If there’s a silver lining to the year that was; COVID19, it’s that we’ve found a new connectedness with nature. Families began taking charge and turning towards growing their own food (and creating edible gardens landscaping) as a result of limited supermarket supplies and an influx of individuals spending more time at home. Different from the conventional veggie garden, ‘Foodscaping’ or edible garden landscaping, is a trendy term for the practice of integrating edible plants into ornamental landscapes’. Recently, we’ve seen a definite shift towards more clients wanting to introduce edible gardens landscaping. Think Willy Wonka circa 2020 – colourful backyards resembling food forests filled with orchid-like stone fruit groves, abundant leafy greens and carefully placed citrus trees.
Now, creating your own edible garden landscape is easier said than done so we’ve put together some helpful tips for the budding foodscaping enthusiasts wanting to jump on this growing trend.
Space is essential
Allocation of adequate space is essential when planning your edible garden landscape. Think about what it is you are wanting to achieve. A small balcony garden to flex your inner green thumb or maybe a large backyard patch to replace your weekly trip to the supermarket veggie aisle. Many plants need adequate space to thrive, so ensure you take the time to do your research in identifying how much space is required to reach your veggie garden goals.
Soil is crutial
Everything starts with soil when it comes to edible garden landscaping. It’s like putting E10 fuel in your car instead of premium unleaded. You only get out what you put in. Try starting off with a good quality soil that has a neutral PH and is filled with composted organic matter. If you’re not getting the results you’re after, go back to the basics – the soil.
Start small and with a few herbs such as rosemary, mint and basil as they are more resistant to pests. From there, you should feel more confident to experiment with some of the trickier fruits and vegetables such as silverbeet, zucchini, radishes, squash, cucumber, spring onions and cherry tomatoes.
Don’t forget to mulch
Mulch is by far one of the best ways to keep your soil nice and moist. It can also help to regulate growing temperatures and be effective in feeding your soil with all of the nourishing goodness it requires. As a rule of thumb, spread a generous covering of mulch 2–5cm thick for optimum results. Organic mulch made from Wood chips, shredded bark, hay, grass clippings or compost are all good options to help your veggie garden flourish.
Harness the sunlight
Location, location, location. The easiest way to workout a location for your foodscaping adventure is to watch how the sun changes throughout the day and position it in a suitable location based on how much light your veggies need. Read the labels on plants or talk to your local nursery, landscaper or horticulturalists as they are always happy to provide you with the right advice.
Good drainage is especially important in veggie beds. A well-drained edible garden allows the movement of water and oxygen to the plant root system. If the correct drainage is not installed, you are at risk of root rot and drowning your plants.
Mind, body & soul
Put your heart and soul into it. Maintenance and a whole lot of love and attention will help your edible garden thrive. Don’t forget, things don’t grow overnight, so be patient. Good things come to those who wait and boy, the reward of growing and enjoying your very own edible garden far outweighs the effort.
Of course, we recommend getting expert advice with your foodscaping adventure to not only help you select the right plants and location, but also to help you install a durable, yet aesthetically pleasing garden bed. Throw in some patience and smart tactics and you’ll be growing your own food with style in no time.
Front garden foodscaping. Header image Credit: Ministry of the Fence