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They also allow you to bring in fresh topsoil, a boon on sites where soil may be unhealthy due to road salt or other contaminants. Raised beds also frame your garden for a more manicured look that may stave off complaints from lawn-loving neighbors. Some communities and homeowners' associations restrict the amount of non-lawn space they allow in front yards.

Before you dig, make sure that there are no regulations in your area that prevent you from having a front-yard vegetable garden. Fortunately, the tide is changing to allow for more creative use of front yards.

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For more information, read the blog post, Saved! Once you've decided how much you can take on, sketch a plan on graph paper, or use our free online Kitchen Garden Planner , which uses square-foot gardening techniques to create gardens. Make raised beds that no more than 4 feet wide, so they're easy to access from the sides. Many crops will thrive in containers , so consider using those, too. Raised beds are available as complete kits, or you can build your own with lumber sourced locally.

Keep in mind that naturally rot-resistant lumber is best. The chemicals used to preserve pressure-treated lumber or railroad ties can have an adverse affect on the soil life. Use the Soil Calculator to figure out how much soil you will need. Although it might seem practical and thrifty to fill containers and raised beds with soil gleaned from your landscape, it's usually a bad idea. Most soils are too heavy and drain too slowly for optimal plant growth. You'll be asking a lot from your raised beds, so start them off right with a high-quality planting mix.

Containers and smaller beds can be filled with bagged potting soil. For large raised beds, it may make sense to order a delivery of topsoil from a local garden center and mix it with a generous amount of compost. As you consider the layout of your beds, determine how you will keep the plants watered. Watering by hand might be manageable for a small garden, but in many cases an automatic watering system is more practical — especially if summer vacations are in the forecast. Our Snip-n-Drip Soaker Systems can be customized to fit just about any size bed or container.

Add a timer for "set it and forget it" watering all season long. Choose vegetable varieties that remain relatively compact side. For instance, it's probably not a good idea to grow a typical winter squash, which sends out to foot vines.

Instead look for "bush-type" varieties that produce crops in much less space. For ideas, explore the Vegetable Encyclopedia and review the plan for our front yard garden here at Gardener's Supply. If you're using a lot of containers, read Urban Gardening with Vegetables for tips and suggestions. Cart 0 items in cart. Gardener's Supply.


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Use square-foot gardening techniques to create a beautiful urban garden

It is not without reason that the English language has such a word and ours has not. It is a difference rooted in national character, and it can also be recognised in other places. We have low fences around almost every garden and yard, for example, but the English like high walls and hedges around their gardens, lest passers-by can look inside. In older cities and townships with houses built several centuries earlier front gardens are far less common, with front doors providing residents with access direct to the street.

In British English , the space in question is referred to as a front garden. Urban housing in the United Kingdom originally had no separation between the house front and the street.

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The introduction of the byelaw terraced house , a type of dwelling built to comply with the Public Health Act , raised the standards of accommodation. The provision of a front garden in new houses became common practice during the second half of the 19th century as part of the Domestic Revival style within Victorian architecture : "to provide for the majority of new, even fairly modest, houses, a small front garden or paved forecourt, and a garden or yard at the back".

Early in the 20th century, housing developments influenced by the garden city movement , initiated by Ebenezer Howard in , featured detached houses with undivided "communal grass areas" in front of them. However, outside these developments the dominant form of new housing in the United Kingdom until after World War II, especially in London, was the semi-detached , which superseded the previous dominant terraced house and where a garden was part of the ideal.

During the Great Depression , local authorities encouraged families to grow produce in their own front gardens, thereby increasing community food supplies. Gardening was introduced in some schools, and towns introduced competitions and awards for attractive and productive front gardens.

In the post-war era of the s and 60s, many of those front garden areas used for parking were paved over and became mini- driveways. This trend also became more common as professional gardeners became less common, thus increasing the need for home owners to maintain what was often a very small section of lawn or planted garden.


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  • As residential areas were subdivided and developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the "suburban ideal" demanded large front yards, "dominated" by the facades of the houses they bounded. The size of new front yards gradually decreased during the second half of the 20th century as houses were built closer and closer to the front of housing blocks.

    In the s, lawn ornaments became a popular front yard feature, with wrought iron sculpture , bird baths and gazebos being particularly popular. Throughout the s and 90s, wicker lawn furniture became popular before being replaced in the early s by nursery rhyme character and animal ornaments. During the s a new American Style took hold, inspired by the architectural designs of Frank Lloyd Wright , Bernard Maybeck and Greene and Greene ; "informality, naturalness, interlocking indoor-outdoor design, greatly reduced flower-beds, privacy for outdoor recreation and leisure Local ordinances determine what owners and residents can and can't do in their front yards.

    In recent times, sustainability enthusiasts and practitioners have attempted to use their front yards to grow organic produce, in violation of existing codes. Although we divided our beds into triangles, we used square-foot gardening techniques to guide us. Gardening is unpredictable, so we expect to have a crop or two that fails.

    If so, we'll adjust and plant something else. Failures are part of the fun.

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    Garden Decor New! Home Decor New! Kitchen Gear New! Personal Accessories New! More Articles Find more garden information. Share this Article:. The garden in , a few days after planting. The first seed we plant is artichoke — about mid-February. To grow these successfully in the north, we need to plant early and "vernalize" them before planting them in their permanent locations. To vernalize, you expose the seedlings to cold weather but keep them protected from frost. It's kind of an extended version of hardening off. Because the seedlings are in pots for such a long time, we start them in Rootrainers , which are about 5" deep, allowing for lots of root growth.

    The seedling above was just "potted up" into a Cowpot , where it will grow until it's time to vernalize and plant in the garden. People who read this article often purchase. Deluxe Cucumber Trellis.