Backyard Edible Garden Ideas: 49 Rustic & Creative Ways to Grow Your Own Food

Paul West/ Backyard Food And Cooking, Backyard Gardening

Taste the freshest flavors right from your backyard! This mouthwatering list of 60 edible garden ideas for the team at The Backyard Rocks will inspire you to grow and harvest your own delicious homegrown produce.

From rustic raised beds brimming with fruits and veggies to creative containers of leafy greens and flavorful herbs, these imaginative edible designs allow anyone to cultivate a productive and beautiful garden.

With simple DIY tips for maximizing small spaces, extending harvests, and displaying edibles with ornamental flair, you’ll find plenty of tempting reasons to bite into creating your own edible oasis. The tasty rewards are endlessly gratifying!

Fruits and Vegetables

1. Tomato vines on a rustic trellis
A simple trellis made from fallen branches or scrap wood makes an attractive support for climbing tomato vines. Place trellis at time of planting to avoid damaging roots later.

2. Cucumber teepee with rustic poles
Use thin branches or bamboo poles lashed together to make a teepee for cucumbers to climb. Site needs full sun and enriched soil for best cucumber yields.

3. Rustic raised bed for lettuce and greens
Build a raised bed from weathered wood planks or logs for improved drainage and easier access. Enrich soil with compost before planting lettuce and mesclun greens.

4. Rustic potato barrel planter Cut drainage holes in the bottom of an old barrel, fill with potting mix, and plant potato slips. Hill up soil mix as plants grow until barrel is full.

5. Rustic strawberry planter from an old boot
An old rubber boot makes a perfect hanging planter for strawberries. Fill with quality potting mix and plant through drainage holes. Site in full sun.

6. Rustic bean teepee with twine and branches
Use 3-4 poles lashed into a teepee shape. Plant beans at base and train vines up poles for attractive vertical growth. Site in full sun.

7. Rustic cold frame for extending the season A DIY cold frame made from old windows and scrap lumber helps prolong harvest of cool-weather veggies like spinach. Ventilate on sunny days.


8. Hanging rustic herb planters made from crates Repurpose old crates or shallow boxes into hanging planters for herbs. Use quality potting mix and include drainage holes. Site in full sun.

9. Herb spiral with rustic stones and logs
Arrange stones and logs into a spiral shape, filling gaps with soil. Plant different herbs on each level, taking sun needs into account.

10. Rustic herb wheelbarrow Fill an old wheelbarrow with potting soil and plant it out with your favorite cooking herbs for an easily accessible container garden.

11. Repurposed rustic toolbox as an herb garden Give old, beat-up toolboxes new life as charming herb planters. Use good drainage and situate in full sun for best flavor.

12. Rustic window box herb planter An old window box mounted on a wall or railing makes a useful contained herb garden near the kitchen. Be sure it has drainage.

13. Whiskey barrel herb planter Cut whiskey barrel in half to make two herb planters. Situate in full sun, fill with potting mix, and plant with favorite herbs.

14. Rustic herb signs made from scrap wood Identify herbs in your garden by stenciling names onto rustic wood slices and placing in pots or beds. Use exterior paints.

Edible Flowers

15. Rustic flower pot tower for nasturtiums Stack old pots in a tower and plant nasturtiums in each for a vertical edible accent. Situate tower in full sun for best blooms.

16. Wooden window box for pansies and violas A window box is perfect for showcasing edible pansies and violas. Use high-quality potting soil and situate in full sun.

17. Upcycled rustic chair planter for marigolds
Give an old chair new life as a flower planter. Fill seat with soil and plant it out with cheerful marigolds, which have edible flowers.

18. Old bucket turned upside down for zinnias Drill drainage holes in the bottom of a bucket, turn it upside down, and fill with soil and zinnia starts for an easy edible flower option. Site in full sun.

19. Wheelbarrow overflowing with sunflowers Fill a rustic old wheelbarrow with potting soil and plant it with sunflower seedlings for a moveable splash of happy color and seeds.

20. Rustic wagon planter with calendula and bachelor buttons An old wagon or cart planted up with calendula and bachelor buttons makes a cute rustic planter with edible flowers. Use good drainage.

21. Repurposed crate for growing lavender Give an old wooden crate new life as an edible lavender planter. Use potting soil, add drainage holes, and situate in full sun.


22. Rustic arbor and trellis for climbing grapes Construct a simple arbor from branches and top with wire trellis for grape vines to climb. Site in full sun and amend soil well.

23. Asparagus bed with rustic fencing
Make a rustic twig fence to outline a new asparagus patch. Prepare soil well and give plants 2-3 years to establish.

24. Rustic raised bed for rhubarb Build a raised bed with weathered wood and fill with rich soil for rhubarb crowns. Leave plants undisturbed for 7-10 years of harvests.

25. Rustic cold frame for overwintering artichokes A basic cold frame helps protect artichoke plants from hard freezes so they return vigorously each spring. Ventilate on sunny days.

26. Rustic ladder planter for strawberries Lean an old ladder against a sunny wall and fill the rungs with potting mix for a vertical strawberry planter.

27. Log edge border for walking onions Edge a walking onion patch with rustic half-buried logs. Harvest multiplier onions throughout season as needed.

28. Wood chip path through horseradish patch Lay wood chip paths to provide easy access through a perennial horseradish bed. Dig roots as needed.

Shade-Tolerant Plants

29. Old whiskey barrel for leaf lettuce Cut a whiskey barrel in half and fill with potting mix enriched with compost for growing heat-sensitive lettuces in part shade.

30. Rustic window box for spinach and kale A window box by a shady wall is perfect for growing nutrient-rich spinach and kale. Use rich potting soil.

31. Upcycled dresser turned planter for arugula
Give an old dresser new life as an arugula planter. Site in part shade, enrich soil, and harvest leaves as needed.

32. Half wine barrel for mesclun salad mix Use a sawed-in-half wine barrel to grow a gourmet mesclun mix of salad greens in dappled sun or part shade.

33. Rustic hanging bucket for bush beans Hang a rustic bucket or basket in a shady spot and plant with bush beans for an attractive edible container.

34. Wheelbarrow planter for beets and radishes Grow beets and radishes interplanted in a rustic wheelbarrow planter in part shade for pretty leaves and tasty roots.

35. Repurposed crate for salad greens Give old crates or boxes new life as planters for salad greens in a shady garden spot. Make sure there is drainage.

Ornamental Edibles

36. Rustic obelisk trellis for scarlet runner beans
Make a tripod trellis from branches and plant scarlet runner beans at base. Site in full sun for dramatic vertical vines.

37. Rustic tripod trellis for hyacinth bean vines
Lash together a rustic tripod for fast-growing hyacinth bean vines to climb. Site in full sun and enrich soil.

38. Ramshackle fence with morning glory vines Let morning glory vines climb all over a rustic, weathered fence or trellis for cottage garden appeal. Site in full sun.

39. Rustic window boxes with trailing nasturtiums Plant trailing nasturtiums in old window boxes mounted on railings or fences for a bright pop of edible color.

40. Arbor covered in sweet pea vines Train sweet pea vines up and over a rustic arbor for romantically old-fashioned look. Site in full sun.

41. Rustic wagon planter overflowing with nasturtiums Let nasturtiums spill over the sides of an old wagon or cart for a moveable display of edible flowers.

42. Old bike basket with edible violas Plant an old bike basket or wire hanging basket with edible violas for ornamental appeal. Site in full sun.

Berries and Nuts

43. Rusted metal buckets for blueberries
Plant blueberry shrubs in old metal buckets, barrels or troughs. Situate in full sun and water regularly.

44. Old wheelbarrow planted with raspberries Fill an antique wheelbarrow with rich soil and plant raspberry canes for a movable edible container. Site in full sun.

45. Whiskey barrel mulberry tree Grow a dwarf mulberry in a large whiskey barrel planter. Situate in full sun and provide good drainage.

46. Rustic raised bed for strawberries A raised bed edged with weathered wood is great for keeping strawberry plants tidy and soil well drained.

47. Upcycled chair turned bush bean teepee
Make a tepee support for bush beans from an old chair frame. Site container in full sun.

48. Rustic cold frame for hardy kiwi vine
A simple cold frame can help overwinter sensitive kiwi vines in cold climates. Provide sturdy trellis support.

49. Repurposed stepladder bookshelf planter for trailing ground cherries Grow trailing ground cherries in a repurposed stepladder bookshelf planter. Site in full sun and provide supports.

Final Thoughts

Here are some key do’s and don’ts for creating a successful backyard edible garden:


  • Plan out your garden layout and space plants appropriately for good growth. Leave enough room for plants to reach maturity.
  • Amend your soil with compost or other organic material to provide nutrients for your plants. Good soil is key!
  • Provide the right amount of sun exposure for the plants you want to grow. Most vegetables need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.
  • Use quality seeds and healthy transplants to get your plants off to a vigorous start. This gives them the best chance at thriving.
  • Weed and water your garden regularly to avoid competition and keep plants hydrated. Consistent care is important!
  • Use mulch around plants to retain moisture and discourage weeds. A 3-inch layer works well.
  • Stake and trellis tall-growing plants like tomatoes for support and ease of harvesting.


  • Overcrowd your plants. They need adequate space for air circulation and growth.
  • Let weeds take over! Stay on top of weeding to avoid stealing water and nutrients from your crops.
  • Forget to water! Inconsistent watering leads to issues like blossom end rot on tomatoes.
  • Plant sun-lovers like tomatoes and peppers in too much shade. They need sun to thrive.
  • Hesitate to pick produce at its peak ripeness. Keep harvesting so plants continue producing.
  • Location edibles where pets can access and damage them. Fence off if needed.

Follow these tips and you’ll be harvesting basketfuls of delicious backyard produce in no time!

Further Reading




Paul West
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About Paul West

Longstanding and passionate about really having family fun in the backyard. I'm no expert but I've picked up a thing or two along the way!