Edible landscapes and other allotment experiments

I have been reading and re-reading all my reference books, trying to find cogent examples of how to get started on edible landscaping. Sadly, none of the books I have actually explain how to go from traditional to edible landscape growing. Alys Fowler has good hints and tips but doesn’t explain how to start with bare earth and lay out an edible garden.

And anyway, we’re not ‘just’ edible gardening, we’re keeping some perennial beds and the brassica cage, because I refuse to let the birds have access to my purple-sprouting broccoli (mainly because they don’t share, they eat the whole damn lot!) And the peas of course - can't live without acres of peas!

So … we’ve made a sort of a start. I’m beginning to fill in the odd shaped gaps between the raised beds. I’ve planted out the chilli plants that won’t be overwintered in the house this year and the overstock sweetcorn seedlings, some dwarf lavender grown from seed, sown small drifts of wildflower seeds and salads, planted sage, chives and lemon basil and relocated lupins and hollyhocks. I still have red cabbage, kale, leeks, marigolds and drumstick primulas to plant out and walking onions, currants and thornless blackberries to relocate to the ‘landscape’. The whole thing feels very weird – dotting things around in a totally haphazard fashion – but we’ll see how it goes!

We’ve also got our back door container sowings to keep an eye on. The parsnips and carrots are doing well and the first potatoes have come out and the planter has been re-sown with white carrots as a main crop. After the carrots come out, we sow oriental greens in the planter as an overwintering crop and then empty the totally spent compost into the compost bin and begin again the following year with new compost and more early potatoes: three crops from one container and one lot of soil!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Blogger Joanna said...

Do you mean an edible landscape like a permaculture garden?

May 18, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Paul and Melanie said...

I like the idea of edible landscapes, I struggle with the 'random' nature of it though. Think I'm just too used to planting in organised blocks and rows... Sad really lol ;)

May 18, 2011 at 11:04 PM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Joanna - not exactly. Plot 103 has several inherent problems (five tree stumps for a start!) as well as its protected wildlife component, so our productivity has to be worked in around the areas where nothing will grow and those where we can't disturbe a protected species. The strawberry bed, for example, is fitted in around a tree stump that will eventually rot down, but until it does, we have to work with what we have (photos to explain this in the next couple of weeks!)

May 20, 2011 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger The Allotment Blogger said...

Paul and Melanie - I know what you mean, but we're interested to find out of edible landscaping reduces the effects of predators, pests and diseases, amongst other things! If it does, I shall try to learn to love the randomness.

May 20, 2011 at 10:01 AM  

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