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Food and Vegetable Gardens

Residential Info - Vegetable GardenGardens for home grown food have remained an integral part of American homesteads from the early pioneers to World War II Victory Gardens. However, a survey shows that food gardens have reemerged as a new technique to increase the sustainability of a home. Nearly one in five (19.3 percent) residential landscape architects is replacing part or all of traditional grass lawns with food/vegetable gardens, according to a survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Food gardens can be easy, rewarding, and sustainable. For starters, don’t spend a dime on mulch when you can reuse your leftover leaves from the fall. Additionally, grass clippings from other parts of your yard make an excellent weed suppressant.

Many classic vegetables like tomatoes require starting from seeds. However, perennial plants offer a lower-maintenance alternative and come back every year. Some great examples include asparagus – especially the purple passion variety, with 20 percent more sugar than regular varieties – as well as blueberry bushes, blackberries, and rhubarb.

Herbs can make for an especially sustainable food garden, as many prefer hot and dry areas of your yard with chives, sage, or tarragon returning every year. A great idea is to explore the many varieties of mint like chocolate, marshmallow and fruit salad, which carry flavors that match their names.

Food gardens are one of many ways landscape architects can create a more sustainable, low-maintenance alternative to expansive grass lawns for homeowners. Visit FirmFinder to find a landscape architect near you.

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