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Vegetable Garden Weed Control

You may want to grow many different things in your vegetable garden, but weeds probably aren’t on your favorite edibles list. Weeding can be an enormous time-drain and is one of the the least liked gardening chores. What’s wonderful is that we have so many weed control methods to choose from; there’s a solution for every type of gardener and their schedule.

Safe Control Methods in Edible Gardens

When it comes to vegetable gardening, many gardeners are very particular about what goes into their soil and onto their plants, as it will eventually end up on their plates and in their bodies. Here are some indisputable safe and effective ways to control weeds, without chemicals, in your veggie or any other garden for that matter.

  • Apply corn gluten meal to prevent weed seeds from germinating (don’t use if direct seeding your garden as all seeds will be affected).
  • Plan your garden to crowd edible plants together, effectively crowding out weeds because there isn’t space left for them to grow.
  • Manually pull weeds when the soil is wet and roots are looser. This can be done after a natural rainfall or after supplemental watering.
  • Hoe when the soil is dry to break apart weeds and damage their roots. Pick up larger weeds after hoeing so they cannot reestablish themselves.
  • Mulch with salt hay which contains no weed seeds. The hay will shield weed seeds from the sunlight and moisture they need for germinating.
  • Lay biodegradable and compostable mulch film down to create a firm barrier to keep weeds out or to prevent existing weed seeds from germinating.
  • Attract seed-loving birds such as finches and sparrows, which will happily eat hundreds of weed seeds each day for natural control.
  • Consider raised beds or container gardening to more effectively control weeds and make any remaining weeding easier.
  • Use fire (with all appropriate safety precautions) to burn out unwanted weeds, especially in pathway areas or along garden borders.
  • Treat exposed weeds with boiling water – the hotter the better – to cook and kill them. Several treatments may be needed for the best effects.

Weeds can be some of our worst enemies in the garden, and it is impossible to eliminate every single weed all the time. By using multiple methods and keeping on top of the task, however, it is possible to minimize weeds and make this chore less onerous, without resorting to harsh chemicals.

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Try Delosperma

“Ice plants” refer to several types of plants, usually succulents with fleshy thick leaves in cool green-blue colors. However, after an introduction to Delosperma, you’ll know it as the real deal. As a group of tough groundcovers, these blooming succulents flourish in full sun in well draining soils with little water, once they are established. Plus, they’re amazingly colorful!

About Delosperma

Native to Africa, with fleshy, clustered green leaves, Delosperma species and varieties solve many common groundcover, erosion and container garden needs. From only ½” tall and a few inches wide to 4 inches tall and spreading to 2 feet wide, Delospermas begin blooming with daisy-like flowers in early spring and often continue blooming through the summer. Depending on the variety, these perennial succulents punch up the garden with bright fuchsia, red, bronze, yellow, white, lavender or orange flowers, and several variegated or two-toned blooms are available as well.

A more adventurous gardener can turn up the heat with Delosperma ‘Fire Spinner.’ It quickly grows to an attractive weed-thwarting 2 inches high and 15 inches wide mat in two seasons. The variety name perfectly describes the flowers. It’s a kaleidoscope of hot colors on unbelievable 1½” wide fiery flowers. Radiating from a clear white center, petals with deep magenta color in the middle transition to hot orange, finishing with bronze on the outer tips. These arresting flowers sit atop shiny, apple-green needle-like succulent leaves making an astonishing garden statement from late spring through fall. What an unexpected showstopper!

What Delosperma Demands

Most gardeners are all too used to the finicky habits of their favorite plants, from precise soil pH levels to a specified amount of sunlight to a unique cocktail of soil fertilization and amendments for the best growth. Not so with Delosperma – all these plants ask (it’s more of a demand, really) is good drainage. With that, they’re fairly self sufficient – easy to care for and requiring very little maintenance.

Birds, bees and butterflies love Delosperma just as much as gardeners, but deer don’t, making these plants ideal for areas where deer are a bit too friendly in the garden. They work well as borders or to soften the edges of buildings, walkways and driveways, and they’re right at home in well-drained terraces, rock gardens and xeriscaping.

Whether you live in a naturally drought-prone area or just want to conserve water without sacrificing color and beauty, give Delosperma a try and you won’t be disappointed!

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Growing Mint in Your Herb Garden

Many of us love mint. With many different flavors of mint available at garden centers, it is easy to want to plant one of each. Planning ahead makes this possible to do, but lack of planning may have you tearing them all out.

How Mint Grows

Mint grows as a groundcover. The underground runners spread quickly and are difficult to remove if containment is desired. In other words, mint is often considered invasive and can quickly take over flowerbeds, vegetable plots and even areas of turf near where it is originally planted. Planting in pots placed into the ground prevents its escape, or intensive labor may be needed to help get mint back to its original proportions after it has wandered.

Planting Mint

To help keep mint under control and more accessible for use, many gardeners opt to plant it indoors. Attractive in barrels or pots by the kitchen, mint leaves and flowers can be easily available for cooking or beverages.

To prevent plants from looking rangy, frequently cut or pinch back new growth. Pinching off the flower buds produces more lush leaves and fuller plants.

Mints grow well in sun or part shade, preferring well-drained but moist soil. Although not particular about soil type, enriching clay soil with compost will improve the overall plant appearance and taste. Different soil pH values and organic compositions may also have some minor influence on the taste of different mints.

Most mints grow 18-30 inches tall. Plant at least 2 inches apart to prevent cross-pollination of different varieties and preserve the best flavors. As a perennial, the plant may disappear in the winter, but will return in spring, hardier and more vigorous than ever.

Using Mint

It’s no surprise that mint is an edible favorite. Not only is it popular for refreshing drinks such as mint juleps or mint-infused lemonade, but it is also ideal for…

  • Sauces
  • Salads, especially fruit salad
  • Flavoring for cookies, cakes and puddings
  • Jellies and preserves
  • Smoothies
  • Soups and stews
  • Ice cream, gelato and frozen yogurt
  • Garnishes on meats
  • Freezing in ice cubes for a drink garnish

Mint can be used fresh for a strong, vibrant taste, or it can easily be dried and used all year long. Both fresh and dried mint sprigs can also be fragrant additions to cut flower arrangements, wreaths or other greenery decorations as well. With so many wonderful options for mint, you’ll want to add some to freshen up your herb garden today!

Crape Myrtles

No yard or landscape should be without a crape myrtle, or two, or three or… many! How wonderful to have something that blooms so profusely during that time of year when most other plants are looking tired and worn from the summer heat and drought. The versatility of this plant makes it suitable for many types of yards and many uses, and once established, they will go on to add charm and delight to the landscape for many years.

About Crape Myrtles

Crape myrtles bloom in late summer and can be found in flower colors of pinks, lilac, white, reds and purples. Requiring very little maintenance once established, crape myrtles need a full sun location to thrive and they do not like wet feet. Keep these needs in mind when selecting a site to plant them. They will require some supplemental watering for the first year or so to get off to a good start and develop good roots. Crape myrtles are also pretty much pest-free, except for aphids on occasion and these are easily controlled with an insecticidal soap spray. Some varieties are more susceptible to powdery mildew than others but most of the newer varieties are more resistant to this fungus problem.

Planting Crape Myrtles

Although tolerant of a wide range of soil qualities, crape myrtles grow poorly in wet locations so be sure to select a well-drained planting site. Late spring to early summer is the best time to select and plant your new crape myrtles while they are actively growing and can settle in quickly. Plant at or slightly above ground level, spreading the roots out slightly and using mulch to protect and shelter the roots after planting. They do prefer a slightly acid soil.

Crape Myrtle Types

Crape myrtles can be found in shrub, multi-stem tree and single trunk tree forms. For best results select a cultivar whose growth characteristics and ultimate mature size fit your intended use. Planting a shrub- or tree-like crape myrtle in an area of limited space will require yearly pruning to keep it from outgrowing its place. Single- or multi-stemmed tree-form crape myrtles are ideal as flowering specimen trees or as small, flowering shade trees near patios, walkways and entrances. Shrub forms make an excellent accent in a shrub border when planted in groups. Dwarf plants are effective as large groundcovers, perennial bedding plants or container plants providing vivid, summer-flowering interest.

Pruning Crape Myrtles

If adequate room is provided, little pruning is required except to maintain shape or remove any dead or crossing branches. Remove any suckers or water sprouts to maintain tree forms and elegance. Blossoms are produced on new growth so you can prune anytime the plants are dormant through the winter.

With so much to love about these plants, there’s no reason not to add one to your yard this year! And next year, and the year after that, and the year after that…

Green Gardening

Planting a vegetable or flower garden seems like the perfect thing to do when you are looking for ways to adopt a greener, more environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Some traditional gardening practices, however, may not be quite as “green” as you might think. Planning your gardens with the environment in mind and choosing some practices that maintain healthy ecosystems can help you create a truly “green” garden. 

Tips for a Green Garden 

There are easy, effective steps you can take in your garden to go green, including… 

  • Plant local and native species of trees and shrubs which are naturally adapted to the conditions in your area, thus requiring less watering and having natural defenses for local insect pests and plant diseases.
  • Collect rainwater for watering your container gardens and new transplants, and adjust your irrigation schedule to compensate for whenever Mother Nature does the watering for you.
  • Use organic compost and mulch to improve soil health and reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers. Better yet, make your own compost so you can adjust it to exactly what your plants need while keeping more waste out of landfills.
  • Opt for disease-resistant and pest-resistant plants rather than trying to force plants into an unfriendly area where they will need chemical assistance and extra maintenance to thrive.
  • Try to use natural products instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Use traps, parasites and natural predators such as ladybugs and lacewings. Plants that repel insects – basil, chives, mint, marigolds or mums – mixed in with other plants can help keep pests away.
  • Choose wildlife-friendly plants such as flowerbeds that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other pollinators, and don’t be upset to share some of your garden space with other critters.

These are just a few of the simple changes you can make in your gardening practices that will benefit the environment.

Green Products 

More and more “green” products are readily available to help you maintain the natural health of your garden. Before using a product, however, be sure it is suitable for your situation, and follow all application and use instructions. Even organic or eco-friendly products can become toxic contaminants if they are improperly used.

Popular options for green gardening products include… 

  • Dr. Earth contains probiotic beneficial soil microbes, plus ecto- and endo- mycorrhizae which feed the fiber of the living soil by releasing natural organic matter. People and pet safe.
  • Dr. Earth pest controls are organic controls for all of your pest problems, including all types of unwanted or troublesome insects. People and pet safe.
  • Espoma Organic Traditions line of products includes bone meal, kelp meal, garden sulphur, potash and garden lime for helping to improve your soil without artificial chemical compounds.
  • Bonide offers organic fertilizers as well as organic formulas for pest and plant disease control, such as fruit tree sprays.
  • Scotts Organic Choice lawn care products provide more environmentally friendly choices for your yard.

Developing “green” gardening practices benefits you and your family, your garden, your native plants and animals, your water supply – our world, all of us.

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Pink Muhley Grass

Ornamental grasses are becoming increasingly popular, and there is now an over-abundance of options available at garden centers. So many choices can make the selection process difficult, even overwhelming. There is one ornamental grass, however, that takes the cake. Pink Muhley Grass is arguably the most colorful ornamental grass around and it is sure wow your friends and neighbors.

About Pink Muhley Grass

Pink Muhley Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) is a native grass that is deer, drought and salt tolerant. It is hardy in zones 7-10 and may be grown as an annual elsewhere. Broadly adaptable, this grass prefers sun but will tolerate part shade and will grow well in just about any soil type. ‘Regal Mist’, or also called ‘Lenca’, is a cultivar known for the deepest plume color.

Perfect used as a specimen plant in containers or in groupings in beds and borders as well as naturalized in a meadow garden, this fall bloomer is an outstanding ornamental plant. The pink-purple flower plumes that grow up to 4 feet are also exceptional for use in cut and dried floral arranging.

Proper Care

This ornamental grass is very easy to care for. Simply prune your Pink Muhley Grass clump back hard in late winter or very early spring before the attractive new growth begins to show. Although drought tolerant, the plant will be fuller and lusher with regular, consistent watering. It is especially adaptable to poorly drained soils, and can grow in full sun or partial shade locations.

In the Garden and Landscape

There are many stunning uses for this outstanding grass, whether you are cultivating a formal garden or a more relaxed landscape. Consider these popular options…

  • When not flowering, the green clump creates a textured mound acting as a groundcover or background for other smaller plants. It can also soften harsh garden corners, walkway edges or awkward intersections.
  • As a finely textured grass, plant Pink Muhley Grass with contrasting companions such as calla lilies, evergreen shrubs or low growing groundcovers to create interest in the landscape.
  • Plant in front of the larger smoketree Cotinus coggygria ‘Grace’ for an exquisite coordinating display of color and texture.
  • Plant where it will be backlit. It positively glows where it catches the early morning or late afternoon sun.
  • Use as a beautiful and unusual addition to floral arrangements.

Do you need another reason to grow Pink Muhley Grass? Oh, yes, the birds will thank you – they love the seeds!

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Top Native Shrubs for Year-Round Interest

We just love incorporating natives into the home landscape, and it’s easier to do than many gardeners realize. Including native plants is an important part of sustaining local pollinators and wildlife. Furthermore, native plants are naturally lower maintenance and pest-resistant, and wow, are they beautiful!

Favorite Native Shrubs

It’s easy to find native shrubs to provide interest in the garden the whole year through, from fresh spring growth to brilliant summer blooms to outrageous autumn foliage to stunning winter structure. Our list offers outstanding selections that will do well in a variety of moisture levels, soil types and sun exposures. Cultivars of these species offer variations in size, form, leaf color and shape as well as flower colors.

  • Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)
    Deciduous shrub, 3-8 feet high x 4-6 feet wide. Fragrant white blooms in July to August. Full sun to part shade, but will tolerate heavy shade. Moist to wet soil, tolerates erosion and clay soil. Use as a hedge, to naturalize or in rain garden. Attracts butterflies.
  • Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina)
    Deciduous shrub, 2-5 feet high x 4-8 feet wide. Insignificant flower, ornamental and fragrant leaf. Full sun to part shade. Medium moist soil preferred, but also drought tolerant. Use to naturalize or in rain gardens.
  • Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum)
    Deciduous shrub, 6-12 feet high x 6-12 feet wide. Yellowish-white flowers in May to June followed by showy fruit. Full sun to part shade. Medium to wet soil. Deer tolerant. Good for erosion control. Use as a hedge or in a rain garden. Attracts birds.
  • Winterberry (Ilex verticillata)
    Deciduous shrub, 3-12 feet high x 3-12 feet wide. Showy red fruit in the winter. Full sun to part shade. Medium to wet soil and tolerates clay soil. Tolerates air pollution. Controls erosion. Use as a hedge or in a rain garden. Attracts birds.
  • Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
    Broadleaf evergreen, 5-15 feet high x 5-15 feet wide. May-blooming with rose to white flowers with purple markings. Sun to part shade. Medium moist soil. Deer and rabbit tolerant.
  • Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
    Deciduous shrub, 6-12 feet high x 6-12 feet wide. Fragrant greenish-yellow, flowers and showy fruit. Part shade but can tolerate heavy shade. Medium soil moisture and drought tolerant. Deer tolerant. Can grow in clay soil. Attracts birds and butterflies.
  • Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)
    Deciduous shrub, 5-10 feet high x 5-10 feet wide. Showy fruit in the winter. Full sun to part shade. Dry to medium soil moisture. Use as a hedge, naturalize or in a rain garden. Attracts birds.
  • Pinxterbloom Azalea (Rhododendron viscosum)
    Deciduous shrub, 3-5 feet high x 3-5 feet wide. Blooms white to pale pink in May to July. Part shade. Medium to wet soil moisture. Very ornamental and good as a cut flower. Tolerant of rabbits. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • American Cranberry Bush (Viburnum opulus ‘americanum’)
    Deciduous shrub, 8-12 feet high x 8-12 feet wide. White lacecap flowers in April to May. Edible fruit. Full sun to part shade. Medium soil moisture. Use as a hedge or in the shrub border. Attracts birds and butterflies.

If none of these suggestions quite meet your preferences for a year-round native shrub, stop in to see our experts for more tips and options – new species and cultivars are always arriving!

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Planting Basics – Trees & Shrubs

Are you ready to add trees and shrubs to your landscape? You don’t need to hire professionals to do the planting when you learn the basics of doing it the right way yourself.

Soil Preparation

How quickly and how well trees become established once they are planted is affected by the amount of stress they are exposed to before and during planting. Minimizing planting stress is the goal of proper planting. Trees and shrubs should also be thoroughly watered prior to planting to minimize water stress.

Ideally, soil preparation should be carried out well ahead of planting. Preparation could include incorporating organic matter into the soil to improve aeration, assist drainage of compacted soils and improve soil nutrient-holding capacity. Specific preparation may be needed if the soil has an inappropriate pH or is lacking in certain elements. Trees and shrubs with a limited soil tolerance range may require very specific soil preparation to meet their requirements.

Additional soil preparation is essential when you are ready to plant trees and shrubs. Dig the planting hole 50 percent wider but only as deep as the root ball. Prepare soil by mixing one-third existing soil, one-third organic matter and one-third topsoil.

Planting Container-Grown Trees & Shrubs

When you buy a plant from a garden center or nursery, it often comes in a small pot that holds the roots. Remove the plant from that container gently, but without pulling on delicate stems or foliage. Squeezing the container all around can help loosen the root ball so it slides out more easily, or the container may be thin enough to cut away.

Because the plant was grown in a container, its roots have been restricted by the shape of the container. Loosen the roots all the way around, even on the bottom. If the root system is too tight to loosen with your fingers, cut through roots slightly with a knife or pruning sheers. Make three or four one-inch deep cuts, then gently pull the roots apart.

Center the plant in the prepared hole, keeping it 1-3 inches above grade. Keep roots spread out.

Planting Field-Grown Trees & Shrubs

If you are transplanting a tree or shrub that has been field grown, it may have bare roots or be lightly bagged or burlapped. Center the plant in the prepared hole 1-3 inches above the grade. Cut and remove all cords or twine from the root ball and trunk. Burlap should be left on, but loosened and pulled away from the trunk and below the soil surface. Remember to move trees carefully. Roll the root ball on its side and “steer” it into the hole with the trunk. Straighten the tree upright in the hole, checking it from different angles to be sure it is fully upright.

Completing the Planting

For both container-grown and balled and burlapped plant material, backfill the planting hole with soil your mix and pack firmly. Make a rim of soil around the plant to act as a “saucer” for holding water.

Water thoroughly with a slow soaking, and use a root stimulator fertilizer to provide good initial stimulus for the roots to spread out.

Apply a 2-inch layer of mulch around your new planting, keeping an open space of 3 inches around the trunk or base of the plant to allow for air circulation.

Staking Container & Field Grown Trees and Shrubs

When larger trees or shrubs are planted, they are not yet firmly established in their new locations and may tip or lean as the soil settles. For larger trees, use three wires secured to anchor stakes in firm ground (never into the root ball). Where the wires touch the tree, they should be covered with rubber hose to prevent damage. Remove stakes as soon as roots become established. This can be as soon as a few months, so check your tree frequently. Stakes should not be left in place any longer than one growing season.

New Plant Care

All newly planted trees and shrubs need gentle care as they settle in to their new locations. To keep them healthy and encourage good initial growth…

  • Water Properly
    Plants should be slowly soaked to a depth of 4 inches, which is the equivalent of about an inch of water per week. This is necessary during the first year or two. Let the hose run slowly at the base of the plant until the water has penetrated to the root depth. Too much water can also be a problem. Feel the soil. If it is soggy or squishy, do not add water. Frequent light watering is not as good as a thorough soaking once per week, which will encourage strong root growth.
  • Fertilize Appropriately
    Your new plants should be given a Root Stimulator type fertilizer right after planting. You should not use a fertilizer meant for mature plants on new material, as it could cause damage to your plant. It is essential for new plants to develop a healthy root system – top growth will follow. After the first season, regular fertilizers can be used.
  • Prune Safely
    Pruning at planting time may be necessary for larger trees to reduce leaf surface to match cut roots. Remove one-third of smaller twigs. Do not cut back the main trunk or larger branches. If shaping is necessary, trim side branches enough to get uniformity.
  • Be Alert for Insects and Diseases
    Keep an eye out for holes or brown leaves or needles. This could be a sign of insect or disease problems. Ask our staff for help identifying the insect or disease and to prescribe appropriate treatments.
  • Special Care Plants
    Some plants need extra special care because of their finicky needs. For example, azaleas, hollies, rhododendrons and dogwoods all need well-drained, acidic soils, high in organic matter and a shady location. Research the trees and shrubs you are planting to be sure you are meeting their needs right from the beginning.

It can seem intimidating to plant your own trees and shrubs, since they are an investment in your landscape that you hope to enjoy for many years. By understanding planting basics, however, you can easily give every plant a great start in its new home.

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Caution in the Garden… Chlorosis

Yellow means caution, even for plants. While leaf yellowing, known as chlorosis, may be a signal that there is a problem that requires attention, it may also be normal. Understanding when this coloration is to be expected and when it indicates a problem is essential to be sure you’re giving your plants the proper care.

The Good and the Bad About Chlorosis

Chlorosis is the scientific word used to indicate the full or partial yellowing of plant leaves or stems and simply means that chlorophyll is breaking down. There are times when this is normal, expected coloration, and there are times when it indicates deeper problems that need attention.

  • Normal Chlorosis – Yellowing leaves at the base of an otherwise healthy plant is normal; the plant is simply utilizing the nitrogen and magnesium for exposed leaves near its top rather than older, lower leaves. These yellowed, older leaves will eventually shrivel and fall off as newer growth emerges at the top of the plant.
  • Chlorotic Response to Light – Moving a plant from full sun to shade, or visa-versa, can cause yellowing leaves as the plant reacts to the change and stress. Make sure that you grow and maintain your plant in the proper light. Also bear in mind seasonal changes that may affect how much light a plant is exposed to, even if it hasn’t been moved.
  • Chlorotic Response to Moisture – Sudden changes in soil moisture may damage or kill plant roots which can lead to yellowed leaves as the roots are unable to take up sufficient moisture. Most otherwise healthy plants, however, are able to grow new roots as they readjust. Maintain correct soil moisture or move the plants to a more favorable environment.
  • Mineral Deficiency – A shortage of some key mineral nutrients will cause chlorosis in plants. Often, a yellow leaf indicates a lack of nitrogen, however, magnesium, iron, sulfur or manganese deficiencies are indicated by yellowing leaves with prominent green veins. A magnesium deficiency will manifest itself in the yellowing of older leaves. On the other hand, an iron deficiency presents itself in the yellowing of new or young leaves. A simple soil analysis will let you know what minerals or trace elements your soil is deficient in.
  • Soil Factors – Although essential and trace elements may be present in the soil, many other factors affect how the plant uses and absorbs them. If the soil pH is too high/low or there is too much salt in the soil, the plant will not be able to utilize the available nutrients. Test your soil pH and adjust as necessary to be sure the plant can absorb nutrients appropriately to maintain proper foliage colors.
  • Toxins – Although this doesn’t happen frequently, pollutants like paint, oil, chemical solvents, airborne herbicides or pesticides or other pollutants may cause leaves to turn yellow and dark brown before dying. In this case, remove and dispose of the plant and its surrounding soil, and mark the area to be sure it can be treated appropriately and no other plants are inadvertently exposed to the toxins.

It can be alarming to see healthy plants suddenly yellowing, but by understanding chlorosis and how it happens, you can take steps to determine the cause of the color change and what to do to help your plants recover.

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Edible Flowers

Flowers aren’t just for beautiful dining table centerpieces anymore! For all you “foodies” out there, who also love flowers, are you aware that there are numerous blooms that are not only edible but also delicious? Flowers make a striking, colorful, textural and flavorful addition to soups, salads, baked goods and more.

Safety First

There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when experimenting with unfamiliar flowers. Not all flowers are edible and some can be poisonous, even in small tastes. Be certain to clearly identify your flowers and accept no imposters, as some blooms can look very similar. Also, it is best to use flowers that have not been sprayed with chemicals – either fertilizers or pesticides. The best way to avoid both of these issues is to grow your own edible flowers from seed, keeping them conveniently in a kitchen container garden or safely on a deck or patio where there’s no risk of contamination or misidentification.

Favorite Edible Flowers

There are surprising blooms that can be tasty accents to your favorite dishes. For the best flavor and freshness, harvest blooms at their peak early in the day. Younger and older blooms or blooms of different sizes often have subtly different flavors, so be sure to experiment to find your favorites.

  • Bee Balm (Monarda didyma) – Tea-like flavor, flowers in white, pink, red and lavender
  • Borage (Borago officinalis) – Cucumber-like taste, flowers in lavender, purple and blue
  • Calendula (Calendula officianalis) – Peppery taste, flowers in yellow, orange and gold
  • Chive (Allium schoenoprasum) – Onion flavor, flowers in white, pink and lavender
  • Nasturtium (Tropaloum majus) – Peppery flavor, flowers in white, yellow, orange and red
  • Pineapple Sage (Salvia eleagans) – Sage flavor with pineapple undertones, flowers in scarlet
  • Pinks (Dianthus spp.) – Clove-like flavor, flowers in white, pink and red
  • Red Clover (Trifolium pretense) – Sweet tasting, flowers in pink and red
  • Signet Marigold (Tagetes tenufolia) – Citrus taste, flowers in white, yellow, gold and red
  • Viola or Pansy (Viola spp.) – Sweet flavor, flowers in a multitude of colors

Not sure which recipes to try? Flowers make surprising accents to salads or garnishes for cakes, cookies and ice creams. Add flower petals to a favorite drink, or freeze blooms in ice cubes for colorful cooling. There are even recipes available for sauces, salsas, marinades and more, all with more taste and color thanks to edible flowers. Bon appétit!

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