Grow your own edible garden

June 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you want to save money, why not try growing your own edible garden? It's a growing trend. Leigh Glaser visited Sloat Garden Center to learn how to turn a backyard garden into a bountiful harvest.

Sloat Garden Center's recommendations:

Edible landscaping
Substituting food-bearing trees, shrubs, vines and herbs for other non-edible ornamental plants in our garden, we add to the sustainable nature of our home gardens and landscapes. Many edible plants are beautiful as well as useful. Interplanted vegetables are usually less bothered by insect pests than when they are planted in neat monocrop rows. Combining edibles with traditional shrubs creates a more ecologically sound environment. Instead of a Ligustrum (privet), plant a lemon. Rather than Boxwood, try Rosemary. Plant a Feijoa (Pineapple Guava) instead of Callistemon (Bottlebrush)!

Herbaceous border edibles
These edibles combine well with flowering perennials and annuals: Artichoke, Eggplant, Lettuce, Tarragon, Chard, Peppers, Basil, Violas , Borage, Bush Beans, Jerusalem Artichoke, Chives, Nasturtium, Amaranth , Rhubarb, Oregano, Endive and Chicory, Kale, Fava Beans, Lemon Verbena, Parsley, Okra, Catnip , Sage, Cabbage.

Shrub border edibles
These plants can also be used for foundation planting: Blueberries, Viburnum opulus (Highbush Cranberry), Arbutus unedo, Pomegranate, Ugni molinae (Chilean Guava), Vaccinum (Huckleberries), Dwarf Citrus, Pernettya mucronata (Chilean Wintergreen), Caper, Feijoa (Pineapple Guava), Ribes spp. (Currents and Gooseberries), Mahonia (Oregon Grape), Sambucus nigra (Elderberry), Chaenomeles (Flowering quince-fruit makes great jelly), Rosemary, Laurus nobilis (Bay), Aronia (Chokecherry), Natal Plum, Cornus mas (Cornelian Cherry) Salal.

Trees and screens
Apple, Loquat, Carob, Cherry, Standard Citrus, Crabapple, Plum, Almond, Paw Paw, Pear, Walnut, Black Mulberry, Fig, Olive, Asian Pear, Persimmon, Peach and Nectarine, Apricot.

Vines
Actinidia (Kiwi), Cucumbers (Annual), Pole Beans (annual), Small Melons or Pumpkins, Grapes, Bitter Melon (Annual), Runner Beans, Hops, Passiflora (Passion Vine), Peas (annual). Brambleberries, Raspberries, Blackberries can be trained along a fence

Drought tolerant plants featured on the show:

Trees

  • Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis)
  • Fruitless Olive (Olea europa)

Shrubs

  • Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria)
  • Grevillea spp.
  • Pineapple Guava (Feijoa sellowiana)
  • Honey Bush (Melianthus major)
  • Plumbago auriculata
  • Pittosporum spp.
  • Salvia Allen Chickering

Perennials

  • Assorted succulents: Agave, Aloe, Aeonium, Sedum
  • Festuca
  • Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia)
  • Mexican Primrose (Oenothera)
  • Dragon Tree (Cordyline)

Vines

  • Bougainvillea
  • Wisteria

Groundcovers

  • Myoporum parvifolium

Sloat Garden Center
700 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Kentfield, CA
415-454-0262

For more information, visit: www.sloatgardens.com


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