Mary's Veggie Garden

Edible Landscape

The Edible Landscape was a project of the Dutchess County Master Gardeners. The garden was located at the Dutchess County Farm & Home Center, Rt. 44, Millbrook, NY, along the side of the building facing the road. The Edible Landscape was discontinued in early 2012 and has been replaced by a more traditional vegetable garden. I am leaving this page on my blog to document this three year project.

The purpose of the Edible Landscape (EL) demonstration garden is to encourage gardeners to mix fruits, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers into their landscapes.  We have chosen to plant only edibles in this garden, although not every part of every plant is edible.

The EL was first planted in 2008.  The EL contains permanent plants which are the back bone of the design. Permanent plants include small fruiting trees, berry bushes, and some perennial herbs and flowers.

The remainder of the plants in the EL are annual vegetables, herbs, and flowers. We practice crop rotation, to help control pests and diseases, thus the design changes every year.

Warning: Do not touch or sample. Some plants contain poisonous parts. We eat the stalks of rhubarb, but the leaves are poisonous. In rare instances contact with the foliage of celery and celeriac can cause a severe rash caused by the plant’s sap on the skin reacting with sunlight.

The following lines link to the garden plan for each year. Each plan consists of three sections. The end near the parking lot is the east end. Each year I update the designs to show the current size of shrubs in the winter before planting.

The 2008 design was done with pencil of graph paper and then scanned. I apologize because it is a bit difficult to read.

2008 EL west end design, 2008 EL center design, 2008 EL east end design

In 2009 was the first year I tried succession planting in the EL.  The spring east end design is the planting plan for April and early May.  The summer plan shows whats left after the spring plants are harvested or removed.  What is not shown is the time in June when warm weather plants were interplanted with spring crops and all were in the garden together. In the spring mustard was planted in the front bed spaced to allow planting room for peppers and eggplants in late May. The mustard was removed when it bolted in June. The sugar snap peas and sweet potatoes also comprise a succession planting. The peas were removed in early July, just as the sweet potatoes started to spread.

The beet and carrot  combination in the east end was very striking. BTW S.C. is Swiss Chard.

In 2009 I started using “The GIMP” , an open-source image editing program, to document the design.

2009 EL west end design, 2009 EL center design2009 EL east end spring design2009 EL east end summer design

In 2010 I continued with succession planting, although it is all documented on a single page. There were some problems with this design. In the east end the intermixed loops of purple and green kohlrabi just looked muddy and the carrot and beet plantings in the front were too small to be effective.  Both the pineapple and purple tomatillos needed far more space. A purple tomatillo plant needs as much room as a tomato and must be staked.  The Three Sisters planting needed twice the room.

2010 EL west end design2010 EL center design2010 EL east end design

The next file is a spread sheet listing all the vegetable varieties used in the Edible Landscape since its start. Do NOT attempt to print it unless you know a lot about spread sheet printing; the file is huge. I’ve sorted the data so the records are alphabetical by the common name of the vegetable – which appears in the second column. There is something crazy happening to the formatting which is why the column headers are messed up. If I figure it out, I’ll update the file.

Database of plants used in the Edible Landscape

The next set of files show only the permanent features of the Edible Landscape, including shrubs and trees, paths, and perennial vegetables, herbs and flowers. They can be printed and used for designing the layout of annuals for 2011.

West layout perennialsCenter layout perennials,   East layout perennials

3/6/2011 The next file shows the planting schedule for vegetable varieties in the 2011 design. It is sorted by the planting date in the right-most column.

2011 Planting Schedule

We will be planting the 2011 Edible Landscape using the following layouts.  The succession plantings in the east end of the garden are so complicated that there is a spring layout and s summer layout.  The succession planting in the west end is a bit simpler, and it is all contained on a single sheet.

2011 EL West end design, 2011 EL Center design, 2011 EL East spring design, 2011 EL summer design.

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