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Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:14 pm
Location: Rocklin, California

This is my first attempt to grow my own food!

So i live in central california near the capitol.
i started this year with my first attempt at gardening. I planted Tomatoes, Squash, Basil, and Carrots... all container gardening, being in a suburb.

i figured out quickly that I made a mistake with squash, and didnt have the proper room to have it grow. it's still alive but small and not going anywhere.

today i discovered that what i thought was carrots was in fact not carrots at all O_o and i still don't know what it is that i have been caring for for several months. lol

also today I discovered white flies on my tomatoes, and possibly rot

so now i am praying my basil survives... ive eaten a few means now with this plant, so i at least accomplished that.

Basically, i have SO MUCH to learn. Ive never done this before and I can use all the help i can find. So i sought out a forum such as this one to talk all about vegetable gardening and learn from my mistakes and i gain more knowledge from more experienced growers :D

I want to give it a last go and try a few plants for fall, try carrots again, maybe another basil plant, some spinach, or anything else that will survive if started this time of year.

I hope to gain a lot from this place :)

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7500
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

Hi, fellow California gardener! Welcome to the forum. :D

I would like to strongly recommend Sunset's Western Garden Book *and* Sunset's climate zone system to you. The Sunset climate zone system is (IMHO) more important in California and other western zones--U.S. and Canada--than the USDA Hardiness Zone system, because Sunset allows for annual precipitation, summer max. temps, ocean influence or lack thereof, latitude and altitude, prevailing winds, and several other factors, whereas the USDA Hardiness Zone system considers winter minimum temperature only.

Once you know your Sunset climate zone, look in the main section of the book for the foods you want to grow, e.g., carrots, tomatoes, basil. You'll see which Sunset zones the foods are recommended for; in many cases, specific varieties are recommended for certain zones or groups of zones. Look for the varieties recommended for your zone to have a better chance of success.

There's also a guide for new gardeners (Sunset changes the name with each edition, it seems) towards the back of the book. Everything from pest management--Sunset has *finally* seen the light and now provides the organic option FIRST! :D--to irrigation to compost, etc. is in the new gardener section.

There are also photo shoots of "special" landscape challenges, should you have one of these: steep terrain, dry terrain, and the like.

The book is available at independent nurseries, many hardware/garden stores, some big box "garden centers," book stores, and public libraries. Used and new copies can be purchased online, if you like. (I like to look through actual books, though, and if I like them want to take them home right now! :oops:)

Happy gardening!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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