Front Yard Gardens: Aye or Nay?
Lawns and landscaping might be the most common uses of front yard space, but it is your yard, and there are plenty of other things you can do with it.
You’ve probably seen vegetable gardens cropping up in yards around your neighborhood. In suburbs and large cities, people from all walks of life are trying their hand at growing fresh fruits and vegetables at home.
What you may not know is that not everybody’s on board with urban gardening. Well, you’d know that if you were opposed to front-yard farming, but not if you were the sort who thought putting raised beds in your yard was a great idea.
Who Doesn’t Like Vegetable Gardens?
So what’s with all the controversy? Well, to some folks, front-yard gardens just don’t have a pleasing aesthetic. They like the look of a well-kept lawn, and prefer that any additional plants be decorative in nature – they want to see tulip beds, not pumpkin patches. Concerned homeowners may also consider front-yard gardens and compost piles as potential pest magnets.
Why Grow Your Own Food?
Proponents of front-yard gardening say it’s a more effective use of space, and it’s better for the environment than watering a lawn every day. They also enjoy the fact that it allows them to know exactly where their fruits and vegetables came from and how they were grown. And as an added bonus, gardening is a fun family activity that lets participants reconnect with nature and gain a new appreciation for their food.
Tips for Front-Yard Gardening Without Hassle
If you want to get into front-yard gardening, here are a few tips to help you avoid courting controversy or invoking the ire of your local HOA.
First, make sure your front-yard garden is aesthetically pleasing. Gardening may not be the most glamorous activity, but with relatively minimal effort, you can create a garden space that artfully blends into the neighborhood and even increases your home’s curb appeal.
If you’re considering getting into front-yard farming in a major way, you might want to build a fence that will shield your garden from view. That way, what you do in your yard will be nobody’s business but yours.
One of the biggest benefits of front-yard gardening is that it typically doesn’t take as much water to maintain as a thick, lush lawn. However, if you treat your garden with a slew of chemicals, you might end up negating the initial environmental benefit and upsetting your fellow citizens. Whenever possible, grow your fruits and vegetables organically. You may also want to set up a rain collection system. Rainwater can easily be diverted from your gutters, and setting up a rain barrel is relatively simple.
Finally, make sure to keep your compost pile secure from rats and other vermin. If you’re going the DIY route, incorporate wire mesh into your design to keep pests from discovering your composting scraps. If you’d rather save yourself some time, simply purchase a compost barrel designed to keep would-be scavengers out.
Share the Wealth
If you happen to have extra fruits or veggies, be sure to share them with the neighbors. They’ll be much more likely to appreciate the merits of your garden when they’re allowed to share in its delicious bounty.
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