Are you tired of turning on the nightly news and discovering another fruit or vegetable that is supposedly tainted with E. coli? Are you tired of paying exorbitant prices for under- or over-ripe fruits or vegetables in your local grocery store? Are you trying to live a more organic lifestyle, free from pesticides and chemicals? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then edible landscaping is perfect for you!
(For more info, take a look at Planting an Edible Landscape.)
One of the hottest gardening trends, edible landscaping has been favored by naturalists and holistic practitioners for years. In fact, it was used by cultures as old as the ancient Egyptians, who used grape arbors to add scenery to their landscapes. Edible landscaping allows the homeowner to experience beautiful landscaping with the benefits of fruit- or vegetable-bearing plants. It’s like have a garden throughout your entire yard, rather than consigning it to a single section. A mixture of colors and scents virtually guarantee added enjoyment to something as simple as strolling in your back yard.
If you want to improve your health and the look of your yard simultaneously, give these edible landscaping tips a try.
For shrubbery, remove the old bland shrubs from your borders and replace them with a berry bush. But don’t throw out the old bushes! Donate them to a local school or place an ad online for free shrubs. Raspberries and blueberries are extremely popular shrubs which grow easily and bear fruit that is both delicious and beneficial. Blueberries are tremendously high in antioxidants; gooseberry plants are another popular choice. They have small, maple leaf-shaped leaves and green or red berries. The plants are thick and filled with tiny barbs which also serve to help keep critters out of your yard. Red currants are another eye-catching landscaping idea. With deep green leaves and rich red berries, these plants somewhat resemble holly. The red currant berries are excellent for a wide number of dishes and they make for some truly delicious jelly!
Grape arbors work as a source of shade for a park bench or seating area in your yard. They grow fast and sprout delicious grapes at an incredible pace. There’s nothing better than relaxing in the shade of a grape arbor and simply plucking a fresh concord grape to put into your mouth! There are a wide number of fruit trees to compliment your yard’s design. From succulent pears to hearty crabapples to heavenly cherries, your yard can be a source of delicious fruit for the better part of the year. Homeowners can even have their own lemon or peach trees for a brilliant variety.
Planting Your Edible Landscape – Get Ready!
When you are dealing with edible plants, the soil quality is of the utmost importance. It needs to be pH balanced and rich in minerals and nutrients. The best way to accomplish this is to enhance the soil with compost. You can choose to make your own (the ideal method) or you can purchase it from a compost manufacturer.
Once the soil is enriched with the compost, begin planting your fruitful shrubs. You can plant them within your flower garden or wherever you please. Just be sure to check the needs of the type of plant you are planting. You don’t want to plant a berry bush that needs full sun in the shade. Experts agree that inter-planting your plants, like growing broccoli within the flower patch, is a great way to confuse or repel pests that may normally be attracted to the plant. Don’t worry about making perfect rows or placing your fruit trees in perfect alignment. Just have fun with it and plant them where you want to.
Be sure to monitor their progress and continue to nourish them with compost or organic fertilizers. If a fruit tree is beginning to show signs of stress from transplant shock, try spraying it with kelp-fish foliar spray. By keeping your landscaping edible, you will not only be helping the environment, but you will increase the beauty in your yard as well as your health. And just think of the money you’ll save at the market!