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Eating Up the Landscapemint

Interested in growing some of your own food but lack the time, energy or even the space for a dedicated vegetable garden? Consider interspersing vegetables, fruits and herbs with your plants in your landscape.

  • Having both vegetables and flowers in a sunny border or other location cuts down the amount of work. While a dedicated veggie garden keeps vegetables orderly, there’s lots of weeding that goes along with it. Filling gaps in a flower border with vegetables cuts down on the spaces where weeds can settle down.

  • There is no such thing as too little space for flowers and vegetables. Anyone with a sunny area can grow both. Many herbs have beautiful foliage that complements other annuals and perennials. A cucumber plant on a trellis offers a delicious surprise in the back of a planting.

  • Hungry critters such as rabbits and deer are less likely to find edibles in the midst of less tasty shrubs, annuals and perennials.

  • Planting vegetables on a home’s sunny south or west side is beneficial to the plants, as the reflected warmth will protect them from an early frost and give the plants a head start.

  • Inter-planting of flowers and veggies isn’t suitable for plants that require a large amount of growing space, such as squash, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. These plants are heavy feeders and need lots of room to spread.


Suggested Plantshot peppers

  • Vegetables that grow in a compact habit with colorful foliage, attractive structure or flowers, such as bush beans, chard, eggplant, kale, mesclun mix, okra, hot peppers, bush tomatoes.

  • Climbers such as cucumbers and indeterminate tomatoes that can sprawl over trellises, spreading yews, evergreens or shrubs (suggest shrubs that aren’t prickly and that don’t produce inedible fruit themselves).

  • Vertical-growing plants, such as onion sets and leeks.

  • Seeds for vegetables that are best planted directly in the garden, such as beets, peas, carrots, radishes. These come in a variety of colors for decorative and flavor value.

  • Herb plants, such as chive, dill, parsley, basil, fennel, lavender, sage and thyme.

  • Edible flowers that will attract beneficial insects and help repel the bad guys. These include marigolds, pansies, nasturtiums, daylilies, calendula, dianthus and violets.

  • Fruit trees of all kinds. 

  • Perennials such as grapes for an arbor, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus and rhubarb for gardeners with the available growing space.