Friday, November 21, 2008

Organic Urban Vegetable Garden

I'm very much a proponent of growing one's own food; a la the Slow Food Movement....Victory Gardens, etc. So needless to say I was elated when a client of my gardening business asked if I would turn half her backyard lawn into an organic vegetable garden.

So I rolled up my sleeves, picked up my shovel, and began peeling back the lawn. The soil was in good shape so I didn't have to add any supplements save a bag or two of compost for the beneficial worms and microbes to enjoy.


It was near the end of the summer when the project was started so of course we had to plant according to the season. Any summer crops: Tomatoes, corn, peppers, etc. were out of the picture. What we could plant were veggies that enjoy a colder climate. That's pretty much anything in the Brassica family: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, cabbage. Everything but the kale went in. I also planted radishes and onions. The radishes were the quickest thing to come to fruition. Just less than 5 weeks from seed sown to having 2 handfuls of healthy organic radishes on the table! A bulk of the plot was reserved for a mix of salad greens, and I put in a circle of compact growing snow peas. The compact growing habit(versus trailing vines) eliminated the need for a vertical structure...though in retrospect I think a be-vined tee-pee in the center of the garden would have added to the asthetic value by giving height to the otherwise below-knee-level garden.
Once the plants were in, I let nature do her thing. The upkeep is pretty simple. I weed every couple weeks and advise my client to spray the veggies with a non-toxic insect repellent.

If you live in San Francisco and are interested in growing your own food, please don't hesitate to contact me for a free consultation! I can help you with such things as what plants do well in San Francisco's varying microclimates, when to plant, how to amend your soil, etc.

Because that's what I do and I enjoy every bit of it!


  1. What a satisfying and beneficial project! Hope you get LOTS more clients for this type of garden...

  2. Philipbewley@gmail.comNovember 25, 2008 at 9:34 AM

    We also live in San Francisco!
    It is is nice to meet you.
    What a wonderful organic vegetable garden you have created.
    Best regards,

  3. Oh I do love me some before and after photos! :) Used to live in SF, now in Seattle, was just there to visit, totally miss that city. You are lucky/smart to live there! I grow snap peas on a teepee, it does provide nice structure but as you know it also throws shade behind it. Happy to have found your blog!

  4. I see spaces like your first picture, and mentally plant them with flowers and veggies. It's cool you actually got to! You did a nice job there.

    Sue, from A Corner Garden