If you're a first time Plant Parent, don't worry! This is a lot less stressful than having human children.
We've compiled a simple set of guidelines to help you with your Mini Edible Garden. Happy harvesting!
Gentle filtered sunlight throughout the day will help your plant babies #thrive. You can place your mini garden somewhere that gets morning or afternoon sun, but preferably a place that's protected from harsh mid-day rays. Check up on the plot once in a while to make sure it isn't too hot or parched. Don't be afraid to move your garden around to see where it receives just the right amount of Vitamin D!
Dechlorinated water is key, guys! To dechlorinate, place tap water in a basin without a cover and let it breathe overnight. Rain water is also a great option because it's rich in essential nutrients and minerals. It's best to water your plants in the morning, at around 7-9AM, before the strong morning sun comes out to play. Don't water too often in the afternoons or evenings because this may lead to root rot (yeah, it's a thing).
Other notes: Use sight and touch to gauge if your plants are thirsty. Peak summer means some plants species like basil need extra care and should be watered twice a day. Leaves speak volumes! If they're drooping, shower the plant gently as it's probably dehydrated. Yellow leaves suggest you might need to adjust water & sun dose.
PLANT FOOD ⚡️
When you purchase a Mini Edible Garden, we also give you plant food or "compost tea" from our organic, meat-free, vermi compost bins at the farm. Plants love this because it's full of essential nutrients. Transfer the tea into a spray bottle and use once a week (or when you notice your plants may need some TLC). You can spray directly on the soil or under the leaves, but avoid spraying on top of the leaves since it's absorbed better underneath.
Depending on the leaf, it's best to harvest when they're about medium sized. Scissors can be used to make neat cuts, but you can use your thumb and index finger too. Feel where you're going to pick from, then make a deliberate pinch. Make sure you aim pinch at a junction of stems so that more stems can grow later.
And remember: Don't pick and pluck the whole plant (with roots and all) — this cuts their lifespan and they won't be able to regenerate. Harvest what you need regularly. It keeps them healthy! Just leave enough for your plant babies to grow again.
If you want to move your babies to a bigger pot, make sure you water them a few hours before transferring. When you do, get the whole plant gently by the root system. It'll take a couple of days to re-root and recover from the stress of the move, so you can give it some extra love (aka compost tea). For bigger plants with bigger stems (like Gynura & Talinum), you can make a cutting from the thick roots and transplant those. Try to leave them in the same location until the plant readjusts to its new home. Make sure you increase container size gradually, maintain the quality of the soil, and water thoroughly after transplant.