5 Easy Ways to Plant Edibles in Your Landscape

Looking to (wait for it) spice up your garden? Plant edibles!

Edibles should have a place in every yard. And if you're thinking "but summer's coming," we've got good news: edible goodies can still be planted in your yard for a fall harvest. Your best bets right now: plant peas, greens, beets, radishes, carrots or quick growing leaf lettuce.

Get going (and growing) right now with some gorgeous AND delicious edibles. Here are the 5 best ways.

1. Conventional Edible Garden

Large or small, your extra yard space is the perfect place for a veggie, herb (or three). Even a long trench dug along the side of your house can accommodate tomatoes, herbs or trellis climbers like peas.

Be careful when digging. You don't want to hit a pipe or other critical line. This is particularly true if the area has never been dug before.

Your conventional garden can be any shape. You can even spruce up a curved back walkway by planting edibles a short distance from either side. This will give a friendly, open look to your back or side yard, and will provide a late-summer or fall harvest to boot.

2. Lasagna Garden (or Raised Garden)

These are so much fun, and they spare you the work of digging! Lasgana gardens are literally built up, layer by layer, as a form of raised-bed gardening. They make a pretty border, too, depending upon the materials you use.

You will need a frame (your material of choice) or long box to contain the earth your edibles will grow in. Once you have this set up where you want your plants to grow, start layering in compost, peat, manure, whatever materials will suit the plants you're growing.

When your "garden" is deep enough, plant your edibles. Wedding and harvesting are easier on your back as there is less bending, depending upon the height you choose.

3. Containers

There are any number of vegetables and fruits (and decorate potted accent blooms) that can be grown in containers to accommodate tight space. Think climbing, vining or other vertical plants. (Tip: line your containers up near the house and place trellises behind them; train vining plants upward by gently tying to the trellis as they grow.)

Some of the most popular container edibles include tomatoes, carrots, onions, cucumbers, blueberries, and even super-dwarf fruit trees. 

Containers are also easy to move around in order to make sure that they receive proper sunshine, another plus.

4. Fruit Trees

Fruit trees are a great investment.  They will often increase the value of the property, are attractive in the landscape, and of course, provide free fruit, often in large quantities. 

Fruits are one of the most versatile edibles for preservation.  Nothing beats eating blueberries or peaches in December, and knowing that they were produced in your own yard.

You will need space for the roots of your fruit trees, including significant depth. Ask your local nursery for help in choosing and planning the distribution of your fruit trees.

5. Tuck Edibles Between Non-Edibles

One tomato plant can be prolific, and will go almost unnoticed in a flower bed.  Potatoes produce beautiful greenery and different colored flowers depending on the variety.  They also provide a lot of food in a very small space.  Lettuce does well interplanted with taller plants as the shade from larger plants give them just what they need.  Many leaf lettuces are cut and come again vegetables that will produce 3 or 4 pickings from one planting, and can be planted successively.  Spinach and other greens also do well planted among flowers.

If you have space (remember to account for root growth), use it - and eat it!

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