Tips on Adding an Edible Garden in Your Backyard

by | Sep 21, 2016 | Living Urban | 0 comments

Trees and bushes can add shade and privacy to your backyard while flowering plants and a manicured lawn can produce the color and variety you crave. However, you might also want to use the land on your property for the purposes of growing food.

If you’re interested in setting up an edible garden to cultivate your own organic fruits and veggies, there are just a few factors you should consider during the planning (and planting) process. Here are some tips on adding an edible garden in your backyard.

Choose Your Spot Wisely

Yards are valuable commodities in many Portland neighborhoods.  You definitely want to continue to enjoy the additional leisure space your yard provides even after planting an edible garden. However, you also need to consider the ideal placement of your garden in terms of adequate sunlight.

Portland doesn’t always get a ton of sun, so you want your garden to soak up every drop. Placing your plot along a fence line might be more convenient in terms of using your yard space for leisure activities, but it may not bode well for the success of your garden.

Consider these factors carefully before you decide where to place your garden. This way you should still be able to enjoy your yard while gaining access to fresh produce in the process.

Start with Organic Soil

Even Portland modern homes that were created with green sensibilities in mind may not be sitting on expensive, organic soil. If you are concerned about eating foods grown in soil containing chemical fertilizers, it’s best to dig up a dirt plot and refill it with organic soil before planting your edible garden. The plan is not foolproof, but it’s a good place to start.

Know the Zone and Growing Season

Many factors will affect the success of any edible crops you plant. When you understand your planting zone and growing seasons you’re much more likely to see successful results. Portland is in USDA Zone 8, which means it has relatively temperate winters and a long growing season that could range from about 150-250 days.

Because Portland enjoys a wet climate, however, certain plants will fare better than others. Popular edible plants for this region include vegetables like carrots, lettuce, squash, and tomatoes; fruits such as apricots, figs, and pears; and nuts like pecans and walnuts.

Container Gardening

Not everyone has access to expansive yard space. Some Portland condos have small areas of turf while many Portland lofts and condos feature only decking. If this is the case, don’t despair – you still have the option to undertake container gardening.

Make sure to check the CC&Rs for your HOA if there is one governing your community. Then seek out information on planting, watering, and maintaining an edible container garden online or at your local nursery.

A lack of land does not preclude you from growing the fresh, organic fruits and vegetables you desire. So if you don’t live in a Portland home that features a yard, simply set up containers to grow the fresh produce you want.