My small urban garden

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Jenny, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Jenny

    Jenny Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Ok so I though I'd start a thread, documenting what I am growing, my trials & errors and so on....

    I think its best to start off with what I grow and the varieties. Will eventually update the thread with pictures as I go along.

    Veggies:
    1. Spinach - FordHook, my favorite variety. It grows all year round and currently letting 2 plants go to seed
    2. Spinach - Vi:ROFL:ay. Not a big favorite of mine, but I grow it anyway since I have lots of seed.
    3. Spinach - Warrigal Greens. It grows all year round.
    4. Spinach - Kangkong - I unfortunately killed my plants, so will be planting new seeds this coming week.
    5. Carrots - Regular and baby carrots.
    6. Onions - Texas Grano & Hojem varieties
    7. Spring Onions
    8. Leeks - Carentan
    9. Turnips - Purple Top
    10. Okra - Clemson Spineless
    11. Celery - Utah tall, it grows throughout the year, so always have lots of celery
    12. Beans - Runner as well as Bush Beans. Kentucky wonder, Lazy Housewife, Malelane, Golden Wax, Purple Runner Bean, Contender Bush Bean.
    13. Beets - Detroit Dark Red & Crimson Globe. Currently letting 3 plants go to seed.
    14. Kale - Russian Red Kale, Kale Chou Moellier, Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch Kale. It grows as a perennial in my garden.
    15. Cabbage - Couve Tronchuda, Cape Spitz, Copenhagen Market Cabbage, Michihili Chinese Cabbage, Baby Red Primero, Baby Green Pandion.
    16. Brocolli & Cauliflower - Waltham Brocolli, Green Sprouting calebrese, Zamboni heirloom Brocolli, snowball cauliflower
    17. Brussel Sprouts - Don't like brussel sprouts much, but have lots of seed, so I grow it.
    18. Green Globe artichoke. I killed a few plants last year, so trying again this year. One seedling has survived so far and looks like it is going to make it.
    19. Rhubarb - Victoria. The plant is still a small seedling at this stage
    20. Other Greens - Lettuces (saladin, blond de paris, butterhead attraction), Wild Rocket, Giant Rapini Raap, French Sorrel, Broad Leaf Garden Cress
    21. Mustard & Asian Greens - Mizuna, Broad Leaf mustard, Tatsoi, Pak Choi, Red Giant Mustard
    22. Kohlrabi - White & Purple
    23. Radicchio - Rossa di Treviso
    24. Amaranths - Green amaranth, Red Quinoa, White Quinoa
    25. Eggplants - Black Beauty, Long Purple
    26. Cucumbers - Pickling cucumber, Ashley cucumber
    27. Tomatoes - Wide Variety (black krim, white, roma, moneymaker, oxheart, beafsteak, nepal,buffalo,heinz, green tiger, yellow pear, gardeners delight, golden jubilee and a few other varieties.)
    28. Sweet Potato - shop bought - redish skin and yellow flesh.
    29. Potato - grown from shop bought potatoes
    30. Corn - Blue Hopi, golden bantam, kalahari early pearl.
    31. Pumpkins & Squash - Flat White Boer Pumpkin, Queensland Blue, Jack be Little, Nelson F1 Hybrid Grey, Zuchinni Caserta, Hubard Squash, Gem Squash Rolet, Waltham Butternut, Honeynut squash (mini butternut), patty pan scalloped.
    32. Radishes - Daikon, China Rose, Cherry Belle, Sparkler, White Globe,

    Peppers and Chilli: (most in the list are seedlings at this stage )
    1. California Wonder
    2. Long slim Cayenne
    3. Paprika
    4. Tabasco
    5. Scotch Bonnet
    6. Orange Habanero
    7. Medusa
    8. Birds Eye
    9. Aji Lemon Drop
    10. Thai Dragon
    11. Thai Dragon F1
    12. Explosive Ember
    13. Serrano
    14. Yellow Scorpio
    15. Pinocchio's Nose
    16. Anaheim
    17. Jalapeno
    18. Ghost Chilli Red
    19. Ghost Chilli Orange
    20. Bulgarian Carrot
    21. Pickling Pepper
    22. Inchanga Chilli
    23. Rajah Chilli
    24. Uyababa Chilli
    25. Seranno
    26. Numex Big Jim
    27. Hungarian Black
    28. Ethiopian Brown
    29. Black Pearl
    30. Cherry Pepper
    31. Pickling Pepper
    32. Bishops Crown
    33. Hungarian Yellow Wax
    34. A few more varieties I can't remember now offhand, will add them to the list at a later stage.

    Herbs & Medicinal:
    1. Elderberry - European elderberry (Sambucus nigra) & American elderberry (Sambucus canadensis).
    2. Basil - Cinnamon Basil, Persian Basil, Siam Thai Basil, Purple Ruffles, Red Rubin, Lemon Basil, Sweet Large Leaved Basil, Genovese Basil, Dark Opal Basil
    3. Mint- Peppermint, Spearmint, Penny Royal, Apple mint, Basil Mint, Regular Catmint, Persian Catmint (Nepeta mussinii), Variegated Pineapple Mint, Lemon Balm, Korean Mint.
    4. Lemon Verbena
    5. Yarrow
    6. Cancerbush
    7. Echinacea
    8. Chamomile - German & Roman
    9. Fennel - Green & Bronze
    10. Dill
    11. Chives
    12. Lovage
    13. Rosemary - 3 varieties (regular rosemary -cant remember the exact name, ginger rosemary, wild african rosemary)
    14. Thyme - winter Thyme, English Thyme, Broadleaf creeping thyme, Lemon Thyme, Thyme de Province.
    15. Summer Savory
    16. Sweet Majoram
    17. Oregano
    18. Gota K0la (penny wort)
    19. Fenugreek
    20. Chia
    21. Tarragon
    22. Yellow Mustard
    23. Black Mustard
    24. Wormwood - Artemisia afra
    25. Tansy
    26. Chervil
    27. Caraway
    28. Anise
    29. Borage
    30. Sage - Regular Sage, Cotton Sage, Pineapple Sage
    31. Prunella
    32. Coriander
    33. Cumin
    34. Flatleaf Parsley
    35. Rue
    36. Nastursium - 3 Varieties
    37. Bay Leaf Tree - massive tree, a few stories high, 30 plus years old.
    38. Curry Bush
    39. Curry Leaf Trees
    40. Turmeric
    41. Ginger
    42. Evening Primrose - Golden Yellow
    43. St John's wort
    44. Lavender -French Royal Crown & Margaret Roberts
    45. Toothache Plant
    46. Vicks Plant
    47. Hyssop
    48. Tea Tree -Melaleuca alternifolia. About 3 or 4 years old, growing in a container.
    49. Stevia
    50. Garlic

    Fruit:
    1. Tamarillo - About 3 years old. Finally Flowering now for the 1st time !
    2. Tomatillo - Green & Purple
    3. Passion Fruit - Yellow & Purple (the purple one is still small and not yet fruit bearing)
    4. Kiwi Vines - Grown from seed. About 1 year old, but still very small , as it keeps on dying back due to heat, but bounces back.
    5. Stawberry - ever-bearing type grown from seed.
    6. Watermelons & Melons - Congo watermelon, Galia melon, Hales Best Melon, Sugar Baby watermelon, All Sweet watermelon.
    7. Cape Gooseberry
    8. Raspberry
    9. Black Berry
    10. Satsuma Trees
    11. Calamondin Orange
    12. Lemon Trees
    13. Dragon Fruit - White & Red Variety (no fruit yet)
    14. Prickly Pear, regular variety, white & yellow variety (no fruit yet) - 1 grown from seed and 3 grown from pads.
    15. Goji Berry
    16. Gauva Trees - grown from seed, about 1 years old
    17. Avacado Trees - grown from seed, about 6 - 8 months old
    18. Pomegranate - grown from seed, about 1 years old
    19. Elderberry
    20. Mulberry - grown from seed, about 1 year old now
    21. Apricot - grown from seed, about 8 months old
    22. Mango - grown from seed, about 8 months old
    23. Pear - grown from seed, about 3 months old
    24. Plum - grown from seed, about 4 months old
    25. Apple - green, golden & red - grown from seed, about 5 months old
    26. Olive Tree - Mission. (about 4 years old but still no fruit)
    27. Fig Tree - Purple figs. Tree is at least 30 plus years old
    28. Grapes - Purple Grapes. Its an old grape vine that got cut down to ground level this winter and it is now growing again nicely.
    29. Pineapple - busy growing from a pineapple top, established roots, but no new growth yet. This is my second try, I killed the first one.
    30. Pepino - 2 plants, one a few years old and a new small one. Flower drop in previous year, so no fruit. Hope this summer will be different.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
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  2. Jenny

    Jenny Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Prickly Pears & Dragon Fruit

    Prickly Pear is my favorite fruit. Although it grows wild in rural areas, here in the city it is very rare to find the fruit in the shops, so I decided to grow my own.

    I bought some seeds about 4 years ago (could actually be like 5 years ago even, I have lost track of time) and it took more than 3 months before the seeds germinated. I was about to give up, when the little seedlings popped up. Only 3 seeds germinated and after transplanting the seedlings, only 1 survived. He is now all grown up, but no fruit yet.

    Last year I found an online store that sells prickly pear pads. I bought 3 varieties, red, white, yellow and they rooted nicely. I also bought a peruvian cactus apple cutting from them, and although it rooted nicely, it has yet to show any new growth - also, it got hit with some disease, so I chopped off the diseased top from the cactus and I am now waiting to see what happens. So for now I have not included the peruvian cactus apple in the attached pic below nor in my list of fruits above, because not much going on with it yet.

    I also bought dragon fruit cuttings from the same shop last year - I received 2 cuttings of each. I have never grown or eaten dragon fruit before and I have never seen it for sale in the shops here, so thought I might as well try my hand at growing some. I bought the white variety and the red variety. I planted both in the same pot (don't know if that will cause an issue further down the line) and they are growing very well so far, as can be seen in the pics. Now patiently waiting for the day I eventually see some flowers..
     

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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  3. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Wow Jenny, what an incredible line up!!!!
    How much land do you have at your house to contain all those plants?
    I'm not a fan of growing from seed due to most fruit and veg being F1hybrids or grafts these days so you never know what parent gave which genes to the seed. So all those years waiting for first fruit could be a total waste. Or the plant might not have suitable disease and insect resistance for your area.
    Anyway, good on you for giving it a go.
     
  4. Jenny

    Jenny Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Agreed, its always best to buy grafted plants, especially when it comes to fruit trees. I plan to gradually add more grafted trees to my collection, but I will continue growing stuff from seed as well, as it is so much fun. I do also save seeds from almost everything that I grow, so I find I'm buying less and less seeds for regular herbs and edibles and instead buying seeds for new types of plants and edibles, that I do not already have.

    I have a standard size urban property, measuring 446m2 in total. The back yard is very small, probably less than 2.5 m across, concreted over and I am not currently using it as a garden.

    Half of the front yard is a normal yard with trees, some flower beds, a pathway and 1 horizontal car parking space. The other half (width across) of the front yard space, consists of a double garage with 2 vertical parking spaces in front of that. On top of the double garage I have a big concrete patio in a L-Shape. The main section of the L shape, is of a size (width and length) that will easily fit 4 cars (with 2 cars parked side by side) and the shorter part of the L shape is narrow, less than 2m across. Apart from that, I also have a long alley way on the garage side of the house which stretches almost the whole length of the property and I also have a shorter alley way on the other side of the house, the latter not currently used for gardening.

    Due to the fact that I have massive bayleaf trees and the big fig tree, the front yard is very shaded, so currently I can only grow shade loving perennials there, mostly ornamentals, also the garden is on a slope. I plan to cut the trees down in the coming year to allow sunshine into the yard and plan to then convert the front yard sloped space into a growing space for edibles. Cutting the trees down will be a major undertaking though, as the bayleaf trees are many stories high.

    Almost all of my edibles, including fruit trees, I have always grown in containers on the patio (I guess you can call it rooftop gardening - you can grow a lot on a big sized patio), but I recently started growing edibles in the long alley way next to the garage and house as well. Took me forever to dig up soil from the front yard and carry it up the stairs and dump it over the high wall onto the sloped concrete base of the alley, in order to create garden beds - I have created 5 big terraced beds there so far, still have to fill up the rest of the alley this month, so another 5 beds at least. Anyway the alley does not get full sun the whole day, but so far the plants are doing great there and it is the perfect space for my vining crops to go crazy and will also be a good spot for my cooler weather plants, due to the more shade at the one end of the alley. I will upload some pics of the alley project in the very near future.

    At the front end of the alley way is a big funnel shaped area that currently contains massive agave plants. The one is now in flower, with the flower stalk reaching a few meters into the air. Pic of that is attached.
    I am waiting for it to enjoy its flowers for a little while longer and then afterwards I am planning to remove all the agave plants and in its place I'm going to plant my fruit trees, my prickly pears, my tea tree and my olive tree. So that corner is going to become my miniature orchid. To be honest I have been putting off taking out the agave plants for a few years now, because I hate killing plants (yip I'm one of those who talks to her plants) and also because the agave is a great crime deterrent, people think twice before scaling the fence. But it has to go in the very near future and hopefully my prickly pears will act as a great criminal deterrent as well.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
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  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    With all your challenges of shade and yard size, you sure pack a lot of food plants into your property - that is truly inspirational!
     
  6. Jenny

    Jenny Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thank you Mark, I try to do the most with what I have. I got inspired, by watching your videos and also videos on rooftop gardening in India, amazing how much food they grow there in small spaces!

    I also try to grow vertical where possible and also grow in containers on the walls of my patio as well. Imo you do not need a massive garden nor a lot of money, to grow enough food for your family, provided you plant close to each other and do succession planting.

    I am also a great believer in recycling and re-purposing, so I grow in an assortment of containers, including tyres, dog food/ potting soil bags, plastic & wooden crates, buckets, wooden pallets, laundry baskets etc. I use refuse bags to line my containers & I do my composting inside dog food & potting soil bags. A few years ago one of my laundry baskets broke, so I turned it into a vertical planter, you can grow lots of food in a single laundry basket.

    I have attached a pic here of how I did it (I didn't have a pvc pipe to put in the center of the basket for watering and fertilizing, so I improvised and created a "pipe" in the center, by using stacked inverted soda bottles with the bottoms cut off, small holes pierced in the sides and a single big hole in the bottle caps). The plants grew very lush in the basket.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  7. Jenny

    Jenny Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Container Garden 2017

    Here is a compilation of screenshot pics I took from short videos I took of some of my plants in 2017. Please excuse the picture quality, I took the videos with my cellphone.

    I will post pics of 2018 in due course, haven't taken much pics yet.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  8. Jenny

    Jenny Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Pics of my alley project that I started last month - pics taken from a height so not that great. I am so excited to have this extra space now to grow more edibles and plan to make use of the no dig gardening method in the space henceforth.

    As you can see it is a very long alley way. I dumped soil, added some of my home made compost and leave mulch. I then planted the following seeds: Marigolds, Zinnias, Cosmos,Kale, parsley, spinach, celery, turnips, corn, pumpkin, squash, okra, dill, basil, cabbages, cauliflower, broccoli, sunflowers, nasturtiums, watermelon, melon, tansy, chia, quinoa, mustards (yellow, black, broadleaf), chillis, eggplants and a few other odds and ends. Seeds are starting to germinate nicely now. Will be planting sweet potatoes there soon as well, once my slips are big enough. I planted some blackberry transplants next to the grape vine and also planted some elderberry cuttings and pomegranate seedlings, as well as a few yarrow plants. Quite a few volunteer tomatoes popped up, going to leave it to grow.

    Pumkins are growing nicely, despite not full sun and starting to form flowers already. Can't wait to get the whole alley way planted and to see everything green and lush.
     

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  9. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Wow that's an awesome list :) Well done
     
  10. Jenny

    Jenny Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Thank you. Funny enough, for instance I personally don't eat hot chillis at all, but my family eats it, so I grow it, plus I have a bit of an obsession with trying my hand at growing different varieties of edibles.:secret:
     
  11. Jenny

    Jenny Active Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Tamarillo Tree

    My Tamarillo tree is finally flowering, can't wait to see some fruits! I bought it a few years ago from a nursery, as a seedling. It is about 3 years old now I think. Anyway, the flowers are beautiful, but I see that there is a lot of flower drop happening as well. I searched online and discovered that apparently it is common for Tamarillo trees to drop quite a few flowers, so that has set my mind at ease a bit. I hope that at least a few flowers remain and that I get at least 1 or 2 fruits, as I have never seen the fruit in local shops here, nor have I eaten a Tamarillo before.

    I must say that growing the Tamarillo tree has been challenging, because it does not like too much water and also does not like to be too dry. It gets regularly attacked by green aphids and windy conditions also affects it, so I grow it in a container next to a pillar on my patio and I have to battle the aphids on almost a weekly basis, despite spraying it with my bug spray concoction regularly.

    I almost killed the tree last year with over watering during the hot summer - the tree started getting black mold at the base of the 2 stems and it looked very sickly. I took undiluted white vinegar and applied it to the black mold/rot on the stems and thankfully it saved the tree. Since then no more black mold and the tree grew nicely this year. Aphids are still a problem, and even attacking the flower buds, as can be seen in the attached photo, but I spray them off the tree daily with water.
     

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