Nino Ridgeway was our guest speaker. Nino is the owner of Herbs and Everlasting at Barthel Fruit Farm in Mequon. She is a grower, entomologist and culinary expert.
Nino began by giving us an overview and then went on to describe the common sense and natural way to grow herbs (and plants).
· Give pants what they need…sun, water, carbon dioxide, space, airflow, proper bracing, micronutrients and proper temperatures for the specific plants.
· Most herbs need at least 6 hours of sun per day and well-drained soils.
· Clay soils have high nutrients and don’t need to be fertilized, but they do need to be amended with organic matter to break them up.
· Pots must ALWAYS be fertilized.
· Powdery mildew in pots comes from heat and poor air circulation, but doesn’t spread to other plants
Nino then went on to discuss specifics of both Cool Season herbs (early spring or fall) and Warm Season and Mediterranean herbs. She discussed varietals, pick tips, pests, and uses in cooking and baking. Please see attached handout for details.
· Cool Season include cilantro, parsley, dill, chives, lovage, fennel, mint, chervil, and nasturtium
· Warm season include Basil, oregano, thyme, sweet marjoram, garden sage, lavender, rosemary, pineapple sage, lemongrass, lemon verbena, savory, and French tarragon
Tip for rabbits: Mix warm water with the hottest crushed/ground peppers you can find. Add a clove of garlic and mix in a blender. Drizzle over plants and re-apply after heavy rains. Do not do this just before you plan to harvest!
Herb Gardening Naturally Handout