Three Tips For Creating An Edible Landscape

Posted on: 26 October 2017

Most people design their yards with an eye towards promoting privacy and beauty. If you're looking for ways to reduce expenses, however, you should consider developing an edible landscape. With this type of design, the plants you choose will provide healthy fruits and vegetables you can use to supplement your groceries, while still fulfilling the functional purpose of making your yard look great. Here are a few tips for accomplishing this feat:

Choose a Fruit Tree for Each Season

If you want fruit year round, plant at least one tree that will produce it each season. For instance, you can harvest apples in the fall, citrus fruits (e.g. Clementines, lemons) in the winter, cherries in the spring, and peaches in the summer. Planting regular trees will provide shade and privacy, but it can take up to 15 years before they are fully grown. If you don't want to wait that long or have limited space in your yard, plant dwarf trees instead. These are smaller versions of fruit trees designed to fit in cramped areas

Add a Pop of Color with Edible Flowers

Planting an edible garden doesn't mean you have to give up flowers completely. In fact, there are a variety of flowers you can actually eat, so they do double duty as decorative plants and a source of unusual snacks. For instance, calendula (Pot Marigolds) flowers can be cooked with food to add a saffron-like flavor, while young tender dandelions are good in salads. Other edible flowers include Borage, Daylily, Pansies, and Nasturtium.

Be aware, though, these flowers are only edible as long as you don't use any pesticides on them. Additionally, only certain sections of the plants may be edible (e.g. petals). Be sure to research online or consult with an expert about which parts are safe to eat before chowing down.

Beware of Animals

Having an edible garden means your yard will likely become a magnet for wild animals looking for something to eat. Therefore, you'll need to take special precautions to keep them away from your bounty. For example, it's probably a good idea to build a fence to keep both animals and pesky humans out.

Additionally, be careful where you put your plants, especially trees. If you plant them too close to your neighbor's yard, the fruit may fall onto their property. This can be a source of problems between you and your neighbor, depending on your relationship. So take care to place the plants where they're less likely to become an area of contention between you and the rest of the neighborhood.

For more suggestions on planting an edible garden or help designing your yard, contact a landscaping company like Glynn Young's Landscaping & Nursery Center