As any good chef will tell you, the best meals come from locally sourced, fresh ingredients.
It does not get any more local than a herb and vegetable garden in your yard, patio, or deck.
I’ve had gardens in some form going way back to tending delicious summer tomatoes that grew likes weeds in the heat and humidity of Michigan.
I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, which is why I’m very happy to have some professionals at Weidners Gardens in Encinitas to assist with my home gardening needs.
Kalim Owens and Oliver Storm run the show at Weidners and I had a conversation with them about home gardens and their Celebration of Herbs & Veggies festival happening during the month of March.
I’m excited to get my garden started this year and am happy to have a local nursery like Weidners that has such a great selection. What kinds of herbs and veggies do you have available this year?
We are going to have just about anything available that you need for a full garden — 30 to 40 different tomato varieties from small fruit to really large Heirlooms, peppers, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, strawberries to name some, and a full line of herbs with many different varieties. We also have a full line of fruit trees and berries.
While I have space in my yard for a garden, I’ve had huge problems with gophers and am going to try a potted garden this year. You specialize in helping out folks in a similar situation or who simply don’t have the room. Tell me what herbs and veggies grow best in pots and some tips for a successful potted garden.
Any herbs and veggies you grow in your garden you can grow in a pot. Tomatoes, cucumbers, basically the more vigorous plants you want to grow in larger containers, say a 15 gallon pot or bigger. Smaller veggies like peppers you can put into smaller pots like a 5-gallon. And then most herbs can go into pots as small as 6-inch pots or combined with other herbs in larger pots. Except maybe basil, it’s a loner that likes to be on its own. Start with a good potting mix like Weidners’ very own potting soil that provides good drainage, get the plants growing and then feed with a vegetable fertilizer every two weeks until you see fruit. Veggie pots will need two or three waterings a week as a rule of thumb. When the crop is finished dump out the soil, reload and go again.
Your Celebration of Herbs & Veggies runs throughout the month but the weekend of March 21 is the big party at the nursery. What do you have going on that weekend?
We are having speakers both days. We are starting off with Ms. Klibbs. She is making her award winning Lavender Lima Bean White Chocolate Bars. Master Gardener Karan Cooper will talk about Heirloom Tomatoes from seed to salsa. Sunday Roy Wilburn will talk about herbs for your health and growing spring veggies. All herbs and vegetables are 10 percent off for the weekend. Best of all we are going to have free hot dogs for lunch. Details for the schedule are on the Weidners Gardens website: weidners.com
You have some unique herbs available this year including a special mint for Mojitos. That sounds very fun…tell me more!
Mojitos have been a popular drink in the last year; it’s a very trendy cocktail. We have a special Mojito Mint that is used to prepare this drink.
Besides your huge selection of herbs and veggies, you are actually famous for your coloring plants, tell me more about those?
We are known for our Tuberous Begonia, Fuchsias and many other flowering plants. No other place shows a floral display like Weidners Gardens. We sell Fuchsias from 4.5-inch plants all the way up to 4-foot trees. No one has more varieties than we have. Our Begonias are famous. Many different kinds are available. The Encanto Begonia has become a huge hit in the last two years. Beautiful single orange red flowers that will bloom all spring and well into the summer.
What else can folks find at Weidners Gardens?
When people come to Weidners Gardens they experience the wow effect. Our plants are so healthy and beautiful. Did you know that we are growers? Ninety percent of all plants we sell are grown in our own greenhouses. We have chairs all around the nursery so folks can just sit and take a moment to enjoy the flower show. So that’s another thing people can find at Weidners, a chance to sit and take a moment to enjoy the flowers.
We just upgraded our succulent section. We are installing a new display area and have increased our offerings greatly. You can find unusual plants in our collection. Sabine our succulent guru creates great succulent arrangements. We also have a succulent day scheduled with fantastic speakers for April 18. Debra Lee Baldwin and Jeff Moore are talking all succulents.
Weidners Gardens is located at 695 Normandy Road, Encinitas. Call (760) 436-2194 or online at weidners.com
Lick the Plate can now be heard on KPRi, 102.1 FM Monday – Friday during at 4:10 and 7:10 p.m. David Boylan is founder of Artichoke Creative and Artichoke Apparel, an Encinitas based marketing firm and clothing line. Reach him at email@example.com or (858) 395-6905