3 Ways to Grow an Edible Garden By Danny Knight

3 Ways to Grow an Edible Garden that Will Make Your Neighbors Cry Tears of Joy

 For as much as you love edible gardens, they don’t always complement your landscaping or help your curb appeal. While your neighbors may appreciate the fresh produce, they may not appreciate the eyesore that an edible garden can become. And, some Homeowners Associations (HOAs) limit your gardening to a back or side yard but still dictate your gardening rules. No matter the reason you are looking to grow an attractive edible garden, our tips will help you please your neighbors and pesky HOA in no time.

 Garden in a Less Conspicuous Way

 Homeowners Associations and certain neighbors may want your yard to look pristine. This also means they may not want towering tomato plants or unruly pumpkin vines taking over your front yard. But, you can “œgarden under the radar,” as Bonnie Plants puts it, by making your edibles improve the look of your yard. They suggest replacing older shrubs with blueberry bushes or rosemary.

You also can line your property with flowering trees like apple or cherry. Of course, you also have the option of using beautiful herbs like parsley, dill, and lavender to accent your landscaping or line your walkways. These healthy herbs, fruits, and vegetables also will help you remain physically healthy because you will be eating fresh produce more often.

 You also can make your neighbors cry tears of joy if you get creative with your climbing vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, and cucumbers. Train them to climb trellises that accentuate your home’s façade, or paint your trellises to match your home’s siding or trim. You also can place smaller tomato plants or potatoes among perennials and shrubs to add color and texture to your landscaping while growing produce.

 Plant in Containers

 Homeowners can please even their most critical neighbors with an edible garden planted in raised containers. If you have retaining walls or landscaping timbers, use them to create a container or as the façade of a container for your edibles. One trend is to use large metal tubs as garden containers that add interesting textures and colors to your landscaping. It’s a good idea to use these containers for vegetables that tend to sprawl across your yard and look unruly, such as zucchini, squash, and tomatoes, toward the end of the season.

 If you are new to gardening, talk to farmers at a local farmers market to determine which varieties will thrive in your containers. Keep in mind that plants in containers require drainage, so you should drill holes in the bottom of the container and fill it with stones before filling it with soil and planting your edibles. Container plants also tend to dry out more quickly than those planted in the ground, so you should keep a careful eye on the soil moisture in your containers, too.

 Design a Garden That Is Accessible

Sometimes, neighbors complain about gardens because they look overgrown. To tame your garden and keep it beautiful all season long, make sure that you place it in a sunny spot that will help your plants thrive and maintain their natural beauty. Gardening in the sun also will help you get natural vitamin D and boost your mood and improve your mental health. Other vitamin D benefits include improved immune system and better cardiovascular health.

 When designing the garden itself, leave spaces between your plants or your containers so that you can access them easily. Easy access translates to being able to weed and trim your garden on a regular basis. And, you’ll be able to reach your plants to harvest your produce (and present it to critical neighbors as a peace offering) on time rather than having to deal with rotting vegetables that look and smell atrocious.

 One other tip for garden design is to think about it geometrically. You don’t need to plant your edibles in boring rows in order for them to thrive, and you probably should not do so if you are trying to garden inconspicuously. Rather, arrange your containers in an interesting shape and scatter landscaping stones between them to create natural walkways that match or enhance the landscaping around your home.

 It is possible to create an attractive edible garden that your neighbors or HOA will love if you garden in a less conspicuous way, plant in containers, and design an accessible garden.

 Image via Pixabay by maxmann