Create a beautiful landscape with edible plants. Easy to grow edible plants like blueberries and raspberries can be added to your landscape, no matter how small.
The Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom will plant vegetables and fruits in containers as described in our previous post, container gardens enable those restricted by space, physical disabilities, and location to be be successful in creating their own gardens.
Besides planting in containers, the plan for our Edible Garden also includes another option. Instead of planting edibles in traditional garden beds, you can plant edible fruits directly into your landscape. According to Edible Landscaping with Charlie Nardossi in Growing Berry Shrubs, “When you think about growing berries, strawberries are likely the first fruit that comes to mind. While these luscious berries are a favorite addition to an edible landscape, there are other berry-producing plants that not only yield an abundance of fruit, they also make attractive landscape plants.”
Today, volunteers planted eight blueberry and four raspberry plants in The Edible Garden at Rodef Shalom.
The blueberries and raspberries were purchased through our friends at the Pittsburgh Garden Experiment, a blogging community for city gardeners, in their annual Fruit Tree and Plant Sale. We are happy to note that half of the proceeds from the sale will support Pittsburgh Permaculture.
We learned two important things about growing blueberries so if you are inclined to try them in your own landscape, here are a few resources for you to consider.
Several varieties of blueberries grow well in Pittsburgh with the proper soil amendments. Our soil was tested with a kit we purchased through the Allegheny County Penn State Cooperative Extension. The soil PH in Pittsburgh is high in alkaline (ours is 7.2 PH) and blueberries grow best in soil with a lower, more acidic PH (between 4.5 and 5). Penn State’s College of Agriculture Sciences Cooperative Extension’s article, So you want to Grow Fruit….is a wonderful resource for information about growing berries.
When you plant blueberries, you should plant more than one variety to allow for cross-pollination. We planted Blue Crop, Duke, Elliot and Patriot. Keith at Backyard Berry Plants has a great guide with information on how to plant and care for your berries.