Planting Edible Shrubs for Homeowners

The pandemic has caused a significant drop in employment and food security within the United States. Now, more than ever, it is important to incorporate edible plants into the landscape as a way to encourage every day Americans to find food at a reasonable cost.

Fresh Food for Better Health

Beyond being a healthy step towards fresher food, growing edible plants is also better for the environment because it decreases “food miles” and reduces reliance on fossil fuels. If edible plants are installed with proper water-saving irrigation and organic products are used to maintain the plants, then that garden is a green step ahead.

You can provide edible landscapes and food security while still having beautiful landscapes. For example, edible crops do not have to be the traditional corn, beans, and watermelon your grandparents grew in their Victory Gardens. Try growing edible shrubs. Many fruits from shrubs are high in Vitamin C and can be cooked or jellied as a flavorful and inexpensive treat. These treats can be used at home, as gifts, or sold to make a profit.

Four Fabulous Edible Shrubs

  1. American Cranberry bush (Viburnum trilobum) – Producing beautiful white flowers in spring, the bright red fruits it develops towards late summer are good in jellies, jams, or raw. Hardy in zones 3 to 8.
  2. Blueberry (Vaccinium) – Some varieties of blueberries can grow up to 6 feet tall. While they prefer an acidic soil, they are easy to grow. Hardy in zones 3 to 9.
  3. Cherry plums (Prunus) – Sometimes called Sand Cherries, these white-flowering shrubs grow quite tall and have tart fruits. While best in jams and jellies, they are also good cooked down with berries as a fruit compote. Hardy in zones 3 to 9.
  4. Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa) – Wonderful in teas, jellies, and jams, Rugosa Rose has high levels of vitamin C. Hardy in zones 3 to 9.

Growing food on a homeowner’s property can mean money-saving and a stronger connection to the environment. It can also help a homeowner by becoming a profitable tool to earn money and combat hunger.

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