Culinary Adventures Start in Your Garden
Themed gardens can be a ton of fun for gardeners who are looking to try something new, not only in the garden but also in the kitchen. There are many different kinds that can be planted with the purpose of a specific recipe or culinary trend.
Basil plants can give you the basics for several themed gardens all summer long. Basil is one of the most accessible herbs and is prolific in its growth. It can be grown anywhere: in flower gardens, vegetable gardens, in pots, even indoors.
A pesto garden is the perfect start for using basil. Pesto is an Italian tradition with a simple list of ingredients: basil, crushed garlic, grated hard cheese, pine nuts, and a little olive oil. It's a great sauce for pasta but can also be used on crackers as an appetizer or as a condiment on almost anything. Pesto is particularly tasty in a panini sandwich and can be used as a spread in any sub or hoagie.
Planting for a tomato caprese garden gives the culinary adventurer an additional use of basil, but adds the requirement of planting Roma tomatoes. Use these two simple ingredients, add mozzarella cheese, drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette and the culinary adventure is well on its way.
Themed Gardens for Kids
Kids and grandkids will enjoy planting themed gardens and will be more motivated to stay involved with gardening as they serve up delicious culinary delights to the rest of the family.
A ketchup garden is simple to plant: onions and beefsteak tomatoes are the main ingredients for delicious homemade ketchup. And, what kid doesn't love any kind of ketchup? Kids can create their own culinary adventures by making sweeter versions with a pinch of sugar added, or they can add a kick by stirring in hot sauce or sriracha.
A spaghetti garden requires a few more plants than a ketchup garden, but might be even more rewarding for older children. This themed garden requires Roma tomatoes, oregano, onions, basil, garlic and parsley to use for basic ingredients. These plants will continue to produce all season long and can be the basis for a wide variety of spaghetti sauces.
Culinary adventurers may want to try a traditional bolognese sauce, or be very adventurous by adding part-skimmed milk ricotta for a creamy texture or simmer the sauce with a handful of pitted and squashed olives, capers, and a few anchovies for a salty Mediterranean version.
A Truly Unique Theme
For those interested in taking the culinary adventure even further, there is the vegetable stir-fry themed garden. This garden requires eight plants: bell pepper, red onion, yellow squash, snow peas, bok choy, broccoli, eggplant, and garlic.
The vegetable stir-fry garden may be more appropriate for the advanced gardener, but those with a culinary flair will enjoy having these diverse ingredients available all summer long. A basic recipe for stir-fry can be embellished by adding a variety of herbs, swapping out ingredients and adding unique ingredients like tofu and edamame.
Taking Care of Themed Gardens
Taking care of themed gardens is easier with the help of Gardener's Blue Ribbon brand. Plant labels are a must in helping to identify seedlings throughout the growing season as plants can change their looks. The experienced gardener may not have trouble identifying plants, but a novice will need help. Involving the kids in writing the plant names on the labels is another way to keep them interested and to help them learn about plants throughout the summer.
Staking aids are also helpful for keeping plants from becoming damaged from their own weight as they grow. Basil, in particular, can become top heavy and can benefit from being staked. The Ultomato Tomato Plant Cage is a superior caging system for tomatoes that is easy to use and can be enlarged to support the tomato plant as it grows throughout the season.
Themed garden plants will attract bugs so care must be given to eliminate the damage that insects and other pesky pests can cause. Themed gardens seem to beg for organic treatment and EndAll is a popular choice for the organic control of insects. This product eliminates 45 different insects, including aphid control, various beetles (including Japanese beetles), caterpillars and larvae (including gypsy moth caterpillars and tent caterpillars), harlequin bugs, leafhoppers, stink bugs, whiteflies and mealy bug control.
It is available in an easy-to-use spray and will keep themed gardens organically insect free.
Culinary Adventures Start Now
Themed gardens should be planted in April and May, depending on your zone, and will produce wonderful ingredients all season long. Allow for an abundant crop, especially the squash for the stir-fry garden, and gardeners will find great enjoyment in the culinary adventures as much as they enjoy gardening.
Avant Garden Decor is a premier brand of innovative outdoor living decor, including the CobraCo Brand. From stylish planters and baskets, to flower boxes, plant stands, and fire pits, the CobraCo Brand is the outdoor entertainer's choice for outdoor decor. Avant Garden Decor also offers Gardener's Blue Ribbon brand of garden helpers, such as garden stakes, accessories, and various plant saucers that meet the demands of both gardening hobbyists and enthusiasts alike. Gardeners can contact Avant Garden Decor at www.avantgardendecor.com or 800-323-5800.