Being able to make our own food at home is very beneficial since it allows us to eat healthy while reconnecting with nature while doing the cultivation. So if you have a free space in your garden, even if it is small, it is a very good idea to create an edible garden.
It is not even necessary to have a garden to grow your own vegetables, you can create a mini garden inside pots. Then it will only be a matter of looking for a place for those pots, which can be a patio, terrace, balcony, etc.
Browse the following menu to find information on edible gardens, we will add information little by little. If the information you are looking for is not found on our website, you can contact us and we will gladly answer your questions. 😉
1. Edible garden
Here we understand by edible garden the place where we will grow any plant that we can use in the kitchen. Therefore in this space you will be able to cultivate; vegetables, fruit trees, aromatic plants or any plant that has a culinary use.
There are many types of edible gardens, both in their design and in the type of plants to grow. Depending on your needs and tastes in the kitchen, some may be more suitable for you than others. For now, here I will briefly talk about four types of edible gardens.
1.1 Edible flower garden
At least in the West we are not a society that is very used to eating flowers, but you would be surprised to know how rich some of them are. The garden is a great place to grow edible flowers, so they can do double duty as decoration and useful in the kitchen. Do you dare to have your own edible flower garden?
You are probably wondering what flavors can be found when eating flowers. The truth is that personally I have not tried many, but I have been well informed on this subject. There are flowers that taste somewhat bitter, others sweet, spicy, citrus and more. As there are edible flowers for all tastes. 😉
Now, with this that you just read, it is not about going out to the garden to pick flowers and take them to your kitchen. Not all flowers are edible, this is something that must be done carefully because many are even poisonous. You should limit yourself to eating those flowers that are already classified as edible. Here I will list 10 of the most popular committed flowers for a garden.
1.1.1 Best edible flowers
- Poppies: the petals of this flower are used to flavor wines and oils. While the seeds are sought to flavor breads and fruit salads.
- Begonias: the flowers of this plant have a somewhat bitter and citrus taste. They are used in fruit salads or as a garnish in certain foods.
- Calendula: its flowers have a very particular flavor, somewhat spicy and with a certain resemblance to saffron. Among the uses that are given are to flavor soups or desserts, they are also usually prepared in salads.
- Chrysanthemum: The beautiful flowers of chrysanthemums have a bitter taste, with a very common use in both salads and sauces.
- Jasmine: Although small, jasmine flowers have a strong sweet taste and a very good aroma. They are usually used to accompany poultry or fish, as well as to prepare infusions.
- Geranium: Geranium flowers are used in confectionery, beverage preparation or in certain salads. The flavor they present is somewhat citrus.
- Hibiscus: due to its sweet taste, there are many uses that can be given to them. Among the most common in pastries, accompanying some poultry dishes or simply in salads.
Other very popular flowers that are also edible are; daisies, roses, violets, yucca, mallow, lavender, sunflower, nasturtiums, chives. He left you the task of finding out what each of them tastes like.
1.2 Edible forest garden
An edible forest garden is understood to be an organic system in which a group of plant species are cultivated that benefit each other, something similar to what occurs naturally in forests. Some examples are growing herbs that like shade under lush fruit trees, and at the same time taking advantage of that tree so that a passion fruit can climb it.
What is sought is a total harmony between each plant within the forest garden. Here the idea of making rows of monocultures is eliminated, a more natural order is given to the garden. It is not a garden that a novice can make, it requires great experience in growing plants, and great care must be taken in its design.
Forest gardens are a great place to grow exotic plants. It is a good idea to plant some of the edible flowers that we list in the previous section, red fruits like strawberries, wild garlic which is a very good ground cover. It’s a matter of taking the time to find plants that can work together.
1.3 Edible balcony garden
In general, these types of edible gardens are grown in apartments, where the best space we have is our balcony. With a little ingenuity you can take advantage of this space in such a way that it will allow you to bring many species of plants to your kitchen.
As a first point, you should think about taking advantage of not only the horizontal surface of your balcony, but also the height. Install some shelves where you can place pots on different levels, so that your small balcony can accommodate many more plants.
If you like fruits, you should look for dwarf species that can be adapted to grow in pots. So you can have an apple, a lemon, a cherry tree in your balcony garden and harvest some fruits. 🙂
Try to have variety. Place aromatics, tomatoes, peppers, fruit trees and everything that you can place in an orderly way on your balcony. Do not limit yourself, use your imagination and you will have many ingredients for your kitchen. 😉
1.4 Edible garden landscaping
Edible garden landscapes are a design where your edible plants look pretty and attractive. It is taking a step above the traditional orchards, where we only plant rows of crops without any order. It could be said that it is the perfect combination between a garden and a ochard.
This is another type of edible garden that is not recommended for beginners, as you not only need to know how to grow plants, but you also need to be able to coordinate the plants in such a way that they look good. Anyway, there is a lot of information on the Internet, as well as photos of edible garden landscapes that can serve as inspiration. Then you will have time to give it your personal touch.
2. Edible garden planting and design
Making an edible garden, of whatever type, requires at least three steps that we will analyze in this section. While following these instructions is a very good start, I recommend that you also consult a family member, neighbor, or friend with experience in the field. They sure know how to give you some more specific advice that we may not consider here in this post.
Step 1: Analysis of site conditions
In this first point it is necessary that you analyze the place where you will have the edible garden. It measures what its dimensions will be, what orientation it has and how many hours of sun it receives per day. If you have more than one possible spot, stick with the one that gets the most hours of sunshine, an edible garden in low light is hard to thrive.
Another very important point to take into account is the source of water that you will use for irrigation. If you have a natural source of water nearby it would be ideal. Not only will you apply water to your plants without chemicals, but you will also save money. A good idea is to install a rainwater collection tank. Always look for the place with the best water and the one that is most comfortable for you to water.
Step 2: Necessary elements
You can’t just wake up one day at home and start an edible garden, before that there are several must-have items.
As a first point and something that seems almost obvious we need to have soil. If you are going to do it in your garden, it will already provide the soil. But in the case of a balcony garden, you need to fill several pots with soil. Look for one suitable for growing with a good amount of organic matter.
In case of planting in the ground, analyze how good it is. For example, if it is very sandy, it is advisable to replace the upper part of the soil with a better quality one. You can also mix it, look for the first 30 cm of soil to be fertile so that your plants grow better. The poorer the soil, the greater the need for fertilizer you will need.
After soil, the second item you need is water. As we mentioned earlier if it is from a better natural source. But hey, if you only have drinking water, it will work for your plants too. Depending on the type of garden you are going to do and its dimensions, it can be good to create an irrigation system such as drip, this will make the task much easier.
Another very important point before planting in your edible garden is to have a minimum set of tools for growing. You don’t need a lot of tools, it will be enough; hoes, shovel, rake, wheelbarrow, pitchfork, pruning shears. These are the minimum necessary, then over time you will be able to equip yourself with more and better tools.
Once you have the land, a water source, and tools, you can get plants and / or seeds to plant. As we will see in the next point (planning and design) it will be very important to know how to select the right plants for each moment and place. In case of starting with seeds it is always good to make them germinate in a seedbed, this will optimize the crop.
Step 3: Design and planning
A successful edible garden requires planning and organization. Regarding this point, it will be very helpful to have a registration system such as a cultivation notebook or something like that, where we will write down the dates of sowing, fertilization, harvest, etc.
Other very necessary elements for a good planning and design of the garden is to have a planting calendar of the area where you live. So that you can know what are the optimal sowing dates for each type of crop, it is always good to contrast this with a lunar calendar, which according to many expert gardeners is key to better results of each crop.
Now, with our grow book and calendars, we can start planning what we will plant each season. The types of crops to select will depend on our tastes and needs (obviously you will not grow a vegetable that you do not like), the climatic characteristics of your area and the space available. If your garden is small, you may not be able to grow everything you need.
Once you have chosen which plants you will have in this edible garden, it will be a matter of organizing where to plant each one. For this it is a good idea to group them according to your needs and compatibility. This will make maintenance easier and provide a better growing environment for your plants.
As a last point, try rotating the different crops in your garden. Some plants consume more nutrients than others in your soil, and if you always place that plant in the same place, you will need to contribute 100% of that consumption through fertilizers. For example, the potato is a crop that consumes a lot of nitrogen, a good idea is to rotate it with alfalfa, which has the characteristic of fixing nitrogen to the soil.
3. Edible parts of plants list
The ultimate goal we have when having an edible garden is to bring these plants into our kitchen. Now, what parts of the plant do we usually eat? This is an important question to ask yourself when selecting crop types. You like to eat seeds, or you prefer fruits, maybe you like to eat flowers, or roots are your thing.
This is why I consider it important to leave you a list of edible plants organized from which are the parts that we eat of each of them:
We already made a good list of edible flowers a few paragraphs above, anyway, here I have selected some flowers that are the most common growing and consuming. I have no doubt that you know the taste of most of them.
If we were to list all the fruits that can be grown in a garden, the list would be too large for one post. I have personally selected 10 highly consumed fruits that you will surely like to grow in your edible garden.
I believe that there can be no edible garden if you don’t grow some edible leafy vegetables. Some of the most popular and tasty (this is totally subjective) are as follows:
Plants with edible roots are somewhat less common than those with edible leaves. In any case, we can list several of them, of which you will surely want to grow one in your garden.
It is very common to confuse tubers with roots, but although they are similar, they are not the same. Here I list the most common edible tubers for cultivation:
- Sweet potato.
There are many plants that provide us with edible seeds, let’s see some of the most popular in their consumption:
Finally we will list some of the plants with edible stems. Many of these plants are also edible leaves, that is, we can make very good use of it in our kitchen.
So far we come with this section where we treat edible gardens. If you want more information, you just have to browse our menu and visit the articles related to this topic. 😉