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What Are You Planting in Your Garden for Summer?

Altadena Patch Editor Dan Abendschein just planted tomatoes. Upload your spring and summer garden photos and tell us what you are planting.

Now is the time of year when gardeners across the country are planting their summer crops and flowers to get the most out of the optimal growing season.

Of course, here in Southern California the growing season lasts all year, but what works in winter does not necessarily work in summer.

My own vegetable garden is in transition: The lettuce and chard I've been growing this winter is about to go to seed and is no longer yielding very much.  My experience is the plants do not grow well in summer, at least in my very sunny yard.

Tomatoes, on the other hand, love to bake in the sun all day, in my experience.  I've just taken some tomato volunteer starts that turned up from my kitchen compost and separated them out and caged them to prepare for the high summer yield.

For all you gardeners out there, what are you growing this summer?  Upload your garden photos by clicking "add photos" under the pictures above, and tell us in the comments section what works best for you in summer time.

Revvell May 02, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Oh, I dunno. I've got bell pepper plants still going from last year; tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries doing the same. Just planted some lobelia; have a LOT of agave and aloe sooo, thinking not doing too much in the veggie realm this summer.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) May 02, 2012 at 10:58 PM
How do your bell peppers do here Revvell? I tried to grow them once and they were the size of tangerines and not very juicy. Also, let's see some photos if you've got them! : )
N8 May 02, 2012 at 11:56 PM
How do you combat the gophers, possums, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, rats and other creatures in Altadena? I planted 6 tomato plants last year but almost EVERYTHING was eaten (jalapeno and serrano plants, cantelope, cabbage, etc)! Only the squashes- pumpkin, zucchini, butternut- and corn did ok.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) May 03, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Luck, maybe, I don't know. I have had all kinds of problems with strawberries and cantaloupe and some other things, but tomatoes seemed to go untouched by animals and pests.
Lisa Maiorana May 03, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Italian Radicchio, Belgium Endive, peppers, arugula, parsley, sage, that combined w/my chickens, I'm good for eggs too ;)
Christina May 03, 2012 at 03:18 AM
Re gophers: When I built my vegetable garden beds, I lined the bottom of each bed with hardward cloth. That has kept the gophers out. Re bell peppers: I have a lot better luck with pimento type peppers which are just as sweet and thick walled as bells, but smaller, more productive, and less likely to get sunburned, which is my problem with bell peppers. Right now, in my vegetable garden, I'm harvesting purple sprouting broccoli, chard, the end of the arugula, collards, and fava beans. At the end of this month, I'll harvest all the shallots and garlic my family needs for the year, with extra to keep for seed stock and to trade. Last month, I planted out my tomatoes, peppers--both sweet and hot, tomatillos, and pole beans (p. vulgaris)--I had started the peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillos from seed in January. I've got all my sweet potato slips started inside and will plant them out as soon as I can depend on regularly warm weather (damp chill does these babies in, but they sure love the heat). Later this month, after my purple sprouting broccoli finishes, I'll put in the hot weather beans: limas and yardlongs. Also, after I harvest the garlic and shallots, I'll amend that bed and plant armenian cucumbers, melons, squash, and corn.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) May 03, 2012 at 04:07 AM
I'm going to feature the photo of Lisa Hastings' tomato plants because they look way better than mine. But then again, it's all about the quality of the tomato not how nice the vine looks right?
Dan Abendschein (Editor) May 03, 2012 at 04:11 AM
And Christina and Lisa M, we really need to see photos of some of these exotic vegetables... purple broccoli?
Lisa Hastings May 03, 2012 at 04:21 AM
The tomato plant came up on its own. I think it is a Sarah Darwin Galapagos Island tomato plant. Sarah Darwin is a great great granddaughter of Darwin who discovered this wild tomato on the Galapagos Islands. The tomatoes are small, yellow and sweet and grow in clusters. I bought the mother plant about four years ago and every year new plants come up from the seeds of fallen tomatoes.
Lisa Hastings May 03, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Thank you Dan!
Lisa Hastings May 03, 2012 at 04:44 AM
The other photos are: Kale that has been growing for two years, summer squash seedlings that came up on their own, and Mexican oregano and calendula flowers.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) May 03, 2012 at 05:38 AM
Interesting Lisa! My tomatoes came up from my kitchen compost and overwhelmed what I was trying to plant. New shoots keep coming so I just transplant them to new spots. The same thing happened with compost cantaloupe last summer but those never got that big. And then rodents ate them. The tomatoes came up in several varieties - a couple of yellow cherry tomatoes, some red cherries, and some full sized variety.
Revvell May 03, 2012 at 06:20 AM
I had animal control over here the other day for what seemed like an injured/sick opossum and she told me to use moth balls. Seems they're not fond of the scent. I've also heard tobacco works well. I used it to keep cats from crapping under my bedroom window.
Denise Yuan May 03, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I just started growing veggies last year and while my tomatoes did great, my broccolini came out stringy and woody, basically inedible. Would any of the garden experts here know why? I did grow them over the summer so is it the heat? Trying for cantaloupes this year, hope they come out!
Lisa Hastings May 03, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Broccoli and broccolini are best suited for the cool months of fall and winter. Growing this plant in the summer would account for the poor results. There are basically two growing seasons in southern California - the cool season and the warm season. So, vegetables can be classified into cool season and warm season vegetables. Cantaloupe is a warm season vegetable so you should be okay. Good luck!
Lisa Hastings May 03, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I'm jealous. I would love to have chickens in my backyard.
Lori A. Webster May 04, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Get a cat? My cat kills gophers daily it seems, along with a plethora of other fauna. To circumvent the horror of those who love wildlife, we do live along the east end of the Ballona Creek Wetlands, so have lots of open space for him to hunt....and he does consume his prey (mostly). You can also make a tomato "cage" from chicken wire or screening. My problem isn't the wildlife, it's the bugs....

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