3 Rules For Growing Edible Plants In The Front Yard

Front yard vegetable gardens have been the topic of good and bad news lately. There is a growing movement gaining ground to make front yard gardens legal everywhere, but it is still controversial and outlawed in many cities and towns. So what do you do if your only full sun is in your front yard? Whether it is allowed or not in your area, you can grow edible plants in your front yard by following a few simple rules.

Plant Edible Ornamentals

This is the best way to get around ordinances that prohibit having a veggie garden in your front yard.  Even those places usually allow fruit trees, so if you have enough sun, choose trees that also add beauty, such as cherries or pears that bloom in the spring. Mix edible ornamentals into your landscape. A few to consider are:

  • Heirloom orange daylilies - all parts are edible
  • Nasturtiums - edible flowers and leaves have a spicy bite
  • Hot peppers - brightly colored smaller peppers, such as tabasco peppers or bird peppers, are quite attractive
  • Edible annual hibiscus - varieties such as Hibiscus acetosella (cranberry hibiscus) and Hibiscus sabdariffa (Jamaican sorel) work well.

Grow Edibles in Pretty Containers

It's easy to disguise an edible plant in an attractive container. Herbs are especially suitable for this, and some have colorful leaves and even beautiful flowers, such as dark purple basil or lavender. Lemon grass is easily grown in a container, as are the edible gingers, which have beautiful tropical leaves and flowers. Taro and malanga have showy elephant-ear type leaves that do well as container plants.  

Keep Your Garden Tidy

Even if your municipality allows front yard gardens, it's just common sense to prevent your garden from becoming unsightly by keeping it weeded and removing diseased or overgrown plants. You can leave tools and wheelbarrows out in a garden hidden in the back yard, but put them away after use in the front yard. Control diseases and pests as much as possible, and control how much of your garden you let go to seed. A good example of this is kale, which puts out hundreds of seeds per plant, so you only need to let one go to seed for next year's supply.

Growing your own food is a pleasurable pastime that gives you healthy food and helps the planet. If you need help planning how to grow edible plants in your front yard and keep your neighbors happy, a landscape designer can assist you in obeying all local ordinances while still having a bountiful harvest. Contact a company like Botanical Bruce & Co.  to get started.