Edible landscape design:

wbonesteel(7)May 13, 2013

A pic of our 'formally informal English garden.'

It's only half finished, but...last summer we ate fresh veggies all summer and filled two freezers...

It's taken two years to reach this point, and it's all been accomplished on a *very* tight budget. All of the work has been done with hand tools.

To finish it up, we need some more mulch, build the boxes around the raised beds and then buy a few more permanent plants, such as Paw-paws, persimmons, blackberies, raspberries, elderberries, blueberries, goji berries, and what have you. All part of the original plan and planting diagram.

In short, if you're living in town or a city suburb, you can have fresh fruits and veggies and make it look good, too. ...and it doesn't take a lot of money to make it look good.

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I remember seeing some early stage pictures.Very nice work so far. Brady

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 1:03AM
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Thank you, Brady.

The original schedule is shot to hell. We're about six months behind where I wanted to be on this project, but the plan is still intact. We budgeted approx three grand for thos project, spread over three years. Curently, we have $2,100 incested, mostly in compost and amendments, plus a few plants and cheap edging. This garden has already repaid the investment.

Trees: Red Delicious and Granny Smith apple, Elberta peach, Montmorency and Bing cherries and a Tam-o-Pan persimmon. All are pruned into a semi-vase shape. All of the tree beds either are, or will be, double planted, when it's all finished.

Flowers: tall bearded iris, ornamental onions, glads, blazing star, hollyhocks. Plus, an experiment with alyssum seeds as a border plant. A couple of roses with numerous lavender plants and lavender seeds have been planted in the bed in front of the house. The lavender seeds are now sprouting.

Veggies: Currently, several varieties of potatos, two each of lettuce, onions, asparagus, carrots and garlic, plus snow peas, tomatoes and some bush beans. Collard greens, mustard greens and sweet potatoes have been planted.

Fruits: four hills of watermelon have sprouted. Plus, approx. forty strawberries.

Herbs: Rosemary and thyme are now growing and healthy. Sage, oregano, chives and cliantro have been planted.

The entire front garden measures 63 feet by 33 feet.

In time, we hope to replace the sod with edible groundcovers.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 10:18AM
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Very impressive. You are prepping and might not even know it. The first thing that comes to mind is canning all of that great produce as you are packing the freezer. The next is a dehydrator for awesome snacks stews.

It looks awesome btw. I love the area in squares. I think the biggest things in a small area are keeping the soil good and nutrient rich without over fertilizing. The only way I have found that to be effictive is with low level fertilizers, things like coffee grounds "free at starbucks" and high Nitrogen quick boost fertilizers when needed in really small quantities.

This post was edited by oceandweller on Sun, May 19, 13 at 18:58

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 6:54PM
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Thanks for the compliment. I do appreciate it.

No reason not to combine prepping with landscape design. ;) Everyone who drives or walks by sees this garden. We had to make it look nice as a simple matter of self respect, if nuthin' else.

While I'm not afraid to nuke bugs and weeds from orbit, if needs be, or buy fertilizers for a little extra boost, now and then, we do try to be organic. Generally speaking, it's cheaper that way. We only nuke the bugs when we can't stay ahead of them any other way. Last year's cutworms and squash bugs being good examples.

We use all purpose miracle grow on everything about three or four times per year. Plus, now and then, we'll rake some cotton burr or composted manure into the beds as a top dressing. Our compost heaps get plenty of coffee and tea grounds, too. We drink a lot of that stuff around here. Now and then, the coffee grounds are thrown into one bed or another as a top dressing, as well.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:53PM
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Oh, yeah. Almost forgot.

As a part of the design: When this garden is complete and the permanent plants begin to mature, it'll be almost chaotic. Your eyes and mind would be confused by the mixture of colors and textures, so you need a little structure in the design to offset that apparent confusion, and give your eyes and brain something to use as an anchor in the midst of all of that seeming chaos. All of those straight lines and geometric forms will serve as that anchor.

Once the garden is fully planted and mature, the only straight lines that will be in view are the paths and the boxes around the raised beds. The rest of the now obvious straight lines will be more or less hidden by bushes and the border plants under the bushes.

Vacuum sealers and dehydrators -and more canning jars- are on the shopping list.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 4:08PM
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