It's been a not-so-secret dream of mine to grow edibles at home (of course within reasonable limits) and having our own private garden was huge plus point for me. So as soon as we moved in, I mapped out the space to figure out where I could grow things well based on the amount of sunlight. We pulled out all the weeds and plants that were growing a little crazy, raked the soil and then spread mulch all over to prevent any more weeds from sprouting back.
A raised bed is probably one of the best ways to grow edibles especially if you have pets. It also makes it easier to prevent weeds and prevent bugs from sneaking in and the soil stays loose and it's easy to control watering. A raised bed takes a lot of the unknowns out of the gardening equation! I used this Rectangular Raised Bed from Williams-Sonoma which is super sturdy and is made from solid cedar planks. There are a bunch of different ways to set up raised bed, you can place plants that complement each other and won't compete for nutrients and prevent bugs (Williams-Sonoma has also included some cool printable layouts on their site to help you plan out what types of plants to place next to each other in the raised bed, so I strongly recommend checking them out).
Around the garden, I've also planted a couple of plants that are native to California and some that are hardy and drought resistant. We've planted olive trees, fig trees, pomegranates, a few citrus varieties and a curry leaf plant. They don't require too much effort and seem to do really well by themselves.
Some of the things I've learned this summer from my edible gardening experience;
- Grow things you actually like to eat and eat often. We eat a lot of beets, kale, lettuce, herbs and tomatoes so that is what I went with. I always need lemons and limes on hand so having a steady supply from the garden is a huge life saver!
- I went super simple this year but will probably change things up a little each year based on what I need. Watermelons will be on my to-grow list next year!
- If you start late in the season, start with saplings from a reputable organic source. Except for my dragon's tongue beans that I grew from seeds, everything else came in a pot.
- Time the amount of sun you get in your potential garden spot, it will vary by season and the time of the day. Then plant your raised bed in the spot that works best for you based on all these parameters.
- Have fun while gardening and harvest when the plants are ready!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Williams-Sonoma. However, all opinions expressed are solely my own.