Edible Flowers

The Best Way To Garden Is To Put On A Wide Brimmed Hat And With A Hoe In One Hand A Cold Drink In The Other Tell Somebody Else Where To Dig!

Saturday was market day and a very busy one it was too.  It appears that many will be doing some serious gardening this year. The weather was excellent, warm with no wind and the sun was shining. One customer came to my booth looking for edible flowers of which I have a few and know of a few more. Doing some research I now have a fair list and of course some interesting facts. The use of flowers in salads, soups, jams, teas, deserts and cocktails has been around since the Roman times and is used widely in Chinese, Middle East and Indian cultures. However not all flowers are edible and one should make sure that the flower they are choosing is in the edible category as some flowers are poisonous and the pollen from some can cause allergic reactions. Flavours vary from spicy to peppery like the nasturtium to a cucumber like flavour to some like the squash flower that can be sautéed in butter and tastes like artichoke. All flowers that are edible should be picked early in the day when their water content is the highest, gently washed and placed on paper towel then refrigerated soon after until you intend to use them. Be sure to ingest flowers that have not been exposed to pesticides. Besides the above mentioned plants there is also flowers from the Fuchsias, Apple, Tulip, Dianthus, Chrysanthemum, Yucca, Roses, Peas, Honey Suckle, Begonia, Marigold, Pansy, Clover and the good old Dandelion which also the leaves are tasty in soups or salads. Herb flowers such as Chives, Borage, Cilantro, Sage and Chamomile are also all edible. 

A friend phoned and was curious to know if it was true that you should not plant Blue Berry and Raspberry plants together and yes that is true they should be no closer than 10 feet from each other. Both need full sun and the watering requirements are similar however Blue Berry requires a much more acidic soil a ph of about 4.8 to 5.5 and the Raspberry need a less acidic soil of about ph 6. So there lies the biggest issue and which ever soil type you have one of the two will not do well. Blue Berries have a life span of about 30 years and can grow to 4 to 6 feet in height depending on the variety, test your soil to find its ph and adjust with sulphur to lower it or limestone to raise it. There are several plants that work well around Blueberry plants such as Straw Berries, Basil and Thyme. These companion plants also help with pest control, pollination, and attraction of beneficial insects, This also can be space saving and can increase crop production. Never plant Tomato, Potato, Peppers or Eggplant near your Blue Berries. Raspberries need to be supported in their growth and do well in raised beds as this helps with water drainage and will prevent root rot. Companion plants that work well with them are garlic, Marigold, Chives, Leeks and Onions.

Thanks and Happy Gardening!

Samantha Nason
BS Ranch & Greenhouses
250 547 6567 • samanthanason@hotmail.com

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