Last Updated on May 20, 2022 by Real Men Sow
This article is for those who are interested in growing an edible hedge. The garden’s hedges serve many functions. They not only mark the boundaries between gardens, but also filter strong winds, provide a leafy background to flower borders, dampen intrusive sounds, and offer privacy from outsiders.
Why Should You Grow An Edible Hedge?
Wildlife will also benefit from a living wall of green. This vertical tangle made of leaves and branches provides shelter and food for many species. Hedging gardens are a hundred times more healthy than those without.
Use Multiple Species As Edible Hedge
First, you need to decide whether to plant a hedge made up of only one species or multiple species. A single species hedge gives a uniform appearance, while a mixed-species one-seed hedge is more appealing with its contrasting leaf textures and colors, accented by blooms from elderflower and other flowering plants.
What Type Of Edigbe Hedges Can You Plant
A mixed edible hedge will give you a variety of harvests that you can look forward to. The classic edible hedge can take on the appearance of a British mixed hedgerow in warmer parts of the globe, complete with its multitude of nuts, haws, hips, and berries.
Elder, with its flowers and berries, is a suitable tree or shrub species. It can also be used to make delicious country wines. There are also hazels for springtime catkins, which are highly valued by early bees, and their autumn harvest of nuts. Blackthorn can be added to this pair, whose fruit infuse winter-warming sloe Gin; rambling roses in their hips (great for jellies or jams); and, sprawling throughout, blackberry canes, possibly of a spineless variety, to help you pick and prune! The hardy fuchsias are also good for hedging, especially in coastal areas. They are edible and highly prized for their fruits, especially those of good eating varieties such as ‘Riccartonii.
5 Edible Hedge Plant Ideas
You can train several wild fruit trees and keep them in a hedge. They will grow densely while producing many small, but tasty or useful fruits.
The cherry plum (also known as the “myrobalan” plum) is the first. It’s a fast-growing tree and produces large quantities of fruit that are slightly larger than a cherry. You can eat the fruits as is or make jams, wines, and liqueurs from them. Cherry plums were traditionally planted in orchard shelterbelts, that’s why plums can be paired with orchard trees, and are very well-suited for this purpose. Its stunning, pale pink blossom attracts a lot of pollinating insects that will then fertilize other fruit trees.
The crab apple is another plant that produces masses of flowers and fruit. Although the tiny clusters of apples are not suitable for eating on their own, they make a great jelly to go with roasted meats. The blossom, like the cherry plums, is a boon for wildlife. The crab apple is associated with 93 different species of insects in Britain. It will bring beneficial insects of all kinds to your garden, no matter where you plant it.
The wild pear tree is a combination of plum, pear and apple. It flowers in mid spring then goes on to produce small-but-perfectly-formed pears, which are often a little more rounded than their cultivated cousins.
Many ornamental hedge species can also be eaten! Acca Sellowiana, also known as pineapple guava, or guavasteen is a tropical plant that thrives in warm climates. It produces delicious fruits that are a mix of strawberry and pineapple.
The quince (Cydonia ovale), whose sweet, fragrant fruits are the perfect accompaniment to apples in a pie. Although the Japanese quince (Chaenomeles) is smaller in size, it’s still edible and often less delicious.
How Do You Make An Edible Hedge?
Planting a hedge is best done when the plants are dormant. This could be during winter, or in areas with very severe winters, after the ground has thawed in spring. Clear the ground of all weeds, then dig a 1-meter-wide strip about 3 feet across. To improve the soil’s fertility and give plants a jump start, you can dig well-rotted compost into it.
Planting Fruit Bushes as Hedges
Although fruit bushes can be planted in very tight spaces within a hedge, it is important not to plant too densely. Although young plants might appear sparse at first, it is better to plant too close together than to have long, drawn-out plants that struggle for light and nutrients. For each species, check with your supplier of hedging plants for the recommended spacing.
After the hedge is planted, watered in and a thick mulch of compost or well-rotted manure will be applied to retain soil moisture. It will also protect your young roots from extreme temperatures. To help your hedge grow in dry conditions, you will need to water it regularly.