Tips on adding edibles to your landscape

  • Article by: KIM PALMER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 11, 2010 - 4:38 PM

An edible landscape can be ambitious or as simple as tucking a few edible plants among the ornamentals in your existing beds or container gardens. Here are some suggestions:


Lettuce: Leaf lettuces come in many textures and colors, making them great substitutes for flowers, said University of Minnesota horticulturist Emily Tepe. She recommends red oak leaf lettuce and Mizuna mustard.

Sculptural veggies: Dinosaur kale, with its distinctive pebbly leaf texture, is an attractive addition to edible landscapes, suggested Julie Weisenhorn, state director of the University of Minnesota Extension's Master Gardener program.

Edible flowers: Consider signet marigolds, which have an attractive mounded form, as well as pansies and nasturtiums.

Perfect pair: Plant thyme with sweet alyssum, Tepe suggested. "It's a nice combination; both have tiny scale, and they grow into each other."

Think ahead: Edibles with large heads, such as broccoli and cauliflower, can be tricky because harvesting them leaves a big hole in the landscape. Consider planting them among an ornamental plant that spreads, such as trailing petunias, Tepe said.

Edible edging: Many edible plants make attractive borders, including strawberries, lavender and oregano.

 

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