More and more people are jumping on the bandwagon and integrating edibles into their gardens. While some consider it a newer trend, the idea is as old as…the Earth!
The term “Edible Landscaping” is now what we call the practical integration of food plants into a decorative garden scape. Not only can we consume what we grow in our edible landscapes, but herbs, fruits, and vegetable plants add variety to your garden. In doing so, you are enhancing the beauty of your garden, improving the soil, and integrating certain plant protectors into the landscape. For example, the strong scent of onion, or garlic may ward off critters who may want to snack on its neighboring spinach.
At Fresh Roots, we specialize in edible landscaping services. Our passion is grounded in landscape design, organic gardening, edible gardens, and sustainability. We can help you plan, plant, and maintain an edible garden perfect for your space and budget.
Learn From Public Edible Landscapes
You may not even realize it, but there are edible landscapes all around us. Did you know that more than 100 edible plant species are growing in New York’s Central Park?
Some other cities, like Detroit, are developing public edible food parks or gardens. And in Milwaukee, several urban and edible gardens are open to the public. To give you an idea, at Alice’s Garden Urban Farm you can walk among the growing fruits, vegetables and flowers, learn how to prepare and preserve what you grow, take a yoga class, enjoy live entertainment, and the list goes on.
Not only are these cities and organizations teaching the public about holistic gardening, they are turning edible landscapes into a place to gather, and enjoy cultural and healthy lifestyle experiences.
Where do You Start with Edible Landscaping?
There are several things you should consider before planting your first edible roots. Here are a few:
Where will you plant your edible garden? You don’t necessarily need a lot of space. You may want to start by simply potting herbs or integrating greens, or a fruit bush into your present garden. Whether your edible garden is small or large, you will want to research where to plant your garden for maximum growth.
What plants will thrive near one another? A garden is a small ecosystem. Some herbs, fruits or vegetables grow better near others. For instance, did you know that basil will be more flavorful, when growing near flowering herbs like chives or oregano? And rosemary should be considered a loner. Other herbs will not grow well near rosemary. Neither will potatoes and carrots.
What wildlife will want to snack on your plants? Speaking of an ecosystem, animals are very much a part of the picture. The last thing you want is to grow a beautiful bed of lettuce, and find it destroyed by rabbits. Other grazers include voles, deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and various birds. Therefore, include a way to protect your plants in your edible landscape design.
Ideas for Growing Edibles in Pots and Containers
If you are light on space, that doesn’t mean you can’t dabble in edible landscape. Consider pots, window boxes, and even hanging baskets. It’s important, though, to match the container size with how big the plant will be when it’s fully grown.
That said, a few examples of smaller herbs would be chives, oregano, and parsley. You’ll need a bigger container for basil, dill, or rosemary.
Believe it or not, salad greens can be grown in a container. Most have shallow roots, and this way they can be a star near your patio instead of a low-lying plant among others.
Consider Fresh Roots Your Resource for Edible Landscaping
There is something about picking the first pepper from your garden or harvesting a head of lettuce and serving it at dinner. But getting to that point can be a tricky process. It takes a lot of research to get it right.
At Fresh Roots, our passion is to help individuals and communities design landscapes that look gorgeous and put home grown food on your family’s table.
Located in Waukesha, Fresh Roots provides the Greater Milwaukee area with extraordinary gardening services. Whether you are adding to your garden, or starting from scratch, we consult, design landscapes, plant, and maintain gardens that fit your space and budget. Together, let’s make things grow!