Monday, July 30th, 2012...6:15 am

Converting your lawn into a vegetable garden

Now That’s a Vegetable Garden! by UGArdener

As clean water becomes a more scarce commodity and because of the rising cost of using it or the towns’ limiting of the use of water on flowers and lawns due to drought, as well as because fresh produce prices are going up, many people are converting their front lawns as well as their back yards to vegetable gardens.

It used to be that there were rules regarding the plantings on your front yard. These rules may still be in effect where you live. So before you decide to create a vegetable and herb garden on your front yard, or even before you plant drought-tolerant plants and remove the lawn, find out what is allowed in your community.  You don’t want to pay a fine should your town or housing development have laws on the books that don’t allow certain plantings in the front of the house. Or you may not want to destroy your lawn and flowering plants in the front of the house and upset your neighbors’ feelings.

If you do want vegetables but, for whatever reason,  you can’t tear up your front yard to create a vegetable garden or are afraid to totally change your flower garden and lawn, you can intersperse vegetables and herbs among the flowers. There are even some vegetables that look flowerlike. People use ornamental cabbages and kale in the fall. (see here) But vegetables and herbs do need sun. ThisGardenLady has so many trees on her property that it is difficult to plant vegetables. These are old, huge, shade creating trees that I do not want to chop down.  And vegetables don’t like to compete with tree roots for moisture and nutrients. The tree roots on my property are humongous. Wherever I do have sun and no roots, I have herbs interspersed among the sun loving flowers. I raise herbs like dill, fennel, basil, parsley, oregano, perilla and mints. People ask what flowers they are.  The dill and fennel add such a fluffy dimension to the garden. The mints, of course, do have flowers, though they should be removed before they bloom for the best leaf flavor if you want to use them in your cooking.  And some of the plants in the mint family have purple leaves for another dimension in the garden.

But if you want to get rid of the lawn and flowers and grow your own vegetables, and you have determined that you are allowed to plant herbs and vegetables in your sunny yard and it won’t offend neighbors, good luck to you. Font yard vegetable gardening is the wave of the future. Not only will you save on watering, but think of all the mowing you will no longer have to do.  I hope you have a hammock nearby since you are no longer mowing grass. And  before you snooze in that hammock, don’t forget to pick some nice mint in your garden to add to that ice cold pitcher of lemonade by your side.

Remember that if you want a vegetable garden where everyone can see it, it no longer has to look like a farm, with long straight rows of plants.  People are becoming very creative with how they create their vegetable garden as well as their flower beds. These vegetable garden designs can be as pretty as flower beds.  Some creative designs for garden beds can be seen here.

How about sending in photos of your vegetable garden design. TheGardenLady and her readers would love to see your ideas.

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