A carefully manicured grass lawn is the hallmark of suburban living. Flowerbeds, shade trees, and picturesque shrubs characterize most gardens. However, you can inject more life into your garden easily by growing edible plants. Fruits and vegetable plants add color and creativity. They will also help you save a couple of dollars on the shopping list. The climate, amount of sunlight in your city, and the type of soil you have should guide what you plant. Consider the following easy steps to landscape your garden in little time.
Step 1: Scout for the best edibles to grow
Before you start sprouting, take time to do a little scouting. Learn which parts of your front yard or backyard receive direct sunlight. It’s a good idea to plant hardy fruits, such as oranges, here. Herbs are more susceptible to high temperatures. Next, learn where your source of water is. This makes it easy to plan for the irrigation and provision of moisture. Do you want a simple patio, trellis, raised vegetable garden, or a greenhouse? Use pen and paper to sketch out your yard.
Planning before planting gives you a rough idea of what your garden will look like. It helps you match your edible plants with the strong points that your garden has. On the side that’s not too sunny, go with climbing plants. Grapes and cucumbers are examples of these types of plants. You should plant food crops that require sunlight on the sunniest side of the garden. These include peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and squash. Prepare parts of the garden that are neither too sunny nor too cold for cabbage, onions, leeks, and broccoli.
Step 2: Create a visually appealing landscape
Seek to replace your traditional garden with a simple yet functional edible garden. Use a curved walkway or an edge to draw people’s attention. A pathway leads people into the garden. Use rocks and stones to define the edges of the raised bed while leaving walkways inside the garden. White rocks create a focal point that is stunning and appealing.
Having an edible garden doesn’t mean that you should shun flowers. These natural pieces of art are so appealing to the eyes. Plant hibiscus flowers to introduce the idea of cranberry. Carnations are both peppery and sweet. On the other hand, lavender produces a savory smell that will tantalize you. Be careful not to plant poisonous plants. Do careful research to establish plants that won’t sting or cause allergens to your loved ones. On the same note, avoid keeping toxic insecticides and pesticides within reach of pets, livestock, and children.
Step 3: Planting vegetables and herbs
Herbs are easily the top choice of plants for an edible garden. They add flavor and aroma in your cooking. Examples are thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, and chives. Consider planting these in separate pots placed on your raised bed. The nutritional needs and size of each herb determine the size of the pot. Choose greens, such as salad greens, lettuce, and radish. To add color to your greens pantry, plant red or yellow cabbage.
Some perennial vegetables that can do well in modern edible gardens are asparagus, artichoke, and rhubarb. Edible flowers, such as borage, violas, nasturtiums, calendula, and edible blossoms, are creative additions. Not only do they add flavor in salads, but they are highly nutritious as well. Plant strawberries on the patch of your garden that has the most sunlight. Smaller alpine varieties do well in shaded surfaces and can inject great ground cover in your wooded garden.
Step 4: Planting fruit trees on your edible garden
In addition to establishing a diet full of vitamins and minerals, fruit trees provide shade for your loved ones. Perhaps the most common fruits are pears, apples, and peaches. These should feature generously on your edible DIY garden. You should also consider planting medlars, pawpaws, and serviceberries. With proper planning, you can have a healthy supply of fruit all year-round. Fruit-bearing shrubs, such as bush cherries, gooseberries, currants, and blueberries, can replace traditional and ornamental shrubs.
Step 5: Keep away the pests
Now that you have your meticulous garden full of edible plants, it’s time to prepare your harvest. Keeping away pests and diseases is important. All that color will attract raccoons, squirrels, and rabbits. Use a hot pepper spray to keep them away. Mix a couple of cups of hot peppers in a puree and add the mixture into your ordinary spray bottle. Every couple of weeks, spray your plants while paying attention to the fruiting parts. Your furry neighbors will go away.
How about pests, insects, and other crawlies? Aphids, snails, mites, earwigs, slugs, ants, and cockroaches are the most common garden pests. Add the ordinary diatomaceous earth into your spray bottle and mix it with the water. Spray several times a week to kill most of these insects. Did you know that peppermint works as a repellent for spiders, squash bugs, and beetles? Similarly, rosemary helps to chase away mosquitoes, fleas, and flies.
Step 6: Reap the benefits of your labor
So you have set out to replace grass and ornamental plants in your garden with vegetables, herbs, and fruits. There is no other way to enjoy homegrown flavor and aroma. Fruits and vegetables eaten straight from the garden are fresh, nutritious, and tasteful. They taste better than the frozen ones you find at the grocery store or supermarket.
One hundred square feet of garden space can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Even after subtracting the cost of preparation, seeds, manure, and pesticides, you will still be saving a lot. Most grocery stores will only stock what is in season. A small garden is a sure way for you to enjoy foods all year-round. As you control the food supply for your family, they can control their nutritional needs.
Is there a better way of protecting the environment than tending to an edible garden? Well, if everyone who had some space chose this option, the world would surely be a better place to live. So, go ahead. Expose your family to nature and have fun as you experiment with edible plants right outside your door.