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Edible Landscaping for a Better Environment

For an eco-friendly garden that has a low environmental impact, edible landscaping is becoming increasingly popular.

An edible garden is exactly as it sounds, it contains plants, nuts, vegetables, seeds, spices, and berries that can all be consumed and works in harmony with year-round seasonal changes, and it can be large or small. For those living in limited space, an edible garden can be started on a balcony, or even somewhere as small as a window box.

For those wanting to do their edible landscaping on a larger scale, some things will need to be taken into consideration.

  • Position – the location and size of your edible garden and where it will be situated.
  • Light/shade – how much light and shade is available. Different plants will require different lighting situations.
  • Soil Quality – how good is the soil and the pH quality, and how well does the area drain.
  • Plants – what kind of plants and what quantity will be incorporated into your edible landscaping design.
  • Other considerations – you may require storage, special items, or a potting bench for working in your garden.

Benefits of an edible garden

Along with being able to design your edible landscape to incorporate a wide range of plants and flowers, there are many other ways that your garden can benefit you. Apart from being able to create an edible landscape that is creative and aesthetically pleasing, there are financial and health advantages as well.

Many people find that the fresh air and exercise gained from tending to their garden imbues them with a sense of well-being and better physical mobility. Gardening is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Young children and those that suffer from disabilities or are wheelchair-bound are still able to enjoy working in the garden.

General health may also be improved from eating the food that you grow yourself. Edible landscaping means that the foods grown are free from toxins or pesticides, and research has found that organic or home-grown fruits and vegetables contain a higher amount of vitamins and nutritional value than those grown traditionally.

As edible landscaping generates a supply of food for you and your family to consume you may also discover that you need to spend less on grocery items. The cost of similar items at your local supermarket is substantially more, and if you grow your produce in large quantities you may even be able to freeze and store it for use in later months.

A nice additional bonus of edible landscaping is the reduced impact on the environment. No herbicides, pesticides, or artificial fertilizers means that the soil quality and surrounding air quality is improved. It also means that animals are not affected by the use of chemicals and some studies show that the effects of respiratory diseases can be reduced.

What plants are suitable for edible landscaping?

For those just starting their edible garden Geoscape Designs NW can help with the design and planning of the entire feature from concept to completion. Having your garden planned professionally will help it to flourish and achieve the best possible results.

At first, it may seem daunting to decide what plants or trees to use, where to plant vegetables or decide which flowers will work best. Having your edible garden design landscaped correctly will remove many issues and help to maintain your garden for many years.

Correct selection and placement of trees, plants, and herbs help to make your garden not only visually appealing but will yield the maximum amount of produce every year.
Items that can be included in your edible landscape are:

  • Vegetables
  • Edible flowers
  • Greens
  • Fruit or nut trees
  • Fruit shrubs
  • Vining plants
  • Herbs & Spices

The available plants and shrubs are plentiful, but each will need to be carefully considered for correct placement and combination with other plants for the best results. Depending on the type of plant, lighting, and soil quality the amount of fruit or produce your plants will yield can be influenced positively or negatively. Planning effectively will help to get the most out of your garden.

Things to consider

When designing your edible landscape there are other factors to consider. Along with the size, placement, and type of plants to be factored in, there are some other considerations to be addressed.

Take your goals into account. Is your edible garden there simply to provide produce for your household to eat, or do you want to teach your kids how things grow, or demonstrate environmental impact?

Are you an experienced gardener or are you just starting? You may have an acre of land at your disposal but if you are a novice you might want to start smaller until you gain experience.

What kind of additions do you want to include? Things like potting containers, irrigation systems, or a greenhouse may be required. Some plants need trellises or row covers, you will need to factor in these extra items for your overall edible landscaping plan.

What kind of lifestyle do you have? If you are someone that works away or travels a lot you will need to think about the level of maintenance that your garden will require and how much time you can dedicate to it. Will it need constant care or does it need to be somewhat self-maintaining?

The kind of plants that you can grow may depend on one or all of these factors to ensure that your garden is properly designed and thrives accordingly. Having the ability doesn’t always mean you have the time and vice versa. That is why it is important to plan your edible landscape around your goals, needs, and ability. For many, their garden will change, adapt, and grow along with experience, making it an ever-evolving project.

Geoscape Designs NW has years of experience in landscape design and planning in edible gardens, xeriscaping, habitat restoration, and climate-adapted landscaping. Contact us today and find out how we can transform your land into a fully functional, food-producing, edible garden.

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