Many people are drawn to gardening because it is a rewarding hobby that leaves your yard looking lush and beautiful. However, there is a new gardening trend on the rise that reaps even more rewards. That trend is edible landscaping. Below is an explanation of this gardening method as well as five major benefits of trying it out for yourself.
An edible landscape integrates food plants in your yard. It combines growing your own food with aesthetically-pleasing landscaping. While many food gardeners may contain their fruits, vegetables, and herbs inside a greenhouse or raised bed that’s sectioned off from the rest of the yard, edible landscaping gets rid of the boundary between food plants and the landscape.
Edible plants are grown out in the open, where they become just as visually important in your yard design as a flower bed or row of shrubs. After all, many edible plants are attractive, too. In an edible landscape, plants serve a dual purpose: they’re both ornamental and edible.
Why start an edible landscape? Here are several key benefits of this gardening method:
1. Positively Impacts the Environment
Edible landscaping is good for the environment for a variety of reasons. For one, flowering plants provide food for local pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. Replacing areas of a grass lawn with garden plants also helps conserve resources. Grass lawns require constant mowing, watering, and fertilizing. Edible plants require no mowing and shouldn’t be treated with pesticides if you plan to eat them. They often also require less water than turfgrass.
2. Reduces Cost of Food
When you have fresh fruits and vegetables growing right outside your door, you won’t need to spend as much on produce at the supermarket. To maximize your harvest, you can choose high-yield plants such as tomatoes, beans, kale, and alliums like onions, garlic, and chives.
3. Lowers Stress
Gardening has been shown to lower stress levels by being a healthy and productive distraction that encourages physical activity. It’s the perfect stress-relieving activity that is rewarding and can help you unwind after a long day. Spending even just thirty minutes out in the garden can benefit your body and mind.
4. Encourages Healthy Eating
Over time, an edible landscape can provide easy and convenient access to vegetables like artichokes, eggplants, beans, and peppers, as well as fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and figs. With a healthy harvest right outside your doorstep, you’ll be encouraged to eat these nutritious foods more often.
5. Adds Color to Your Yard
Purple eggplants, red kale, and multicolored edible flowers will all bring beautiful textures and colors to your yard. Many edible plants sprout beautiful blooms along with their colorful fruit. For example, blueberry bushes have unique, lantern-shaped flowers that appear white in spring and turn red in autumn.
You can even coordinate your edible plants to create a desired color scheme. For example, if you love yellow, you can grow bell peppers and yellow cherry tomatoes. If you’re a fan of purple, you can plant chives and lavender.
If you’re captivated by the idea of starting an edible landscape, make sure to start off small. Choose just a few edible plants to add in among your ornamental flowers and trees. If they’re sun-loving plants, make sure they get around 6 or more hours of sunlight per day. See how they do, and you can slowly increase the scale of your edible landscape over time. Experiment with placement and designs that embrace both the utility and beauty of your new food plants.
To learn more about some of the best edible landscaping plants and their benefits, check out the infographic by Angi below.
Please include attribution to Angi.com with this graphic.
Salman Zafar is a serial entrepreneur, digital marketer, writer and publisher. He is the Founder of Techie Loops