How to Create An Edible Hedge
Personally, I love creating beautiful, inviting gardens that make you want to spend time in them. What can be an added bonus is making your garden edible!
With garden spaces getting smaller and smaller you may wonder what you can use to be inviting, liveable and edible at the same time? We detail several species on gardeninginfo-online.com, but fruit trees as an example can be used in many ways.
Due to the small garden spaces, I would recommend to use ‘dwarf’ tree varieties, and there are plenty of them! You can use them as hedges to create privacy in your yard. You can use crabapple and citrus trees that can be trained to give you a lush privacy screen. Note these trees do require sufficient care en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Care_of_Trees, or you can use shrubs, such as blueberry, raspberry, hazelnut, elderberry or gooseberry as excellent alternatives.
Whilst the main purpose of an edible hedge is to produce edible nuts, berries, leaves and other parts, you should also ensure to mix with them other plants that attract pollinators and other beneficiary insects. This can increase the amount of food you can produce by approximately 30%!
Also keep in mind that most edible hedges will lose their leaves in winter. If you are looking for an evergreen hedge you should consider citrus fruit, sweet bay or rosemary.
If you don’t have enough room, you can always train trees into fences by using the technique of espaliering. Espailering is the technique used to train shrubs or trees grow in a flat line, it gives it more strength if you can train the tree against a flat wall or trellis.
This technique has been around for centuries, as it allows large trees to be grown in small areas, and also to provide a creative way of growing fruit. It is mainly used on apple, pear, apricot, plum, cherry and almond trees.
You can get rather creative with your patterns when espaliering, one thing to keep in mind, no matter which pattern you are choosing, is that you will have to constantly prune and train your chosen plants to keep them growing the way you want them to, so you have to ensure that you have the dedication to keep on working on your fruit plants.
To train the plants you will need to create a wire support system, that you can tie the branches to in the direction you want them to grow. You will have to loosen the ties over time as the tree matures. You will also need to prune these trees about three times during the growing season.
Creating an edible hedge can take a bit of time, however they provide a nice decorative feature to your garden along with delicious fruit to eat!