If your home doesn’t offer much traditional growing space, or if you’re looking to squeeze in just a few more herbs or tomato plants this season, bookmark this list of creative growing spots. From front yard veggie beds to balcony-grown lettuces and edible living walls, the bounty of ideas featured in the following gardens will help you grow more fruits, greens, veggies and herbs at home.
1. Front Yard
Though the idea is gaining in popularity, front yards are still not the first place we consider when growing vegetables. But, depending on the orientation of your house, front yards can offer a sunny growing area where edible plants can thrive. Here, landscape designer Amy Whitworth of Plan-it Earth Design
took advantage of a sunny, sloped front yard in Portland, Oregon, to plant a terraced edible garden bursting with peas, lettuces and other edible greens. Tip:
Check with your municipality before planting, as some neighborhoods don’t allow crops in the front yard.
2. Built Into a Bench Seat
In this backyard in Seattle’s Madison Park neighborhood, landscape designer Scot Eckley
constructed this bench seat along the rear edge of the patio to double as a raised bed that provides bonus planting room for as many — or as few — edible plants as the owners choose to grow.Work with a landscape contractor on Houzz
Floating bench seats can be swapped in and out of the raised bed as needed.
5. Living Wall
This kitchen garden designed by Patricia Fox of Aralia
is a feast for the eyes and the plate. Living walls overflowing with lettuces and edible greens, and built-in planters housing citrus trees and culinary herbs, provide abundant ingredients for a backyard feast.
While installing and maintaining a living wall of this size is unrealistic for most of us, use vertical space to your advantage when planning an edible garden. Try planting a smaller living wall with seasonal herbs, or plant a grape or kiwi vine to cover a sunny vertical surface.Shop for living wall planters on Houzz
6. City Balcony
Don’t let a narrow outdoor space stop you from growing edibles. This full-sun Parisian balcony, lovingly planted by a father for his two kids, is fully stocked with lettuce
and other herbs. The space is long and narrow — measuring 20 feet long by 3¼ feet (6 meters by 1 meter).
Planters are subirrigated by a trough of water below the soil, allowing the father and his kids to leave for a two-week stretch without worrying about watering. Here, tomatoes are thriving by midsummer.Read more about this balcony garden
7. Window Boxes
We’d argue that window boxes filled to the brim with ruffled lettuces in shades of green and bronze are just as pretty as a planter filled with flowers. Organic gardening consultant Steve Masley
often reserves window boxes for growing shallow-rooting lettuces, saving floor space of small balconies and porches for larger-rooting crops like tomatoes or eggplant, which are better suited in large containers.
Here, Masley grows ‘Jade’ green beans from window boxes mounted on deck railings.
Given their shallow soil reservoirs, window boxes can dry out quickly, so it’s best to set up drip irrigation or stick to a daily hand-watering schedule.Find watering and irrigation tools in the Houzz Shop