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Urban Gardening: Where to Start in San Diego

Three ways to introduce edibles to your landscape—even if you don't have one



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If you haven’t a lick of outdoor space…

“Get into the container game,” Espiritu says, and start small. Begin with a few herbs, like basil, oregano, mint, and thyme on a windowsill in your home. A sill in the kitchen is always a safe bet so you won’t forget to keep them hydrated, but most importantly, put them near their food—light. “You have to think like a plant,” he says. “Plants don’t see light, they use it for food.”

 

urban gardening

If you have a little bit of dirt…

“Any leafy green” is your go-to. For instance, till up a patch of soil right outside your front door, and plant a salad garden. Romaine, kale, and even herbs are easy starters, Espiritu says, because they don’t require as much sun as, say, a fruit tree or vegetables and are simply not as finicky. What is finicky? “Endive,” Espiritu says, “because it’s harder to start the seed.”

 

urban gardening

If you have a backyard…

Raised beds are the way to plant heartier vegetables and fruits. Basically self-contained gardens above ground level, they allow you to control the quality of soil. To fill the beds, he suggests a blend of one third perlite soil (for drainage), one third peat moss (for moisture), and one third compost (for nutrition). As for what crops have the best yields in San Diego? That would be green beans, June-bearing strawberries, turnips, and his favorite, radishes. “You can get a radish in 30 days from the seed. If you want guaranteed first-time success, go for radishes.”

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