article comes to you from the January 2011 edition of “The Latest
Dirt” – the newsletter of the Cooperative Extension Service of the
University of Kentucky. It is authored by Rick Durham.
Edible Plants Into the Landscape
Horticulture Extension Specialist
nice landscape of a few trees and shrubs, some flowers and
well-tended turf has value. Our landscapes help
define our outdoor living space, provide shade and help screen
unwanted views. A well-maintained landscape
may add as much as 5 to 10 percent to the value of our property.
landscapes can provide another resource that we don’t often
consider – food. What if it were possible to introduce edible
plants to your landscape? Growing your own food has some obvious
benefits such as fresh
and flavorful fruits and vegetables. Many food-producing plants can
fill the roles that we usually assign to other plants in our
landscape. Trellised blackberries, for example, make a great hedge or
screen. Using thorny types can also provide some measure of security.
Many retain some of their leaves throughout the winter to provide
some screening. Trellising the blackberries will help define the
planting and promote more upright growth. The time needed to prune
and thin blackberries is comparable to many other hedge-type
plantings. Also, blackberries have relatively few problem insects or
flower beds, you can plant fancy-leafed lettuce in early spring.
Lettuce is finished by mid-May, just around the time you are adding
annual flowers. In summer, try a few rainbow chard plants, colored
peppers and purple or variegated basil. All are relatively pest free
and are a good contrast to flowering annuals and perennials.
consider containers. Cherry tomatoes grow well in hanging baskets
where vines are allowed to droop over the edge of the pot. Several
herbs are well suited to containers and provide savory flavoring for
your salads and meals.
information for the local Cooperative Extension Service is included
below. Be sure to reach out to them! They are a great resource and
we thank them for allowing us to share this article on our blog!
can also find them on facebook by searching for “Jefferson County
Cooperative Extension Service.”