Eat Your Front Yard
The front yard has traditionally been more for beautiful and showy plants, and less for edible veggies. But can you have both? Here are some ideas for beautiful plants that grow to a variety of different heights, make use of your green space, AND provide food to eat!
1. Corn: the plants grow into large dramatic shoots.
2. Artichokes: produce big beautiful purple-tinged chokes that look like sunflowers.
3. Rainbow chard: produces a range of colored leaves for much of the year.
4. Chives: they aren’t as big as these other vegetable plants, but they produce beautiful little flowers and are low maintenance.
5. Thyme: produces a lovely ground cover and caterpillars hate it, which will save your kale!
6. Italian kale: will look great next to the rainbow chard. It’s hardy and will produce kale throughout the seasons, too.
7. Peas: also have lovely flowers and will grow on a trellis at the back of your vegetable garden.
Natural Insect Repellent
If you’ve created a beautiful front yard garden (see article to the right!), the last thing you want is insects eating your flowers or veggies. Here is an all-natural solution to repel insects and help your greens grow.
Garlic-Mint Insect Spray: blend a handful of mint leaves and a few garlic cloves in a food processor, add cayenne or pepper flakes, and a drop of dish washing liquid. Pour into a pan and bring to a boil. Turn off and let the mixture sit overnight. Strain the mixture into a spray bottle and it’s ready to use.
Free Weed Prevention
Did you know that arborists often struggle to get rid of chipped wood (left from cutting down trees)? These chips make a great mulch, and work much the same providing ground cover, or the base of borders around the garden. They can also prevent weeds popping up among your plants. Be sure to give your local arborist a call to see if they have some you can pick up. There’s even a service you can sign up for that helps connect you with arborists who need to get rid of wood chips: https://getchipdrop.com/
Learn more about plants (and the bugs that eat them), garden design, and how to develop a self-sustaining vegetable-producing garden.
www.garden.org – Home to the National Gardening Association. Here you’ll find an online library of plants, forums to ask gardening communities, and lessons to improve your gardening knowledge!
www.insectid.ento.vt.edu – This site is an extensive online library of insects and pests (with images) and control measures to keep critters at bay!
www.vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu – Cornell’s Online Vegetable MD! You’ll be able to spot problems with vegetables and you can download fact sheets packed with solutions.