As interest in the farm-to-table cooking philosophy continues to grow, many homeowners are looking to “ditch” their well-manicured, thirsty lawns for a more useful and surprisingly beautiful way to adorn their yards: edible landscaping. Also known as “foodscaping” or “front-yard farming,” according to Wikipedia, edible landscaping is a cross between landscaping and farming in which people arrange and grow as many attractive edible plants throughout usable yard spaces as possible. Here are a few tips if you’re considering replacing yard space with edible landscaping:
1. Combine different plant elevations for 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 ideas
- Low profile plants/edging, including lettuce, kale, spinach, and other leafy greens, as well as strawberries and raspberries
- Medium profile plants/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. Combine texture and color
Use a combination of flowers, greenery, and vegetables to harvest a greater variety and give your landscaping more visual interest.
Using colorful or unique-looking containers also draws attention to your edible garden adding a curiosity by separating the plants within your garden area.
4. Water and light requirements
Choose a combination of plants based on the amount of sunlight your planting area receives and group plants according to their water needs.
5. Garden care
Proper care and feeding of your garden can make it flourish and provide an abundance of fruit and vegetables for meals as well as save you time and money. Some great tips to keep your garden producing 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 – Keeping the roots of your plants covered can protect them from the elements and conserve water by avoiding evaporation.