Provenance Chef-Owner Cathy Pavlos Shares Tips On Growing an Edible Garden

Pavlos photograph by Michelle Larson

Cathy Pavlos learned from her grandfather, who tended gardens in Huntington Beach in the ’30s. Her tips for an edible garden:

Get raised beds.
“It’s better on your back, and it keeps the varmints away. Also, the next year you can shovel the dirt out and add some composting to amend the soil. If you grow it in the ground, you’ll have to change locations every year.”

Install a drip system.
“This is the best because you’re watering the soil, not from overhead.”

Grow what you like.
“Don’t grow something just to grow something. What do you like to eat? Summer is when the bright, shiny vegetables everyone loves come out. Start with a summer garden, which you plant in the spring.”

Plant compatibles.
“Plant tomatoes and basil together, throw in some garlic, and there’s
your salad!”

Plan and follow directions.
“There has been so much research on what grows and how it grows. There’s a reason to plant tomatoes 3 feet apart, especially close to the water. Make sure to give everything plenty of space.”

Best bets
“Sure crops here are beans, tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers. Plant beneficials—to attract bees and butterflies, and to keep other insects away.”

Her go-to nursery
“Plant Depot in San Juan Capistrano. This is where I go. They’re family owned and so helpful. I like it because they’re so genuine.”

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