Building soil fertility takes time, or lots of money spent on worm castings and compost.

Although these plants will work hard with their robust root systems to make space in your hard clay for their own roots, and thereby, other plants’ roots, remember that you can help them along by giving them plenty of compost or by mulching heavily knowing that the mulch will break down to improve the soil.

tips on mulching your edible landscape in a successful fashion

1. Horseradish

Is there something that horseradish can’t grow in? I’m sure there isn’t. Even if you aren’t much of a fan of this edible root, your fruit trees and perennials will appreciate being companion planted with such a lovely plant that is easy to squeeze into the tightest of edible landscapes.

It also makes an excellent chop and drop plant if you don’t plan to harvest it. Be careful about where you plant it as horseradish propagates robustly from root cuttings so a harvesting horseradish from a place you don’t want it can quickly turn into an entire patch of this easy to grow root vegetable.

2. Bamboo

Look at the roots on that! You want those roots in your clay busting it up and creating some drainage for plants that just cannot thrive in water-logged soils. Bamboo is not only fast-growing but since you can also get bamboo plants in dwarf sizes or taller sizes, it is a flexible, and useful addtion to any edible landscape grown to give a new fruit tree some shade while guiding the tree roots to a better, more airy soil.

How to Grow Buddha Belly Bamboo

3. Camellia Sinensis | Tea Bush

Tea and fruit, anyone? Well, you can grow both in a contained space with the Camellia Sinensis Tea Bush. Not only do tea bushes have very robust root systems that do well in heavy clays, but they are also used for soil stabilization to prevent erosion on hills and around ponds.

Other ways to use the Camellia Sinensis Tea Bush in the edible landscape.

4. Rhubarb

You get plenty of bang and tang with rhubarb. The root system on this thing is something to be awed and truly admired. Rhubarb plants can be planted in full sun or partial shade depending on the variety of rhubarb you have making it a flexbile, edible option for any edible landscape, food garden, or food forest in need of its clay-cracking abilities and edible stems.

5. Raspberries

Hello, little delicious fruits that will grow in anything. 

But even without all that, raspberries have this neat little trick of spreading from the roots which means more and more roots and plants to help aerate your heavy, clay soil.

6. Asparagus

Shade? Sun? Asparagus plants will grow in either. With their crawling habit, they will creep towards more or less sunlight as they need, making asparagus great for growing with trees. Asparagus plants’ roots grow deep into the ground, acting as a wonderful guide for plants with far more frail root systems. They also tolerate water-logged soils, which is often a problem in compacted clay, making it a great choice to help kick off your new edible landscape if the clay is fighting against you.

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