I first saw this in an issue of my Organic Gardening magazine. Family turned their front lawn into a thriving veggie garden. No fences just landscaped raised beds and lots of produce.
Sounds intriguing? It did to me. I haven’t bitten the bullet and done it, yet but this too can be yours with a little work.
Spring! What a great time to start. Just in case you don’t have the energy for full blown veggie garden edible borders is a nice step down.
An edible front lawn will boost your family’s health, save you time and money, and look beautiful and natural (if you take care of it).
Here are two ideas of how to turn your front lawn into a salad.
1. Low Maintenance Edible Weeds
If you simply stop coddling your lawn – no more fertilizer or pesticide and minimal mowing – weeds will begin to grow. Many of these weeds are valuable foods. Here are some examples of common weeds that are healthful to humans. Please make sure you know what you have before cutting it for the dinner table. If you’re unsure you can order seeds for many of these plants.
Violets (various Violas) – These pretty purple blooms add color and peppery flavor to salads and sandwiches. They can be candied (brush blooms with egg white, coat with fine sugar and dry on a wax paper-covered tray) and used to decorate cakes and confections.
Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album) – This widely-spread weed is very nutritious when cooked and eaten like spinach.
Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) – Another green that is cooked and eaten as a green, pigweed is sometimes combined with Lamb’s Quarters for a very nutritious dish.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) – This annual is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Its succulent leaves are crisp and fresh-tasting and are good in salads.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – Americans waste a ridiculous amount of time and effort on eradicating the beautiful, sunny, and edible plant. The flowers can be used in making wine, or fried as fritters. The young greens are good to eat steamed or boiled, and the root can be dried and ground as a coffee substitute. Dandelion is a high-potassium food that acts as a natural diuretic.
White Clover (Trifolium repens) and Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) – Honeybees and beekeepers will love you for letting clover flourish! Red clover is hailed as an aid in cancer prevention and treatment. You can eat the young leaves and shoots of both types. Gather the seeds and use them to make healthful sprouts indoors all winter.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) – This ever-present little white-to-green flowering plant is nutritious and is reported to have some health benefits. It is said to aid in weight loss.
Burdock (Arctium lappa) – This healthful plant takes a great deal of work to eradicate. So you will save yourself a lot of labor by letting it flourish. Its root is very healthful, being used traditionally in Japanese cooking.
These are just a few of the edibles that nature provides.
2.Vegetables and Herbs
Instead of low maintenance edible weeds, you can plant some well thought out vegetables and herbs instead. It really does not take that much space to grow tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, or cucumbers. Or greens such as kale, chard and spinach which are lush and healthful. It just takes a bit of planning to fit it all together in a small space.
I’ve even seen corn stalks growing on front lawns. Use herbs as borders and surround your tomatoes companion plants such as peppers.
Basil, oregano, and lemon balm will freely cover your lawn and provide a tasty base for sauces and lovely additions to salads and sandwiches.
Do a little more research and grow veggies year round on your front lawn. Here are a few garden in your front lawn articles to get you started…