How to Grow Organic, Edible Landscapes


Hi I’m Tricia an Organic gardener. I grow organically. For a healthy and safe food supply, For a clean and sustainable environment, For an enjoyable and rewarding experience. A beautiful landscape feeds the soul. Today we are going to craft an edible landscape that can feed the body too. Many gardeners are removing lawns and replacing them with edible gardens. That’s what I’m doing next to this studio shed where I get full sun. There are many edible plants that can be substituted for go-to landscape plants. In fact, there are quite a few landscape plants that when grown organically are edible. Most edible plants require full sun. I’ll talk about a few that can grow in the shade later on. I’ve planted citrus and blueberries here in this ornamental bed. Don’t think that you have to do exclusively edibles in a landscape. If you’re planting edibles in a mix with ornamentals I recommend that you avoid planting any plants that are toxic, especially you have children around. Common landscape plants that are toxic if eaten include Oleander leaves, all parts of Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Hydrangeas, Privet, Daphne and Laurels. Be aware that certain parts of edible plants can also be toxic and bare that in mind when you plan your garden. Tomatoes, potatoes and rhubarb all have toxic leaves. Let’s start with the trees that will anchor my design. If you are planting an ornamental garden, some of the ornamental tree picks for a location like this would be Maples, Crepe Myrtle, Red Bud, Purple Leafed Plum and Dogwood. If you want a small tree, a Pomegranate is a great choice for the edible garden. Another great option are Olive trees. Other options for small edible trees are the Spice Zee Nectaplum, with beautiful purple foliage, or any dwarf fruit trees. I’ve decided to plant a mandarin tree. The leaves are evergreen and beautifully, beautifully glossy. The flowers are fragrant. And the mandarins are beautiful! Citrus, especially Lemons can replace Laurel as a hedge. Plant the trees 8-10 feet apart and then train them in a hedge like shape. Pomegranates and olives naturally like to multi-trunk so they can be pruned back and be used as large shrubs. Crab Apples produce gorgeous blossoms and small, crisp, juicy apples that are perfect for blending into cider, eating out of hand or preserves. Looking for stunning fall color? Persimmon trees have gorgeous fall color. Let them grow larger for a shade tree, or summer prune to keep them compact. For the mid-ranged plants I’m going to plant the Green Globe artichokes. Artichokes have striking silver foliage that will really pop against the dark green leaves of my citrus. The flowers are tasty, but if you leave a few to open you’ll have a super bee attractor. Rhubarb is another great landscape plant with it’s big giant green leaves contrasting with the pink or red stalks. And it does pretty well in the shade. If you’re looking for a woody shrub, blueberries and currants and gooseberries all work really well and the bonus is they’re native to North America. Blueberries have a breathtaking fall color and even in winter the leafless canes are a bright red-orange. You can even train your blueberries into a hedge. Currants are a hardy plant that grow naturally into a shrub. This one has been a little bit neglected. But I think with a little bit of pruning it’ll make a beautiful espalier. Currants are a hardy plant that grow naturally as a shrub or you can train them into lovely espaliers. Gooseberries are a close relative of currants and have similar habits. Both of these plants will still produce berries in part shade. And I’m going to plant the Black Consort currant here as a mid ranged woody plant. I’m going to take a lot better care of this one. My climbing rose has buds which are just about to bloom into beautiful edible flowers. Organically grown rose flowers can be added to desserts, candied, or used to make rose water, and the hips can make tea. Let’s talk about the low growing plants and the ground covers. Violas, snapdragons and marigolds have beautiful flowers that can brighten up any salad. Nasturtiums are edible super stars. Some of them are mounding and some of them are vining and climbing and that makes them really versatile. These are going to be mounding to about 10″. Kale, chard and red lettuces really add some pizazz! Herbs like rosemary, thyme, lavender, sage and oregano are perfect for this type of garden. On to ground covers. If you like Creeping Bearberries, think about growing cranberries instead. Cranberries are native to North America, they’re evergreen and they have a low creeping habit and visually they look very similar to creeping bear berries. Alpine strawberries are another lovely ground cover. Children love to pick the tiny strawberries. That’s what I’m going to use. Mint is another great groundcover but watch out it really spreads. I planted mine in a smart pot instead of in my edible garden. Creeping thyme is another great ground cover for the edible garden. As well as Prostrate rosemary, which is a rosemary that grows in a downward manner and is great for hanging over walls or beds. I’m not using vines in my area but I thought I’d highlight some great edible vines. Some of my favorite perennial vines are grapes, Hardy kiwi, and hops. For annual vines, look at peas, beans, cucumber and melons. I hope that my dash through edible landscaping has been fun. Start small and build up to a tastier landscape. And Grow Organic for Life! Thank you for watching. Please subscribe to our channel, share this video and follow us at the sites below. Don’t forget to like this video.

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