Below I have listed the plants that I grow on my homestead. These are plants that generally are easy to grow and require little care. I have great success growing them. The pictures are from my garden or kitchen.
- Bell Peppers
- Mustard Greens
Serrano pepper plants grow to a height anywhere in between 24 – 36 inches tall and should be planted 18 – 24 inches in full sunlight. Water occasionally but do not over water and avoid peppers that are soft, bruised or have wrinkled skin or spots of mold. They come in red, brown, orange, and yellow depending on how long they are left on the stalk. Serrano’s grow to about 1 – 4 inches long and do not dry very well due to the fact Serrano’s are very meaty. Unripe Serrano peppers are green, but the color at maturity varies. They are hotter than Jalapenos and usually eaten raw. Serrano peppers are great in Pico de Gallo.
The ideal time to plant garlic is in the fall, but you can plant in spring. Don't delay, plant now – hot weather is the enemy of garlic. All you need is a head of garlic from the grocery store. I usually buy Elephant garlic heads because they seem to work best. Separate the bulbs into cloves, and plant each clove with the pointed end up, about an inch deep in clay soils, two inches deep in sandy soils. As with other vegetables, garlic needs lots of sun.
Fertilize with a nitrogen-based fertilizer, which should be organic, a few weeks after planting, and fertilize again two or three weeks later. Keep the bed moist but not over-wet.
The plant should start to poke through the soil in seven to 14 days; it will be ready to harvest in anywhere from 90 to 180 days. You'll know garlic is ready to harvest when the leaves start to turn brown. (Don't let the plant go to seed, unless you want garlic plants everywhere the next year.) Dig it up, bring it inside to dry for a few days, then cut off the leaves and enjoy.
The great thing about pomegranate fruit is that the trees on which it grows can live for many years. Aside from being a great décor for a backyard… it produces the delicious pomegranate fruit. Pomegranate fruit have a round, spherical shape. Inside, you’ll find dozens of small ruby-colored seeds. The pomegranate fruit has a citrus flavor and is very juicy. There are many drinks and even foods that are made with the pomegranate fruit. The pomegranate fruit is now becoming more commercialized and can be found in supermarkets in a variety of forms. The most popular is pomegranate juice but there are also pomegranate jellies, pomegranate wine, and even pomegranate salad dressing. The wide adoption of the pomegranate is due to recent studies that have shown that the fruit contains a high amount of antioxidants that are beneficial to our health in many ways.
Its great flavor and health benefits have made it a great candidate for those who seek natural health foods.
Fig leaves are bright green, single, alternate and large (to 1 ft length). They are more or less deeply lobed with 1 - 5 sinuses, rough hairy on the upper surface and soft hairy on the underside. In summer their foliage lends a beautiful tropical feeling. The tiny flowers of the fig are out of sight, clustered inside the green "fruits", technically a synconium. Pollinating insects gain access to the flowers through an opening at the apex of the synconium. In the case of the common fig the flowers are all female and need no pollination. There are 3 other types, the caprifig which has male and female flowers requiring visits by a tiny wasp, Blastophaga grossorum; the Smyrna fig, needing cross-pollination by caprifigs in order to develop normally; and the San Pedro fig which is intermediate, its first crop independent like the common fig, its second crop dependent on pollination.
The common fig bears a first crop, called the breba crop, in the spring on last season's growth. The second crop is borne in the fall on the new growth and is known as the main crop. In cold climates the breba crop is often destroyed by spring frosts. The matured "fruit" has a tough peel (pure green, green suffused with brown, brown or purple), often cracking upon ripeness, and exposing the pulp beneath. The interior is a white inner rind containing a seed mass bound with jelly-like flesh. The edible seeds are numerous and generally hollow, unless pollinated. Pollinated seeds provide the characteristic nutty taste of dried figs.
Apples come in many different sizes and colors, ranging from almost cherry sized to grapefruit sized, yellow and green to red. The fruit from apple trees should be eaten directly from the tree or within a week of harvest. Fruit that will be stored from apple trees should be kept in a cool, dark, moist and frost-proof location. Apple trees are flowering trees, and it is the pollination of their flowers that will allow for the fruit to grow. When planting apple trees in a garden, it is important to know that many apple trees do not self-pollinate. For this reason, only one apple tree in the garden may not be able to produce much, if any fruit. To solve this, plant several different varieties of apple trees with similar flowering times to allow for cross-pollination. Apple trees should be planted in November, if possible. They can also be planted up to the end of March. This is when the soil is most friable. The apple trees should be planted firmly, with the soil pressed down hard around the roots. The apple trees should then be tied to a strong enough stake, for support until the roots take hold. Mulch should be applied around the base of the apple trees, to help retain moisture during the first growing period.