned, gophers and some other large burrowing beasts used to invade the space. I tried planting a mix of euphorbias, also called gopher spurge, which did the trick in my case. Underground raiders have ceased displacing plants and step stones.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 2:47AM
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hey everybody,

i'm in s. sacramento. growing tomatoes, herbs, beans, persimmon, nectarine, lime this year. the herbs/beans/tomatoes are in fabric pots.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 11:09PM
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roksee(Benicia SF Bay Area)

Wow... I am loving this thread. I have not seen it before.
I'm Roksee from Benicia... not far from American Canyon.
I'm a Berkeley transplant and originally from Chicago. I am so amazed at the climate changes here. Right now I'm concentrating on building a little pathway through my garden in the back yard.
I love it that I can ask folks questions about gardening that actually live in my own area.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 9:53PM
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I'm on Bethel Island in eastern Contra Costa county. (Sacramento/San Joaquin rivers delta) New to gardening. Water here is really bad (ph 9, soil is sandy or clay depending where you dig and there may be more moles/voles than people here. I garden so I can have a nice yard. I'd like to find out what will thrive here. Any other Bethel Islanders out there?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:12AM
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Hi all, my name is Mary and I live in Walnut Creek (Zaven, I spent a lot of time in Wildcat Canyon when I was a kid!). I live on an acre and my husband and I rebuilt our house 4 years ago and landscaping got shortisrift....might've had something to do with the Great Recession! So I'm in charge of planting EVERYTHING! We planted fig, pear, Meyer lemon, bonanza orange trees, maple, plum (non fruiting) and magnolia trees last Spring. I'm into fragrance gardening so have jasmine, lilac, roses, rhododendrons. I have one major hillside that I planted four years ago---what a lesson that has been. And of course I grow the obligatory vegetables in raised beds in a garden area protected from the deer. I also compost and have a worm farm. Yeah, I keep busy.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:33AM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

To all of you're all in such excellent areas for gardening...pretty cool, huh?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 10:56AM
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yowza(7b, way northern California)

Hi! I'm Laura and I live in Happy Camp, CA on the border with Oregon in the beautiful State of Jefferson! We rent a place on the river that has about 2 acres. I like flowers, but they are more of a bonus. I focus mostly on things I can EAT!

We have an aging asparagus plot with some rhubarb, a pretty big garden (50 x 50-ish), and lots of funky old fruit trees - some make fruit and some don't. We just planted a couple new ones, but they probably won't fruit anytime soon.

In the garden I have Hood strawberries, Royalty raspberries, kale, lettuce, carrots, garlic, radishes (yuck!), Northern Lights tomatoes (favorite!) and others, ancho peppers, Millionaire eggplant, feral tomatillos and feral cilantro. I irrigate in the summer using a drip system I put together from Drip Works. Our garden would never survive without it!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 9:49PM
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sheila65(z9 Sacramento, CA)

Hi I'm Sheila and I live in Sacramento County just north of Elk Grove. I have a Meyer lemon, Rio Red grapefruit, Moro blood orange and a kumquat tree. All but the grapefruit are in pots. I'm planning on adding a lime tree since limes are going through the roof! Currently in my backyard veggie garden (3 raised beds of varying sizes) I have tomatoes and peppers growing. Also have a white japanese wisteria shading my patio. My front flower garden is a cottage garden and I have too many different plants to mention. In the side yard between our house and one of our neighbors I also have a bed of daylilies that are just starting to bloom. I love this time of year! The only downer is that the weeds have gotten away from me so I have a lot of pulling to do (I am an organic gardener, so no chemicals....) :)

    Bookmark   May 30, 2014 at 9:56PM
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Hi, I'm Vasu. We just bought a home on the Monterey-Salinas Highway and am looking forward to planting fruit trees and veggie beds, as well as some fragrant roses. Love all the great information on this site! Would appreciate advice on some varieties of fruit trees that would do well here.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 7:40PM
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Hello, I'm Richard. Live and work in Las Cruces N.M. but have a house and two gardens in Westport, CA. One garden is on the ocean and the other is in the redwoods. Grow thousands of Rhododendron, Magnolias, Camellias, Proteas, Cloud Forest plants, etc.
Biggest problems are the summer drought, deer, gophers, and lack of any local help.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 10:24AM
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I'm up in Redding. It is a horrible summer with severe water restrictions. I normally use 11 acre feet per year on this five acres, but all they've alloted to me is .658 af to last until February!

I am working desperately to maintain my ornamentals and perennial vegetable plants but I've had to let three acres of pasture go and the fruit trees are mostly on their own.

I usually keep this place neat as a pin, but I can't dare to use mower or even line-trimmer on the dry grass and its tough to see everything suffer so.

I hope El Niño makes its way back to sunny California this fall!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 3:04PM
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Hello all! I thought I bring this thread back to the top. I'm Mark from Petaluma in Sonoma County. We live on 5 acres west of town. This year we grew summer and winter squash. (loving the Tatumes we tried for the first time this year) Tomatoes, Tomitillios, Egg Plant, Garlic, Potatoes, Artichokes, Beets and Chard. I have about 115 pumpkin plants in my patch. We invite our friends and family out to get pumpkins on "Pumpkin Day" whatever is left over we donate to our local food bank. In addition to our garden we are raising three Angora goats for their fiber. We currently have eight Jacob sheep also for fiber and meat. Two Cashmere Goats, three miniture horses. a miniture donkey, two dogs and three cats round out our collection of animals. How's the drought treating you?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 10:21PM
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How's everyone doing recovering from the harsh conditions over the summer? Contrary to TV weather casts, we are not having a drought in the far NW coastal part of the state. Of course, we (longer term residents) all try to conserve year round regardless of the forecast, but it is good to see everything green and growing. I live near enough to the coast to get fog drip so my yard was only brown for three or four weeks.

Got around 500 garlic planted out in raised beds as well as containers. Have not had frost enough to stop anything from growing. Finally had to rip my pumpkins and summer squash out--they were very sad looking, but still pumping out fruit. Had our first night getting into the 30s a couple of days ago--that is rare.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2014 at 8:40AM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

We've been in Crescent City for a year now, and yep....maybe this last year has been considered drought here, but with 30-some inches of rain compared to the maybe 6 we were getting in SoCal.....I'm quite happy with it. I could no longer stay where rain was getting more and more scarce and water prices higher and higher....and I'm thrilled to have a well here and when people talk about rain barrels, etc, it does make sense. We actually get enough rain to save water and will take advantage of that. It's been mild until this week, finally getting some frost showing on the rooftops....39 degrees here tonight, I believe and we're three blocks from the water...

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 1:51AM
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This is more like a good old regular winter here, wcgypsy, where it is frosty many mornings in November, December and on into winter. And 30" really isn't a lot of rain, but a good start at getting back to "normal." Lowest temperature I have experienced here less than a half mile from the ocean is 17F. That did a good job of killing quite a few things in my yard--good to have a head's up once in awhile, eh?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 7:13AM
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wcgypsy(10 / Sunset 23)

Well, last Winter was a good introduction to how cold it can be here.....and for the last 30-some years I lived where I had no frost at I'm lobbying hard for a greenhouse, but in the meantime we have a paved strip on the south side of the house that can be a good heat sink and I will be setting up container veggies and wind protection. It will be interesting to see which plants will make it through the Winter and which will rot. I've been digging out a lot of sod and piling it out of the way and it dawned on me that this mound would provide excellent drainage for some questionable plants, like my echiums. The most difficult thing for me to get used to is wearing shoes.....

    Bookmark   December 27, 2014 at 9:07AM
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Hello from the Grizzly flats part of Somerset, which is 20 miles southeast of Placerville.

It appears as though the drought has been broken, as last year we barely got any frost, and only a minimum of snow.

We are at 3500' in elevation with snow every winter, and lots of heat and drought during the summer, though we are not as hot as Placerville or the Sacramento Valley.

Last year was a good year for tomatoes...I did have 20 plants, and I am late taking them down, as the frost has recently covered them. But not bad to have (some) tomatoes into December. The longest bearing ones were Sungold Hybrid. I do grow heirlooms as well.

My efforts at corn were not good so I ended taking them out. Most years I grow squash, but did not do so since we were to leave on a trip to the PNW which ended up being a trip on the Oregon Coast, from Brookings to Astoria. I just left the tomatoes to their own devices as we left October 16th and did not return until after November 10th.

This is a very long-running thread. Who of the original posters are still here. Maybe we can go to a new thread, once everyone is on board with it.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2015 at 4:53PM
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