The Edible Garden
July 20, 2009
by Debbie Hughes, Estates Horticulturist
The Estates has many edible plants this time of year, such as curcuma (turmeric), shampoo ginger, galangal, lemongrass, allspice, okra, eggplant, roselle, and pepper seedlings. When the season cools down, the palette will change into more traditional herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, chives, rosemary, mints etc.
Once a gardener has made the decision to use a little piece of land to grow something useful, the fun begins. Getting started is the hardest part, but don’t be dismayed. Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration;” nowhere is this more evident than in the garden. Consider starting an edible garden near your door for easy access in maintenance and utilization. Besides, when you brush past the herbs, you can’t help becoming inspired by their enticing aroma.
There are some easy techniques one can employ to make growing your own herbs easier and become a genius in the kitchen. One technique I have found successful for growing herbs is the mound or lasagna method.
A “No Till Garden” consists of:
- layer of newspaper
- layer of compost
- layer of potting mix
- layer of worm castings
- last layer of food approved mulch
The hill can vary from 18” to 24” in height, allowing for planting room on the sides and top. Mounds, raised beds, or container gardens allow less bending over, easing your back and knees. Containers allow freedom to move the herbs where they may be the happiest depending on sun and water conditions. Place the herbs near a hose or a rain barrel for easy watering.
If you would like to see an example of this type of garden, there is a demonstration for public view in the Estates’ Heritage Garden next to our newly dedicated Mina Edison Statue. Come to the Garden Shoppe at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates during the week. Our hours are 9-5 every day. Estates Members receive a 10% discount on all Garden Shoppe merchandise.