Create a Plant Border Around a Vegetable Patch
In gardening, a border uses shorter plants at the edge of a planting bed. In a vegetable patch or kitchen garden, border plants can surround it on all sides. Plants in a vegetable garden should tolerate a full sun location planted in well-draining soil.
Edging plant ideas can inspire gardeners to make use of every spot of ground. For example, vegetable plants surrounded by tall fencing are a good location for a bulb and cutting flowers. The kitchen garden is a common-sense location to add herbs harvested for cooking.
Baby Greens and Microgreens
Baby greens and microgreens are tiny plants requiring very small spaces to grow. One seed packet will produce a multitude of leaves to harvest. As an early-season border, use baby greens as a temporary edging around a small kitchen garden. Eventually, mix with other cool-season plants such as violas or pansies.
Baby greens and microgreens are tiny leafy vegetables, harvested when the plants are immature. Cool-season vegetables such as radish, mustard, or lettuce are types of plants grown for this purpose.
Growing Herbs With Vegetables
You can harvest for cooking both types of plants, which are herbs and vegetables that are frequently grown together as a convenience.Gardeners can narrow appropriate herbs to choose from by identifying the desired border height and how they will be used.
Perennial herbs such as thyme and chives are short, harvested frequently through the season, or allowed to flower. Woolly thyme has very tiny leaves with pink flowers attracting bees. Chives have long succulent leaves with pompom-shaped blooms.
Chives are in the same family with ornamental alliums grown for flowers. The foliage of Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ and ‘Mongolian Gem’ are examples of shorter plants that thrive into autumn with fall colors. All Alliums discourage wildlife making them an excellent border plant.
French tarragon and lavender are examples of taller perennial herbs. Many gardeners value lavender plants for the fragrance and the attraction of pollinators.
Flowering Bulbs in Kitchen Gardens
Gardeners will fence in a vegetable garden to protect produce from hungry wildlife. Spring flowering bulbs, like the rabbit’s favorite tulip, will thrive behind protective fencing allowing beautiful cutting flowers to grow.
Other flowering bulbs and tubers to consider include Crocus, Dahlia, hyacinth, and lilies. Check culture requirements and look for shorter height varieties appropriate for the edges of a vegetable patch.
Perennials and Annuals with Edibles
There are annual plants frequently planted with edible plants. Short marigolds quickly fill out and are inexpensive to grow. Sweet alyssum is an annual plant that has fragrant flowers and is low-growing.
Low-growing perennials such as Gaillardia ‘Goblin,’ candytuft, Scabiosa, and creeping phlox are potential ideas for a border around vegetables. Short cultivars of perennials like Coreopsis, Veronica, or daylily can be considered where a cutting garden is wanted.
Drought Tolerant Sedums and Vegetables
Sedums are drought-tolerant plants offering many choices for a border. Sedums stonecrop and hens and chicks are short enough for gardeners to step over.
The annual plant Portulaca and the perennial ice plant are drought-tolerant, too. This allows them to withstand the hotter drier fringes of a vegetable garden.
Concrete and Wooden Edging Ideas
Two common man-made edgings for vegetable gardens are wooden planks and concrete or cinder blocks. Plants that have a trailing structure will soften the hard rough lines on these low edgers.
Cinder blocks have open spaces large enough to hold a six-inch pot. This is a great opportunity to make a living border that is changeable each year.
Growing edging plants around a vegetable patch will add a finished appearance to the garden. A variety of edible and decorative plant choices are available from which to choose.