Gardening Tips from the Authors of The Beautiful Edible Garden

A few weeks ago we showed you the wonderful book The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design A Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs in our The Beautiful Edible Garden Giveaway. To enter for the chance to win we asked you to tell us a gardening goal you had for this spring. Authors and bloggers, Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner, took your comments and responded with great tips for growing the most beautiful edible garden in your own backyard. Let’s hear more…

Sarah said…
grow a salad garden and eat salad everyday!

Tip #1:
It is great to read so many comments about folks wanting to start growing food! One key to successfully feeding your family from the garden is succession planting. Succession planting means that you are planting smaller amounts of vegetables that you and your family eat on a regular basis — like salad greens, carrots, and spring onions — every 4-6 weeks. As one group of salad greens is harvested and is at the end of their cycle, a new group is ready to harvest. This way you will have a smaller more consistent supply of all the foods you love, instead of a larger (and possibly overwhelming) amount of food for a few short weeks!

Keep reading to see more gardening tips based off your comments after the jump…

Photo Credit: David Fenton

Rayna said…
My garden goal is to get my 18-month old son out there with me, digging in the garden. And to try to keep some plants alive despite his help

Tip #2:
Creating spaces for toddlers and young kids amongst your food production is a great way to eek out a few extra minutes in the garden. In my own garden, I built a sand pit adjacent to my raised vegetable beds. When my girls got older the space easily converted to an additional planting bed, which became the kid garden. Giving kids their own space to choose what to grow and help take care of is a great way to encourage their own relationship with the garden. Of course, my kids chose succulents and dahlias – not more food!

Tip #3:
Plant selection is also key to kid participation. Toddlers love to pull things, so radishes and carrots are great choices to include your kids in the garden. Mint is also a great choice for kids – a tough plant to kill that is invasive if not kept in check – kids love to make tea or add to lemonade in the kitchen. Seek out unusual varieties besides peppermint – chocolate, strawberry and pineapple mint are all fun additions to the garden. If your local nursery does not carry these more unusual varieties, try online resources like Morningsun Herb Farm at

Photo Credit: David Fenton

Nicole O said…
I want to figure out how to not kill my little fruit plants.. I keep hearing that you can grow blueberries in a container. 2013 is my year!

Tip #4:
Leslie and I just returned from a visit to Rosalind Creasy’s garden (the godmother of edible landscaping!) and fell in love with her container blueberries. The key is good soil health and ph levels, consistent, regular watering, and planting at least two plants. Blueberries like a more acidic soil so seek out blueberry specific fertilizers. We like the organic blueberry fertilizer at Blueberries are more productive with consistent, regular water and when grown with a friend! Make sure to plant at least to plants for cross-pollination – and for more blueberries!

Get more gardening tips from The Beautiful Edible Garden: Design A Stylish Outdoor Space Using Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs, and at Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner’s blog, Star Apple: Edible + Fine Gardening.




I love the idea of an edible garden, far more appealing than just one that is pretty to look at! I would love to have some space to grow my own dinner, but may have to settle for a humble herb pot or two!

Erin's Creative Energy

I am going to need to get this book. Just came in from gardening with my three year old. We have blueberries, blackberries, lettuce, lots of herbs and tomatoes. We actually harvested our first tomato today and shared it! YUM!


Oh wow, thanks so much for these tips, especially the ones about gardening with children. My baby is only eight months at the moment, but I can’t wait til he’s big enough to come out in the garden with me…


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