The Fundamentals of Front Yard Farming

Front yard farming…

is becoming the norm for a number of homeowners living in both the city and country.

Using your front yard for growing edible crops or ornamental plants is a fun way to save money and help the environment.

There are numerous patterns you can create in your yard, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Because many city ordinances prohibit front yard farming, it’s best to check your local codes before you begin digging.

Make a Plan

If you’re ready to farm in your front yard, you’ll need a plan.

Because your new garden or vegetable patch will be seen by neighbors and people passing by, the rules are different.

Growing in your backyard is ultimately just for you and your family, while front yard planting is for an entirely new audience.

Your neighbors may have questions about what you’re doing, so having a plan ready will help you explain your objectives. 

As you are devising your plan, consider the growing pattern of each plant or vegetable you want to use.

Envisioning how they would look at maturity will ensure that large plants don’t overshadow smaller ones.

You can start off with just a few crops at first and add one or two each year.

The most attractive front yard farms are those with both flowers and vegetables that grow at different rates.

Start Small

Beginning gardeners should always start off slowly in case errors are made.

If you fill your front yard with dozens of crops and flowers at once, you will most likely regret it.

While vegetables can be as pleasing to the eyes as colorful blossoms, some plants clash with others.

Don’t commit to using large portions of your front yard until you are sure the overall look will be appealing.

Most vegetables thrive in sunlight, so keep this in mind when plotting your garden.

If you are new to planting, you may want to use a raised bed for your vegetables at first.

Otherwise, you may need to amend the soil in each area you intend to plant in.

Different crops and flowers need different types of soil, so do some research before you make your first seed purchase. 

One way to start off small is to designate each corner of your yard for planting.

In one corner closest to your house, install a trellis for growing cucumbers or zucchinis.

In the corresponding corner, plant tomatoes.

They have a long growing season and are generally taller than many other crops.

Use the front corners to plant smaller, colorful crops such as peppers, beets or radishes. 

Get Inspired

Once you are sure a front yard garden is right for you, you can use your knowledge and imagination to create a masterpiece.

Plant apple or fig trees in the center for an eye-catching focal point, and place perennials underneath.

Fill the areas closest to the curb with strawberry patches or creeping herbs.

You can also grow herbs in small window boxes.

Camouflage unsightly vegetables like onions by placing them closer to your house.

Keep the outer border of your yard filled with vegetables that mature quickly.

You should have easy access to any plants that need frequent harvesting.

Lettuce, cabbage and bush beans are ideal for growing at the outer edge of a yard.

Mix in some marigolds or lavender to add color to the borders. 

Tips for Success

No matter how much effort you put into creating a utilitarian yet artistic space, there will always be people who are opposed to your ideas.

As long as you are abiding by the city codes and not creating an eyesore, you can argue that you’re making smart use of the extra space in your front yard.

However, there are a few steps you can take in order to avoid bringing on the wrath of your neighbors.

One way to maintain the natural aesthetics of your front yard is to design your garden so it blends well with other landscapes in the area.

Edge the plant and vegetable beds with decorative rocks or pavers, and build an attractive pathway leading through the garden to your house.

You may also want to leave a couple small patches of grass in the center of the yard.

Keep compost piles out of sight as well. 

The backyard is no longer the only place you can grow food.

There may be a lot of empty space on your front lawn that could be utilized as farmland.

Plant beds and gardens require less labor, water and fertilizer than an entire lawn does, so if you are diligent, farming in your front yard can save you time and money.

If your city or town permits it, get creative and start designing your very own front yard farm today.