Imagine a garden with flower beds and trees lining the edges, except that these trees bear fruits. Underneath the tree sits a diverse variety of berry bushes. The extra space in the yard is filled with lush sunflowers facing the Sun, and honeybees buzz around them, going back to their hive in the evening. Alongside the fence, you can see vividly grown vegetables, all lush colors of red, green, and purple. This rich imagery and visual appeal are one of the many benefits of Foodscaping. You can rely on professionals like MPR Landscapes to give you a thorough guide on Foodscaping and its beneficial aspects.
❇️ WHAT IS FOODSCAPING?
Foodscaping blends the two much-needed Cs: consumption and convenience. It acts as a self-sufficient model that necessitates the basic needs of the owner. Foodscaping, in simple terms, integrates traditional ornamental landscapes with edible plantations. That is why it is also known as edible landscaping. You grow vegetables and edible plants alongside landscaping features like flower beds, sculptures, or retaining walls.
Foodscaping can be considered a hybrid between landscaping and farming. You can do a lot of experimentation with a diverse option of vegetables to grow or berries to plant and couple it all with a lush plantation of landscaping. You can initially start small by replacing shrubbery with berry bushes like raspberries or strawberries. It is not only creating a farming sector in your garden but skillfully overlapping features from landscaping and farming, all while maintaining a modern look and retaining aesthetics.
You will have to prepare the soil and provide fertilizer for growing vegetables in any given space available. Foodscaping allows you to transform your space into a low-maintenance and functional environment that offers organic and fresh produce. People start this practice perhaps due to curiosity or the health benefits they attain. So let us take a look at the top 6 benefits of Foodscaping:
⭕ Make Use of Diversity!
Foodscaping gives a lot of room for experimentation and playing with different plants, shrubberies, and vegetables and mixing them all with the complex features of a landscape. You can plant seasonal edibles and combine them with a wide variety of fruit trees, herbs, or medicinal plants. In this way, you can have vegetables and fruits every year.
⭕ Solution To Economic Uncertainty
With climatic catastrophes like floods or hurricanes disrupting the food supply chains, the Foodscaping initiative emerges as an economical solution to these problems. Droughts occur in many areas, so you can plant vegetables like beetroot, zucchini, mustard greens, and carrots because they are drought resistant. For many, it is already a convenient income source. People have made it a business over the past couple of years as there is a high demand for organic food. It is also a solution to rising food costs.
⭕ Health Conscious
There is a rising awareness of chemicals and pesticides used during the growing stages of production. People are becoming more conscious of health and nutrition. They are now more focused than ever on their food choices and want to avail all the healthy options they have. One of the benefits of Foodscaping is that it provides organic produce without any toxic pesticides sprayed on it. This food is safe, fresh, and healthier than the ones you get in cheap convenience stores. It also gives people a sense of control over what they choose to eat.
⭕ A Whole Lifestyle
Interestingly, Foodscaping is a whole lifestyle for some. It involves utility, aesthetics, and gives you a chance to nourish your family. Foodscaping shapes your kids’ entire childhood with nature and healthy eating. What better way to connect with nature, have healthier diets, and better lifestyle than by growing your own fruits and vegetables? You get to choose the greens you want to grow along with the satisfaction of reaping what you sow (literally!). Foodscaping can be a whole lifestyle if you consider it!
⭕ Environmentally Sound Activity
Foodscaping is a leisure activity that is also environmentally sound. You do not need to use any pesticides or insecticides on your plants. These toxic chemicals run down with rain and poison nearby water streams significantly. Foodscaping makes sure you avoid these. Planting lots of vegetation and trees keep your environment purified. It also reduces carbon footprint. Moreover, practicing Foodscaping in community shared spaces can meet the food requirements of many people.
⭕ Plants That Protect!
Interestingly enough, some plants protect themselves well and their surroundings. They ward off pestering animals like moles and rabbits. These plants include garlic, potatoes, and onions. You can plant geranium, arugula, basil, and sags to keep insects and rodents away. Otherwise, these animals feast on the produce and destroy crops.
❇️ TIPS FOR YOUR OWN FOODSCAPE GARDEN
The primary principle of Foodscaping is fascinating and simple. You include vegetables and fruits in your regular garden but also take care of the aesthetics. Now that we have established the advantages of Foodscaping, let us analyze some tips you can apply to your own Foodscaping garden.
⭕ Choose Vegetables That Are Easy To Harvest
Foodscaping is exceptionally convenient as it is low-maintenance, and many plants rejuvenate themselves. Vegetables such as lettuce, radishes, and carrots are easy to grow and can be used in almost all food items. Then you have plants like green beans that can survive even in poor soil conditions. They do not require arduous labor or input. Most importantly, green beans naturally fix nitrogen components in soil. Some other vegetables that provide nitrogen organically to soil are peas and legumes.
⭕ Focus On Good Water Management
You should well maintain irrigation systems and water management in your garden. It keeps your garden lush and prevents vegetables from rotting due to high temperatures. You can inculcate an organic water management system whereby rainwater is collected, stored, and used for irrigation instead of letting it run off in nearby streams. In the case of droughts, it is best to wisely choose trees that are drought resistant and withstand climatic changes. You can select from Eastern red cedar, Maidenhair tree, Eastern redbud, Mulga, Common hackberry, etc.
⭕ Replace Ordinary Trees With Fruit Trees
One simple act, replacing ordinary trees with fruit ones, can dramatically alter the outputs you get in your Foodscaping garden. You get free fruits and that too, fresh ones! Fruit trees are suitable for aesthetics and provide shade to the small perennial herbs or berry bushes growing underneath them. They maximize the use of available space. Fruit-bearing trees mainly decrease your carbon footprint by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. It also saves the cost of traveling to get fruits. They increase the value of your house, not only in terms of aesthetics but also boost the money demand. They also feed wildlife like squirrels or birds, and the rotting fruit that falls on the ground provides nutrients to the soil.
⭕ Utilize The Extra Pots!
Not everyone has enormous spaces for garden or Foodscaping. Yet it should not stop you from growing your own food at home. Container Foodscaping manifests Foodscaping at a less level. You take whatever extra containers or pots you have at home and plant small plants like strawberries, honeyberries, or sea buckthorns. These plants will proliferate in pots and yield fruit. You can put these pots on balconies and terrace roofs. This way, you can utilize the small space to get berries rich in Vitamin C.
⭕ Grow Perennial Vegetables
To make Foodscaping low maintenance and inexpensive, you can plant perennial vegetables. These vegetables have a life that extends several years or more even. Hence, you do not have to grow them repeatedly every year. It is a smart way to save time, money, and effort. However, incorporating perennial plants can also have some drawbacks. For instance, not all perennial plants are compatible with all regions. They thrive in certain temperatures and areas. Secondly, they take some time before producing food consistently. Perennials may also become invasive over time, so you must be careful with that. Some perennial plants that you can have include broccoli, sweet potato, apples, avocado, cherries, persimmon, kiwi, and hazelnut
⭕ Enhance The Aesthetics With Colors!
Unfortunately, many people hesitate to integrate vegetables into their landscapes for fear of ruining aesthetics. However, all it requires is some research of the variation you can choose from and skillful experimentation. Foodscaping is so convenient that you do not even need to acquire a large land area. You can use your terrace space or roof area. Suppose you do not consider vegetables attractive enough to be incorporated into landscape designs. In that case, you can always opt for ornamental ones, like most flowers. There is an abundance of colored vegetables you can choose from, and it might even be fun to play with textures and colors! For instance, you can opt for multiple varieties of radishes that come in all sorts of colors: red, yellow, black, and white. Then you can avail of options like purple cauliflower, rainbow corn, and green, red, and yellow bell peppers. The list goes on.
❇️ ARE YOU READY FOR A GARDEN MAKEOVER?
It is quite alright if you struggle with choosing the vegetables compatible with your region or you cannot manage to integrate the features well for some reason. It takes some time to research and gets used to things, so do not worry. MPR Landscapes is one call away from making over your entire garden and planting your favorite vegetables. We ensure our professionally trained staff take care of your space and transform it into one you can be proud of. Rely on experts to do an impeccable job.