Have you ever thought about growing an edible fence or windbreak before? Well, I’m here to tell you that you should.
Why not? Instead of having a regular old boring fence, why not have something that provides a delicious bounty year after year?
If you want to maximise the productivity of your garden or allotment, then having an edible boundary is one of the best things you can do.
Think about it, your entire growing area will be surrounded by food!
If you grow tall plants, then they will also act as a windbreak. This is great for helping to protect tall crops such as sweetcorn.
But beyond just protecting your crops, it also makes a bit of a microclimate. It is almost like a walled garden, using edible plants rather than walls.
It isn’t as good as a walled garden as you don’t get the heat storage bricks offer. But still, it’s as good as your going to get without getting the trowel out!
What To Grow
Now that you are sold on the idea of an edible hedge then, you will want to know what to grow.
Worry not, I have plenty of ideas for you.
Probably the easiest and also most productive of edible fences is berries.
It could be raspberries, loganberries, blackberries or even blueberries. Whatever your berry, they work well.
This is because they are quick growing, apart from blueberries, and also very productive.
Elderflower is an easy-to-grow small tree or large shrub.
It will take a few years to establish, but once it does, you will be rewarded with beautiful white blooms followed by thousands of little berries.
Everyone knows elderflower cordial, but you can also use the berries for delicious elderflower fritters.
Now, this isn’t going to be a quick fix, but an established espalier tree is gorgeous and incredibly productive.
Usually, apple trees are espaliered to create a barrier, but pears can also be used if your soil drains well.
Hawthorne is a staple of natural hedgerows, so it makes sense that it will grow well as a privacy screen.
It has a thorny nature, which also works well as a security fence.
The “haws” or fruit are small red berries that resemble rose hips. They can be eaten raw, but they can cause stomach upsets if eaten in quantity.
Because of this, they are more commonly turned into jams and jellies. They are also beloved by many different birds.
Blackthorn bushes produce tonnes of small sloe berries.
These berries are most commonly used to make sloe gin, so why not grow your own and make a tasty tipple?
Like Hawthorne, they also have a thorny nature, making them significant security barriers.
Jeruselum artichokes quickly grow to above six feet and then produce whole heaps of tubers.
The tubers are the edible part of the plant and have a gorgeous nutty flavour.
Any tuber left in the ground will regrow the following year, so they make a brilliant perennial border.