Neat, straight rows aren't your only options forgrowing vegetables and other homegrown food. When you tuck edibles into landscapes, right alongside ornamental plants, gardens present exciting new opportunities.
Edible landscaping, sometimes called foodscaping, uses edibles as integral parts of landscape design. By weaving edible plants into your landscape, you can enhance its unique beauty — and still enjoy abundant harvests.
Most common edibles can thrive in ornamental landscapes, provided they get the care they need. Plan to accommodate all your traditional garden favorites, including tomatoes or bell peppers, but don't stop there. With beauty and productivity as goals, turn to edibles that bring more to the landscape than just food.
Look at edibles as you would new ornamental plants. Consider their mature size and the shapes, textures and colors they'll add from their leaves, stems, branches and fruit. Think ahead to how harvests will affect your garden design. Will entire plants disappear or just the pops of color from fruit? By thinking the edible season through, you can plan, plant and fill in accordingly.
Most edibles require at least six to eight hours of full sun per day to produce their vegetables and fruit. They also need at least 1 inch of water per week from rainfall or irrigation to stay hydrated, plump and healthy. Whether planting landscape edibles in the ground, in containers, or as accents in hanging baskets, trellised pots or window boxes, always meet their sun and water needs.
Edibles in general are heavy feeders that need supplemental nutrients. Regular fertilization with gentle, natural-based plant foods can help improve your landscape's health and productivity.
Trusted pest controls such as Sevin® garden insecticides help keep edible landscapes harvest-ready by controlling insect pests, too. When choosing your pesticide, always check the label for the plants and pests involved. Then you can choose the best product for you. From ready-to-use dust to liquid and granular options, count on Sevin® brand for efficient, effective pest control for edibles and ornamentals.
Let plant needs help guide your landscape layout. When neighboring edibles and ornamentals share similar needs, it enhances care and simplifies labor.
To get the most enjoyment from your edible landscape design, you'll want plants that add visual beauty and taste great, too. The following are just a few examples of edibles that bring multiple benefits to your landscape and your table.
Grown just for a single season, annual edibles get replaced each year. This means ever-changing opportunities for new edibles and new designs.
Capable of coming back year after year, perennial edibles can be used in design just as you'd use perennial flowers.
Long-lived shrubs with edible fruit are backbones of edible landscapes, enhancing garden views year-round.
By weaving landscape-worthy edibles into your ornamental plantings, you get all the benefits of homegrown food plus unique, inspiring gardens of your own design.
Always read product labels thoroughly and follow instructions carefully, including guidelines for treatable plants, pre-harvest intervals (PHI), and treatment frequency.
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1. Richard Jauron, Julian Beiwel and Linda Naeve, “Edible Flowers," Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, March 2013.
2. Western Agriculture Research Center, “Aronia," Montana State University.