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The Hottest Landscaping Trend is Foodscaping

By: Kelly DInnocenti | Published on: 07/27/2012
Categories | Homeline |

More households are growing their own fruits and vegetables. While lawn and garden sales have declined since 2008, food gardening sales nationwide have risen 20%, according to the National Gardening Association. The trend is referred to as foodscaping, or ediblescaping, and involves integrating edible plants into yards, lawns and open areas in a low-maintenance and toxic-free manner.

Almost one third of American households are now growing some kind of food at home. Factors contributing to this trend include reducing the cost of groceries, the desire to eat more healthy foods, and the preferred taste of homegrown fruit and vegetables harvested immediately before eating.

A simple way to start a vegetable garden is with a single raised box bed. If you're working in a limited space, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, basil and rosemary grow well in pots. Most vegetables should be planted after the threat of frost passes. Exceptions, such as purple cabbage, should be planted in the late winter or early spring.

Vegetables require full sun or six hours of unfiltered light. Good drainage is also important. To check the drainage of your soil, dig a 15-inch-deep hole and fill it with water. If the water drains within an hour, the soil drains well.

Most vegetables should be watered daily. For herbs, oregano, sage, bay and thyme should be allowed to dry out between watering, while mint and lemon balm should remain moist.

Tended lawns cover 1.9% of land in the continental U.S., making it the most common irrigated crop. Lawn care costs Americans $30 billion each year. Increasingly, some budget-conscious homeowners want more in return for their efforts. They're removing portions of their lawn to make way for edible plants.

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