Getting Started with Edible Gardens
Over the past 3 years, we have received more requests for edible gardens , including herb and vegetable gardens. My impression is that this increase in interest has come about due to the trend and encouragement to “be more green” and the health interest for organic food. Find a spot that gets enough sun. Vegetables and fruit trees need lots of it – at least 6 hours (preferably 8) of direct sunlight a day. Improve the soil with compost to grow the healthiest plants and largest harvests from the available space. The edible gardens that actually get approved and installed more frequently are herb gardens since the plants require less space to grow and are “prettier” plants.
Popular herbs for Atlanta: Rosemary, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Chives, Cilantro, Parsley, and Mint. All herbs mentioned do well planted together. They all need full sun conditions and well-drained soil. Start by seed in late winter inside, install grown-out plants in late Spring. For novice gardeners, most any herb is easier to grow than vegetables and fruits. They require less space (can even be grown in container) and less extensive soil preparation. All new plants require regular watering during dry weather (2-3 times per week) and some pruning or pinching back as the plants grow. Most herbs do not over-winter and will need to be replanted each year.
Popular vegetables for Atlanta: tomatoes, radishes, peppers, carrots, peanuts, beans, eggplant, cucumber, corn, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, onions, okra, broccoli, celery, artichokes, garlic, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce and turnips. Most leafy vegetables prefer cool weather and can be planted in Fall. Most other vegetables can be planted in April.
Popular fruits for Atlanta: Strawberries, Blueberries, Figs, Apples, and Pears. Plant strawberries in April; blueberry bushes in Fall; Fig, Apple and Pear trees in Fall
Plants that can be grown in containers: Herbs – most any herb. Vegetables – Tomatoes, peppers, beans on trellises, cabbage, lettuce. Fruits – Blueberry bush.