Make your front yard garden beautiful so neighbors can enjoy it too.
There are many factors to consider when picking your plants each growing season. One factor you might have to deal with … does your neighborhood allow front yard gardens?
Here’s your chance to get inspired by some unusual yet stealth edibles.
How about adding some garlic?
Complimentary eGuide: Your guide to growing, harvesting & curing delicious garlic
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Would love to see a photo of how Joan (8/1 comment) uses grow bags with irrigation in her front yard!
At 82 I am gardening in my front yard. I have 5 tomato plants in large pots, trellises with cucumbers, pole beans, beets, carrots, and cabbages. Except for the tomatoes which are in large pots, I use grow bags for the rest and all are beautiful,. My son-in-law gets it ready in the spring, linely up the water connections which he installed.
Because my front yard gets super hot in summer , I grow mostly herbs like lavender and sage with some daisies and corn flowers.
You mentioned potatoes, which is always a good crop, but you can’t really just leave them in the ground. Also, being a nightshade family crop, the leaves and flowers are toxic.
Another stealth crop option (“croption”?) to use in their place would be sweet-potatoes. You can start lots of chits and fill your front yard with them. The vines look a lot like IVY… and they are entirely edible and as I understand it, sweet potatoes can be left in the ground indefinitely, so you have a continuous crop of leaves… and you can occasionally dig up a sweet potato for eating.
In addition to Stealth Crops… I want to discuss Stealth Gardening. This would be similar to Guerilla Gardening… but it’s on your own property. Since I live in a Big-City urban environment (Los Angeles), whenever I grow in my front yard, there will inevitably be enthusiastic volunteers to harvest my produce… without my permission… or knowledge. (At one point I opened my door to find a guy who worked at the store on the corner of my block, enthusiastically approaching my tomato vines, carrying a HUGE sauce-pot. He headed straight for the vines and started picking. He seemed surprised by my presence… and disapproval. Harrumph!)
I have since developed a strategy for urgan garden concealment which uses the garden itself as a camouflage element.
1. Start with planting 2-3 rows of “decorative” sunflowers along the
length of your yard, right up against the sidewalk, as well as along
any paths where pedestrians can walk through. (The USPO workers
2. Immediately behind those sunflowers, plant a large-ish patch of
corn, running the length of the sunflowers. Plant several rows to
ensure good germination. If you want, you could grow “decorative”
corn, such as Glass Gem corn and several varieties of native Maize.
NOW you have a sort of Privacy Hedge.
Within that visual barrier element you can plant your tomatoes, radishes, beets, carrots, lettuces, spinach… even big stuff like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
You might even get away with planting squash or sweet pie pumpkins in among the “decorative” corn.
If you’re feeling particularly ballsy you could argue with the HMO that the sweet pie pumpkins are also “Decorative” in nature, contributing to Art of the Season and a feel of Autumn Harvest. “After all, yes, some pumpkins are food, but they can also be festive holiday decor,” you can tell them.
Be snobby. Be snotty. Be better-than-thou.
They love that shytte and it’s good for them. Builds character.
Of course, “ballsy” and “camouflage” are not mutually compatible. If you really want to conceal your garden space and keep your garden produce secure from unwanted uninvited harvesters, then “ballsy” would be… contraindicated.
Keep it concealed if you want to keep it.
ANOTHER thing I’ve done was to grow “sacrificial” zucchinis on the front strip (next to the street), so that casual passers-by might be content to go for the “easy-pickings” and move on, rather than spend time exploring my property for other garden produce. Most people will… and ironically, that year I only noticed ONE zucchini disappeared during the entire year. That was interesting.
But, yeah. Grow Sacrificial veggies as a deterrent. It works.
Los Angeles, CA
I had a quarter acre garden for 4.5 years, and I grew so many different things, and a few are: luffas, hops, black raspberries, mulberries, Concord grapes, lemon verbena, rhubarb, various citrus, blueberries, various herbs, Wasabe, Syrian Rue, Ganoderma, Patchouli, lavender, hollyhocks, anise hyssop, yarrow, mallow, Tennessee Dancing Gourds, Oka, purple asparagus, Borage, lots of other pollinator flowers, vegetables, and herbs. I grew plants for cocktails, dye, Cannabis, Lilacs, Sweet Peas, Hollyhocks, Peonies, Burdock root, ginger, garlic, Egyptian Walking Onions, chives, valerian, skullcap, dandelion, lemon balm, many mints, fennel, strawberries, and much more.
Rhubarb, salale, radish, strawberries, calendula, catmint, kale, pumpkins and zucchini
Great question 🙂 Email us at [email protected] and we can help you with that.
Isnt there a transcript available for your videos?
I went around all summer long with a scissors before my husband would mow our grass, and clipped dandelion leaves. Rinsed well, and froze. Now, especially with food costs rising, and spinach costing more than $3 for 5 oz, I have gallon-bag upon gallon-bag of dandelion greens that sub in beautifully for spinach/greens in any cooked recipe! (tip: If the leaves are very large, blanch them quickly in boiling water and rinse; it removes any bitterness!) My husband and brother-in-law laughed at me until they tasted homemade spanakopita (technically “radikiakopita!”) – they weren’t laughing any longer! Moreover, they couldn’t tell it wasn’t spinach! VERY little effort for tremendous payoff! (And dandelion leaves are WAY higher in Potassium and Vitamin K than spinach – tremendous health payoff, as well!)
I grow tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants i my front yard and my neighbors love it especially the purple flowers of the eggplant and the different colors of my tomatoes red orange, and purple/black at least I can taste the fruits of my labor…
Good information. Thanks for sharing.
What wonderful info. Thank you so much.
You just gave me some good ideas for the bare spots in front of the house. Yes!
It would be nice, but I do live with an HOA, townhomes, and they cover yard care which includes spraying for weeds. At least in my backyard I avoid direct spray!!! I have an end unit so my yard is a little bigger. Have had a garden here on and off for 20 years.