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kabobs on the grill

Edible Landscaping: A Griller's Dream Yard

Published Date: Mar 2, 2016

Homeowners are constantly inundated with backyard ideas. Of course, the best ones are those that cater to the individual's interests. A space equipped with hardscape design options like outdoor kitchens with natural stone grills may strike a barbecue connoisseur's fancy, but that's not the only way grilling enthusiasts can create a food-friendly outdoor area. If done correctly, edible landscaping delivers the perfect combination of an eco-friendly home and beautiful outdoor space.  Here's how homeowners can capitalize on nutritive nature:

Vegetable garden The most obvious option for grill fanatics who want to spice up their backyard design is to plant a vegetable garden. This form of edibles is quite common, giving many folks across the U.S. access to fresh and savory delights, but there are plenty of ways homeowners can take a unique spin on this traditional concept. For instance, gardeners may opt for potted plants over a bed of veggies. However, it's important to start with a firm understanding of vegetable garden basics to ensure a fruitful yield.

Better Homes and Gardens advised that most vegetables need access to a full day's worth of sun, so homeowners should pick a space that isn't obstructed by shady trees or a hovering house. Additionally, veggies don't mix well with drought tolerant landscapes, so individuals living in dry geographic areas must find alternative hydration options rather than relying on rain and occasional watering. Finally, BHG noted that the best soil for a vegetable garden is moist but well-drained, making compost and peat moss excellent earthy options.

Front yard herbs Homeowners should not limit their outdoor design options to just the backyard. The front of the home holds a lot of potential for edible landscaping ideas, especially when it comes to ornamental herbs. Many of these plants host an abundance of vibrant colors, making them a welcoming sight to visitors while giving homeowners a zesty cooking ingredient.

Take oregano, for example. A dash of this culinary herb adds the perfect flavor to any pasta sauce or vegetable medley. Meanwhile, the flower's romantic purple-pink hue complements just about any landscape design, from lush green artificial grass to a cool stone walkway design. Homeowners may consider adding other visual and palatable delights like yellow and white flowered chamomile, violet sage and white garlic chives.

"Grape vines wrapped around outdoor pergolas add aesthetic beauty."

Grow up - not out While creating a vast horizon of edible landscaping is one option, homeowners shouldn't limit themselves to a single plane. Growing plants vertically opens a new wealth of possibilities for backyard design. For example, grape vines wrapped around the rafters of outdoor pergolas add aesthetic beauty, deliver a sweet and nutritious addition to a summer fruit salad and provide shade for loungers seeking shelter.

Creating a blanket of grapes may sound ambitious, but with the right know-how, homeowners can successfully decorate their space with this form of edible landscaping. It's important to start with the structure and then plant the grapes. Homeowners must then train the vines to grow over the pergola, which involves tying the sturdiest shoot to the structure's post each season for the first three years. Meanwhile, the plant requires pruning, watering and sun exposure.

With the appropriate tools and knowledge, homeowners can capitalize on all the benefits of edible landscaping. A vegetable garden can easily turn into a bed of vibrant colors, and a pergola can house a shady blanket of grape vines. It just takes a little imagination and dedication to get started.

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