Want to create an edible garden? While it probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think about gardening, it’s an excellent idea with tons of benefits you likely haven’t considered before.
When you think about edible gardens, chances are you think about growing vegetables. And while vegetable gardens can be a terrific source of fresh produce, they’re not the only option. Many plants are ornamental and edible in equal measure, with palatable seeds, flowers, fruits, and leaves.
You might be surprised to learn that it’s perfectly possible to design a gorgeous garden made entirely of edible plants. In this post, we at Floral & Hardy will walk you through how to create your edible garden.
What’s an edible garden?
It’s essentially a garden designed to produce food by growing fruits and vegetables or incorporating edible plants into its overall design.
You can design so many different types of edible gardens, from raised beds to classic vegetable plots, herb gardens, orchards, and more. And the best part? You don’t have to stick to just the proverbial veggies – you can use all kinds of plants (both beautiful and edible), like perennial vegetables and pretty shrubs.
Some edible gardens are designed to be like mini-ecosystems, with layers of plants that work in harmony to produce an abundance of food. These garden types are often inspired by permaculture and agro-forestry and can include things like beekeeping, fish, fruit trees, and even mushroom cultivation.
So if you’re looking for an enjoyable and practical way to get into gardening, an edible garden might be just the thing. They come in all sorts and varieties – there’s no limit to the possibilities.
Why should I create an edible garden?
Creating an edible garden is a clever way to manage where your food comes from and be more sustainably-minded.
Recently, more and more people are concerned about the safety of commercial herbicides and their environmental impact on the food industry. Numerous supermarket scandals have left consumers questioning the source and quality of their food.
Then there’s the effect of global warming and habitat degradation. The food industry has played a big part in things like deforestation for palm oil plantations, which is having a devastating effect on our planet and its inhabitants.
But there’s good news. An increasing number of people are becoming aware of these issues and are taking action by growing their food. Not only is it better for the environment, but homegrown food also tastes delicious. It’s no wonder that celebrated chefs and eateries are starting to grow their ingredients locally.
So why not join the movement and start your edible garden? It’s a fun and rewarding way to take a stand against the problems in our food industry and create something delicious and eco-friendly in your back garden.
Orchards can be an incredible addition to your edible garden. But, they do necessitate some space to grow. If you have a larger garden, this could be a superb option. But if your outdoor space is more limited, nut trees and dwarf fruit are available for purchase and work well for smaller gardens. You can also try training fruit to grow along fences or south-facing walls to make the most of your available garden space.
Pruning is a paramount part of growing fruit, especially for soft fruits like pears and peaches. Nuts are another reliable crop – they’re easy to store and are rich in omega-3 and calories. Not only are orchards great for delivering delectable fruit, but they also create a haven for wildlife.
Birds can nest in the branches, and insects can enjoy the sweet pollen. Whether you plan on planting a single apple tree or a large-scale orchard, fruit trees will complement any edible garden.
If you’re wondering whether or not to begin an edible garden, vegetable gardens are an excellent choice.
These gardens typically consist of well-maintained beds where you can plant vegetables of all kinds. All you need is a patch of land or a dedicated allotment space, and you’re good to go.
Not only is vegetable gardening a fun and rewarding hobby, but it’s also a phenomenal way to stay fit. Did you know that gardening can burn up to 400 calories per hour? Plus, the produce you grow in your vegetable garden will taste far better than anything you can buy in a shop. Supermarkets often prioritise vegetables that can last on shelves, sacrificing flavour in the process.
One of the best things about vegetable gardening is that you can grow as much or as little as you like. Pick your favourite veggies and watch them thrive in your garden. With a little love and attention, you’ll be able to enjoy a steady supply of fresh and tasty produce throughout the summer.
Popular among green-fingered folk, raised beds provide ample soil, which helps maintain a consistent moisture level and enables roots to stretch out and grow deep.
One of the advantages of raised growing beds is that you can manage the quality of your soil – simply add your compost and nutrients. Plus, elevating the growing area so it’s off the earth means less pressure and bending on your back, making it a fabulous option for all gardeners, whatever their age or ability.
You can use all manner of materials to produce raised beds, like concrete, plastic pipes or brick. But the usual method is to use timber sleepers. These sizable sections of wood measure roughly 10cm wide and enable you to build raised beds in no time.
Creating an edible garden is a thrilling way to utilise your outdoor space. As well as adding to the exquisiteness of your home, it also helps you become more self-sufficient and eco-conscious.
There are countless possibilities when it comes to incorporating edible plants into your garden, so why not give it a go? Have any of the ideas from this article caught your eye? Let’s get planting and enjoy the delicious, nutritious rewards. If you want to create your edible garden, get in touch today.