With the push toward healthy eating and sustainability, what could be fresher or local-er than produce from your own yard? Southern California not only has great weather for surfers, but also for vegetables. Edible gardening has become super popular on the blog-o-sphere so once I decided I wanted my own garden, there was definitely no lack of inspiration (check out the bottom of this post for some of my favorite sources). We really had no reason not to start our own edible garden!
Since we live in a fairly urban area and weren’t sure of the quality of our soil, we decided to build a raised bed. There are tons of plans online, we mostly used these plans from Sunset. These plans are great because they are based on the lengths that lumber comes in at the stores. We picked the cheapest untreated lumber, which at our store was douglas fir. We had our pieces cut to length at the Depot, so all we had to was screw them together in our driveway. And by “we,” I mean my personal carpenter.
Our yard is really sloped so we had to dig out quite a bit of dirt underneath to make it level-ish. Then, with virtually no complaining from me, we carried it into place in our front yard. That’s a lie. It was really heavy. We stapled some weed control fabric to the bottom and then filled in with organic potting soil. Then we planted!
We planted a combination of easy-to-grow veggies, fruits, and herbs, both from seeds and starter plants from Home Depot. Here’s a full list, if you’re interested:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Cilantro & marigolds (to attract pollinators)
Three weeks later, here’s how my garden grows:
Clockwise from top left: snap pea sprout, lots-o-spinach, baby strawberry, blossoming tomato
The lettuces prefer cool weather so I’m not sure how much longer they’ll thrive here, but everything else I think should do pretty well in the California summer.
Tiny lettuce, basil, and chive sprouts
I may have accidentally spilled an entire packet of basil seeds. I should probably thin out some of those basil seedlings.
Here are my favorite online resources for gardening:
- Life on the Balcony: small-space gardening
- Urban Organic Gardening: container gardens for urban spaces
- Heavy Petal: organic vegetable gardening
- Sunset Plant Finder: search by zone to find the best plants for your area
As with all the topics I blog about, I’m certainly no expert on edible gardening. Do you have any tips for me? Are you growing any edibles this season?