Wattles for Veggies

a raised garden made possible by straw wattles

First, I must give my mentor and friend Marilee Kuhlman full credit for this one.  I was meeting with her and brainstorming for a client and she mentioned how she tested out places on her property for future edible beds by using straw wattles. Wattles, what?!  My ears perked up because I had just about thrown in the towel growing edibles in my parkway.  I had serious compaction and heavy clay in my parkway but I didn’t want to build a rectilinear structure in my parkway in order to hold good soil.  The wattle was the answer because I was able to tuck in two kidney shaped raised beds surrounding my roses and it actually looks pretty darn good.  The wattles have become a neighborhood “icebreaker” as people walk by.  Best of all straw wattles are inexpensive, about $24 for 25 feet of wattle.  I stacked one atop the other and drove down rebar in a few places to secure it.  The wattle will slowly drop in height as it decomposes.  When it needs replacing simply cut the netting and compost the straw.  Voila!

So When Do Those Warm Season Veggies Go In?

Yesterday morning, when I should’ve been working, I spent hours salivating over the high mowing seed offering of warm season vegetables.  I was searching for tomatoes but I managed to also find some interesting cucumbers, beans and spinach. Seeds for Picolino (cucumber), Blue Lake (bean) and Ping Tung (eggplant) will now be arriving in a few days along with my Brandywine, Geen Zebra, Yellow Pear, Peachwine and Indigo Rose.  I had a moment of panic after I confirmed my order because I’m still cloudy on when to plant certain vegetables.  The soil temp, amount of sun light hours and of course temperature are the key factors.  The challenge is keeping it all straight in Santa Monica where we’ve had 80 degree January days and we’ll likely

have a June filled with gloom and 60 degree temps.  So, for those of you who get confused like me I have this link to a guide of what to plant when in different areas of California.  Enjoy and get gardening!