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Creating your own edible landscape

By Gregg Eyestone

Landscaping your yard can be divided up in to areas of use. Uses will likely change over time. When the children were younger, the lawn area was heavily used. It isn’t needed as much and I’ve been reducing its size. Some of the space is being used for ornamental and food plants.

Food plants can be vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs. I’m giving a program on those plants on Thursday, Feb. 7, beginning at 10:30 a.m. to noon. This program will be in Leonardville at Nelson’s Landing, 107 N. Erpelding Road. It is free and I would appreciate your registration at or by calling (785)-537-6350.

Designing your landscape or garden starts with your desires for outdoor activities. Some possible activities are growing food, space for eating and entertaining company, wildlife habitat and beautifying the neighborhood. These are as unique as the property owners.

My yearly program on home landscape design is coming up on February 13 at 7 to 9 p.m. This is the first session in a three part series. Registration is taken through the UFM Community Learning Center. You may register at or by calling (785)-539-8763.

The bur oak in the front yard use to be a favorite climbing tree for the children. Cats are the only ones I have seen climbing it this past year. Shade and food for squirrels is its role in the landscape. Under part of the canopy reside by Jewel black raspberries. They provide food for me and not the wildlife.

Growing under the raspberries is chocolate mint. A little mint goes along ways. That is true as a plant and flavoring. Mint is typically planted in a container or something to confine its underground runners from going everywhere. It makes a nice groundcover during the growing season and is holding my soil on the slight slope where it is planted.  I may regret planting it but it hasn’t caused much concern yet.

When space is limited, multi-functioning plants can be used in the landscape. Now is a good time to be researching and studying your landscape and the plants that will meet your needs.

You can find out more information on this and other horticulture topics by going to the K-State Research and Extension website at and you can contact Gregg Eyestone at the Riley County office of K-State Research and Extension. Gregg may be contacted by calling 537-6350 or stopping by 110 Courthouse Plaza in Manhattan or by e-mail at

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