Is your family health giving you nightmares in this age of genetically modified foods and increased usage of chemical fertilizers? Now is the time for you to consider edible landscaping. Don’t you think it is quite a delight, rather a blessing, to cook hot meals with garden-fresh and toxin-free produce for your loved ones every day of the year? Here are a few great ideas for you.
A food garden need not be a boring patch of land. Start small and simple. Plan a mixture of food plants for variety on your plate. Keep your food garden happy and thriving with a layer of mulch, supplemented with organic fertilizers.
Bear in mind that an edible landscape needs care and maintenance in terms of regular mulching, watering, feeding, weeding and pruning. Harvesting and preserving surplus are other chores you have to take care of.
Before setting out to design your edible landscape, consider aspects like necessary growing conditions for the plants you pick, sunlight/part sun/shade, soil drainage, size of the plant when it reaches its maturity, the space it would take up, leaf size and color. Here is where you can consult with landscape specialists for better understanding and clear-cut designing.
Begin with herbs
To grow herbs, you can either set aside a small patch of land in your vegetable garden or fuse them into your landscape. Flowering perennials and herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, and oregano are a great combo for a blended look. Herbs also keep pests away.
Salad greens love cool and damp weather; so, spring is the right time for growing them. Keep the bed moist and lightly fertilized.
Grow baby greens, lettuce, spinach, chard or mustard. Intersperse them with edible flowers for a visual feast and wellness in your salad.
Low-growing Alpine strawberries provide a great groundcover. Besides, you welcome wildlife into your yard. Strawberries grow best in full sun and in soil that drains well. Fruit shrubs like blueberries and elderberries produce delicious fruits. Blueberries flower in spring and bring on the colorful show in fall, apart from yielding luscious fruits.
Raise fruit trees
Fruit trees require only minimal care. Select dwarf varieties rather than standard size. Choose varieties that grow well in your neighborhood, and yield harvest through the year. Most fruit trees grow well in full sun and love well-drained soil. Take care to deep soak them periodically to produce fruits full of flavor.
Putting up a show of beautiful yellow foliage in fall, pear and plum trees bear fruits in summer. Cherry, apple and citrus fruits are among the easiest to grow.
Benefits you reap
You dish out plates of wholesome nutrition to your family every day.
Save on greengrocery bills.
No squandering energy on mowing lawns.
No carbon emissions from your mower; you breathe in pure air.
If you go in for drip irrigation, you cut down on water usage considerably, and in turn do your bit to preserve natural resources.
Say ‘goodbye’ to days’ old supermarket produce – rich in all kinds of preservatives and toxins – that travels 1500 miles on an average to reach your food cupboard. Three cheers to your own organic food that you eat fresh, grown in your own backyard!