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Planting a Sustainable Front Lawn Veggie Garden

I was lucky enough to speak with the lovely and garden savvy, Shawna Coronado this past week-end. She oozes green, and has the most wonderful and upbeat personality. You can't help, but love her!

I am very excited to have her share her knowledge on how she planted a sustainable front lawn vegetable garden, and donated over 100 lbs of fresh veggies to her local food pantry. Very cool, Shawna!

Planting a Sustainable Front Lawn Vegetable Garden

When I first began the journey of removing the grass from my front lawn and installing 5,000 pounds of rotted buffalo manure in 2009, I had no idea where it would lead.

In the first year, I learned a lot of hard lessons and soon realized that a vegetable garden requires more water than all the rest of my garden combined. Building a sustainable vegetable garden became a priority more than ever.

With the help of Aquascape, Inc., I had a rain water cistern and water fountain installed in the front lawn to help me supply fresh water to the vegetables. This season I began composting kitchen and yard waste heavily, added more composted manure, and mulched the vegetable garden; all things to do for your garden which will help conserve water. Thanks to Organic Mechanics Soil, I was also able to add worm castings in the vegetable garden zones where I did not rotate crops in the hopes the added nutrients would help the plants build positive microbial root activity.

This season I christened the garden with a name; “Jardin de Vegetal” and have worked to make it easier to plant and more ornamental to boost the front lawn attractiveness factor. In the rough hand-drawn design below you can see how I laid out a “sun ray” design around the front patio and walk way in my plan.

The Casual Gardner Shawna CoronadoIt was very simple to create. First, I drew out a rough design for the garden (see above plan), then I dug in soil amendments. Next, I strung rope in straight lines to mark out where the plants should go, planted the plants, mulching well. That was easy!

Below is the list of incredible plants I used to make this vision come true. The numbers coordinate with the numbers on the above plan. The alphabet letters are perennials I laid out in the full-shade section of the front garden since it would not adequately support vegetable plants:

  • 30 Gourmet Blend Mixed Lettuces Plants
  • 30 Red Rubin Basil Plants
  • 16 Cabbage Plants
  • 40 Onion Plants – White Sweet Spanish
  • 20 Bush Bean Plants and 5 Burpee’s Bush Table Queen Squash Plants
  • 5 Burpee Golden Zucchini Plants
  • 3 SuperTasty Tomato Plants
  • 5 Sweet Burpless Cucumber Plants
  • 10 Flavorburst Pepper Plants
  • 5 Big Beef Tomato Plants
  • 2 SuperTasty Tomato Plants
  • 2 SunGold Cherry Tomato Plants

  • Shawna is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Gardening Nude, which is a guide for living a green lifestyle. She is the CEO of MAD 4 World Enterprises and Partner of 78 Pesos, which is a video production company that specializes in sustainable online content. Shawna is an on-camera spokesperson, newspaper columnist, internationally recognized keynote speaker, environmental and health correspondent. She is an experienced spokesperson with green lifestyle living, organic gardening, culinary, and eco content creation who campaigns for social good. You can learn more about her at http://www.shawnacoronado.com or follow her on twitter @ShawnaCoronado

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Reader Interactions


  1. SusanP says

    I love the artistic layout of plants, I can see how it would make it a pretty garden. I have some annual beds that I’d like to convert to veggies with this concept. Thanks for sharing your design!

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