Living in the city, we might be just go to the farmers markets or store for our organic produce. But what would change if you could eat out of your own backyard organic garden? Edible landscaping isn’t a new trend, but it has been expanding across cities in the US. Being tied to the earth through gardening is therapeutic and perfect for couples and families to practice together.
Defining Edible Landscaping
More than just a garden, edible landscaping is about integrating the garden into the overall design of the yard. Rather than growing plants and shrubs purely for decorative reasons, an edible landscape adds usable food, including fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
For most families, edible landscaping is integrated with nonedible plants, mostly because of the sheer amount of work needed to maintain a large plot of land. In addition, for many, an edible landscape would provide entirely too much food.
Regardless where you live, an edible landscape is an option. Just because Phoenix has numerous days with 100ºF+ temperatures doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a garden bursting with delicious produce and herbs.
Design Is Key for Functionality and Beauty
When considering landscaping, both for the front and backyards, design and visual appeal are paramount. To the untrained eye, edible landscaping can look like any other landscape design. But to you, it represents meals and supplements for your kitchen.
It’s important to conduct your research before starting your garden. Not only will you want to know what grows best and when, but you’ll need to know how your different components work together. Rosemary can make an excellent shrubbery, chilies will decorate a fence, and fruit trees provide shade and fragrance in addition to fruits.
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail, as the saying goes. What has the potential to be a gorgeous, inviting garden could instead look more like a scraggly patch of an herb garden. Take the time to develop your game plan and do your research. And remember that some plants need to be replenished once they’ve fruited; others will regrow each season.
Schedule Time for Tending
In addition to the pre-planning you’ll need to choose the right plants, trees, and shrubs for your edible landscaping, you’ll need to tend the garden regularly. That includes ensuring adequate sunlight and water (a drip system is perfect for this). For instance, for some herbs, you have to trim and use them before they flower and are no longer edible.
For an abundant garden, consider what you’ll do with all of your bounty. Will you sell the excess, give it to friends and family, freeze your produce, or learn to can? Because once you learn how to create a glorious edible landscape, you’ll have plenty of foods to keep you and your family happy for years to come.
MAK Construction builds custom homes across the Valley of the Sun, many that incorporate organic aspects, including the opportunity for edible landscaping. Learn more at makconst.com.