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Edible Gardening 101

Edible Gardening 101: Harvesting Coriander Seeds

Cilantro leaves have a flavor that most people either love or hate. But even if you think this bright, cool season herb tastes like soap, you should still consider growing a few plants in your garden, because cilantro and the spice coriander both come from the same plant, Coriandrum sativum. In the United States most people grow this delicious, multi-purpose herb for its leaves, but its delicious Coriander seeds are entirely worth harvesting and taste nothing like cilantro leaves.

How to Hand Pollinate Squash

Do your young zucchini or pumpkins suddenly shrivel up and die without warning, even though the plant looks perfectly healthy? If so, not to worry. Your plant is fine! The problem is with pollination. Winter and summer squash, pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers all belong to the Cucurbit family. Cucurbits are monoecious, which means male and female flowers develop on the same plant.

Edible Gardening 101: Pruning Tomatoes

Among passionate tomato growers, the same debate rages every summer: to prune or not to prune out suckers. Suckers are the growth that emerges where a branch of a tomato joins the plant’s main stem. If left to grow, the suckers develop into branches that eventually produce fruit. Some gardeners feel strongly that the suckers sap energy from the plant, while other gardeners are equally adamant that tomato plants with more foliage produce tastier fruit.

Edible Gardening 101: Your Best Basil Harvest Ever

If you fail to pinch the plant back, it will grow tall and spindly with few, if any, branches. Not only does this mean you’ll have a measly harvest, but your basil won’t taste as delicious either. Basil begins to lose its signature scent as it ages, because the oil content in the leaves diminishes over time. Regular harvesting signals the plant to continue to put out newer—and tastier—leaves. It also prevents the plant from flowering, which is good because after basil flowers it stops producing new leaves and the leaves that do remain are not as appetizing (though they are still entirely edible, just not as amazingly delicious).