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Culinary Gardening – Grow Your Own

Experience Spring in the Garden

Learn everything you need to know on how to have bountiful harvest from your culinary garden. Growing edible plants will provide healthy, home- grown nutrients for your family, and it doesn't require acres of land. Instead, you can grow herbs, small veggies and fruit in grow bags, containers, garden pots and/or planters. Get creative in the garden by planting themed garden containers for cocktails, pasta sauce or salsa, or maybe start thinking about a Thanksgiving herb container?

Meet Newport Beach native, noted home cook, garden blogger, entertaining expert and author, Valerie Rice, for a signing of her new cookbook, Lush Life: Food & Drinks from the Garden. This cookbook is packed with seasonal recipes for entertaining, family meals, snacks, including cocktail recipes and wine advice, and gardening tips.

She will also demonstrate how to create a themed garden. Plant your own seasonal culinary garden to have abundant fruits, veggies, herbs, and other edible plants available to you and your family from your own backyard.




PLANTING A CULINARY CONTAINER GARDEN

GARDENING TIPS ON HOW TO PLANT & MAINTAIN CONTAINERS:

• Successful culinary gardens are achieved by using varieties that stay 'contained' in your pots.

• Make sure to use organic garden soil amendment products like Down To Earth All-Purpose Fertilizer and Malibu Potting Soil for strong plants, especially because you're growing plants you eventually want to eat. Using organic pesticides means that you can protect your plants up until harvest.

• Good drainage is important, use screens or single coffee filters over the drainage hole to keep soil in and pests out.

• Plant what you usually cannot find at the market but works well in a container (smaller or dwarf varieties).

ROGER’S PLANT RECOMMENDATIONS:

Tomatoes: Choose determinate tomatoes: The miracle of determinate tomatoes is that they grow on a plant on which all the fruit ripens simultaneously – within a week or two, and they tend to ripen early. The plants are smaller and more bush-like and a great choice for containers. While all tomatoes, in general, like to be staked, determinates are shorter and once flowers have appeared and fruit sets, the plants stop growing and eventually die. Then you can just pull the root bulb and plant something else or leave the space.

Fresno Peppers: More flavorful than jalapenos, Fresnos are good raw, cooked, pickled, and go in a wide variety of cuisines.

Aleppo Peppers: Another great unique pepper.

Eggplants: For a pot, choose unique, smaller varieties. Rosita or Rosa Bianca are great choices.

Cucumbers: Japanese cucumbers are less bitter and less seeds. Lemon cucumbers are great for pickling and using in salads.

Herbs: Select varieties that are used in smaller amounts and are not readily available at the grocery store and smell good, like lemon verbena, Thai basil, and out-of-the-ordinary oregano and thyme types.

Purple Tomatillos: are fun to grow in containers to use in salsas and salads.

RAISED BED VEGGIE GARDENING DEMO

GARDENING TIPS ON HOW TO PLANT & MAINTAIN RAISED BEDS:

• SOIL PREPARATION:
○ To begin, make sure your raised beds soil is good and fresh. To avoid soil-borne diseases, best practice is to rotate different vegetables each year. Depending on the size of your raised beds, use the best soil you can or buy in bulk from a reputable soil and amendment vendor.
○ Some people practice soil layering methods using different organic matter to fill the bed with brown or green layers. Each slowly breaking down to help build the soil while utilizing yard waste and leaves.
○ Adding compost to the soil each year helps replenish useful nutrients.

• DESIGN:
○ Begin with planting larger plants in the back. Install stakes, cages or trellises when you plant.
○ Plant what you like to eat.
○ Make sure to check every day or two for pests or disease.
○ Use your fertilizer regularly and water consistently for the weather.
○ When planting, try to design for the biggest harvest. Key to doing this is by knowing the best time to plant and grow each vegetable.

• PEST CONTROL:
○ Keeping pests away from ripe fruits and veggies is a time-honored ritual of being a gardener. There are many helpful suggestions, as each garden is unique.
○ Barrier methods (enclosures) are the best for rodents and birds, but organic pesticides (oil based or water-based products) are usually insect specific, so it's recommended to have these in your garage or garden shed to use before any problems get out of hand.

GARDENING MAINTENANCE TIPS ON GROWING FRUIT TREES:

• GENERAL CARE:
○ Fruit trees require sun, regular consistent watering and fertilizer each month to remain strong and expend energy growing their fruit, which can take months.
○ Applying mulch to the base of the tree helps keep thee roots cool during the warm months.

• PRUNING:
○ Pruning fruit trees will help with over burdening the branches. Each tree is a little different so look up or read about how and when to prune your tree.
○ Some trees should be pruned in fall, some in early spring. Pruning a tree out of season can affect the amount of fruit it produces.

• FERTILIZING:
○ Fertilizing is a must! Fruit trees work hard to grow their crop, and fertilizing is the best way to make sure the tree remains strong to help fight pests and disease.
○ Use organic fertilizers, especially because you want to grow the best and healthiest fruit to eat.

• MULCHING:
○ Mulching helps trees and plant roots keep cool in warm or hot weather so make sure to apply 2-3 inch layer around the bottom base of the tree, not touching the stem or trunk.
Avocado Trees: The best mulch is using heavy, larger leaves that have fallen off the tree.

• PEST CONTROL:
○ It's best to determine what type of pests are eating your plants/trees before spraying.
○ Pesticides need to be used for specific issues. Oil based sprays like Neem or Horticultural Oil are best for smothering pests.
○ Water-based sprays are best for pests that need to be saturated.
○ There are also products specifically for caterpillars or worms.
○ There are various sprays to use for disease control. If there is a question, check with one of our expert Horticulturist.

Best Fruit Trees for Orange County: Citrus, avocado, stone fruits such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, apple, guava, persimmon and other unique varieties.

Best Fruit Shrubs for Orange County: Citrus, avocado, stone fruits such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, apple, guava, persimmon and other unique varieties.

ADDING BEAUTIFUL EDIBLES INTO YOUR LANDSCAPE

GARDENING TIPS ON HOW TO PLANT EDIBLES INTO YOUR LANDSCAPE:

• Adding vegetable or herb plants to your landscape can be a magical surprise for family and guests to discover.
Shrubs: If you're using organic practices with your landscape there is no reason you can't plant a few shrubs.
○ Bay Laurel is a traditional hedge but also a classic cooking herb
○ Upright Rosemary or Thyme for fragrant additions and great for cooking.
○ Lemon Verbena is a lovely, tall shrub. Its leaves and flowers are a delight and a delicious addition to lemonade, tea or cooking.
Vegetables: Other vegetables you can place within your garden are kale (so many varieties), lettuce in pots under trees, and strawberries in hanging baskets.
○ Peppers, whether edible or ornamental, are great.
○ Eggplants are a nice surprise.
Edible Flowers: Don't forget to plant some edible flower seeds like pansy, marigold, nasturtium and even rose petals. If grow organically these can be used for baking and in salads.
Edible Trees:
○ Small apple trees (like Anna variety)can be fun.
○ Guava trees have a lot of varieties and are a delightful surprise in any sunny garden.


ROGER’S PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS:

• Fertilizer: Down to Earth All Purpose
• Compost: Malibu Compost and/or Malibu Compost Tea
• Soil: Raised Bed Planting Mix

GARDENING TIPS ON HOW TO PLANT & MAINTAIN RAISED BEDS:

• SOIL PREPARATION:
○ To begin, make sure your raised beds soil is good and fresh. To avoid soil-borne diseases, best practice is to rotate different vegetables each year. Depending on the size of your raised beds, use the best soil you can or buy in bulk from a reputable soil and amendment vendor.
○ Some people practice soil layering methods using different organic matter to fill the bed with brown or green layers. Each slowly breaking down to help build the soil while utilizing yard waste and leaves.
○ Adding compost to the soil each year helps replenish useful nutrients.

• DESIGN:
○ Begin with planting larger plants in the back. Install stakes, cages or trellises when you plant.
○ Plant what you like to eat.
○ Make sure to check every day or two for pests or disease.
○ Use your fertilizer regularly and water consistently for the weather.
○ When planting, try to design for the biggest harvest. Key to doing this is by knowing the best time to plant and grow each vegetable.

• PEST CONTROL:
○ Keeping pests away from ripe fruits and veggies is a time-honored ritual of being a gardener. There are many helpful suggestions, as each garden is unique.
○ Barrier methods (enclosures) are the best for rodents and birds, but organic pesticides (oil based or water-based products) are usually insect specific, so it's recommended to have these in your garage or garden shed to use before any problems get out of hand.

GARDENING MAINTENANCE TIPS ON GROWING FRUIT TREES:

• GENERAL CARE:
○ Fruit trees require sun, regular consistent watering and fertilizer each month to remain strong and expend energy growing their fruit, which can take months.
○ Applying mulch to the base of the tree helps keep thee roots cool during the warm months.

• PRUNING:
○ Pruning fruit trees will help with over burdening the branches. Each tree is a little different so look up or read about how and when to prune your tree.
○ Some trees should be pruned in fall, some in early spring. Pruning a tree out of season can affect the amount of fruit it produces.

• FERTILIZING:
○ Fertilizing is a must! Fruit trees work hard to grow their crop, and fertilizing is the best way to make sure the tree remains strong to help fight pests and disease.
○ Use organic fertilizers, especially because you want to grow the best and healthiest fruit to eat.

• MULCHING:
○ Mulching helps trees and plant roots keep cool in warm or hot weather so make sure to apply 2-3 inch layer around the bottom base of the tree, not touching the stem or trunk.
Avocado Trees: The best mulch is using heavy, larger leaves that have fallen off the tree.

• PEST CONTROL:
○ It's best to determine what type of pests are eating your plants/trees before spraying.
○ Pesticides need to be used for specific issues. Oil based sprays like Neem or Horticultural Oil are best for smothering pests.
○ Water-based sprays are best for pests that need to be saturated.
○ There are also products specifically for caterpillars or worms.
○ There are various sprays to use for disease control. If there is a question, check with one of our expert Horticulturist.

Best Fruit Trees for Orange County: Citrus, avocado, stone fruits such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, apple, guava, persimmon and other unique varieties.

Best Fruit Shrubs for Orange County: Citrus, avocado, stone fruits such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, apple, guava, persimmon and other unique varieties.

ADDING BEAUTIFUL EDIBLES INTO YOUR LANDSCAPE

GARDENING TIPS ON HOW TO PLANT EDIBLES INTO YOUR LANDSCAPE:

• Adding vegetable or herb plants to your landscape can be a magical surprise for family and guests to discover.
Shrubs: If you're using organic practices with your landscape there is no reason you can't plant a few shrubs.
○ Bay Laurel is a traditional hedge but also a classic cooking herb
○ Upright Rosemary or Thyme for fragrant additions and great for cooking.
○ Lemon Verbena is a lovely, tall shrub. Its leaves and flowers are a delight and a delicious addition to lemonade, tea or cooking.
Vegetables: Other vegetables you can place within your garden are kale (so many varieties), lettuce in pots under trees, and strawberries in hanging baskets.
○ Peppers, whether edible or ornamental, are great.
○ Eggplants are a nice surprise.
Edible Flowers: Don't forget to plant some edible flower seeds like pansy, marigold, nasturtium and even rose petals. If grow organically these can be used for baking and in salads.
Edible Trees:
○ Small apple trees (like Anna variety)can be fun.
○ Guava trees have a lot of varieties and are a delightful surprise in any sunny garden.


ROGER’S PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS:

• Fertilizer: Down to Earth All Purpose
• Compost: Malibu Compost and/or Malibu Compost Tea
• Soil: Raised Bed Planting Mix