Creating an Edible Landscape
Sustainable gardens are all the rage now, and even if they weren’t, how cool would it be to have a beautiful landscape that not only wows your family, friends, and neighbors, but what if it provided the fruits, veggies, and herbs you needed to live a healthy life? That sounds like the best of both worlds to us.
Of course, it is suggested, when planning your landscape, that you only use partial edible plants mixed within other decorative shrubs and flowers, otherwise the workload may be too much and you might find yourself with more produce than you could possibly use or need. The idea is to integrate ornamental plants with fruit trees, berry bushes, and vegetables of your liking.
Creating an entirely new landscape in your yard is a good deal of work, and without the right tools you might be adding on hours of labor unnecessarily. Between shovels, round and square, rakes, spades, hoes, and trowels, the types of tools you will need will vary depending on the type of landscape you are designing.
We suggest investigating how to plant each edible and non-edible item you have slotted for your landscape and acquire the tools needed. Backyard Boss reviews wheelbarrows for us, which is an essential tool in any landscape whether you can eat it or not.
Have a plan
The worst thing you could do is just start planting everything without thinking it out first. Make a drawing of your yard and create slots for your plants. A good deal of vegetables need plenty of sun for growth, so you don’t want to plant your zucchini behind a tree where it will be shaded. Speaking of zucchini, this vegetable grows rapidly when placed in the right setting, so be aware of how large your plants will grow and how much, so that they have the room to expand if needed.
A good thing to keep in mind is that not all of your plants need to be edible, so you can plant your mountain laurels or your hemlocks in the shaded areas and save the sunlight spots for your tomatoes and peppers.
Beware of the size of plants that you place in your landscape. Start out small and grow a little more each year as you learn. Edible plants require attention and care, so if you overdo it there is the possibility that you might not be able to keep up. Plants like our good friend the zucchini can produce a great deal of produce. Plant too much and you’ll be knocking on your neighbors doorsteps giving it away. Of course, if that’s your plan, then by all means, plant away!
What about water?
Water is the stuff of life, as they say, and this is not different with your garden or edible landscape. Some areas of the world are experiencing droughts and in this environmentally conscious globe we live in, there is no denying, wasting water is not an option.
So how do you optimize your watering without being wasteful? You can install a seriously complicated watering system, or you can get a rain barrel, or two. Do what best fits your garden, your water supply, and your schedule. The more efficient you are with water the better off it is for everyone.
Don’t over water
The demise of most edible gardens is soil that is soggy. Edibles need quick drainage so be sure to plant these near non-edibles that require the same. There is no point in planting edibles that never produce anything to eat.
Planters are your friend
Keep in mind that the landscape you create will evolve and change. There is no way to know how your hydrangeas will mature or how tall your corn will be. This is where pots and planters can fill in the gaps. Lush landscapes are great to look at and when they are strewn with terracotta creations or decorative planters scattered in between.
Plan a path
This is especially important when you are using a square backyard for your landscape. If you don’t carefully place a walkway for yourself you might find your lettuces are hiding behind your thorny roses, which would make it painful for picking.
Besides harvesting needs, walkways are a beautiful way to enhance this landscape. A garden is healthful and fulfilling, not only in possessing one, but in creating one. Imagine how blissful your yard would be if it became a garden you can stroll through. A carefully planned path will be a great addition to your edible landscape.
Take your climate into consideration
We would all love a palm tree in our yard but some of us live in areas that fluctuate seasons. Some of you reading this may be in an area where a palm tree would fit perfectly and to that we say, that’s great! Plan for one in your landscape.
For those of us that only have a small amount of time before the weather gets colder we need to ditch the sun and heat loving palm tree and give a home to the types of vegetables, flowers, trees, and bushes that will thrive in our environment. Our gardens will flourish from these choices.
Now that we’ve covered edible landscapes, check out this blog post about DIY projects.