You don't need acres of land to grow vegetables. In fact, all you need is a little space in the front yard. In this article, gardening expert Tara Nolan will show you how to do this.
Many years ago, when I lived in a big city, on my way home from the bus stop, I passed a neat small bungalow with a small garden in front of it. It is not a typical basic planting - maybe one or two shrubs and some annual plants, but there are always several rows of tomato cages supporting a variety of tomato plants. At that time, I was surprised because it was still quite rare to see vegetables in the front yard. But now, it is not uncommon to see one or two raised beds full of vegetables in the front garden. You may even find that the entire front yard is dedicated to growing fruits and vegetables.
Urban and suburban properties often pose challenges to horticulturists who are eager to grow edible plants. What if your backyard is in full shadow? Perhaps there is a towering tree on the land or in the neighbor's backyard, which is shading. (Or, there may be a root system network within reach throughout the yard, making it almost impossible to plant on the nearby ground.) An raised bed can solve this problem, but if you don't have any light, that's OK. Vegetables should be planted in a sunny place. Sometimes, the front yard is the best place to grow food, because there is the most sunshine.
No matter what challenges they face, hot vegetables like tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, peppers and eggplants need at least six to eight hours of sunshine every day to thrive. Moreover, if your front yard provides the best conditions, why not use the space in this way?
If you are not ready to plant a row of vegetables on the ground or raised bed in the front yard, you can spread them in the whole landscape in many ways - cleverly hidden in ornamental plants. Find a fancy obelisk and place it around a tomato hidden in a perennial plant. Or, use green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, kale and vanilla to create a neat line of edible edges along the edge of the garden.
The word "foodscanning" has been integrated into the popular gardening dictionary, keeping pace with the edible landscape. These plants are not typical of the past, but are used for landscape design, just like perennial plants. When planting perennial and annual fruits and vegetables, we will consider the texture, size, shape and color. Vanilla offers a great deal of variety in texture and leaf size - not to mention taste. Try adding different kinds of sage, lemon thyme, parsley and mint to the container to replace other common "fillers".
Of course, it is good to grow food and flowers together. Not only does it look beautiful when planted on the roadside, you will also attract valuable pollinators and other beneficial insects to your garden.
For small space gardeners who once thought that harvest was far away, there are many compact edible plants to choose from, allowing them to plant edible plants in flower pots or small gardens. Watch out for climbers, such as cucumbers, watermelons and beans, as well as tried and tested favorites, tomatoes and peppers. These special plant varieties will not take up space. And don't worry about pumpkin plants winding through your garden to your neighbor's house. (Although this happens to my neighbor's plants sometimes, I don't mind the unexpected harvest!)
Most edible plants are also very ornamental in nature. Think about what they add to the garden in terms of color, flowers, leaves and texture. Fennel adds a beautiful, fluffy texture to the garden. Speaking of texture, I even saw asparagus used as a hedge - after the spring harvest, the plants became wild!
Think about eating secretly in other places where flowers were once popular. Add strawberry plants with red flowers to the basket instead of annual flowering plants. Even the fruits of some pepper plant varieties, such as Mad Hatter and Dragon Roll, a kind of shishito pepper, almost look like Christmas decorations when they drip the pepper waiting for maturity.
This chapter is very close to my heart, because when talking about the vegetable garden in the front yard, I began to deeply discuss one of my favorite topics: raised beds. This is related to my last book "Raised Bed Revolution", because there are some large and small raised bed projects that are very effective in the front yard garden.
Growing food is a great way to taste new varieties and cross out summer items from your grocery list - when you "buy" them in your yard. Whether your front yard is large or small, you should find inspiration and clever projects for your vegetables.