Just as the name suggests, ‘edible landscaping’ is a phrase that describes the process of filling a residential landscape with herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Rather than planting ornamentals, the goal is to introduce edible options and then enjoy them on your dining table.
As long as a plant produces food, it has a place in an edible landscape. However, this doesn’t mean completely wiping the existing garden that you’ve worked so hard to create. For many, they choose to incorporate food-producing plants into their current space, and this can include berry bushes, herbs, vegetables, nut trees, and edible flowers. Whether you choose a 50/50 strategy, a full edible landscape, or even 80/20 towards edible plants, this is entirely up to you!
Why Choose Edibles?
Now we know what an edible landscape entails, why should you consider it for your garden or yard? In truth, there are many reasons (aside from the fact your whole family can enjoy home-grown fruits and vegetables, of course!).
While some people like to save money on grocery bills, others want to be in control of what they’re eating rather than taking a risk with purchased products (with regards to herbicides and pesticides). Elsewhere, you might want to grow foods you can’t get in local stores or offer some food options for those days when you can’t get to the shops.
Finally, we shouldn’t ignore those who want to get outside and connect with nature once more. Whether with kids or alone, creating an edible landscape can be great fun.
Landscaping with Edibles
The best locations to start an edible landscape have the following;
• At least six hours of sunlight
• Well-drained soil
Rather than making grand plans and digging up the whole garden, we recommend starting with straight substitutions. If you planned to introduce chrysanthemums, for example, why not replace them with edible bachelor’s buttons? Eventually, fruit trees will replace shade trees and your edible landscape will start to take shape. Fortunately, the variety of shapes and sizes of edible plants are much the same as ornamental plants so the transition can be rather simple (regardless of the space you have available!).
Are Edible Landscapes Hard Work?
Before we finish this brief guide with some fantastic ideas, you may be wondering whether an edible landscape is lots of hassle. If so, you should be aware that it will need a little more attention than ornamental landscapes. For example, the plants may need pest management, more water, pruning, and fertilization.
The hours you invest in an edible landscape will be repaid with the fresh, natural foods you’ll have available. What’s more, it can be seen as an investment because the cost of groceries should reduce.
Edible Landscaping Ideas
As long as you consider edible landscaping a hobby rather than a chore, and you’re willing to start small, you’ll soon grow attached to the plants. As you’re about to discover, the edible landscaping world is vast, so we encourage you to continue your research even after our ideas here!
- Plant perennial herbs like rosemary, mexican oregano, mexican tarragon, mints, chives, and bay
- Consider edible flower for salads such as borage, nasturtium, calendula, and violas
- Introduce a full spectrum of colors with peppers
- Fill a planter with annual herbs
- Build a grape alcove
- Plant fruit trees for fruit, flowers and shade
- Fill hanging baskets or window boxes with cherry tomatoes
- Fill a flower bed with radishes and lettuce
- Decorate fences with pole beans, small vining pumpkins, cumbers or melons, Malabar Spinach, and don’t forget grapes
As an insight into the sheer number of options you have, our favorites include lemon thyme, blueberries, chives, apricots, rosemary, red currant, sweet woodruff, elderberry, gooseberry, garlic, and marjoram!