Gardening can be a relaxing and rewarding pastime for the mind, body & soul. It allows you to escape the hustle & bustle of daily life to soak in some vitamin D, peacefully connect with nature, and get a great workout!
Nevertheless, a green thumb isn’t necessarily something that you are born with. Gardens require a constant source of water, sunlight, and T.L.C., but don’t let that dissuade you in your pursuit to grow!
If anybody knows how challenging, yet rewarding gardening can be, it’s Miss Shirley’s Corporate Executive Chef Brigitte & Executive Chef Zuri! With the assistance of our Inner Harbor location's Executive Chef Eric, they cultivated the Fresh Vegetable & Herb Garden at Miss Shirley’s Roland Park location in 2014, and have kept it thriving ever since!
In fact, this season, they’re growing: Basil, Parsley, Chives, Garlic, Mint, Tomatoes, Jalapeño Peppers, Spinach, Asparagus, Okra, Green Beans, Cucumbers, Green Onions, Pumpkins & Watermelon.
So for newcomers to the gardening world, we sat down to chat with Brigitte & Zuri to get their top tips & tricks on how to maintain a flourishing Vegetable & Herb Garden:
1. Pick an area with lots of sunlight!
2. Don’t be afraid to try new things! “I never grew okra before, but I had some seeds and I planted them. It was awesome!” – Executive Chef Zuri
3. Give your plants room to grow! Take into consideration how large your garden will be before planting. “Vegetables like Tomatoes need a lot of space!” – Corporate Executive Chef Brigitte
4. Support those stems! Look into what supports you need for each vegetable or herb. “If you’re looking to grow vegetables like Tomatoes, Peppers, or Beans, you want to invest in some sturdy vegetable cages or ladders to keep those greens growing properly!” – Executive Chef Zuri
5. Water with care! Always check the soil & feel for dryness. If it feels dry, your plants need water! But be careful to avoid over-watering – it can cause plants to wilt or grow mold.
6. Check in daily – your veggies will thank you! Stay on top of weeds and any other unwanted vegetation. Remove any dead branches or leaves to give your plants a growing chance!
7. Be PATIENT!
It will take time for your plants to look like something out of a magazine, but follow these simple steps and you’ll be chomping on fresh veggies in no time! So, gather your friends or family and enjoy some fun in the sun gardening this summer!
Best wishes from our garden to yours!