How & When To Harvest Herbs

Growing your own herbs at home is a great way to enjoy fresh flavors all year long. But the weather is turning cooler and the days are getting shorter, and that means one thing: it’s harvest time!

There are a few things you should keep in mind when harvesting herbs, no matter what herb you’re harvesting. Here’s some practical advice:

Quiz: Which House Plant is Right for Me?

Houseplants make a wonderful addition to any home environment, but there are a lot of factors to consider when deciding which houseplant is right for you.

Regional climate plays a role even when a plant is indoors, and what about your decor – which house plant best suits your interior design? And if you have pets or small children, you might want to stay away from certain poisonous or potentially hazardous varieties.

Take the guesswork out of the equation – let us consider all the variables and suggest the perfect indoor garden plant for you.

Complete this simple quiz to find out which house plant is right for you!

In The News: Minigarden Adds Greenery to Your Home

Looking for an easy way to add greenery to your home? Canadian Living recently featured five inspirational indoor gardening ideas, including two great ways to add greenery to your home using Minigarden! Minigarden Corner is the perfect way to add life to empty corners. You can even bring greenery into your home without the hassle of watering! Our Minigarden Basic Tabletop units feature built-in reservoirs water your plants as they need it, which makes our Basic units perfect for black thumbs. Read the full article on Canadian Living. Susan Austin is Sales Director for Minigarden North America. She can be reached at susan@minigardening.com....

Minigarden in Action: Kim M.’s Vertical Garden

What better way to make use of the dead space on the back of a door than by turning it into a vertical garden? Kim M. of Rockwood, Ontario, did exactly that – she turned a plain door in her apartment into a living greenwall using our Minigarden Kitchen module! Kim loves her Minigarden vertical garden. “I think it’s like a white sculpture that holds a living art installation. I get a great deal of pleasure and peace from the look of the final installation. It has been a great alternative form of art in my apartment. A living sculpture. Everyone who has seen it loves it.” The Space Kim chose the white Minigarden Kitchen because it complements the white tones in her small Rockwood apartment. Her once-plain hollow door is visible from her dining and living room, which makes it the perfect canvas for a living work of art! Supplies For mounting and planting her Minigarden, Kim used: IKEA EKBY STODIS white brackets. These brackets are slightly wider than the Minigarden unit, but you can easily saw the extra inch off. Alternatively, Minigarden Wall Supports or any 5” bracket found at your local hardware store will work without requiring alterations or cutting. Hollow door anchors. Kim’s door is 1.5 inches deep, so she used door anchors that were approximately 1.25 inches long. 1¾ inch screws. Make sure your screws are the right diameter to fit through the Minigarden spacers and into the door anchor, and that they are long enough to extend through the spacer (which is 0.5 inches deep) and well into the anchor. Any length works as...

8 Gardening Activities For A Rainy Day

A little rain is no reason to forget about your garden – after all, your garden is busy drinking in all that water, and you should be busy too! There are tons of ways you and your kids can stay involved in the garden even when you can’t go outside, from gardening crafts to planning your next harvest or even skipping the outdoors altogether and setting up a garden inside! Gardening Crafts Who doesn’t love getting crafty? Gardening crafts are the perfect outlet for your kids’ creativity, and they’re also a great way to keep your kids involved and engaged when the weather isn’t cooperating. Here are a couple of fun options: Suncatchers The sun may not be shining, but it won’t be gone for long! Get ready for its joyful return and bring some of that sunshine indoors with these suncatchers. Here’s how to make your own. Paper Flowers Add some color to a grey day! Paper flowers are great, simple craft for kids of any age. Check out this list of paper flower tutorials by Lia Griffith. Plant Labels Ever forget what you planted, only to be surprised when something totally unexpected peeks out from your soil? It can be confusing when your plants don’t have a visible flower or tasty treat, and plant labels can help dispel the confusion so your kids know exactly what’s growing where. They’re super easy to make using items that are probably already in your craft cupboard – try using popsicle sticks, painting stones, or beads! Jodi at Meaningful Mama shows you how to make your own beaded plant markers. Start...

Gardening Without A Yard

It’s easy to feel disconnected from nature if your family’s experience is limited to the trees on the side of the road or the occasional park. But living in the city doesn’t mean that you and your family can’t garden together – in fact, living in the city makes it even more important that you do! No yard? No problem! Small space gardening options abound. From vertical gardens to school and community gardens, there’s an opportunity for every potential gardener and gardener-at-heart to share the experience with their kids. Vertical Gardening Container gardening is all the rage. It can be a great option for a lot of urban gardeners, but containers take up a lot of space, so if your balcony or terrace is small (or non-existent) container gardening likely isn’t right for you. The trick to gardening with limited space is to think up, not out.Greenwalls may seem trendy and elaborate, but vertical gardening systems like Minigarden make it easy for urban families to garden together without requiring a ton of space or effort. All you need to grow your own produce with your kids is a couple of inches of free ground space or an empty wall! Unlike DIY vertical gardening planters that can be difficult and expensive to set up, Minigarden modules easily snap together. Plus, our unique irrigation system prevents overwatering and won’t leak, so there’s no need to worry about creating the unsightly water damage that is characteristic of fabric vertical gardening pockets. Vertical gardens are a great way to welcome nature into your home, but if you still lack space or sunlight, school...

11 Plants Any Kid Can Grow

There are a number of ways to encourage your children to get involved in the garden, and choosing the right plants is one of the most effective. Flashy but high-maintenance plants like orchids or camellias can easily tempt kids, and while older kids and teens may be able to take on the added responsibility, younger kids may lose interest if they don’t get the results they expect. Edible or flowering plants are always an excellent choice for gardening with children because they offer a substantial tangible reward – something yummy to eat, or something pretty to look at. But which ones are the easiest to grow? Before we dig into our plant recommendations, there are two important things you should keep in mind when you head to your local garden center: Your climate. If you live in the deep south, a plant that prefers shade and cooler temperatures is unlikely to thrive. Use these maps to determine your hardiness zone, and choose plants that will prosper in your area. The age of your kids. Older children and teenagers can handle high-maintenance plants, but younger children are more likely to succeed with hardy plants that can stand to be a little mistreated. With a bit of planning and research, you can avoid the disappointment of dead plants and enjoy colorful blossoms or a magnificent harvest throughout the summer. So without further ado, let’s dig in! Fruits & Vegetables Edible plants are a great choice for gardening with kids. They’re more interesting (not to mention more delicious) than ferns or ornamental grasses, and they can also promote healthy eating habits. Strawberries...

How To Get Your Kids Interested in Gardening

We’ve talked about why gardening is a great summertime activity for kids of any age, and while you may be convinced, your kids may need a bit more encouragement. There are a few things you can do to rouse the gardening bug in your kids. Here are some of our tips: Start On The Right Foot Choosing a nice sunny spot and using the right dirt is the easiest way to start things off right. Luckily, setting up your garden up the right way is easy in a Minigarden – simply pick a sunny place, grab a bag or two of good-quality potting soil, and away you go! You don’t even need a yard. Choosing appropriate plants for your kids and your local climate is another easy way to make sure you’re starting off on the right foot. Low maintenance plants that don’t have any special requirements are usually a good place to start when gardening with kids. Plant Interesting Plants Edible or flowering plants are a little more exciting than ferns or ornamental grasses. In addition to giving your kids a reason to tend their plants, tangible results like an tasty treat or a pretty blossom can deepen your kids’ sense of accomplishment while also acting as positive reinforcement when your kids do a good job. Strawberries are a great plant to grow with kids – they look lovely, and they taste even better (plus, they’re super easy to grow in a Minigarden). Because of their sensory nature, flowering plants are also an excellent option. Check out this list of 11 plants any kid can grow. Keep Your...

4 Big Reasons Why Should You Garden With Your Kids

School is out (or will be very soon), and that means two things: your kids are probably getting a bit antsy, and you’re probably scrambling around looking for something to occupy their time over the next few months. Look no further – gardening is a productive, healthy, and fun summer activity for children of any age. Plus, setting up a garden isn’t the chore it used to be. Minigarden’s vertical gardening planters take the backbreaking labor out of gardening, and their self-draining modules help make sure your kids grow thriving plants all summer long. Goodbye dead plants and discouragement, hello fresh produce and smiling faces! If you still need some convincing, here are four big reasons why you should garden with your kids: 1. You’ll Spend More Time Together Spending time with your kids can feel like pulling teeth, especially if you have teenagers. Having a common interest that you both enjoy creates a stronger bond and may even make them want to hang out with you. Plus, gardening is more social and more physically active than other typical family activities like taking in a movie. After all, what’s the point in doing something together if you don’t have an opportunity to truly connect? 2. It’s Educational While it’s important to give your kids a break from book learning, being out of school doesn’t give them an excuse to completely check out for two months. Gardening is a great substitute because it teaches a lot of important lessons that may not be taught in a traditional classroom environment. Instead of thinking about food as something that can be easily...

Recipe: Strawberry Martinis by Angela Roberts at Spinach Tiger

Strawberry season is here! What better way to kick it off than with a cocktail? We’re eager to share this simple, crowd-pleasing recipe created by Angela Roberts from Spinach Tiger, so without further ado, here it is! It’s exciting to be here giving you a recipe you can make from strawberries grown in your very own Minigarden! There’s nothing like homegrown strawberries, and they make the best strawberry syrup. Strawberry syrup is simply a reduction of strawberries, sugar, and water. The ingredients may be straightforward, but they result in a deep, intense strawberry juice. One of our favorite ways to use this simple strawberry syrup is in cocktails! This strawberry martini is perfect for spring and summer, and it’s so easy to do. Strawberry Martini Serves: 1 Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 5 minutes Ingredients 2 ounces vodka (Mandarin-flavored or regular) 2 ounces strawberry simple syrup (see below for recipe) Splash of dry vermouth Ice Fresh strawberries or basil for garnish Instructions Pour vodka, strawberry syrup, dry vermouth, and ice into a martini shaker and shake until well mixed. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with strawberries or fresh basil. Serve ice cold and enjoy! Strawberry Simple Syrup This strawberry simple syrup makes a great martini, but you can also use it in other cocktails, or even on an ice cream sundae! Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes Ingredients 3 cups strawberries, washed with stems removed, divided 1 cup white sugar 1 cup water Instructions Blend 2 cups of strawberries until a puree is formed. Dice the remaining 1 cup of strawberries and set...