You wouldn’t believe it, given how hot it’s been lately, but you’re not too late to plant for a harvest this year. A few well-chosen seeds now will mean fresh, local, pesticide-free produce on your table come early autumn.
Of course, if there’s one takeaway from California’s water woes of the past few years, it’s that we need to be forward-thinking with our water use, lest another multi-year drought hit us again (and trust me, one will.) So when it comes to selecting what to plant in your garden, there’s more to consider than just what makes your mouth water.
For a truly eco-friendly garden, look to natives. Their benefit is self-evident: these plants evolved in southern California’s climate, so of course they’re well adapted to Los Angeles weather. Onions, celery, fennel, and lettuce are all LA natives in case you want to make a salad. Even some plants that typically get dismissed as weeds are edible and possibly already growing in your yard.
Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself only to California natives to have a virtual water friendly garden. Other plants have evolved to do well with limited watering, such as tomatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, and peppers.
Gardens are about more than just food. Whether you have a simple window box or a whole terraformed landscape in your yard, you can feel confident that you’re not contributing to water shortages when you plant poppies, sweet peas, and sage.
One thing is clear: sunny Los Angeles with its rarely cloudy days may seem ideal in travel advertisements, and plenty of plants enjoy the blue skies, too. So enjoy the yields of your hard work, and maybe send a tomato my way once it’s ripe.