Culinary Gardens Austin
It’s Easier Than You Think
What do all of these beautiful dishes (above) have in common? Everything fresh came from my garden. Culinary gardens can either be in a raised bed or among the perennial plants, but in either case the key to success is the proper plant selection and lots of compost. You can get a lot of great food with minimal efforts if you know what to grow and when.
What do both of these gardens have in common? Above, on the left is onions, peppers, grapes, peaches, and mint. Below from left to right, Pineapple guava, Kiefer fruiting pear, Wonderful pomegranate tree and Methley plum, in addition to edible and medicinal perennial plants and ground covers. Looking at this landscape you would never know there’s food here. The goal is to incorporate edible plantings with your perennial garden for seasonal interest.
Plant With Purpose
If the main goal is to plant annual or seasonal foods, you might choose plants like okra, tomatoes, peppers and assorted herbs and seasonal fruit. Plants like blackberries take up a decent amount of room with only a springtime fruit set. If this is a favorite of yours by all means take up the room for it, but if space is limited, do your homework on mature size and fruit timing so you can plan for food all year and make the most space for the produce and herbs you will use the most.
Edible and culinary landscapes are becoming more and more popular for good reason. Not only are prices more concerning than ever but it’s also nice to know where the food comes from, that it’s organic and what it’s grown in. Simple ingredients below like basil, tomatoes peppers and onions can be pricey when buying organic but they’re a fraction of the price to grow.
A big part of the edible landscape is encouraging pollinators to spread the love throughout the space. The combination of food and flowers is not only beautiful, but beneficial.
Don’t Skimp on The Soil
raised bed soil is pricey for a reason. It’s quality, organic and nutrient rich. Plants can’t pull nutrients they need from soil that hasn’t been amended because they can’t walk around the yard gathering what they need. They have to rely on you for organic fertilizer, compost and soil depth for healthy plants and roots.
Here are just some of the many foods, herb and medicinal plants that do beautifully in the Central Texas landscape.
Think Outside the Box
Change the idea of what you consider to be an edible or culinary garden. While you can certainly use raised bed to grow food, you can also grow a whole lot of evergreen and annual food in the existing landscape to provide shade, sustenance and texture that just happens to also be delicious.
This raised bed (above ) is not your typical food bed. Inside this space there is a plum tree, tomatoes, peppers, herbs of all kinds, raspberries, cantaloupe, roses and flowers for pollinators.
Start small and add on with success. Use only organic soil and fertilizer in and around food beds. If you choose to use a raised bed planter, be sure it is food grade and not treated wood. Make sure the adjacent beds and lawn are also treated with organic protocols and mulch them well for water absorption. Be careful with the timing for best results and here is a chart that will help with when is the best time for planting.
Contact Me for Help!
If you’d like help with an edible Landscape Design or educational Consultation, contact me at Lisalapaso@gmail.com
Lisa’s Landscape and Design
“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”