I laid out a sun-ray vegetable garden design which has become a very popular post (see photo right). It’s been so successful that I went on to try different designs in this test garden every year. I’d like to encourage every day gardeners who want to have front lawn ornamental edible gardens to try crop rotation, soil maintenance, and variety within their gardens in order to continue with their stronger level of organic vegetable production. Rotating crops and varying positioning of the vegetables on an annual basis helps the soil stay happy. If you have happy soil, you have a happy garden.
A few seasons ago I worked to create a flower design whereby the front lawn vegetable garden, if photographed from the sky, would look like a giant flower. I did this by planting five key ornamental edible vegetables in different zones of the garden to resemble “petals”. Outlining the petals is a mix of “smelly herbs” and marigolds to help discourage neighborhood rabbits. The flower center is a mix of lacinto kale, basil, and flowers. Below is the hand-sketched garden design I drew up to aid in planting the garden –
Before I planted I amended the soil by adding a layer of compost and a few natural ingredients. I enhanced the soil with organic amendments along with Organic Mechanics Soil, fresh compost, rotted manure, and other organic soil additives I normally use and the garden performed well. Below you see the garden after it was freshly planted late May. At the top is a photo showing how the garden looked in September.
What plants I used to achieve the giant ornamental edible vegetable garden flower from the sky –
1. Tomato Plants – Sweet n’Neat Cherry Tomatoes (these plants were pulled in late August and replaced with flowering kale)
2. Swiss Chard Plants – Bright Lights
3. Kale Plants – Redbor Kale
4. Cabbage Plants – Hybrid Cabbage
5. Purple and Red Pepper Plants – Sangria Peppers
7. Marigolds – Taishan
8. Basil Plants – Spicy Globe Basil
Within the drawn design (above) you can see that I have designated a tropical area and a cocktail patio closer to the house. The cocktail patio design can be seen at this link and I will detail more about the tropical plant garden in the near future.
We had more rain this season than we had in the last three season’s combined, so the front lawn vegetable garden grew out of proportion to how it has grown in past seasons (see top photo). The Redbor Kale became much taller than I had planned, as did the Bright Lights Swiss Chard. This caused the flower design to be a tad lopsided in height, however, because the taller growth was towards the back of the garden it all looked okay. I call the front lawn vegetable garden flower design a success and cannot wait to get in the garden this spring to plant my next vegetable garden design. Happy gardening my friends!