Edible gardens create dishes that are bursting with bold colours and fresh tastes. Microgreens, herbs, berries, vegetables, edible ﬂowers, and more.
Packed with nutrition, microgreens are an easy windowsill grower that will contribute to your home menu year round. While these tiny greens are often relegated to the role of garnish, they are slowly claiming their rightful place as the starring role in breakfast smoothies, egg brekkies, and other dishes.
Look out for easy growing varieties like mustard, cabbage rubies, and mizuna red gems. Varieties like these can sprout and be ready for eating within 7 to 14 days.
Veggies, veggies, veggies. One of the best things about summer is wandering to the vegetable patch and picking fresh produce to use as you need it. Leafy greens like spinach, rocket, and beetroot are great for impromptu harvesting as they quickly grow new leaves. These greens can be used as bases for hearty salads or ingredients in homemade pesto, frittata, and other warm weather meals.
Subterranean vegetables like red onion and carrot give dishes colour and substance. Sow these veggies at intervals throughout the growing season so that you can regularly harvest and enjoy them.
Herbs are perfect for accenting large dishes. A sprinkling of parsley atop a soup or rosemary on a bratwurst are a treat for the senses. These versatile plants bring visual interest, unique scents, and strong ﬂavours.
Ideally suited to small gardens, herbs grow very well in containers and on windowsills. The trick to soft, delicate tasting herbs is to maintain a good watering schedule. A thirsty herb plant will thicken its foliage and develop a bitter taste.
If you don't have space for an orchard, plant berries instead. Blueberries and strawberries do particularly well in pots. While a small berry patch may not grow enough fruit for a blueberry pie, a healthy plant will produce more than enough to accompany and decorate a variety of desserts.
Watch out for birds as your berry plants start to fruit. They love berries and will pick them all before you get a chance. Covering berry plants with netting or keeping them close to your house will help deter hungry birds, as will providing your feathered friends with a seed feeder elsewhere in the garden.
“You can put parsley, a bit of basil, and coriander all in one pot. They’re like a family – they're like a retirement village, they all support each other.”
Known as the ‘Garden Doctor’ at Ryman Healthcare's Bert Sutcliffe village, Kerry is always on call to lend a hand or share some planting wisdom.