My forays into edibles. What’s yours?

It took me 50 years to grow edibles finally. Since I had been gardening in 1971, I never ventured into planting vegetables except for a couple of tomatoes. I have grown roses, shrubs, bulbs, perennials, and a few trees. I managed to buy a grapevine three years ago, but that was about it for edibles.

With the onslaught of the pandemic last year, I decided to plant some more vegetables and herbs. It was a small step toward edibles.

I tried some herbs: sweet basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, and cilantro. Every herb did well except for sweet basils, of which only two survived this year. I had better luck last year. Maybe I overwatered the sweet basil. Cilantro got choked by parsley that grows so huge in the same Grow Box. Thyme, rosemary, and oregano are doing great. I also grow scallions, but they are not green. They are purple. They taste a lot better than green onions.

Last year, I grew red cayenne pepper and sweet corn, besides tomatoes. I bought a couple of Grow Box and planted the corn in them. The result was fabulous. The corn grew very tall, and we saw some ears of corn. Unfortunately, we did not get any harvest. Some animals, either squirrels or rats, beat us to them.

This year, I bought another grow box and planted two batches of corn. Right now, they are doing great. I thought of keeping them inside my gate but then decided I have more room outside the fence. I might move it back inside the fenced area later.

I also planted Purple Majesty potatoes. Maybe I should keep it longer, but even then, I lost two spuds. When I dug them up, two spuds were mushed. So I’m still on the learning curve for that. I like the purple potatoes. I made an Ube Jam which is a Pilipino dessert, and it was delicious. I might plant more next year.

In back is my lime tree and underneath the vine are two tomato plants.

Last year, I was so excited to see little bunches of grapes, but one day, they all disappeared. Maybe the squirrel or the birds ate them before I got hold of them. This year, I put a netting early on, but somehow I stunted the growth, so I took it out, and now the grapes are growing wide. There are few grapes, so we’ll see what happens next month. I have the Razz Matazz, which supposedly should bear fruit all season long and does not need spraying, which I like.

This is my lemon tree.
This is a close up. I have 14 fruits this year.

I also have citrus fruit. My son, Alex, gave me a Meyer Lemon for Mother’s Day last year, and I bought a lime tree and an Avocado tree from Lowes last summer. I had them on my terrace next to my bedroom. I read that they don’t like cold weather, so I moved them indoors when it got too cold in February. I put them in my bathtub since I don’t use the bathtub at all (a waste of space), but I saw ants crawling all over the bathroom the next day. I got an exterminator, and he sprayed the bathroom, and we put bait inside the pot. It killed the ants, and this Spring, I moved them all in the back in a protected area. They will now stay outside, and if the weather goes to the 30s next winter, I will cover it with a protective cloth or move them to the garage. It is exciting this year. My lemon tree has 14 fruits, so I’m waiting for them to get yellow. They are about the size of a golf ball right now. The lime tree did not flower, so I guess I’m not getting any lime this year. The avocado was getting tall, so I moved it outside the fence with more room for it. I read it needs another avocado to pollinate it, so I guess no avocado fruit for me this year. I’ll get another avocado tree sometime soon.

My avocado tree outside my fenced-in area.

I bought a cucumber plant, but I noticed it did not look like cucumber as it grows. My neighbor gave me two cukes from his garden, so I showed him my plant. He said it was not a cucumber. It looked more like a squash. It was spreading wide, so I put a trellis for it to climb but then one day, it got wilted and died, and the flowers were gone. The squirrel must have gotten to it.

One of my cayenne peppers.

I have three tomato plants and four peppers. They are doing great. Last year, we had so much cayenne pepper, I froze them, and my son, a good chef, used them during the winter. I have two cayenne, a serrano, and a banana this year. I should have enough to freeze for the winter months.

I almost forgot. Last year, I bought a blueberry plant and a couple of raspberries. But like my corn, my unwanted visitors in the garden beat me to its fruit. I believe in this case that it was the bird who was the culprit. Maybe I should plant more so I can have enough for us both.

Well, that’s my forays into edibles. I’m still on a learning curve. If I can grow roses that some people think are hard to grow, I know I can learn to grow edibles. Grocery store produce cannot compete with home-grown varieties, so I’ll keep trying to grow them.

Happy Gardening, everyone!