Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chard In The Yard

Harvesting chard
(squash plant in foreground)
We're gradually converting our front yard from purely a decorative spot into a working garden. We want it still to look nice, but a careful analysis of where we actually walked in the yard revealed that we always took two basic paths; most of the yard was never stepped on, so why not use it to grow food instead of grass?
We turned over the turf in about half the yard, using it to create sod walls for raised bed. For the base of the bed we used slash from our tree trimmings, and then added some nice dirt topped with a little mulch from another project's sawdust and grass clippings. We immediately liked the way the raised bed gave the formerly flat lawn some up-and-down form!
To populate the beds, we are experimenting with various plants, including squash, nasturtiums and strawberries. The most showy performer is the chard; It went into the ground as seed a couple of months ago and is now harvestable leaves that go well as the base of a salad, and can also be used in soups etc.
Chard is an attractive plant with large leaves; there are many varieties that we'll experiment with for color variation. It also seems to play well with squash and nasturtiums; we like variety in our garden. Best of all, our chard's very forgiving; we really haven't had to tend it except for a little water!

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