New Southern California User, Fruit and Berry enthusiast! Eager to join the fun and learn from you all!

Hi All! I’ve been reading posts here for quite a while, learning from the experience and masters here. Finally I’ve gotten myself to a spot where I can start playing too. Over the past 4 years I’ve been slowly transforming my small Southern California suburban yard (8800sqft) into what I call a microfarm with over 150 varieties of edible plants. Watching some great guys on YouTube - Curtis Stone, Nature’s Always Right, Justin Rhodes, MIGardener, GrowingYourGreensOrganically, and others, learning as much as I can. I can actually say I was doing it before it was corona-cool :sunglasses: Even got four chickens back in February before the big rush started. Attached are some pics of my home orchard/microfarm.

We purchased the home from an old lady who spent a lot of time as a gardener, so we inherited all her fruit trees, it was honestly part of the reason we bought the home. I wanted my kids to grow up eating better quality food and knowing how to grow the abundance of food that God gave us, not just buy it from the store blindly. Currently the home orchard consists of:

Citrus
(4) Blood Orange Trees all diff varietes, (2) Valencia Orange Trees, (1) Navel Orange Tree, (1) Nagami Kumquat Tree, (1) Lemon (unknown, not doing super well), (1) Tangelo, (1) baby lime I bought 3 years that’s not doin too hot, and (1) 3-yo mandarin orange.

Stone Fruits
(2) white peach - One is tiny that I resurrected was on the verge but is doing great now, the other is huge, (2) Cherries that I planted 3 years ago that are growing huge, Minnie Royal and Royal Lee, got my first singular cherry this year, so I have high hopes for next year,

Fig
(1) Brown fig - either Chicago or Turkey I’m not good enough to distinguish yet.

Berries
Black: (1) Boysenberry Thornless 3yo, (1) Marionberry bush 3yo, just purchased: (2) Prime-Ark Freedom
Blue: (1) Southmoon 3yo that is really doing bad, just purchased: (1) Emerald, (1) Star, (1) Misty, (1) Sharpblue, (1) Jewel
Rasp: Just purchased (1) Fall Gold, (1) Munger (black)
Straw: (4) 3yo june-bearing variety I don’t know producing good right now, (36) Albion I just bought as a flat, then a few other 3yo varieties I don’t know that are not good.
Grape: Just purchased to start an arbor on my backporch trellis: (1) Thompson Seedless, (1) Flame Seedless. Adding two more varieties gotta figure out what I want.

Melons:
Started from seed and ready to transplant, (3) of each:
Watermelon: Crimson Sweet, Cal Sweet, Striped Klondike Blue Ribbon, Charleston Grey, Dixie Queen
Honeydew: Green Flesh
Cantaloupe: Hale’s Best Jumbo
Tigger Melon

Other
(1) Hachiya Persimmon, (1) Red Pomegranate (unknown variety), (1) Black Fruiting Mulberry (unknown variety) that just sprouted out of the ground with fruit its first year so I transplanted 3 yr ago and the thing has just taken off and is so tasty, (2) Strawberry Guava Trees, (1) Avocado - Hass (just bought it as a 3-gallon).

Savory “Veggie” Fruits:
Started from seed and about ready to transplant from the grow tent:

Peppers: Fatalii, Jalapeno Mucho Nacho, Jalapeno Mammoth, Dirty B, Bahamian Goat, Hungarian Hot Wax, Orange Habanero, Pink Tiger x Moruga, White Ghost, Jay’s Peach Ghost Scorpion, Pepperonchini, Numex heritage Big Jim, Anaheim, Lemon Drop, White Bullet Habanero, Numex Heritage 6-4, Datil, Anchor Grande, CAP455, Orange Suave, Trick or Treat, Habanada, Trinidad Perfume, GRIF9148, Jai’s Pink F4, Granada Seasoning, Banana Sweet, Purple Bell, Sunbright Bell, Golden Cal Wonder Bell, Big Red Bell

Tomatoes: Church, Blue Bayou, Big Zac, Muddy Waters, P20 Blue, Hillbilly, Cherokee Purple (personal favorite), Black from Tula, Black Krim, Azoychka, Moneymaker, Black Cherry, Yellow Pear, Beefsteak, Yellow Stuffer, Rose, Old German, Mortgage Lifter, Big Rainbow, Purple Tomatillo, Grande Rio Verde Tomatillo, Black Sea Man, Brandywine Black, Chocolate Stripes
Eggplant: Rosa Bianca, Casper, Black Beauty.
Cucumber: Haven’t decided on varieties yet, but will plant about 10 plants.

Other Veggies we grow: Lettuce (about to plant 20 diff varieties), Spinach, Kale Premier, Kale Lacinato, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Swiss Chard, Celery, Onions, Garlic, Radishes, Beats, Turnips, Carrots, Peas, Beans, Corn, Zucchini, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Dil, Cilantro, Basil, Borage, Chamomile, Caraway. I’m big on companion planting.

Looking to Add
Trees: (1) Apple (I think Gala)
Blueberries: (1) Powderblue, (1) Georgia Gem, (1) Ozarkblue, (1) Sunshine Blue
Blackberries: (1) Ponca, (1) Sweetie Pie, (1) Newberry, (1) Tayberry, (1) Columbia Giant, (1) Triple Crown, (1) Snowbank
Raspberry: (1) Crimson Treasure, (1) Autumn Bliss, (1) Cascade Harvest, (1) Amethyst, (1) Anne Yellow
Strawberry: UCD Victor, San Andreas, UCD Royal Royce, Dickens

My three big deep dives lately have been into Berry Genetics and varieties, organic soil building and ingredients, and interior LED grow light technology. I’d love to converse with any experts here and learn more.

Anyway, that’s my long-winded intro, sorry to ramble on. I’ll be jumping into some of the threads and started a few new ones hoping to get help from the amazing wealth of expert knowledge here. Thanks for letting me join!

22 Likes

9 Likes

Very nice! Glad you could join.

1 Like

I love to see warm climates folks here, thank you for joining!

Do you happen to know how many chill hours do you get over there? How hot does it get during the summer?

1 Like

Wow, that is quite the variety already! You should look into your local California Rare Fruit Growers club, in the late winter they do scion exchanges and you can pick up all sorts of interesting scions. Each meeting there is often a change to pick up a new plant, plus you can learn a lot

1 Like

Here’s the 3rd and final pic. When I posted last night it locked me from spamming as a new user haha, but I’ve been unlocked!

Thanks for the kind words! I’ve been told before about the CA Rare fruit growers clubs, I need to join on facebook at the least, but I know they have official in person stuff too. Thanks for the reminder!

@ammoun - UCANR says I’ve got somewhere around 300-350 chill hours. Not a ton! Limits some of the fruit that I can grow successfully, so I have to be real picky about chill hours on my berries and stones.

5 Likes

Wow nice garden. Former SoCal person here. I see you haven’t selected cucumber yet. May I suggest Summer Dance.

1 Like

Welcome! Love your grow beds. I haven’t tried to grow all the berries you have listed but for other blueberry ideas you might want to consider bountiful blue (just as productive as sunshine but i think a little tastier). Of all the thornless blackberries ive tried to grow Triple crown is heads above the rest, it’s really delicious, i hope you love it too!

1 Like

Welcome from a fellow Californian :smiley:

Your garden is amazing. You make me feel like an underachiever, lol.

1 Like

Hy. Can you help me with some seeds from Columbia Giant?