Hi Kids! Peter, you needing shades there too? It was 70 on Friday, 75 yesterday....glorious in the garden after I got home from our fiber guild meeting. So the Easteners won't hate me, today it was "only" about 63, with scattered showers and big wind. Brrrr, California style.
Betsy, we're just a little ahead of you, that's all. Still too cold for a lot of stuff, including most veggie seeds outside. The cats always think I've made mini litter boxes if I try to start seeds indoors or in the garage under lights, so I tend to buy transplants of stuff like tomatoes. Fortunately we have a couple of nurseries that get more unusual varieties.
I'm in the citrus growing area of Middle California, so you all know about our 20 days of hard freezing nights and the devastation it caused. I'm in a thermal pocket, so with Christmas lights and covers made of old sheets and "stash" fabric I saved my lemon & orange trees and fruit. But this is a desert, so we are normally pretty dry and get hot, hot, hot in the summers. Anything tropical around here is now mush. I've spent a ton of time- several 7 to 8 hour days, plus partial days- out in the yard getting it cleaned up. I pruned, ripped out some shrubs to lighten things up, and cleared one area for veggies. We don't usually get frost later than now, and I'm eager to get planting. I'll start digging this week and will start putting tomatoes in the beginning of March. I'll use gallon milk jugs, bottoms removed, as hot caps to keep them warm. When I do it right, we can have a lot coming out of the garden by Memorial Day.
Peter, those Italian beans sound fabulous! I usually just do a bush green bean and Renee Shepards 3 bean salad, bush version. It has a purple, yellow and green bean in a mix. Yummy. Wow- what a big plot of tomatoes. Jealous, yes I am! I tuck veggies in around rose bushes and use herbs as ground cover so I can get more in. I've also got 8 fruit trees total. My veggie beds are small, so I do either French Intensive or square foot gardening. That has let me pack a bigger variety into a small space.
There's just the two of us and I grow mostly for fresh use, so I get by without big plots. But I'll probably do 6 to 8 varieties of tomatoe, about 2 dozen plants total, anyway. And a lot of other stuff.
Peter, there is one place I like to grow tomatoes that I dig some of the soil out and replace it with planter mix and soil from elsewhere in the yard. It's not so much the soil depletion as build up of wilts, blights and other stuff in the soil that concerns me. So I'll only do tomatoes, peppers and eggplant in the same spot 2 years in a row, then they all need new homes. I hardly grew anything last year, so the soil got a nice little rest.
Glad to know others are eager to be out there too.