5 Good Reasons Your Landscape Needs Edible Plants
Edible landscaping is becoming more and more popular, which makes me happy because I think it is a fabulous way to add variety, interest, and beauty to your property. Here are the 5 best reasons why I think combining your vegetable garden with the rest of your landscape is a great idea.
It can be difficult to imagine the plants in your vegetable garden as a beautiful part of your landscape, but trust me on this: edible design can be gorgeous! The key is to think about these plants in terms of their leaves, flowers, and growth habit in addition to the fruit and vegetables they produce.
As an example, consider ornamental kale or ornamental peppers. Both these plants have incredible ornamental value because of their size, the color of their leaves, and, in the case of ornamental peppers, what they produce. They add beauty and interest to your landscape.
Think about it: when was the last time boxwoods and barberry did anything in your yard but look pretty? Using edibles is a wonderful way to increase the utility of your landscape because they provide organic food for you, save you money on your grocery bill, and give you the satisfaction of growing part of your landscape yourself!
Monoculture is a big word that just means growing a single kind of plant or crop in an area. Most landscapes? Are kind of a monoculture, because they involve one or maybe two kinds of plants. That means that pollinators have fewer sources of food, and if a pest problem develops, all plant of the same type are potentially vulnerable.
You can mix things up, provide more options for pollinators, and increase diversity by including edibles in your landscape.
In my other examples, it's the edibles that benefit the ornamentals, but actually the relationship goes both ways! This is because a great way to attract pollinators to your edibles is to plant them among flowers!
You want to attract pollinators because it's the flowers on most edible plants (herbs being a notable exception) that turn in to fruits or vegetables. But before they can turn into something delicious, they need to be pollinated, and of course pollinators do this job very well!
One of my favorite aspects of edible landscaping is the way it draws people in, first because it's something that looks interesting and surprising, and second because you're putting food in the front yard!
If you want to connect more with your community, edible landscaping is a great idea. By planting edibles near a sidewalk or other high foot traffic areas, you can invite others to interact with your landscape, and you provide access to yummy, organic food!
What About You?
Have you tried edible landscaping? Leave a comment telling me what you planted! Better yet, share a photo!
If you liked what you read, please share it to help spread the word about edible landscaping!
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