Posted on 07 April 2013 by

Foodscaping: What the Heck Is It?

Photo Credit: Foodscaping by Scott Costello used under CC BY 2.0

Photo Credit: Foodscaping by Scott Costello used under CC BY 2.0

By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Foodscaping is a new term that is used to describe an old technique.

This technique consisted of planting when and where you could to support your family.

During the Depression, this could mean in the back of a truck bed or in a car that doubled as a home.

In recent times, the term “Foodscaping” has been used to describe planting non-traditional plants in a landscape or front yard. While this may seem like a good use of wasted land, in many cities this technique is against community policy.

But what is a gardener to do if they want to “Foodscape” their front lawn. Well, below are a few subtle situations that will allow you to “farm” your front yard without violating city code.

• Container Farming is a colorful and functional way of “Foodscaping” your front yard. Utilizing this technique only requires one to plant a container garden with edible plants. Good combinations include nasturtiums and lettuce, tomatoes and basil, lettuce and organic pansies, and herbs with any type of annual flowers. To create a finished looked, use similar styled pots and plant one common plant in each container.

• Landscape Farming is a technique by which you plant right into your landscape. This practice can be a little more challenging but can still be done in a stylish way. The first thing to note is you do not want to use any type of trellis material that looks like it came out of the vegetable garden or in other words no tomato cages. Next, the goal is to mingle in the vegetable plants in a subtle way. A determinate tomato plant scattered here and there throughout the landscape will look wonderful. The colored balls will add an unexpected splash of color and texture to the landscape. The best part of using determinate tomatoes is not only the fact that they do not need to be trellised but that they fruit once and then they are done.

In doing so, once they fruit they can be removed. Another method to try is to mingle lettuce with annuals in the landscaping. Utilizing this technique can not only add that splash of vibrant color to a dark background but it can also enhance the bright colors of the annuals.

• Vertical Farming is one more practice that one can try when it comes to adding vegetable plants to ones landscape. Many beautiful hanging gardens have been created using all edible plants beyond herbs. This includes baskets planted with organic pansies, marigolds, nasturtiums, scented geraniums, vining spinach, peas, green beans and assorted greens. The trick to using this technique is not to plant it as an edible garden but instead as a floral masterpiece.
While “Foodscaping” can be frown down upon in many cities, there are stylish and functional ways of literally having your rose garden and salad too. Until we blog again, may the season greet you with a bounty regardless of what your “garden” may be.

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