This post has been hiding out in my drafts folder. It's about time I post it.
This year the edible landscape came together in a hurry. As some readers may know I was planning to move out of the state this summer. Well, those plans changed a bit and I discovered I would be in Minnesota for the entire summer at which moment I thought I must do another edible landscape demo garden. This was in early May, so I had to act quickly. There was no time to labor over designs and plant choices. I would not be starting flats and flats of seeds in the greenhouse. I would be designing by the seat of my pants with the plants I could find leftover from spring semester classes, herbs that survived the winter that could be transplanted, and so on. Oh, and I forgot to mention....considering the last-minute nature of this project there's also no budget. Perfect, I thought! This year will be a more real representation of what one can do with edibles in their home landscape on a budget, with little time and not a ton of space. Enter creativity...my favorite!
Armed with a few packs of seeds and a few flats of plants from the Hort. Department Floriculture Crop Production course (which also grows some edible plants) I began planting. Now that's not to say no forethought was put into this. I spent an hour or so one afternoon in the garden just walking, stopping, sitting, thinking, imagining what might go where. I stopped out at different times of the day to determine where the shade traveled from the ginkgo and Honeycrisp trees. I took a good hard look at what was already growing in certain areas, and thought what might look nice near those existing plants, what requirements they have and what edibles might share the same requirements for light, moisture, etc. All things one should ponder before sticking a trowel in the ground. By spending time with your garden before you plant, it will tell you where things should go. Well, that's a little bit of a stretch, but I think you know what I mean. The better you understand your yard, the space, the light it receives, the existing plants...the more you'll be inspired to choose plants that will work really well.
So here's a list of plants in the edible landscape this year. Throughout the season, this list will be amended as certain plants will be removed after reaching their prime and others take their place - usually direct-seeded greens, beans, radishes, and so on.
Bean 'Scarlet Runner'
Chinese pak choy
Eggplant ‘Calliope’, ‘Gretel’, 'Rosa Biaca', 'Hansel'
Kale 'Red Russian'
Lettuce ‘Freckled’, ‘Green Oak Leaf’’, ‘Lollo Rosa’, ‘Yugoslavian Red’, ‘Red Oak Leaf’
Mints: spearmint, pineapple, chocolate
Pepper ‘Ciliegia Piccante’, ‘Cuneo Giallo’, ‘Jumbo Sweet’, ‘Numex Sunrise’, ‘Sweet Chocolate’
Purple pak choy
Rainbow Chard ‘Neon Glow’
Signet Marigold ‘Lemon Gem’ and ‘Orange Gem’
Tomato ‘Cuora di Bue’, ‘Italian’, ‘Red Zebra’, ‘Stupice’, 'Red Currant'