Here’s some more on what i’ve already done to the front yard…

The frames that i ended up building were from 2×8 untreated (unsure of chemical leeching into the soil and my food from pressure treated lumber) that i got at the Community Forklift.  Reclaimed lumber from an old house i’m guessing.  The whole front yard of 6 frames cost me about $18 to make!

I drilled pilot holes to ensure the wood doesn’t split when screwing the boards together. I chose coated decking screws so they won’t rust as quickly, and not nails so the boards don’t separate as they expand and contract as they wet and dry.

The first thing i did when planning the garden was get the soil tested.  You never know (urban or rural) what the previous owners did in the yard: maybe they changed their oil, used lead paint, or spilled a bunch of fertilizer?  You are what you eat: same goes for the plants that you eat!

I used the UMass soil test, where you mail in a sample, and for $15 they come back with a 10 page analysis, including organic recommendations on amending your soil for various common crops (strawberries, tomatoes etc.).  Once i knew my soil was clean, just needed some organic material, i simply had to replace the grass with garden beds.  I’ll show you that next time…

Here’s what the front looks like as of today:

Front Yard


About Ryan

Urban gardening at it's best (sometimes it's worst)! Adventures and learnings from going 100% lawn free in a D.C. row house.
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