Have you heard of edible landscaping? It is a trend that’s fast taking the country by storm, involving landscaping with fragrant herbs and colorful veggies. This popular trend is, simply stated, a way of mixing edible plants like vegetables and herbs, with ornamental plants and flowers to create a unique, interesting, healthy garden landscape at your new home in Colorado Springs.

What is a healthy garden to you? For many of us, having a healthy garden means growing plants and/or flowers in a chemical free, organic environment, using companion planting techniques to maximize yield and using plants and flowers that perform multiple functions. Did you know, for instance, that planting marigolds around the perimeter of your tomato plants can naturally repel snails as effectively as a chemical bug repellent? Planting colorful petunias near your beans will not only bring a splash of color but will also repel bean beetles; a perfect example of a multipurpose plant.

People from other parts of the country often have trouble growing plants in Colorado, but it really isn’t hard to do if you follow a few simple rules. First, follow the planting information found on every package of seeds and seedlings, where the USDA plant hardiness zone information is found. Planting seeds or transplants at the correct time is vital for getting the most out of any garden. Colorado is in zones 3-7, and some of the best vegetables for this area include leafy greens like lettuce, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collards, and cabbage. Root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, beets, radishes, and kohlrabi also grow well in this climate. Beans, tomatoes, squash, onions, and herbs also do well. You can start your outdoor garden using seedlings from your local home store, or indoors using seeds.

One of the questions you may have when it comes to Colorado gardening is what to do about deer and/or rabbits who would like to consume your yummy veggies just as much as you would. Outside of using fencing to banish bunnies and deter deer and others from your growing garden beds, there are plants that both rabbits and deer are not fond of, and placing these around the borders of your garden can help protect your plants as they grow. These plants include asparagus, basil, bishop’s weed, buckthorn, daffodils, digitalis, dragon’s head, elderberry, Four o’clock flowers, foxglove, garlic, lilac, mint, onion, oregano, hot peppers, rosemary, yarrow, and yucca.

Spraying a mixture of water and pungent garlic or hot peppers is another way to ensure rabbits and deer will stay away from your garden. There are also commercial organic products available for this use, just be sure to check the label for information on weather resistance, as you will need to reapply most products after a rain.

We hope you can incorporate some or all of these tips to help produce a beautiful, edible garden this year, and reap the benefits of your own home grown flowers, herbs, and vegetables.