Potential in Sri Lanka for "Edible Landscaping" for Consumption

Dr.(Mrs) Menaka Fernando, Phd.

PUBLISHED ON June 10, 2021

Cultivation of edible plant species around the environment in which we live or in the garden can be simply defined as "gardening for consumption". This involves the systematic incorporation of ornamental plants, especially fruits, vegetables, medicinal plants, and edible flowers. This is a concept that is equally suitable for a rural as well as an urban garden. It is possible to design such systems under different climatic conditions throughout Sri Lanka.


It is also possible to introduce as many as a hundred species of crops into such a system. In an environment where the whole world is currently facing the Covid-19 epidemic, there are signs of a future food crisis. Even in the face of such a catastrophe, it is possible to inherit a healthy diet by independently producing the food needed for one's family's consumption and to ensure food security.

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Figure 1: This is a concept that is equally suitable for a rural as well as an urban garden.

• These systems provide fresh vegetables and fruits for daily home consumption and are excellent because they are delicious.
• Diseases and pests are easy to control and as they are small scale cultivars, physical and mechanical methods as well as eco-friendly herbicides can be used.
• Ensures home food security. That is, it is possible to have a high quality quantity of food for family consumption at any time.
• The whole family has the opportunity to engage in a friendly deal with nature, get the physical exercise they need, and achieve mental satisfaction. Participating in such activities, especially the elderly and those suffering from various ailments, can help to ensure their health.
• It can also include a variety of activities suitable for leisure and recreation.

Consumption Key points in landscaping

Location

Places where crop species are incorporated in the garden are very important. 6-8 hours of direct sunlight is essential for most vegetables and fruits. For example, Cucurbitaceae (pumpkins) such as potatoes, fennel and bitter gourd, legumes such as mee, cowpea, green gram, and Solanaceae such as chilli, brinjal and tomato are all exposed to such direct sunlight.

Large perennial plants such as breadfruit, jackfruit and mango should not be removed from the area and shade-loving shrubs such as gotu kola can be planted around them. Considering the climatic factors in Sri Lanka, it appears that all the above crop species are getting the natural environmental factors required for successful growth.

Space

Must have a good understanding of the topography of the land used for landscaping and the space available in it. We also need to have a good knowledge of the growth patterns of the crops and fruit plants we are incorporating as they mature. Large plant species have the ability to train vines with stems, fences and wall supports in buildings. This can increase the efficiency of vertical space usage.

Time and attention

In order to get good yields, more attention and protection should be given to the special growth stages of the crop. Soil nutrient management, water supply, as well as monitoring and control of diseases and pests should be done.

It is important to have an idea of the time to spend on the crop when choosing crops. In Sri Lanka, retiring seniors are engaged in farming to earn a living. They have great potential to introduce this concept.

It is important to have an idea of the time to spend on the crop when choosing crops. In Sri Lanka, retiring seniors are engaged in farming to earn a living. They have great potential to introduce this concept.

Harvesting

It is essential to have an understanding of the harvest of each crop. Also be sure to select crop species that can be continuously obtained as a mixture of different types of harvest. For example, it is important to grow all kinds of potatoes, leaves, spices, vegetables and fruits together.
For example, consuming too much ginger can aggravate diseases such as gastritis. Even in this indigenous system of medicine, some side effects occur only if the medicine is not taken on the doctor's advice and in the prescribed dose. These local remedies have been shown to reduce the risk of complications.

That of aesthetics

According to landscaping principles, plants with flowers of different colors should be used as a mixture of plants with different shapes and leaves of different shapes as well as plants with different leaf structure. The number of species of crops grown and consumed in Sri Lanka is very large. Therefore, as mentioned above, it is not so difficult to choose a crop mix. Here the crop should be selected according to the climate of the area, the size of the land and the topography.

Crop species that can be grown under local conditions

Different colors and shapes of leaves - cabbage, radish, lettuce, carrots, beets, gotu kola
Fruits of different colors - bags of chillies, raw chillies, kochi varieties, tomatoes, eggplant, brinjal, okra
Upward growing vines - Mee, Beans, Dambala, Alanga, Patola, Fences and Bitter gourd
Growing vines lying on the ground - pumpkins, melons, ash bushes and cucumbers
Edible flowers - cauliflower, pumpkin, cuttings
Fruit plants - mango, avocado, abaralla, lovage, purple, pineapple, papaya

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Eng. Lanka Ramanayaka - CEO
Design Knigdom Lk
BSc(Eng), PG Dip.(BSE), CEng., MIE(SL), MEC(SL)
Chartered Engineer

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