Have you ever had complaints from neighbors about your garden? How can you convince them to love your garden as much as you do? That question isn't as crazy as it sounds. Certain aspects of vegetable gardening can be downright unappealing. The sights, sounds and smells of a garden aren't always delightful. Gardens have a tendency to falter as they grow. There are also certain garden operations neighbors don't appreciate.
Manure can repel neighbors.
Does the smell of animal fertilizer from your garden drift into your neighbor's dining room? If so, your garden may be a bad neighbor. Have manure delivered on the day it will be tilled into the soil. There will be latent odor. Still, it's better than having a big pile next to your neighbor's fence. If you do have to wait to till, locate the pile as far away from the neighbors as possible.
Keep decomposing compost contained.
Animal manure isn't the only smelly thing in your garden. Compost can be quite odorous while it's "cooking". Sure, it's all natural. That doesn't mean it exudes a sweet perfume. Be sure your compost bin is enclosed. Till it up regularly to keep the smelly stuff (like kitchen scraps) mixed in. If you haven't a bin, locate the pile where it won't offend the neighbors.
A neighborly garden is well maintained.
Sometimes all that separates you from your neighbors is a 4 foot chain link fence. That makes keeping up maintenance essential. Your garden might be a bad neighbor if it's unsightly and unkempt. Of course, the garden rarely looks picture perfect. Consider installing a privacy fence if you don't already have one. That way, your neighbors can enjoy their back yard without having to worry about the state of yours.
Rotting produce is a bad neighbor.
Harvesting in a timely manner is a neighborly gesture. Otherwise healthy vegetables can create a real mess if not harvested promptly. Rotting veggies create quite a stench too. What's worse? Ignoring plants with fungal or other diseases. If you don't remove diseased plants right away, the issue may spread to your neighbor's garden. Be a good neighbor. Be diligent in the garden.
Does your garden share with the neighbors?
What's the best way to get neighbors to love your garden? Share it with them. Maybe their yard isn't big enough to plant in. Maybe it doesn't get enough sun. Maybe they don't have a green thumb. Whatever the reason, you can share with your neighbors. Offer them a plot or bring them some of your produce. It's the neighborly thing to do.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.