Turning your yard into a beautiful landscape is great, but have you ever thought of taking it a step further and starting your own edible landscape? That’s right, there is such a thing as edible landscaping, which is basically just growing your own food. This adds another dimension to just plain landscaping, as it allows you to maintain a beautiful garden while reaping the benefits of growing your own food. If you’re curious to try this in your own backyard, here are some edible landscape basics you should know about.
What is Edible Landscaping?
Also known as foodscaping, edible landscaping uses fruits and vegetables instead of just ornamental plants to landscape your yard. It’s not exactly a new concept as it’s been around for quite some time. It’s definitely becoming more popular lately as more people are embracing the beauty of becoming a plant parent.
Depending on your needs, almost any food plant can be used as edible landscaping. It’s really up to what type of food you want to grow in your garden. Vining plants like passionflower, squashes, and melons are great options for fencing around the yard. Alternatively, fruit trees like cherry, fig, elderberry, and apple might be nice for edging the property.
Of course, not all of these plants might be plantable in your area as it would depend on what type of climate you have. So before you decide on what to plant, you better do a bit of research on what type of plants grow well in your climate and what your specific needs are.
Plant Options for Edible Landscaping
There is actually a long list of consumable plants that can contribute to the appearance of your yard and garden as well as good enough to harvest and use as food. Some of the most popular plants in an edible landscape fall into five basic categories:
- Fruit-Bearing Trees
- Berry Bushes
- Leafy Greens
- Edible Flowers
You can choose any plants that fall into these categories, but they should be appropriate for your microclimate and local climate zone. These are usually referred to as USDA zones and can be a large determining factor, especially when it comes to shoulder seasons (early spring and late autumn). For more information on these zones, check out the USDA’s website for a list of plants, trees, and perennials that are compatible with a specific area.
Creating a Basic Edible Landscape Design
Starting a foodscaping project doesn’t require an artist or some adept at drafting a landscaping blueprint. All it needs is a bit of research, hard work, and some handy tools at your disposal. The easiest way to get into this is to take a standard landscape design and substitute edible plants for whatever ornamental plants are already in the design.
Before you can start sketching and drawing up your own design, you need to have a couple of things first:
- A notebook for jotting ideas and sketches
- A template stencil tool perfect for designing edible landscapes
- Recycled color pencils for marking certain parts in the sketch
Once you know what types of plants you can grow in your garden, start visualizing where you can place them. This will go a lot easier if you already have your existing landscaping plan and just fill it in with your new foodscaping plants. Consider how much sunlight each plant needs as it could affect its placement in the garden.
Once you’ve placed all of your plants in your edible landscape design, the only thing left to do is to buy everything you need to start the project. After that, it’s all up to your knowledge and research of planting and nurturing those plants.
Turning your yard into a garden of edible plants and food sources can be such a rewarding experience. This guide should help you kickstart the project by starting with your own edible landscaping design.
Blossom and Broom helps you create the living space of your dreams through our online resources. From gardening to home decor, we offer a range of topics that every homeowner will benefit from. For more edible landscape ideas, check out our gardening tips!