Our ancestors survived eating fruits, berries and herbs present in their surrounding landscapes. With a little creativity, the edible landscape can be recreated in your backyard, irrespective of the size. A few tips from us can leave your yard with a harvest of color, fragrance and an enchantment for years to come.
Planning an edible landscape
It is best to make a plan before starting to plant edible fruits and plants. If you already have a landscape, then you need to find out those plants that you would want to replace it with edible varieties. While planning, select fruit bearing trees like plums, peaches, pear, apples, etc. depending on the climate.
Size of the yard
Depending on the size of your garden, and the landscaper you hire, invest in dwarf varietals and espalier trees in order to fit the space of the yard. When selecting trees opt for hardy varieties that the bloom quite late, allowing it to survive the late seasonal frost. Make sure the trees are self-pollinating or in need of a pollinator, so that you can have a good harvest of fruits.
Mix and match edibles and ornamental plants
Try planting seasonal lettuce and spinach with dwarf nasturtiums. Even Pepper growing with dark marigolds can be quite striking. In shaded areas, plant strawberries and parsley under a hedge of currants. Plant dwarf fruit trees in a geometric pattern with a border of edible herbs.
Design elements for edible landscaping
The three most important points to remember while designing edible landscapes are strong, firm lines and structure. Your primary goal should be diversity of food not only on the table, but also in your yard. If looking aesthetically, planting edibles in the landscape can give more texture, colors than just an ordinary ornamental landscape. To balance the mix of plants, you need to pay attention to the lines and structure of landscaping elements, i.e. pathways, patios, hedges, etc. Opt for long curving beds of colorful flowers or vegetable garden, otherwise it can become a scattered vegetable patch.
Plant healthy plants
The plants need to be healthy for the design to look at its best. The most important point to remember is to select seasonal plants, otherwise the plants will not be healthy. Many edible plants should get a minimum of 6 hours of sun in order to remain healthy. Though there might be a few exceptions, soggy soil can prove to be a disaster to most plants. Ensure the soil has lots of organic matter and is an excellent source of nitrogen.
Growing an edible landscape is one of the most beneficial yards one can have. You can not only grow edible treats, but also share it with your neighbors and friends.