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Greetings from California's Central Coast

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Greetings from California's Central Coast

Post  KnitPicker on 12/9/2012, 2:36 am

Hi!

I am from the Central Coast of California (Santa Maria Valley). We are located between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. We are about 10-15 miles inland from the coastline but we do get the marine weather. And the winds! We get the winds too! The temperatures are about 60-65 degrees. If we see a 75 degree day, we are melting. (Sorry to those experiencing colder temps right as I wrote that.) I am a single mother of 4 kids (recently divorced). I love eating vegetables but it is getting so difficult to buy at the store and I would like to start growing our own, especially lettuces and greens. I am not sure about what our zone is. I asked someone at the Extension Office but they said they didn't know. I have heard that we a blend of a couple zones. Anyway, I was wondering if there are some things that can be grown year round here. I look forward to learning more. Thanks. Smile
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Re: Greetings from California's Central Coast

Post  Goosegirl on 12/10/2012, 8:54 am

welcome KnitPicker! As you can see by my weather sticky below, I am in one of those 'colder' regions! You live in a very mild temp area and will be able to grow a lot of the crops, especially the lettuces and greens you so desire. I have gotten used to the shorter season out here in SD, but I do SOOOOO miss the longer growing season of CA! BUT.....I do not miss Potato Bugs and rattlers!

GG - a Knitter too!
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Re: Greetings from California's Central Coast

Post  KnitPicker on 12/10/2012, 1:16 pm

Thank you Goosegirl! And um, 3 degrees, um, yikes! LOL!

I am clearing off an area in our yard and I will actually be elevating it and then leveling it off. It is an overgrown low spot that floods and up until now there was never anything we could do with it. It has become an eyesore. I am going to get started on some compost. I am going to use the trash can method so my kids can roll it every few days and have a part in it. Can I add some store bought compost to help get it going? We have rabbits that use pine shavings in their pans. And we have access to TONS of horse poop. And of course, there is always the grass clippings.
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Re: Greetings from California's Central Coast

Post  quiltbea on 12/10/2012, 4:07 pm

Welcome to the forum KnitPicker.
Using the barrel and letting your kids be a part of the gardening process is a good thing.
I hope you get at least one bed up and going soon.
Have you tried googling your nearest State Univ? They oftentimes have charts of frost dates for gardeners in their state and lots of growing info for one's area. Its a matter of clicking til you find it.
With those degrees in the 60s, I'd say eggplant won't be on your menu. They need 60* plus even at nite in order to produce.

There are cooler-tolerant varieties in many crops. Get yourself several seed calalogs, free for the asking from their online sites, and read the descriptions to find what will work best for you.

In the meantime try your local library for gardening books and keep reading here. It may be slow time for many of us, but there are others in warmer states still producing well. Their tips and pictures will surely help you.
And don't forget to read 'All New Square Foot Gardening' by Mel Bartholomew and use his great advice.
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Re: Greetings from California's Central Coast

Post  camprn on 12/10/2012, 5:39 pm

@KnitPicker wrote: I love eating vegetables but it is getting so difficult to buy at the store and I would like to start growing our own, especially lettuces and greens. I am not sure about what our zone is. I asked someone at the Extension Office but they said they didn't know. I have heard that we a blend of a couple zones. Anyway, I was wondering if there are some things that can be grown year round here. I look forward to learning more. Thanks. Smile
Give this tool a try.
http://www.almanac.com/gardening/planting-dates/zipcode/93455 <~~~click

or this one.
http://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-california-usda-plant-zone-hardiness-map.php?ZS=93455

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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