Like most gardeners with small, suburban lots, I’m always on the look out for ways to maximize my annual planting. This year I have my eye on the sidewalk strip, the space between our city sidewalk and the street.
There are several pluses (and a few minuses) to planting there. I’m going to toss out both, and you can let me know what you think.
- Full sun! (Need I say more.) We have limited full sun in the backyard. I have a pair of raised beds tucked up against the back of the house and last year added a two moveable City Pickers. Beyond that, the yard is either landscaped or shaded by large trees, or both. The sidewalk strip is prime, vegetable and flower real estate.
- A long, narrow strip. It’s perfect for vegetable gardening due to the already narrow space. It would be easy to manage the box or boxes planted there.
- Water. The existing sprinkler system would be easy to tap into. My handy husband could run drip irrigation directly into the boxes.
- The view. I can see the strip from my kitchen window, and from the front deck. A flower and vegetable bed is infinitely more interesting than grass.
- Additional yields. More dirt, equals more fruits and vegetables. I can taste those sweet tomatoes now.
- Cost. I no longer have the back to dig out heavy sod, nor the means of easily getting rid of it. I would need to hire someone to dig out the existing lawn. Additional costs include the raised bed (built or purchased), soil and seeds or plants.
- Public access. We have great neighbors who’ve openly expressed enjoyment when we’ve grown pumpkins and tomatoes in the front yard. Not everyone that walks by, however, will respect the garden’s sanctity.
- Street parking. The space in front of our house accommodates two cars. Maintaining my good-neighbor creed means maintaining continued access to those spots.
- Late-season doldrums. Not everyone appreciates the messiness of a vegetable garden going to seed.
Lots to think about in the next few months. I hope you’ll weigh in on the poll below.