Family’s New Vegetable Garden

A student from my Santa Monica College gardening course hired me to design a vegetable garden – a few raised beds so his family could grow tomatoes, salad greens and more. The family had moved into their house recently and were overhauling the landscaping to make it low-maintenance.

The homeowners enjoyed colorful, artistic surroundings, but they wanted a clean palette to start with. Old weedy lawns, ill-placed concrete borders and invasive plant materials all had to go.

Before

Before

I wanted their new raised beds to match the existing entry stairs, so we used the same wood and stain to match. The family planned on having a long dining table in the open area, so we needed to keep that space open. The tall fence (left) would cause shadows in the winter, so our best bet was to place the raised beds near the house.

Our craftsman, Josh, built beautifully mitered beds for the homeowner

Our craftsman, Josh, built beautifully mitered beds for the homeowner. (Notice the new artistic paint job on the fence)

After clearing all the old grass and concrete, we went to work building the new beds and planting a couple bare-root fruit trees along the long, narrow strip of side yard (behind rain barrel).

Bare root fruit trees will bloom and grow this spring.

Bare root fruit trees will bloom and grow this spring. They will be grown in an espaliered fashion to allow for the family to pass by in the narrow space.

The homeowner chose decomposed granite for most of the yard, but went with gravel for the side yard around the fruit trees for a little texture. Irrigation was installed for the raised beds and fruit trees, and after the family returned from a trip, we planted some cool season crops.

Completed garden with cool season crops planted. We left room for warm season crops, which will be planted next month.

Completed garden with cool season crops planted. We left room for warm season crops, which will be planted next month.

Hopefully next month I’ll have a better photo of the finished garden (sans glare and late afternoon shade). The family is very excited about their new garden, and they look forward to planting tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, squash and melons next month.

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2 Responses to Family’s New Vegetable Garden

  1. nedra says:

    what are bare root fruit trees and do they need to be in the sun like plants all the time?

    • Christy says:

      Bare root fruit trees are fruit trees that are sold without soil around the roots, during the dormant season of the tree (winter). They are usually 2 or 3 year old trees that are still small, so they ship cheaply and are much less expensive than buying larger trees from nurseries. They just take longer to get established, but the rewards are great – including more varieties to choose from than offered in most nurseries.

      So in light of that information, you can see that they are just like regular fruit trees, so they do need full sun as much as possible.

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