Have you ever wondered why we fertilize our yards and spray our grass with harmful chemicals that will make it grow faster and fuller and then gripe about the fact that we have to mow it again?
If you find yourself wondering why you’re out there mowing again and again and again, consider turning some or your entire yard into an edible landscape.
Edible landscaping, which is gaining in popularity, is simply incorporating food-producing plants, shrubs and trees into your yard. This can be done simply or you can go to elaborate means to create a growing space in which you can raise food to eat.
There are two types of plants that you can include in an edible landscape. Annuals, which include most common vegetables, need to be planted each year. Perennials, which include items such as blueberries, strawberries or rhubarb, will grow and produce food year after year.
Benefits of Edible Landscaping
There are numerous benefits to landscaping with plants you can eat. There is no supermarket that can compete with the freshness of freshly harvested vegetables, herbs and fruits.
Growing your own food allows you to choose what pesticides, herbicides and insecticides you use. You can choose to include chemical sprays and powders or you can adhere to producing only organic food products.
Edible landscaping can save you money. Of course, this depends on how elaborate you get with your designs and the materials you choose to use.
Edible landscaping allows you to grow unusual items that you can’t find at the local supermarket.
One of the biggest benefits of gardening for food is the exercise you will get while you work outdoors in the fresh air.
Creating Rain Gardens
Rain gardens, which work to remove pollutants in the same manner as a forest or meadow, are a good means of reducing your impact on our planet. By capturing clean rainwater from the driveway, roof and sidewalks and diverting it into an attractive rain garden where it can slowly filter contaminants and soak into the ground, you will help the environment by reducing the amount of runoff that runs into our waterways and public sewer systems. Rain gardens can up to 30 or 40% more than a grass lawn.
The principle behind a rain garden is that it is a place to hold water while slowly releasing it into the soil. This is much better for the plants than a situation where the garden receives pounding rains.
Incorporating Herb Gardens
Herb gardens are another means of adding some edible beauty to your backyard. Many herb plants make good garden bed borders. They are also ideal for container gardening in pots on your patio.
You may want to consider extending your present patio to make additional outdoor living space where the family can gather and relax. There are many ways in which to expand patios to provide seating as well as containers for growing your favorite vegetables, fruits or flowers. A visit to your local garden center can provide a lot of good ideas.
Want to learn more about lawn alternatives?
Check out this great resource if you want additional information about rain gardens.