Edible Front Lawn

Well it’s August and the edible front yard is moving along quite nicely.
Tomatoes– The patio tomatoes are near done and the bigger tomato plants are beginning to show some fruit. Well some of them. Some are just disappointing thus far, with lots of vines but no little green fruits to show for itself. It could be that other pants are getting in the way.

Beans– Beans, beans a wonderful fruit. The Parisian bean is dying if not dead. My beans seem to suffer from a spider mite problem that requires a nearly daily dose of spraying a strong stream of water of the leaves to knock the little buggers off. Unfortunately, with my spotty watering the mites won. At least I got a few nice Harcourt Verts out of them. The red emperor bean is giving me nice little red flowers but nothing else. I don’t think I’ll grow them again next year. Lastly I am very happy with the conch peas or Texas Cream 8 bean. Conch peas are what I used to eat as a child in Florida. I can’t seem to find these kind of peas/beans up here in DC. Though it is a very small amount that I am getting, I’m happy I’m getting them. I will grow more next year.

Thyme– It’s taking over every empty spot in the yard. This is the creeping variety, not the culinary kind. I can eat it but only when I’ve run out of the type I like.

Salad Greens– I don’t know the exact name of whatever is pictured here but whatever it is it suffers heat and spotty watering well. It hasn’t gone bitter like many other greens and is salad and sandwich worthy. Corn Mache didn’t like the heat, and those plants look pretty beat up, so I am hoping that they do better in the fall. The purslane is all over and I’m not eating it fast enough.

– I like the ones I have and have taken the greens and sauted them in olive oil and garlic. I’m haing a problem with seeds I’ve placed in the ground recently as nothing is coming up and I want something around for winter.

Flowers– Daylilies are done. Pansys and Violas are going strong. I haven’t felt the need to put them in a salad. Nasturtiums have suffered in the heat and seem near dead.

Etc. Somewhere under a tomato vine is a sage plant dying for some sun. The mint is fine and I guess I should ponder another mojito party… or just make mojito sorbet. I haven’t done squat with the oregano, which has gone to flower. The Thai basil is about to flower. I’m ignoring the swiss chard. I should give more of it away. Make room for something else. The parsley looks sad.

So this s just my 14×8 front yard. Yes, it is crowded. Very much so. But growing in the city can be done. And it is quite fun to say everything (minus the weeds) can be eaten.

3 thoughts on “Edible Front Lawn”

  1. Out of curiosity, how do you keep rats etc from attacking your veggies? I haven’t yet had any trouble, but I’m really paranoid and have therefore been pulling tomatoes when they’re green and letting them age inside. My cauliflower was a lost cause, as were certain squash plants (Squirrels or rats or god knows what, but they’re all gone). I don’t want to use any chemical means to keep them safe. Any ideas?


  2. My tomato vines are also out of control this year. I cut them back today hoping this will encourage them to produce more tomatoes and less leaves!

  3. I’m not too concerned with the rats. I figure the chicken bones people leave around are far more appetizing than what I’ve got growing. My pest problem are the squirrels and the birds. I’ve seen peck marks and squirrels are just evil. There are other wild animals like raccoons and possum running around, I don’t know if they bother plants.
    With squash the problem was a bug not a mammal.
    As far as not using chemical means you’re going to have to do some research on how to combat specific problems, and also accept some crop losses. Also I cannot stress the importance of good soil. Here are some resources:

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