Since I spent years converting my small front yard from grass to drought-tolerant plants, and getting those plants established, I won't be removing any bushes to make room for veggies. Instead, I am growing some tomatoes and squash in the few open spaces between my grasses, cacti and shrubs.
Here's a nice tomato seedling planted between White Sage, Elephant Bush and Purple Fountain Grass.
All three of my front yard tomatoes are planted fairly far back from the street, in an attempt to shield them from neighborhood dogs and their pee. In addition, I am using Tomato Craters at the base of each plant. I actually bought these last year to help with my cut worm and water evaporation issues. This year, I'm hoping the Tomato Crater and tomato cage combination will also help keep neighborhood cats--and other animals--from digging around, pooping near or otherwise messing with the plants.
My other plan is to try growing sun-and-space-loving winter squash in the front. So far, I have one Potimarron Squash vine growing next to my aloe patch, and a couple more seedlings that will be ready to plant next weekend. The front yard seems like an especially good spot for spreading squash. They'll be able to curve and twist their vines wherever they please, and should get all the sunlight they could ever want in the unshaded left side of the yard. I'm optomistic that, if the plants can tolerate the front yard's poor soil, I'll have a nice crop of squash in a few months.
I really only have two concerns about my front yard crop:
- Will I be able to protect my veggies from neighborhood pets and their excretions?
- Will the soil be too poor for the plants to make fruit?
I am hoping the combination of nearby cacti, artifical barriers and the winter squash's thick skin will allay my first concern. The second issue is trickier. I made sure to add worm-filled compost and organic fertilizers to the soil around each of my seedlings, but I can only do so much when planting in between established plants with big root systems. The front yard soil is all rock and clay on one side and extremely sandy on the other. I guess it'll be an interesting experiment to see how the veggies do in inhospitable earth. Happily, I have plenty of tomatoes and squash growing in the back yard. So, even if all my front yard crops fail--and I don't think they will all fail--I'll still have plenty to harvest out back.