Homeowners continue to sustain the farm-to-table cooking philosophy as they look for alternatives to maintaining endlessly thirsty lawns. Edible landscaping, also known as “foodscaping” or “front-yard farming,” is one such alternative. This type of landscaping can provide homeowners with a beneficial yet surprisingly beautiful design option for their yard. The technique involves the careful arrangment of attractive, edible plants throughout an area or lawn space. Here are a few tips if you’re considering replacing your existing landscape with an edible one:
1. Combine Different Plants to Elevate Appeal
The use of plants of varying heights can make your landscaping more attractive while providing you and your family with a wide variety of herbs, vegetables, and edible flowers. Here are some suggestions that add proportion:
- Low profile plants and edging, including lettuce, kale, spinach, and other leafy greens, as well as strawberries and raspberries
- Medium profile plants and shrubs, such as rosemary, blackberries, mint, basil, tomatoes, and peppers
- Tall plants, including sunflowers, artichokes, and fruit bearing trees
- Climbing plants, such as blackberries, grapes, and green beans
2. Mix Textures and Colors
Use a combination of flowers, greenery, and vegetables so your harvest provides a greater variety and gives your landscaping more visual interest.
3. Make Use of Containers
Using colorful or unique-looking containers also draws attention to your edible garden, adding a curiosity by separating the plants within your garden area. A few taller containers placed judiciously can also take some of the backache out of harvesting.
4. Group Plants According to Needs
Choose a combination of plants based on the amount of sunlight your planting area receives and group plants according to their water needs.
5. Maintenance and Care
Proper care and feeding of your garden can make it flourish and provide an abundance of fruits and vegetables for meals. Edible landscaping can also save you time and money with fewer visits to a grocery. Some great tips to keep your garden producing and help you conserve water include:
- Installing a drip system
- Watering deeply, but infrequently – this ensures that your plants get the water they need and, because the water soaks deeply into the ground, prevents evaporation
- Using grey water
- Installing rain barrels
- Mulching, to keep the roots of your plants covered – this also protects them from the elements and helps prevent evaporation