My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Making Some Progress

early bearded white and purple iris along the driveway

Some of these pictures are from the end of March. There were tons of these short, early blooming bearded irises around my house when I moved in. They are pretty drought resistant, as long as they have a bit of afternoon shade in the summer. As the front yard grew overcrowded I would transplant them along the creek bank and up on the hill above the house to help hold the soil. The best time to divide iris is after they have bloomed. I usually get around to them in late summer, sometimes early fall.  The thick rhizome, what some think is a bulb, is actually a thickened stem. When planting bearded iris do not bury the rhizome. You just want to cover the small feeder roots that come off of it. The fall rains will bring them out of dormancy and they will put out new leaves over the winter and early spring. Newly planted rhizomes may not bloom for a couple of years, just let them get established, and they will bloom when they are ready. I do whack down spent bloom stems, but never remove green or dead leaves from the clumps. They leaves help to mulch the roots and keep them a bit cooler.

pistachio tree seedlings
I bought this pot of pistachio tree seedlings from Bob Zache at our farmer's market last summer. Of course then stuff happened and I just got to them in March. I planted out the 2 biggest ones along the side of the creek where I built the new chicken yards. There were 6 smaller seedlings that I potted up in 1 gal pots for this year.

My goal this year is to plant 100 trees and shrubs on my property. Not sure how close I'll get but so far this year I have planted the 2 Pistachio trees, 9 cherry bushes, 1 Goji berry, an olive, a fig and 3 sweet broom so that is 17 to start. In the past 3 years I've planted a fig, a red locust, 2 ash trees, a mulberry, and 5 live oaks,

The mulberry was a seed dropped by a bird into one of my flower pots. The fig was a rooted cutting from Pat Romero (who also started the olive that I planted), the Arizona Ash trees I planted were also from Bob Zache. The red locust I purchased from Golden Hill Nursery and I grew the live oaks from acorns.

The cherry bushes, I know there is another name but I can't remember what it is. I grew them from seeds given to my by my friend Annie, of Annie's Edibles.

All planting at my house begins with the pickax

olive tree

The caliche drains slowly, but that's a plus come summer. Everything will get a heavy mulch as I have time to get it spread.

cherry bush

A few of the cherry bushes had blooms and set a few fruit. They are like tart pie cherries. I think these may be called Nanking bush cherries.

Sweet Magnolia purple snap peas

Over in the garden the Sweet Magnolia, a purple podded snap pea is doing great. This pic is from almost 3 weeks ago, they are now beginning to bloom and I'll be able to pick some later this week.


  1. You are ahead of us. My Iris are no where near blooming! Looks like you will be busy! Nancy

    1. We are probably 6 weeks ahead of a normal year. I don't usually put out tomatoes and squash until after May 1 but the squash are already planted out and tomatoes have been outside in pots almost a month