At Eastside we’re all about local — the closer to the source, the better. And your own backyard is as local as it gets! Whether you’re planting herb pots or building raised beds, here are some of our favorite garden tips and tricks.
Soil, Water + Sunshine
The dirt makes all the difference. Feed your soil with organic compost to ensure your plants get the nutrients they need. Nutrients now = flavor later!
Keep tender-stemmed herbs like parsley, basil, chives and dill in separate containers from woodier herbs like thyme, rosemary and sage. Rosemary in particular does not like to be overwatered and needs soil with good drainage, but tender herbs prefer more regular watering.
Companion planting can make your garden thrive! When corn, beans and squash are planted close together, each crop benefits from the other. This grouping is referred to as the Three Sisters; it was brought to North America by indigenous peoples from Mexico. Other powerful pairings include: beets and brassicas, carrots and onions, and lettuce and radishes.
Welcoming pollinators into our yards and protecting our plants from pests can feel like a balancing act.
Planting fragrant herbs like mint, tarragon and dill can help keep pests away, as their strong aroma is a natural deterrent. Plant a border of Wormwood (Artemisia) around your garden to repel most garden pests, including mice and rabbits.
From the Garden to the Kitchen
Herbs can be so much more than a garnish! Flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, basil, mint, cilantro, and chervil all make great additions to any salad! A good rule of thumb is to use twice as many herbs as you think you need.
Honor those heirloom tomatoes! Whether you picked them up at the co-op or grew them from seedlings, heirloom tomatoes deserve tender loving care. Handle them gently and let them ripen on the counter until they’re ready to use.
Enjoy garden-fresh flavors all year long when you freeze that summertime bounty. Fresh herbs can be frozen in ice trays with olive oil and used months later. Freeze fresh fruit in a single layer on baking sheets first to keep berries and sliced fruit from forming a frozen block.