Garden / June 17, 2018 / .
Virtually any fruit, vegetable or herb can be grown in a container, if the container is large enough. As with ornamental container gardening, this is a great way to control the soil, sun and growing conditions of your edible plants. It is also a great way to squeeze edible gardening into the smallest spaces, by siting them on your patio, front steps or driveway.
Companion planting is often touted for the benefit of cutting down on pest infestations, but it also serves well to conserve space. Shade tolerant plants will benefit from being planted next to taller crops. Basil likes a respite from hot sun and does well next to tomatoes. Lettuce will keep producing all summer if shaded by almost any taller plant. Early harvested vegetables, like spinach, radishes and peas, can be planted with slower growing crops like broccoli or peppers, which will not take over the space until the spring harvested vegetables are gone.
The art of edible permascaping involves planting food bearing perennials in areas where ornamentals would traditionally take up space. In fact, many popular ornamentals are edible, so turning your landscape into a food-bearing paradise is easier than it might sounds. When looking at your entire property as possible ground on which to grow food, your potential to increase your yield goes up accordingly. Lawns, for instance, can easily be transformed into garden plots, flowering perenial gardens can often accomodate plants that are both beautiful and edible, even forested areas on your property can produce food and in some cases might already have something wild worth harvesting.
After deciding to grow your own vegetables, choosing the right plants for your space may be the most important decision you will make. Many plants will require a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun per day and others will prefer partial shade during the hottest days of the summer. Assess your space, choose wisely and good luck.