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How to use Vegetables in an Ornamental Garden

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Can you plant vegetables in your flower beds?  Sure, why not? Once you get the idea of vegetables being planted in rows and think about their interesting foliage or the color of their fruit or flowers, you will quickly see the benefit of planting this way. This is often called "edible landscaping" and is becoming more and more common as fresh produce prices rise, along with concern about chemical treated and genetically modified produce.

  Some vegetable like, carrots, kale or red leaf lettuce can be useful for their color, texture, or form of their foliage. Or think about the vegetables that their fruit or fruit will add splashes of color, like eggplant, globe artichokes, peppers or tomatoes.

  Where you plant really depends on how your beds are designed.  Use vegetables to fill in gaps while your perennials are in their first year of slumber, or between 2 newly planted trees.  Allow pole beans or cucumbers for a nice back drop for that extra vertical dimension in a flower garden. Combinations of annual flowers and vegetables can be effective in keeping your garden looking lush. For example, planting onions with an annual, such as stock, allows for the onions to provide the dominant foliage early in the growing season. When the onion tops begin to die down, the stocks will be ready to flower and hide the dying foliage.

Once you have an idea of the look you want to create, spend some time researching companion plants, many flowers like Nasturtiums, Marigold, and Lavender help specific vegetables deter pests.  The time spent investigation companion plants will be paid off when you produce healthy produce with caring for your flower bed.

If properly cared for, the vegetables should thrive in a flower garden.  Imagine how nice a group of sweet corn or globe artichokes would look as a backdrop to your flower bed, or how bright red lettuce would look as a border plant to line the front, especially if it were mixed in with small flowers.  You will be producing novel colors and patterns into your beds that your visitors will be asking about all summer long.

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