Nowadays, the concept of landscaping with edible plants has gained much traction. The reason is we are living in a world where, day by day there is a boost in consciousness of sustainability, the importance of connecting with nature, and self-sufficiency. So, most of the homeowners out there have edible landscapes as a perfect option.
However, there is a need to break from tradition and start looking for limitless possibilities to include edible landscaping in any kind of landscape design. That’s why we have come up with this blog, which will solve all your questions related to landscaping with edibles. Even we have mentioned some of the inspiring plant choices.
Table of Content
Benefits of Edible Landscaping
1) Aesthetic Appeal
Most of the edible plants out there are visually stunning, just like the ornamental ones. The reason is that they also come in a range of shapes, textures, and colors. With this, you can easily turn your outdoor space into a vibrant and beautiful environment.
2) Food Production
Among the several advantages, growing your own food is considered primary. As it aids in reducing your grocery bills. Also, it will provide organic and fresh produce, which will contribute to food security. You can even expect a reduction in carbon footprint, which is linked with store-bought produce transportation.
3) Financial Savings
If you’re ready to invest in edible landscaping, then it can turn out to give financial benefits in the long term. However, there is a need for initial investment, but don’t forget the ongoing savings on groceries can over time add up.
4) Health Benefits
If someone has easy access to homegrown vegetables and fruits, then there are chances of encouraging a healthier diet. You might already know that freshly harvested produce is more nutrient-rich in comparison to store-bought options.
5) Environmental Impact
Generally, edible landscaping promotes biodiversity just by incorporating a mix of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. As a result, beneficial pollinators, birds, and insects will be attracted, which will create a balanced ecosystem.
Principles for Edible Landscaping Design
1) Site Assessment
You can start by evaluating the characteristics of your spaces, like soil quality, microclimates, sunlight exposure, and drainage. This assessment will aid you in choosing plants thriving in particular conditions.
2) Layering and Zoning
It’s time to switch to a layered approach, akin to a natural ecosystem. You can plant taller shrubs and trees, followed by medium-sized plants, and after that ground covers. According to sun exposure, accessibility, and water needs, you can zone your space.
3) Functional Layout
Now, you can plan the layout based on function. For easy access, just locate the frequently used vegetables and herbs closer to the house. On the other hand, larger plants and orchard trees can be placed farther out. Even you can consider seating areas and pathways for enjoyment and navigation.
4) Companion Planting
It would be better to create mutually beneficial relationships between distinctive plants by utilizing companion planting techniques. For instance, you can pair plants detering pests with those attracting pollinators to aid in maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
You can opt for a range of edible plants. Try mixing edible flowers, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. This will encourage biodiversity and maximize yield, which reduces the risk of any kind of disease or pest.
6) Seasonal Interest
Always choose the plants which offer visual interest throughout the year. You can incorporate elements such as winter fruiting trees, fall foliage, and flowering plants to ensure the landscape remains appealing in every season.
7) Vertical Space Use
Give a try to vertical space by training plants for growing on arbors, vertical garden structures, and trellises. With this, you can enhance space efficiency and allow the addition of dynamic visual elements.
8) Soil Health
9) Artistic Design
Make sure you pay attention to aesthetics by incorporating shapes, textures, and colors harmonizing with the overall design vision. Because edible plants can easily turn into visually appealing plants.
10) Harvest and Maintenance
For easy maintenance and harvest, you can design access points and pathways. Must factor in the space required for weeding, harvesting, and pruning to ensure the ongoing care is manageable.
Popular Plants for Edible Landscaping
1) Fruit Trees
Semi-dwarf or dwarf fruit trees like plum, apple, peach, pear, and cherry can offer delicious fruits. Also, they will add structure and height to your landscape.
2) Medicinal Herbs
Don’t forget to add plants such as chamomile, lavender, and echinacea because they can be used for teas and come with potential health benefits.
3) Berry Bushes
Among the excellent choices, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are three of them. They provide seasonal blooms, tasty berries, and attractive foliage.
4) Edible Flowers
With pansies, violets, calendula, and nasturtiums, you can add visual appeal due to their vibrant color. Also, they can be used for garnishing dishes like salads.
Culinary herbs such as thyme, mint, rosemary, and basil will enhance your dishes. Also, they come with ornamental value and pleasant aromas.
Based on your preferences and climate, you can incorporate several vegetables. You can consider options such as eggplant, peppers, kale, tomatoes, lettuce, and zucchini for a mix of textures and colors.
7) Grape Vines
You can train grape vines on trellises to create shaded areas. Also, they will provide fresh grapes for making vines or just eat them.
Currants like black and red are rich in antioxidants, which you can even use in baked goods, sauces, or jams.
9) Citrus Trees
Trees like mandarin, lemon, orange, and lime can thrive depending on the climate. With this, you’ll get a continuous supply of citrus fruits.
Such kind of unique plants come with striking silvery foliage. They can produce edible flower buds that you can use in grill or steam.
The thing to keep in mind is that edible landscaping is one of the ongoing and creative processes. There is a need to adjust the care and design strategies with the growth and evolution of plants. However, it is easy to achieve a productive and balanced outdoor space just by making proper plant and design selections. Now, you’re all set to cater to both practical and aesthetic requirements.