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Edible Landscaping

Edible Landscaping

Eat Your Yard

What is Edible Landscaping?

Edible Landscaping is the art of incorporating vegetables, herbs and fruits along side your traditional landscaping plants and flowers, instead of just creating a typical garden plot in your yard. Edible landscaping can be created by using simple flower beds or raised boxes, or you can created complex landscape designs that incorporate many different varieties of edible plants.

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Benefits of Edible Landscaping

There are many benefits to landscaping with edible plants. Edible landscaping is a good investment that will save you money by growing your own food. You also are able control what is used to grow the foods you consume, so you can avoid unwanted pesticides and herbicides.

Getting Started With Edible Landscaping

Choosing edible landscaping is a great way to not only grow your own food but to also minimize wasted energy and pollution by minimizing the size of your lawn. Lawns waste water and energy due to the use of pesticides, fertilizers and gas powered mowers and the only results from all of this hard work and wasted water is the visual gratification of a nice green yard. Edible landscaping on the other hand rewards your hard work and investment by providing healthy fruits and vegetables while at the same time providing a nice landscape.

When most people think of landscaping, they only think of using trees, shrubs and flowers, but landscape design doesn’t have to stop with ornamental plants, there are actually many food-producing plants and herbs that are very attractive and make great landscaping plants. A good place to start is with herbs, they can be expensive to buy at the grocery and they make great decorative borders that look attractive. Rosemary, sages, thymes, winter savory, basil, and oregano are all great choices.

Organic Edible Lanscape Fruiting plants are a great edible landscaping choice too. Instead of planting common bushes and shrubs, try fruiting shrubs like blueberries and elderberries that are attractive shrubs with pretty flowers in spring and fall. Plus, unlike regular business and shrubs, they produce healthy delicious fruit. Low-growing strawberries make a great and attractive groundcover option that will spread through out your landscape.

Organic Edible Lanscape Many vegetables also make create choices to replace more common landscape plants. Rhubarb is a very pretty plant that is great choice to use instead of hostas. Certain vegetables pair well with other flower species, marigolds are a great choice to pair with tomatoes. Lettuce makes a great edging plant, especially lettuce varieties that are deep reds and purples. Peppers come in a variety of colors and shapes, making them exceptional choices for flower borders and beds. Tomatoes actually grow better in a non-traditional garden setting, when isolated from other tomato plants, disease can't hop as easily from plant to plant. Many vegetable plants also do well in shade, these include beets, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, leaf lettuce, spinach, turnips, radishes and beans.

Organic Edible Lanscape There are also great edible choice for trellises and arbors. Grapevines are beautiful plants that would look great growing over an arbor. Short vining vegetables are great choices to grow up trellises along the back of a flower bed. Melons, cucumbers, and zucchini can all be trained to grow vertically which also help to prevent fungal disease problems. Pole beans offer attractive heart-shape leaves that are fairly decorative and are good for planting on arbors, along fences, or up a trellis.

Edible Landscaping Benefits Your Garden

Mixing vegetables, fruits and herbs with flowers can help increase garden yields and flower production. Flowers increase nectar production, helping attract more beneficial insects that protect edible plants and increase flower production. Vegetables such as onions, can help deter aphid attacks on plants such as roses. Marigolds have the same effect and work well when paired with tomato plants, fending off snails. Another good example is to place petunias near beans to help repel bean beetles. Destructive bugs have a harder time finding individual food plants mixed with other plants than they do if they are all in a row. Mixing plants attracts predator insects or confuses undesirable bugs.

Because of the variety of plants involved with edible landscaping, you can stagger the blooming seasons of the plants around your yard to ensure a season long of flowering plants. Interplanting can also enhance soil fertility, incorporating plants grown specifically to be cut down and returned to the soil as fertilizer, or plants that take nitrogen from the air and convert it to a usable form. And because edible landscaping involves areas that will not be completely replanted each year or tilled annually, you will have healthier soil. Tilling every year breaks down the soil structure and is a detriment to soil health.

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