When spring arrives and the skies clear, plants begin to bloom, and everything feels fresh and new again. Growers and gardeners don their gloves and begin to work on the season’s cultivation. If you don’t have the time or space to devote to a full garden, you can still enjoy gardening by starting a small herb and edible flower garden this spring. No worries if you’re a novice grower – we’ve got the tips you need.
Why Plant Your Own Herbs and Edible Flowers
There is just something so satisfying about enjoying the fruits of your own labor. When you grow your own herbs and edible flowers for your kitchen, you know you’re getting the freshest possible ingredients for your recipes. Plus, you can take pride in knowing you’ve grown the ingredients.
Herb and edible flower gardens are a great option for growing if you live in an apartment or urban area with little outdoor space. An herb garden can be as simple as a few pots on a windowsill. Having fresh herbs like basil, dill, and mint on hand can elevate your cooking to another level. Using edible flowers like begonia, calendula and elderflower as garnish makes any dish Instagram-worthy.
Tips to Get Started
Growing herbs and edible flowers at home doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are four tips to get you started:
Don’t Over Fertilize
Most herbs do not require much supplemental fertilizer. Depending on the potting soil you choose, they may not need any fertilizer at all. Having too rich of soil can diminish the scent and flavor of the herbs. When it comes to flowering herbs and edible flowers, though, you will need to make sure the soil is properly supplemented.
Give Lots of Light
Apart from a few shade loving herbs, most herbs will thrive in full sun, which is at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. The combination of sun and lean soil nurtures the essential oils in the herbs, leading to the intense fragrance and flavor. Most edible flowers also prefer full sun exposure, so you can grow the herbs and flowers in the same location.
Allow Water Drainage
Most plants will not survive with wet roots or continually damp soil, and herbs and edible flowers are no different. Wet roots can weaken the plant and even lead to disease, which isn’t good if you plan on using the roots, stems, or leaves of the plant.
Some Mediterranean herbs like rosemary and oregano are drought tolerant and can go longer between watering, but they do still need regular care. Check the soil for your herbs and plants daily and water when the soil seems dry to the touch. Be sure that there is ample water drainage in the pot to prevent accumulation and wet roots.
Trim and Harvest Regularly
You’re likely using your herbs and edible flowers for cooking, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep your plants trimmed regularly. Overgrowing can actually lead to unfavorable conditions for your plants. If you find you aren’t using the herbs or flowers as fast as they grow, still trim and harvest what is available. At the end of the growing season, trim the plant back by about two thirds to ensure the best plant health the following year.
The Freshest Events
At North Corner Haven, we grow most of our salad greens, herbs, and edible garnishes on site in our raised kitchen garden. Our menu boasts the freshest, most sustainably grown ingredients. If you’re looking for the best, look no further than North Corner Haven. Contact us today for a tour or to talk about your next event.