Tips For Growing A Front Yard Vegetable Garden

Like this article? Share it!
Print Friendly

At one time the back yard was seen as the only suitable place for a vegetable garden. Well not any more! One of the rising trends in vegetable gardening is growing vegetables in the front yard. As more people seek ways to grow more vegetables and maximize garden space, the front yard is as good a place to grow vegetables as the back. Some gardeners may need to grow vegetables in the front yard because the back yard may be unsuitable for growing vegetables, such as a very steep slope, or trees that create too much shade. Also, placing your vegetable garden in the front yard is a great way to show off your fabulous garden to neighbors.

There are a few things you should consider when growing vegetables in your front yard, here are just a few.

Use Good Planning

frontyard_gardenBecause a front yard vegetable garden is more visible to neighbors or passers-by, it is more important to create a garden that is not only very functional, but also more attractive. This is where good planning becomes very vital. Creating a nice design and predetermining how your garden will look before planting will help immensely.

Your vegetable garden does not need to look like those magazine-style gardens, but just use some forethought in the process of how and where you will plant your vegetables.

Mix Vegetables With Flowers

If you already have flower borders or beds in your front yard, you can easily interplant some vegetables with the flowers. You could also make new borders with just vegetables if none previously exist. Swiss chard, spinach, carrots, lettuces, and arugula can be used to create a very productive and attractive sidewalk or driveway border. Herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano, chives and many more can also be used as a fabulous border. Choose some ornamental vegetable varieties that blend in well with your existing flowers. Get creative and have fun!

Use The Art of Illusion

front_yard_gardenThere are some vegetable plants that can grow very tall, such as indeterminate tomatoes or okra. These tall plants can seem unattractive to neighbors and they could start griping to local officials. To help prevent this from happening, use the art of illusion in your front yard vegetable garden.

No, I’m not saying you need to learn magic, just a few tricks of the eye.

When a tall object is next to an even taller object, it doesn’t appear to be as tall when compared to the taller object. Use this in your front yard garden. Try to plant the taller vegetables near, or next to your home. When the tall plants are visually compared to the height of your home they will not appear to be so tall.

If the tall plants were out in the middle of your yard, they would stick out like a sore thumb and possibly draw unwanted attention.

Use Vertical Gardening

When growing vining vegetables, such as cucumbers, pole beans, or peas, use vertical gardening. Grow these vegetables using a simple trellis or arbor for them to climb up. The plants will actually be more healthy and productive while keeping your garden much more tidy.

You can easily create very attractive teepees for the pole beans to climb, or lattice arbors for cucumbers. Take into account the present look of your front yard and try to match your vegetable garden supports to fit in with the overall feel.

A Few Advantages of Front Yard Vegetable Gardens

There are quite a few advantages to growing vegetables in the front yard. The great thing about growing a front yard garden is the use of land that would other wise be grass. With the addition of a vegetable garden, the front yard becomes productive and less of just a “yard”. The removal of grass means you have less or no, mowing. This is great for helping to reduce air and noise pollution. You will mow less and have more time to garden!

Also, you will be able to provide more delicious, fresh vegetables for yourself and your family. Now that is always a great advantage!

A Few Disadvantages of Front Yard Vegetable Gardens

Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages to growing a vegetable garden in the front yard. Growing vegetables in the front yard may not be for everyone, and that’s fine as long as you grow vegetables somewhere. Since the garden is in the front yard, it becomes highly visible.

Anyone that drives or walks by will be able to see your garden, so it becomes more important to put a bit more emphasis on aesthetics. You will probably receive some comments on your front yard garden – some will say they love it, some may say they hate it. To the detractors, just smile, say thanks, and keep right on growing!

Again, since your front yard garden will be highly visible and easily accessible, you may have to deal with stolen veggies or vandalized beds. This rarely happens but just be prepared that it could happen at some time.

Do you grow vegetables in your front yard? Please talk about your front yard garden. We’d love to hear about it!

Enter your name and email address below to grab a free copy of my e-book, 101 Tips for Growing Amazing Organic Vegetables.

Inside you will find 101 tips that will help you grow a better vegetable garden. You will also receive my weekly newsletter packed with helpful information!

Like this article? Share it!
Print Friendly

Comments

  1. We live in a rural area so it’s a little different, but I planted a large oval of iris thinking I was going to have a large oval flower bed right in the middle of the front yard. It’s been YEARS now and the only thing there still is iris and a lilac bush. :( I decided this year I’m going to start planting my veggies there and will add in some of my favorite flowers as well ~ create the best of both worlds. :)

    I’d say one benefit of having it in the front yard is motivation to do the work when it’s hot out ~ with it right out in plain view you can’t really slack on watering and weeding. ;)
    .-= Jackie LeeĀ“s last blog ..Zoo Games to Play on Your Next Trip to the Zoo =-.

    • Hi Jackie! Yes, living in the “boonies” does give you many more options for growing vegetables in the front yard. Mixing your vegetables with certain flowers is a great idea! You can add beauty and choose plants that deter certain insect pests! You got to love knocking out two birds with one stone ;)

      You are very right about having the vegetable garden in the front yard being a motivation tool! I try to tell new gardeners to locate their gardens near the home, or heavily used path. It seems to help keep the garden on your mind. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind”. As you mentioned, the front yard is a great place to accomplish that. Thanks for pointing that out!

      I look forward to reading about your front yard garden on your wonderful blog!

      Tee

  2. Bethanie says:

    I have all my tomatoes and herbs in my front garden– they look beautiful with all the other plants, especially things like flowering sage.

    • That does sound beautiful, Bethanie! I am planning on extending more of my vegetable and herb garden to the front yard more and more. There’s no reason why the front yard can’t be used for growing food ;)

      Thanks for your comment!

      Tee

  3. I live in a very compact neighborhood in a large city and have experienced only positive feedback on my “Redneck Container Garden”. I have squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, assorted peppers, beans, lettuce, scallions, carrots, radishes & herbs growing in 5-gallon buckets and steel tubs around the perimeter of my front lawn and by my front porch. Neighbors walk by and comment on my unconventional urban farm every day. Hopefully some of them are inspired and grow something of their own.

    • It sounds like you have a great garden Matt! You have a very creative front yard garden! I love the idea of using the steel tubs. It’s great you are getting positive feedback on your “Redneck Container Garden”. Hopefully it will inspire people passing by to grow vegetables in their front yard as well. As long as people start growing their own foods, no matter where it is, that’s what’s important.

  4. I’m looking into starting a front yard veggie garden this month, but I’m not sure whether to use square foot gardening or something more astheticly pleasing. Any suggestions on how to get started in designing BEFORE I start planting?

    • Hi Khattie – First, it is really awesome that you are planting a front yard veggie garden! I started last season growing a few varieties in my front yard (beets, radishes, and a few carrots), and will hopefully include more this season. I already had some existing plants in my front yard – bushes, flowers, bulbs, etc – and just incorporated the edibles in with the ornamentals. You could try that method if you already have plants in your front yard. This seems to help blend in the veggies with everything else.

      The Square Foot Gardening Method works great for small spaces! You don’t necessarily have to build a raised bed and all that with SFG. You can still use that method in a way that blends into the existing yard. If you have flower beds there now, build the SFG bed to match the look of the existing beds. It doesn’t have to be the big, gaudy wood box stuck in the front yard.

      If you have just a blank yard with nothing in it, then the sky’s the limit! You can still create nice looking, shaped beds that are attractive. Just remember to plant the taller plants towards the home, while smaller plants can be planted near the street.

      For a great example of a front yard veggie garden, check out a couple videos by Shawna Coronada – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNAesbOxUiI and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Pj2lvx4Vr4

  5. What about toxins from vehicles driving by. Will the front yard vegetables be toxic?

    • Hi Jenelle – I don’t think you will need to worry about cars driving by leading to toxic vegetables. If you have contaminants in your soil from spills or other similar actions would be the only thing to really worry about.

      I’m sure the produce offered in supermarkets have more toxins that what you would grow with cars driving by.

  6. Christalee says:

    I am planning to turn my front flowerbed into a veggie garden this next year. right now nothing really grows in it and the neighborhood cats have gotten into it But it is south facing and gets quite hot for the few months that we have summer her in the northern Alberta Canada. Do you have any tips for getting the soil ready now going into fall and winter that will help it out in the spring?

  7. I have a potted veggie garden in the front porch, going on my 2nd year now, i have a cucumber climbing on my left fence and bitter melon gourd on the right fence, 2 potted cherry tomatoes, 1 beef tomato, 1 roma tomato, 1 thai pepper, 3 bell peppers, 1 cayenne and 3 havanero pepper, all on 3 gallon pots. My neighbors love them and we all try to plant veggies in our front yard, my problem is i want to do crop rotation, how do i do it with my limited space and they all belong in the same family? do i just change the soils in the pots? i dont want to spend more money on pots and compost, i’d like to reuse what i already have, i can’t replant the same veggies n the same pots anymore… right?

Speak Your Mind

*

Gardener's Supply Company
AgHub Network