SavedPicture-201624213023.jpgPurple Cauliflower - cold season

If you’re not familiar, Los Angeles hosts two distinct seasons – cool and warm. By cool I mean the ~40s at night in the winter and by warm I mean up to ~90s in the summer. Consequently, both seasons allow a pleasant variety of crops to grow year round.

I’ve officially lived through two full seasons in Los Angeles and am nearly finished with another cold season. It’s weird that in February we’re going to have 80s weather while snow is expected in Middle Tennessee…

SavedPicture-20162421380.jpgEchinacea Purpurea / Purple Cone Flower – both seasons, but mostly warm

That being said, I’ve learned a lot about edible gardening here that is so much different than Chattanooga, TN:

- Because of the temperate temperatures, more plants can be considered perennials. Kale, chard, tomatoes, basil, blanket flower, zinnias… these are just a few examples of plants that can grow year round in LA. I still pull out kale after the first year because, even though kale trees look cool, they don’t produce very tasty leaves (the leaves become fibrous/chewy). Likewise, I refrain from planting viney tomatoes so I can have more room for delicious winter greens. (But actually tomatoes grow better here in the winter because there are less bugs!) I haven’t quite wrapped my head around the fact that I can plant California Poppies and Lettuce in the winter-season with no threat of snow or freeze. I’m so accustomed to the habit of constantly planting and pulling four-season crops, and having a month winter break, that leaving a head of lettuce in the ground for a over a month (whilst practicing the cut-and-come-again method) is just plain weird. And remarkably cool at the same time!

SavedPicture-201624213141.jpgMicro greens are my new favorite leafy green to see growing and to eat from the garden! – cool season

- Gardening in the city is significantly different than gardening in the suburbs. Back in ‘Nooga, Cobalt and I lived on a 1-acre lot where we had a substantially large backyard to build a garden. Not very edu-mi-cated, our garden was a sad attempt to learn what it really means to garden. But fortunately, it was hidden where no one could really observe it unless they wanted to;  i.e. our trial and error moments weren’t judged by many eyes. In Los Angeles, however, edible gardening is usually located where at least a half-hundred people walk by daily, whether that’s a fenced in front yard (since back yards rarely exist here), or in the middle of a recess area at school, or on a parkway. Thus, edible gardens must look PRISTINE. Easier said than done..

All this to say, gardening is harder than I thought. Without proper training, I’ve simply been experimenting on what works and learning the hard way what doesn’t. I have, thankfully, been improving in my knowledge and understanding. But I have a LOT more to learn!

Maybe one day I’ll study as a Master Gardener. Or a Horticulturalist… We shall see …