Create a yard-to-table edible landscape

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, January 5, 2023

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For those lacking acreage, an edible landscape can be scaled down, said Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Alyssa Ford Morel. Her own residential foodscape includes Padrón peppers, fennel, Jerusalem artichoke and an edible passionflower vine that doubles as a privacy screen.

For smaller spaces like patios, she recommends edibles suitable for containers — arugula, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, kale, leeks and sweet potato.

Growing an edible landscape can be done affordably.

“I encourage you to start small,” Morel advised beginners. “Pick a few plants to try. Don’t try to convert your entire yard.”

Morel considers the design aesthetic, thoughtfully employing elements of color, texture, line, placement and form, by interplanting, trellising and layering edible species.

And those with plenty of acreage may learn from horticulturalist Michael McConkey’s Edible Landscaping.

Working 25 acres of orchard and greenhouses in Nelson County, McConkey grows over 180 exotic and native cultivars that are sold and shipped locally, throughout Virginia and nationwide.