Growing an Edible Landscape

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04/03/2024 13:58:26
Convert your unproductive lawn and landscape areas into fruitful edible gardens with this practical guide overflowing with ideas, plans, designs, and know-how. Out with the lawn and in with the food! That’s the battle cry of millions of modern gardeners who are not only looking to reduce the amount of time and energy they have to spend tending a lawn, but they’re also looking to improve the lives of their family, friends, and neighbors by supplying them with fresh, homegrown food. In the United States alone, 46 million acres of land are covered in turfgrass (that’s more acreage than corn and soybeans combined!). Imagine all the good that would come if that land were dedicated to growing food instead! Converting unused areas of the landscape into food gardens helps mitigate the effects of climate change, reduces food miles, improves food security, and allows us to be a better steward of our little slice of the planet. But how do you get started? Which plants do you choose? Is there a series of best practices to follow to successfully convert your yard into an edible oasis so that it’s not just high-yielding, but it’s also attractive? Growing an Edible Landscape is here to help answer all of these questions and many more. Setting up an edible landscape is much more than just placing a few tomato-filled raised beds in the middle of the lawn, though for some gardeners, this might be a logical place to start. The eventual goal, however, is to have a landscape filled with layers of fruitful plants combined together to produce edible harvests for as many months of the year as possible. To reach that end, there’s much to plan and do to ensure your success. Authors Gary Pilarchik of @therustedgarden and Dr. Chiara D’Amore have devised the perfect guidebook to take you from “turfgrass overwhelm” to consistent harvests of a huge diversity of homegrown edible plants. And the best part is—you can create an edible paradise whether your yard is large or small, sunny or shaded, urban or rural, or level or sloped. A few highlights of the systems and techniques outlined in these pages include: The phases of the transformation process and how they are different for everyone Real-world, sensible garden design options for edible yards Step-by-step projects to get growing today How to choose the edible plants that are best for your conditions Practical plant-care tips for everything from seed starting to fertilizing and watering Pick-and-choose menus to help you combine productive plants in an attractive way Ways in which your edible landscape can cultivate community