Growing an Edible Hedge – Sunday In The Garden
Used in most landscapes are hedges, especially Redwood City and the San Francisco Peninsula. Homeowners and Home Gardeners usually grow hedges to keep animal out and stop them from doing their business. Hedges are accepted a lot more as landscaping and favorable by your neighbors Why not turn those hedges into some delicious fruits and vegetables? Growing an edible hedge is a good way to soften your lot lines. With an edible hedge both property owners get advantage a fence could never do.
Be sure to keep in mind when growing an edible hedge what you are trying to do. If your reason are to keep wildlife or neighborhood dogs out of your yard select hedge plants that will do the proper job, such as raspberries, blackberry, gooseberry, or rugosa rose. Read up on how to plant them so they fill in quickly and become the barrier you are trying to make.
Don’t forget to consider how high you want the editable hedge to grow. Most hedges fare better when allowed to grow to their natural height and not pruned. In addition you will save yourself time and wear and tear on you clippers if you think and plan before you plant. Don’t forget to choose different varieties for cross-pollination that will cause great fruit production.
On one hand you might want evergreen hedge in which case you need to stay away from deciduous hedges. In Redwood City good choices are citrus fruit grown as a hedge, natal plum, sweet bay or some rosemary. These hedges will survive the mild winters in many California coastal areas.
Usually our attention for edible hedges goes towards berry bushes. In the summer don’t forget vegetables and nuts some can survive the winter and grow as a natural hedge for you. . Asparagus once the ferns have grown up makes a beautiful edible hedge if properly fenced. Corn, sunflowers and sorghum make a thick row that can block a summer view and offer vegetables and nuts. Nut bushes, such as filberts and hazelnuts, make a beautiful hedge while providing edible nuts for wildlife and people.
Also, consider the growth habit of the hedge when selecting yours. The benefit of hedges like brambles and roses are some of the plants that will spread by underground roots. This could also be a problem if you are not paying attention and allow suckers to grow up in your flower beds or some other areas you use.
Finally, try planting several different types of hedges together instead of planting all of one type. Mixed edible hedges provide diversity of plants for wildlife and an interesting mix of foliage, flowers, and berry colors and textures. One rule of thumb is to when planting your hedges try to select similar sized plants to have uniform growth during maturity.
Here are a few hedge shrub Charles Nardozzi suggests as possible plants for your yard Most hedges grow best in full sun on well-drained soil unless otherwise noted.
Bush cherry and plums – Bush cherries and plums offer an easy way to grow these hardy fruits in a yard where you may not have the room for the tree versions. These bushes grow 4-to 6-feet tall and wide. It’s best to plant several different seedlings and varieties to ensure pollination and fruiting.
Natal plum – Although only hardy in frost-free areas, the natal plum is an evergreen with white flowers and small red fruits. Tall varieties grow to 8 feet and the berries make jam and jelly.
Roses – The best roses to grow as a barrier are hip-producing selections such a rosa rugosa and its hybrids such as ‘Hansa’. The roots send up suckers and produce a solid hedge in a few years time with little care. Use the hips for making jams and teas.
Rosemary – Hardy to USDA zone 7, in warm areas rosemary makes a great low growing, 3 to 5 feet tall hedge. The bush grows densely, produces beautiful blue flowers, and the aroma when you rub against it makes your mouth water for dinner.
Tall vegetables – As I mentioned tall-growing vegetables, such as asparagus, sweet corn, millet, and sorghum, can be grown as a summer screen in your yard. Asparagus is a perennial and should be planted with care since it will take 3 years in the landscape to start producing edible spears, but last for many more years as a permanent planting. After harvest season in spring the ferns will grow and offer a visual block when propped up with fencing. Select old-fashioned or tall varieties of corn, millet, and sorghum and plant in multi-row blocks to insure the screen stay erect all summer. If you only plant a row or two, the summer winds may blow them over.
Brambles – Blackberries and raspberries make great 5 to 6 feet tall hedges. However, the plants sucker freely and will spread into lawns and other garden if you aren’t careful. Select everbearing varieties that will produce fruit and summer and fall and prune in summer only to remove dead canes.
Currants and gooseberries – Red, white and black currants and gooseberries form a low, 4-foot tall hedge loaded with berries for fresh eating and juicing. Some varieties will have thorns and others not, so select the right varieties depending on the use.
Go out there and try Growing An Edible Hedge In Redwood City it will give you food and keep animals off your land. They look great and provide privacy too.