Sunday, July 27, 2008

FRONT GARDEN?

A bit of a follow-up on my last post about pesticides. There are plenty of folks (including myself) who have backyard vegetable gardens. Not many who have converted their front yard.

I stumbled upon this story from the Windsor Star, where a guy has replaced his entire front lawn with a vegetable garden. A series of raised beds containing tomatoes, beets, peas, beans, lettuce, etc. has taken over the front yard of his average suburban home.

The enactment of local and state/provincial pesticide bans has lots of folks converting from your standard turf grass lawn to perennial bedding plants, native species of tall grasses and wildflowers, etc. This is the first time I've heard of someone converting their entire front yard to a vegetable garden.

I've heard many stories of things like this causing plenty of neighbour tension. Especially in more upscale neighbourhoods where the esthetic is often "environment be damned". That being said, I think the general public mood towards environmental causes has shifted quite a bit over the past 10 years. There are, however, still issues to seriously consider. Native grasses grow much higher then turf grass and along a boulevard or near a driveway can create blind spots where a child playing or riding a bike could be seriously injured or killed.

I am all for the promotion of native species, low-maintenance and drought resistant plants in order to protect the environment. I think it is important to recognize however that letting your backyard (or frontyard) go to hell and then claiming it is "for the environment" is weak. Weeds are weeds so don't hop on the green bandwagon just because you are lazy and can't be bothered to get outside on weekends.

I personally have seriously considered taking my side lot and turning it into a large vegetable garden. Our current garden is just a small raised bed, about 6' x 2'. Large enough for a few tomato plants, and some cucumbers and peppers. Last year we tried lettuce but didn't eat it soon enough and it went to seed. I live on a 1/2 acre lot, so I could easily have quite a large garden along the one side. I would even consider planting a couple rows of sweet corn.

2 comments:

xoggoth said...

Potatos are good, you buy the potatos, plant them in a row, feed and water them for 5 months and at the end of that time you get to dig up a row of potatos, one per plant. I was most impressed.

Ca1v1n said...

Well I don't think I would buy potatoes just to plant them. You could take potatoes that have been in the pantry too long to be good to eat.

Oh wait... you were being sarcastic... BAH!