Growing Food in a Waterwise Garden

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And how to create an outdoor space like this on your own.

This is a great example of how to incorporate growing your own food into your front yard landscape while also being waterwise. This yard balances the water needs of growing vegetables by utilizing hardscape and drought-tolerant plants like lavender and succulents in other spaces. 

Honeysuckles under the window are a great fast-growing and heat-tolerant option that form great hedges. In the spring and summer, they are covered with pink, orange, or yellow flowers that pollinators adore. 

Large raised beds to the side of the yard utilize a sun-friendly space that still provides ample space to follow the flagstone and decomposed granite path throughout the garden. The use of lighting will bring this magical pathway alive at night and help illuminate late-night garden snacks. The balance creates a multi-use front yard that benefits humans, pollinators, and the Earth.

Some tips for the home gardener

  • Make sure to research your gardening zone and pick the right plants for your area to maximize their success. 
  • Most nurseries stock vegetables that are in season, making it easy to pick the right veggies for different seasons. You can easily find drought-tolerant plants and staff who are knowledgeable about them. 
  • When planning a multi-use space, start with your hardscape to focus on how you want to move throughout your space.
  • Spend time thinking about the purpose of your front yard and what you want it to achieve. Do you want a drought-tolerant, pollinator-friendly, vegetable garden, or is it a multi-use space? Let your purpose drive your design.

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Laura McLean
Laura McLean is a native San Diegan who is the plant expert co-owner of Sweet Seedlings, and has spent over 20 years working for a nonprofit and as a marriage and family therapist. She has transformed her yard into an urban vegetable and pollinator garden, and strives to connect mental health, self-care, and a commitment to our earth with every seed she sows.
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