Beauty between the harvest and planting

caryhson1February 14, 2012

Hello fellow garden enthusiasts,

I'm new to this forum, and gardening for that matter. With a lot of research and help from this and other helpful "garden sites", I'm well on my way to starting my first vegetable beds. The spring and fall gardens have been planned, the soil prepped, and seeds started indoors. I am in zone 8a Dallas and plan to transplant March 23 or earlier.

My home is south facing and the back yard is too shady for vegetables. So, all of my (in ground) beds are in the front. It has been a real challenge planning to make it productive and look good. I suppose I am using the intensive "squarefoot" gardening method. I thought that would look better than rows.

Anyways, I have been thinking lately; what do I do with the empty spaces between harvest and planting?

I am curious to see what other gardeners have come up with.

For example, when I harvest a cabbage or kohlrabi, what can I quickly put there to fill the void? I mean, at least until I�m ready to fall planting. We typically have 2 growing seasons here. The summers here are brutal, so the plant would have to be able to withstand direct sunlight and temperatures in the 100's.

Maybe I could seed start some flowers and transplant them at harvest. (I don't plan on harvesting all at once) Or, have a few plants in pots on hand to plop down temporarily.

Is there a fast growing, sun loving, cover crop or legume I could put in over summer?

I know there are not a lot of front yard edible gardeners out there, but surely someone has run into this before.

-Cary

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sb158(9a)

Go to the grocery store and buy a bag of unroasted peanuts. They add nitrogen and are fun to grow. Or if you like them, blackeye peas or Lima beans will work

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 12:04AM
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sb158(9a)

Should have added that all three plants are attractive too, at least I think so.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 1:29AM
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gardengimp(9B Seminole Cnty FL)

Sweet potato (vines) make a really nice summer ground cover and crop. As does peanuts (mentioned). I keep a few perennial ornamentals in the garden for the sake of beauty and pollinators to keep things looking good during season transitions. I also try to keep seedlings in 6" pots ready to go out. Another trick is to keep a few nice pots of something that you can move around as needed. Hot peppers and herbs tend to work well. Also, a freshly mulched garden bed just about always looks well kept. And if you keep a border of perennial flowering plants (bulbine works great here) it tends to add structure and consistency to your garden patch.

Hope this gives you some ideas. Experiment, and find what works good for you. And have fun!

~dianne

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 10:16PM
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