Using edibles for ground cover can kill two birds with one stone:
you can have a nice looking bed filler with a delicious bonus! I have grown strawberries in raised beds in my garden and in my landscape beds. While the landscape beds require a little bit more attention to detail so that they make a good impression, I have found them to be more productive simply because they are in my daily view.
5 Things to consider before planting edibles as groundcover.
- Do you get full sun? Usually any fruiting plants that produce juicy fruits require at least 6 hours of sunlight. Less sun can result in more foliage and less flowers (and coincidentally, less fruit). Plants may be undersized as well.
- Does you soil need some amendment? Edibles will draw more nutrition from the soil so a good application of compost or organic fertilizer will work wonders.
- Is it somewhere you can reach with a hose if you don’t have irrigation? Fruiting plants require more water when they producing. The fruit production draws a lot of energy from the plants. Consistent watering will produce larger fruit as well.
- Do you have resident pests (like deer, rabbits and sometimes squirrels)? Planting closer to the house reduces the likelihood for pest damage, but doesn’t eliminate it. If you have a particularly friendly herd of deer, they will mow them down, no matter how close to your dining room they get. Dogs and repellent sprays can help keep the pests at bay.
- Do you LIKE strawberries or oregano or thyme? I try to plant only those things that I actually like to eat. I have found that I am really good at growing things I don’t particularly care for and then I have a surplus that I have to offload. Grow what you like to eat and you will pay more attention to it.
Some good edibles for groundcover:
- Cranberries (for wet areas)
- Nasturtium (annual)
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