Gardens - Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

12 ideas for your edible garden

By
Amanda Etty

Creative ways to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs whether you have a big garden or a balcony with pots


1. Use raised beds
A raised bed is the way to go if your soil isn’t up to par. Construct the bed frame using materials like untreated wood, bricks or stone. Be sure it’s at least 40 centimetres deep to allow plant roots to grow. Fill the bed with topsoil or triple mix; compost or composted manure may be added for heavy feeders.

2. Keep herbs handy for easy clipping
Summertime meals are made for just-picked flavours from the garden, so keep savoury herbs in pots near your back door for quick snipping when you’re cooking up a storm.

3. Make it pretty
Play with colour—juicy red, deep aubergine and crisp citrine—and texture to create attractive displays that are as easy on your eyes as they are on your taste buds. Lettuce, with its striking foliage, makes for a lovely edible border in early spring. Once the lettuce is harvested, plant small, colourful hot peppers (like habanero or jalapeño).

4. Mulch it up
Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil, adds organic matter and discourages weeds; as well, it makes an attractive back­ground. Straw is a traditional organic mulch, but be sure to avoid hay, which contains weed seeds.

5. Incorporate edibles into your living space
Use a combination of built-in raised beds and containers to bring an edible oasis onto your deck. No space? No problem—this design works as well for a small condo balcony as it does for a big backyard patio.

6. Separate invasive plants
Be careful of aggressive spreaders, such as strawberries and mint, which can take over your garden. Plant them in individual containers, where you can reap the tasty benefits and keep plants controlled at the same time.

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