Harvesting Flowers

You can use the flowers harvested from your Incredible Edible Seed Pod Kit in all kinds of ways. Make a fragrant mini-bouquet for your desk, add color to a place setting or even add a unique flair to one of your favorite recipes.

Harvesting

Since your flowers have been grown in a controlled indoor AeroGarden, you don’t need to worry about sprayed chemicals and the plants are safe to consume.

  • Prune flowers that have just fully opened. Think of edible flowers as you would fruit in that they should not be over or underripe.
  • Make sure to separate the flower from the stem and remove any non-colored/ white portions at base of petals.
  • Some flowers can be eaten whole, such as viola and squash blossoms.

Storing

After harvesting, store in a refrigerator and use as soon as possible for best flavor.

  • Use a glass or plastic container to store the flowers with a damp paper towel at the bottom to provide humidity. This will help the flowers to last longer and lessen wilting.
  • Remove parts of the flower that contain pollen before tasting.

Drying Method

Some flowers that can be dried whole include chamomile, calendula and lavender. Remember to rotate so they don’t dry flat. Larger flowers should have the petals removed to be dried.

  • Spread flowers and petals out in a thin single layer over a clean surface such as paper towels or dish towel.
  • Place in a dry, undisturbed area in your home (avoid direct sunlight). Rotate each flower/ petal once a day until dry.
  • Store in a glass jar with lid.
  • Keep dried flowers in a dry area and out of direct sunlight for increased shelf life.
  • Wait until you are ready to use dried flowers to crush or powder if desired. This will help preserve fragrant oils in the plant.

If properly stored, your dried flowers can stay good up to a year. The potency of the flowers decrease as its color fades.

Floral Bath Salts

Time to relax! Use your AeroGarden flowers in this lovely Floral Bath Salts recipe by Soap Queen.

Any AeroGarden flowers can be used in this bath salts recipe! So don’t feel limited.

Here are a few great options:

Snapdragons come in the following seed pod kits:  Incredible Edibles, and any custom flower.

Lavender come in the following seed pod kits:  Lots of Lavender, and any custom flower.

Calendulas/ Marigolds come in the following seed pod kits:  Incredible Edibles, and any custom herb.

Chamomile comes in the following seed pod kits:  Fresh TeaTraditional Medicinal Herb, and any custom herb.


Perfect Flower Collections include: Mountain Meadow, English Cottage, and June’s Plant of the MonthIncredible Edibles.

 

Get this relaxing Floral Bath Salts recipe at Soap Queen

(image and recipe by Soap Queen)

Garden Checkup: Treating “Blossom-End Rot”

Blossom-end rot can occur in tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, squash, and melons. Often times, the damage appears when the fruit is half-way grown. These soggy areas expand and turn dark brown and harden. The effected areas will begin to rot and the fruit should be cut-off and discarded.

Blossom End Rot is not a pest, parasite, or disease process but is a physiological problem caused by a low level of calcium in the fruit itself. There is no cure for blossom end rot, only prevention. This can occur when tomatoes are nutrient deprived or under erratic watering. Typically adding more nutrients will resolve the problem and tomato plants will recover.

How much nutrient are you giving your tomatoes? 

The nutrient level should be increased when growing tomatoes upon the third feeding and moving forward.  

Nutrient level for 6/7/9 pod gardens is 8 ml (2 capfuls) upon the first two feedings, and 11 – 12 ml (2 ½ to 3 capfuls) upon the third feeding and moving forward.

Nutrient level for a 3 pod garden is 4 ml (1 capful) for the first two feedings, and 6 ml (1 ½ capfuls) of nutrient upon the third feeding and moving forward.

Make sure that you are checking your water level every other day. Once the tomatoes are established, they will consume quite a bit of water daily, especially if you are running your furnace more often. Do not wait for your AeroGarden to alert you that your water level is low to add water. Your AeroGarden will alert you when the water level is very low. It is ideal to keep the water level in your garden to the “fill line”, and to be consistent in your watering habits.

Here is the solution. Start with a “rinse and refill”. Empty the contents of your water bowl, rinse it, and replace the water adding the appropriate level of nutrient (12 ml). This will restore the pH level in your AeroGarden. Add 1 Tablespoon of Epsom Salt to the water. Remove and discard the browning tomatoes.

In addition, make sure you are pruning your tomatoes. Go ahead and prune back the leaves that are shading out your tomatoes. This will encourage your plant to continue to produce tomatoes. Also, your green tomatoes will be exposed to more light, encouraging them to ripen.

Tips for Herbs

  • Basil is usually the first seed to sprout and it grows rapidly. Harvest basil
    (and any other fast-growing herbs) to keep them an inch or two below
    the lights, and avoid raising the Light Hood until all other plants are well
    established.
  • Some herbs, such as chives, thyme, and oregano grow slowly and often
    get shaded by faster growing plants. Create space for slow-growing
    plants by pruning surrounding plants with garden shears.

Bad Garden Bugs

Part 1

Little bugs can find their way to your garden by riding in on clothing, on other plants or produce, or through an open window or door. If you find some unwanted guests, spray your plants with water to wash them off. Make sure you spray UNDER the leaves as bugs usually reside there. For more persistent pests, an insecticidal soap may be used.

The most common pests for indoor gardens are aphids, mealybugs, scales, spider mites, thrips, and whitefly.

Aphids

These “plant lice,” weaken the plant by sucking the liquid out of its leaves, resulting in curled-wilted-yellowish leaves and ultimately stunt plant growth.

Aphids are small (1/8 inch long), soft bodied, pear-shaped insects that may be green, yellow, brown, red or black in color depending on species and food source. Generally adults are wingless, but some can grow wings, especially if populations are high. They have two whip-like antennae at the tip of the head and a pair of tube-like structures, called cornicles, projecting backward out of their hind end.

Planet Natural

TREATMENT

A natural remedy are Rhubarb leaves, which are semi-poisonous to aphids and can be brewed into a tea.

  • Pour boiling water over crushed rhubarb leaves and let soak for three days
  • Strain and remove leaves
  • Add a few drops of detergent
  • Dilute tea with water and spray over infested plants
  • Repeat every 10 days

 

Seed Pod Growth

  • If mixing different types of Seed Pods together in one garden, remember to prune faster growing plants from the top so the Light Hood remains at the lowest position until all plants are well established.
  • Tomatoes should not be mixed with other plants, as they spread out substantially as they grow. Other smaller plants will not get enough light and nutrient to grow well with tomatoes.
  • As your plants grow, you may see some dead or brown leaves, especially at the lower part of the plant. This is perfectly normal. Remove these leaves with scissors or pinch them off with your fingers.

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TIP OF THE WEEK

Top Tips for Great Growth

  • Set your Light Hood/Grow Lights to the lowest position when starting a new Seed Pod Kit.
  • Always keep your Grow Lights as close to your plants as possible, taking care to trim back the tallest plants so they do not actually touch the Grow Lights. As they mature, plants should be 1 – 2 inches below Grow Lights.
  • Replace your CFL Grow Lights every 6 months for maximum growth and harvests. LED Grow Lights have a 3 – 5 year life span.
  • Be brave enough to prune. Pruning promotes greater health, larger harvests, and more beautiful plants.
  • Plants will grow into each other’s space and block light. To keep all plants in your garden healthy, trim back the leaves from the sides of the plant.
  • Harvest frequently to maintain a healthy garden, but take no more than 1/3 of any plant at a time.
  • For best growth, keep water level near the fill line. Don’t wait for the ‘Add Water’ alert!
  • AeroGarden plants love a fresh water bath! For extra care, you may empty the water out of your bowl every other feeding time (once monthly) and refill with fresh cool water and then add nutrients.

Carolina Ghost pepper

 

TIP OF THE WEEK

WATER

1. Adding Water

  • Add water to “Fill To Here” indicator located under the Water Port flap.
  • Use room temperature tap water or bottled distilled water. Do not use well water which may interfere with our nutrients, or softened water, as it contains levels of sodium usually harmful to plants.
  • The ‘Add Water’ reminder alert will appear on the control panel when the water level is low. For best results, keep the water level topped up to the fill line at all times.

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