Boho Farm and Home's Caroline Van Slyke Offers Tips on Gardening in Phoenix
From Boho Farm + Home Grow what you eat, in your yard.
It is a new year, and for many that means resolutions. Recommended resolution for this year: Grow your own food. Yes, it can be done. You don't have to be a bicycle-riding, Prius-driving, urban goat owner to grow your own food. You too can grow food and Instagram great-looking garden booty.
Never gardened in the desert before? Don't know where to start? Boho Farm and Home owner Caroline Van Slyke, who recently transformed her own front yard into a fruit-growing paradise, recommends starting small and simple.
"One 4-foot-by-8-foot garden box or a couple of wine barrels and grow things that you like to eat -- if that seems too much, plant a fruit tree. A peach tree is easy! This will help you see the success and enjoyment in raising your own food and then you can slowly add more beds," she says.
Whatever you do, don't jump in the deep end. "The mistake I see most often is people in their desire to have multiple gardens and beds right away plant too much, and they get overwhelmed and say they can't garden." says Van Slyke.
You want to try to make growing your own food an empowering, not overwhelming, experience. "This journey to sustainability for our family has been one of the most rewarding journeys we have embarked on," she says.
From Boho Farm + Home Caroline Van Slyke in her garden.
In other words, it is pretty cool to harvest a salad from your own backyard in your pajamas.
Van Slyke lives a simple, sustainable life in Arcadia and incorporates design, gardening, and cooking into a visually stunning home. But, you don't need to be quite as glamorous as she is to make a change in the new year.
"There is something very special and healing about being in contact with the land . . . belonging to the land. Planting a backyard garden can change the world!" she says. Or at least your world.
You can put in a veggie/fruit garden now or wait until the early spring. You'll just want to make sure the spot you pick gets six to eight hours of sun.
"This time of year is one of my favorites to plant because it is bare-root fruit season, from late December to early February is the time in the Valley to plant bare-root fruit trees and roses too," she says.
Regardless of when you plan to begin your resolution, don't start with crops that are out of season. Van Slyke recommends visiting a local nursery instead of a big-box store. "They will give you great advice and all the plants they have are for this growing season."