Fresh Herb Trough Inspires

herb troughChefs and bartenders who prepare food and drinks for weddings and other events at the Garden are loving the large trough of fresh herbs available to them just outside the catering kitchen of the Ada and George Davidson Event and Culinary Center. Megan DeBertrand, events manager says, “The herbs are mostly used in drinks and to garnish dishes.” To make it easy for chefs and bartenders to use the herbs, the horticulture staff planted them in a large galvanized trough on rollers that can be positioned near the kitchen or bar during an event. Having the trough on rollers enables the staff to move the trough between events to where it will get the light and moisture it needs to continue growing well. The chefs were asked what fresh herbs they would like to have available to snip, and they requested basic culinary herbs such as basil, parsley and mint. The staff obliged and went one step further to provide some unusual herbs, such as lemongrass and pineapple mint, to elevate the food and drinks that are prepared during events at the Garden. If you’d like to create your own herb container, here are a few tips:
  • Think about what herbs you enjoy eating and cooking with, or maybe there’s something new you’d like to try.
  • Consider where you will place your planter. Most herbs grow best in full sun, except basil, which appreciates a little shade from the hot afternoon sun.
  • Choose a suitable container for the number of herbs you plan to grow. A 12- to 14-inch pot will accommodate 3-5 different herbs. Make sure the pot has a drainage hole.
  • Position your container where you want it and fill it two-thirds full with a high-quality potting mix. If the container is very deep, you can place inverted plastic nursery pots in the base to take up some of the volume.
  • Remove the plants from their nursery pots and place them in the soil. If the root balls are dense, gently loosen them with your fingers.
  • Add more soil around the plants and firm it in place.
  • Water the container well.
  • Snip herbs regularly to keep them growing and don’t forget to keep the container watered.
  • It’s usually not necessary to fertilize herbs, but if you feel a need to fertilize, use an organic fertilizer.
Try growing some pineapple mint and enjoy this refreshing summer cocktail: Pineapple Mint Mojitos -In a tall glass, mash 3 pineapple mint leaves with 1 teaspoon sugar and ¼ lime with a muddler or the handle of a wooden spoon. -Add 4-6 ice cubes. -Pour 1 ounce of white rum over ice, followed by 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, then top with club soda. -Stir to combine and garnish with a pineapple wedge.