Edible Landscape Design
Requires a Different Approach

While you might think that edible landscape design would be the the same as any other -- just landscaping with edible plants -- there are some things you might just want to know while drawing up the layout of your garden ...

Edible landscape design considerations

Plant placement

Edible plants that require more care -- or that you harvest frequently -- should be put closer to the house, while those that don't require much care -- or that you harvest only once a year -- can be planted further away.

This will save a lot of time!

Also, think about where the fruit or flowers might drop, and whether they might stain concrete, brick, etc.

Avoid putting fruit trees where birds might cause problems with their droppings (such as right over your patio dining area or your outdoor kitchen).


Gertrude Jekyll's walled garden at Barrington Court Manor, England (UK)

When does each plant look its best?

If you intersperse ornamental edibles that bloom in the spring and summer with plants that have showy fall foliage and interesting greenery in winter, this will make your edible landscape design look good all year long.

Don't forget the fruit! Some edible plants have gorgeous fruit colors.


Depending on your climate and the plants you use, edible plantings may require more water than traditional landscaping, at least until they're established.

Think about the placement of your spigots. Do you have hoses (and water pressure) to reach your plants, or if not, are you willing to water by hand?

You might consider installing sprinklers if needed, or (better yet) a drip irrigation system, which is particularly useful in areas with frequent drought.


Ron Finley's front yard garden, South Los Angeles, CA (US)

How are you going to get to your plants? You'll need to weed, water, and harvest. Planning access to each plant will help a lot later on.

This might include using raised beds, steps, walkways, or paving tiles, depending on your situation.

Also, before starting an edible garden,
consider ...


When will you need to harvest your crops?

If you plant a lot of a particular fruit or vegetable that requires harvesting all at once, you'll either

  • need to be home with the time to harvest, eat, and preserve it, or else
  • it will go to waste.

Consider what you will do with the food you grow. If your family doesn't eat a particular food, either consider another plant or think about donating the excess to your local food bank or shelter.

Make sure there is someplace that accepts fresh food (if this is your solution) before you plant.

If you really like the look of a plant but don't know how to prepare it, take a look at other readers' best recipes from their gardens.

I want to tell you the step by step process I went through in order to create my own edible landscaping.

I've put it into a workbook for you called "How to make your own garden landscape design plans", so you can print it out, put it in a binder, and get to work right now!

Click here to learn more.

Or if you'd like more detailed instruction, a group setting, and a more personalized experience, consider my Tasteful Yard Design course.

Just want to add food plants to your existing yard design? I have the perfect thing for you. A 14-day course to get you started in less than an hour a day.

Click here to learn more.

An article you may enjoy (link opens a new window):

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