Timing is everything. Especially when growing food. Knowing what to plant, when, is crucial for success.
There are two growing seasons for fruits and vegetables: cool and warm.
Cool season crops are those from which we harvest the:
These are planted when the weather is still cool or soon-to-be cool: spring and fall. Spring and fall will vary a lot depending on where you live.
Warm weather crops are those from which we harvest the fruits, and these are planted after danger of frost has passed. In Phoenix, this means February. In Boise, it's not till May. It pays to know the last average frost date in your area.
Herbs are an exception: we harvest the leaves of warm season herbs, such as basil, burnet, and chives.
Edibles thrive in these garden conditions:
Fertilizer and mulch are also welcome in the edible garden: composted chicken manure or other natural fertilizer are best for the former; any compost for the latter – to maintain even soil temperature and moisture.
Click on thumbnails for examples of edible gardens and some great tips
Edibles integrate beautifully into ornamental beds, and vice versa.
Edibles integrate beautifully into ornamental beds, and vice versa .
Raising edible beds increases their accessibility, especially for those with special needs. For easy harvesting, make beds no deeper than 2 feet, or, an arms length.
Edibles can thrive nearly anywhere, if basic conditions are met.
Some edibles, such as fruit trees, conform easily to espalier (training into a flat 2D shape, upon a trellis or wall), for space economy or pure good looks.
Any vining or trailing edible (tomatoes, peas, squash...) benefits from staking, or upright training, which increases air circulation and pollinator accessibility, and eases harvesting.
Edibles are great components of children's imaginations.
Edible gardens can be very attractive.
Edibles make beautiful landscape plants. Nothing is lovelier than an apple orchard in bloom; no smell more enticing than ripe peaches. (Note: Be conscious of proximity to walkways: falling fruit can be messy, even dangerous!).
Fertilizer and mulch are also welcome in the edible garden. Composted chicken manure or other natural fertilizers are best for the former; any compost for the latter – to maintain even soil temperature and moisture.
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