Tips for Beautiful Vegetable Gardens from P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm


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A few weeks ago, I  was treated to an influencer trip called Garden 2 Grow at P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm outside Little Rock, Arkansas. The trip was amazing and I was so excited to learn a few tips for beautiful vegetable gardens from Allen Smith himself!  Tips for Beautiful Vegetable Gardens from P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm

Welcome to anther installment of Tuesdays in the Garden where my group of gardening friends is sharing summer gardening tips.  I’m excited to share some of the beauty I saw at Moss Mountain Farm with you.

P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm

P. Allen Smith's Moss Mountain Farm Garden

For many backyard and urban gardeners, it’s hard to image (and photograph) the scale of the organic gardens at Moss Mountain Farm which total an entire acre! I thought my garden is big, but MMF gardens are immense. Several times I remarked that it would be so nice to have a staff of gardeners, but I was curious to learn that Smith’s staff is actually not that big, 4-5 people maybe. I forget the exact size. I have that many people with my children…maybe I could utilize them a little bit better! Probably not, but I can dream, right?!

What really made an impression on me at Moss Mountain Farm is that despite its size, the entire garden is partitioned off into manageable areas. I wouldn’t really call them raised garden beds, but definitely, the garden was thoughtfully laid out in a symmetrically grid system. It’s sectioned off with lumber to define “beds.” And then the beds are beautifully planted with flowers and veggies. P. Allen Smith grows berries, veggies, flowers, herbs, and also has a flower cutting garden in his one acre organic garden. I took away three main ideas for beautifying my own vegetable gardens out here in Eastern Iowa.

Beautiful Trellises at Moss Mountain Farm

I was really impressed by the different trellis Smith uses in his gardens.

Tomato Trellis at Moss Mountain Farm

I love the simplicity of this tomato trellis. I’ve made huge tomato cages out of wire in the past and while they work well, they sure aren’t as pretty and they take up a ton of room. Maybe next year I’ll construct an easy trellis like this and try it out!

simple wooden support structure at Moss Mountain Farm

This simple wooden tower structure is another trellis I love! I can image beans climbing this for sure.

hog panel trellis at moss mountain farm

I also love these wire tunnels which will be overgrown with flowers, peas, and other wonderful plants later in the summer. I wish we could have seen them in their full glory. Can you image gourds growing on this trellis? I sure can! I tried this for cucumbers once with hog panels, but the cucumber beetles destroyed my plants before they could grow up and over. I might have to try again!

Companion planting to add beauty to the garden

flowers everywhere at moss mountain farm

Flowers are amazing companion plants and line most of the vegetable beds at Moss Mountain Farm. I always companion plant in my garden too, but I learned at Garden 2 Grow that I should do more!

veggie companion plants

Not only do flowers and herbs make amazing companion plants, but vegetable combinations can also support each other too. P. Allen Smith uses both vegetable and flower combinations at Moss Mountain Farm.

Buildings and potted plants to add beauty to the vegetable garden 

Garden Shed and Potting Sink at Moss Mountain Farm

Garden shed and potting sink. I have a garden shed that is so under utilized it’s not even funny. Honestly, it’s just filled with junk and in desperate need of a clean out and make-over. We also have a sink very similar to the one in the picture in the barn. I don’t think our climate would really support an outdoor sink, but I love this potting area!

garden shed at moss mountain farm

The front of the garden shed.
wheel barrow planters at Moss Mountain Farm

I love both the fence around the gardens at Moss Mountain Farm and also this planter area. How pretty to use old wheelbarrows and a collection of pots. I want!

One thing my trip to Moss Mountain Farm made abundantly clear is that I have a lot of work to do at our little homestead. The beauty is here and with a little effort I can really  make this place pop. More companion planting, better system of trellises, and using buildings and other materials as planters would really make a big difference on our 5 acres. I hope you’re inspired to make beautiful changes in your vegetable garden too!

2017 horizontal pin

Tuesdays in the Garden

And now it’s time to see what my other gardening buddies have in store for your today! It looks like a lot of delicious tips to help you get the most out of your summer gardens. Enjoy!

frugal family home

From Shelly @FrugalFamilyHome – 5 Tips for a Thriving Summer Garden

hearth and vine From Patti @Hearth & Vine – 7 Tips for Tackling Weeds in Your Garden

an Oregon Cottage

From Jami @An Oregon Cottage – Your Guide to Summer Gardening

Angie the Freckled Rose

From Angie@The Freckled Rose – June Garden Tour

homemade food junkie

From Diane @Homemade Food Junkie – How to Grow Easy Leeks

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. Hi Michelle,

    Lots of great ideas here and so much beauty. I too have a junk shed and I dream about a beautiful she shed/greenhouse one day. I definitely want to visit MMF one day. Thanks for sharing your trip.

  2. I am indeed inspired. I LOVE beautiful garden walk throughs like this. Thanks for sharing these ideas too. I’m salivating over the flowers, trellis and containers. The Wheelbarrow planters are CUTE!

  3. What a wonderful trip and the gardens were so beautiful too. I’m sure you came how with so much inspiration. I love how the gardens are sectioned off. I only wish I had more room to work with at our house. I love those wheelbarrow planters too. Around here they would come in handy to move them around to stay in the sun all day.

  4. I’ve seen people sharing pictures from Garden 2 Grow throughout the years, and it looks like the absolute trip of a lifetime! I have a love of all southern gardens, and I’ve always wanted to visit and see these dreamy landscapes filled gorgeous with plants. It’s my dream to have an entire acre of gardens one day. I can’t believe only 4 to 5 people take care of all that land. That’s truly amazing! I love that wooden structure/tower. How cool! I’ve always wanted to make a vegetable garden tunnel like that covered in green foliage. I bet it’s going to be so pretty. I bet you took away tons of great ideas. I really enjoyed following along with your photographs from the event. Hope you had a fabulous time Michelle 🙂