Edible Landscaping Design Ideas

Turning your yard into one large food supply defines the word edible landscape. To design an edible landscape would be to create a plan that allows food-bearing plants to develop naturally within the confines of your home. It goes beyond gardening in that your landscape turns into a sustainable plot of land that mimics natural growth cycles found in your environmental region.

Start with the basics

Start with the basic principles of landscape design. Your yard is the ‘canvas’, and the visual qualities of line, form, color, texture and visual weight can help you create a balanced work of art. Organize your landscaping on a sheet of graph paper, outlining planting beds, which may be delineated using either straight or curved lines and occupy a variety of shapes like circles and polygons. Your design is going to be unique to the layout of your yard and really should consider special needs like hiding unsightly utilities, providing shade or creating privacy.

When selecting plants for your edible garden, bear in mind not just your own tastes in herbs, fruit and vegetables however the needs of the plants for example soil drainage and required levels of water and sunlight. One method to successfully group your edible plants is by using a gardening method called companion planting. Planting certain crops in proximity with one another can increase productivity by balancing nutrients not to mention discouraging pests. For example, beet leaves contain lots of magnesium that is beneficial to lettuce, onions and broccoli.

Stagger the plants

In your planting beds, edible plants should be staggered tall with the lowest-growing plants in front and taller plants within the back. Herbs like thyme, mint, parsley, oregano and sage are perfect to fill in the front of planting beds, and spreading varieties including lemon thyme create a fragrant ground cover, as well as a flavorful addition to a variety of recipes.

In place of brightly colored annual flowers, try planting strawberries, which produce pretty pale white and pink blossoms in the spring before fruiting inside a juicy shade of red. The colorful stalks of rainbow chard create a stunning visual impact and contrast beautifully using the green of the leaves. Frilly carrot foliage adds fine texture, while lavender provides purple blooms within the warm season and silvery leaves within the cold. Purple cabbages, white cauliflower and pale green leaf lettuce are beautiful shade lovers for all those cooler spots in the garden.

Yummy replacements

Deep green shade-loving hostas could be replaced with vitamin-packed kale, chives make beautiful spiky ornamental grasses and edible flowers called nasturtiums are generally conventionally pretty and a tasty accessory for salads. Marigolds, while not edible, bring a go of vivid color to the garden as well as protect food crops from pests.

For height, consider planting fruiting shrubs like blueberries, dramatic centerpieces such as the low-water artichoke, or miniature fruit trees. Vining edibles like melons, cucumbers and zucchini could be trained to grow vertically along a trellis behind of a planting bed, and grapevines covers an arbor in no time at all. And lastly, scatter in a few evergreen edibles like rosemary and wintergreen for year-round visual interest.

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