How I designed and built my edible garden
Planting an Edible Landscape
Edible Landscaping is probably the oldest form of gardening and when we are talking and considering edible landscaping we are really returning to our roots by creating something that can not only be beautiful but also provide food for you and your family all year round.
When a lot of people think of edible gardening they immediately assume that the only edible food to be found in a garden are vegetables and that you need an allotment or purpose built area to grow and maintain edible plants, vegetables, fruits and herbs. This could not be further from the truth, with a little thought you will be able to integrate your edible plants directly into your landscape, generally without any interruption.
Correctly planned an edible landscape will provide you with fresh food throughout all the seasons available at the time when it is ripe and ready to be harvested.
Edible Landscape Trees
Trees can often be the foundation of your landscaping because of their size and dominance of the landscape that they are in. Many trees bear fruit and make fantastic and tasty crops, the trees to choose from are cherry, apple, pear, apricot, citrus, peach, pawpaw and plum are some of the most obvious examples.
They are all breathtaking in their own right and are stunning when in bloom. The biggest problem with trees is that they can be large and require a lot of pruning and control to keep the size and shape looking how you want them to look. It is for that reason why they are often not used in landscape plans, the mess they cause when they start to drop their fruit can also be an issue for some landscapers, however, if you monitor and harvest the fruits that are produced you are possibly the most delicious of the edible landscape.
Berries For Your Edible Landscape
You can grow a variety of edible berries very easily in a very small amount of space, you can create space in your borders or you can grow them in pots and place them wherever you like within your landscape. My personal favourites are Strawberries, Raspberries and Blackberries but there are loads to choose from. They are look different and have different shapes, forms and textures, however, they are all controllable and take well to shaping. Nearly all edible berries are very easy to grow and many grow in the wild landscape naturally anyway because they are so hardy, all you are doing is bringing them to a controlled environment to make them part of your edible landscape.
With a little bit of imagination you can create a stunning centre piece to your landscape design and make it edible. Vines will creep and grow in such a way that they allow you create some stunning designs and if you can complement that with being edible you are onto a winning combination.
You can guide where your vines are going to grow and move the colour throughout your landscape area, this includes vertically, around fencing, over sheds, creating shades and any multitude of other uses.
Edible Vegetable and Fruit Creepers
The plant growth and foliage of some vegetables will naturally creep across the ground and spread naturally as they grow, the foliage on these plants are normally a deep green with large leaves and they keep low to the ground, because of this they can be used as border plants that look nice and can contrast well with other plants in your landscape but also produce some wonderful food stuff, my favourite are cucumber, marrow, okra, pumpkins and gourds.
Herbs in the Edible Landscape
The most popular herbs available are Rosemary, Mint, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Chives, Ginger and Lavender. The best way to find herbs is to visit your local nursery or if you know someone who already has a herb garden, just take a few cuttings, they will all grow really easily from a cutting and you will soon have a fully developed shrub or plant.
There are lots of edible bushes that look great and produce wonderful fruits such as tomatoes, chilli’s, lemons and gooseberry. Some of these are dependent on climate conditions, however, some grow well wherever you put them, such as the Gooseberry.
If you do not have the required climate then I would recommend growing the Chilli’s indoors, they are the greatest thing ever. If you love tomatoes I would recommend purchasing a mini greenhouse to grow them in, they grow like crazy and will give you wonderful fresh tomatoes for a long time.
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