This post is part of our Garden Celebration series. Taking place now through early June at a Heinen’s near you.*
The ground has thawed, temperatures are rising and plans are being hatched for gardens anew. When choosing what to plant, we recognize that both homegrown and local are important. That’s why we partner with Art Form Nurseries each year to make a variety of premium herbs available to you at our Garden Celebration.
Art Form Owners Mike & Patty Artino have more than 40 years of experience growing quality herbs and perennials. They began their business when their landscaping company was unable to locate gallon-sized perennials and they had to go without or do it themselves. They opted for the latter and officially transitioned to a wholesale growing operation in 1987.
Starting with two acres of land, Art Form is now situated on 30 acres in Chagrin Falls, OH. The nursery includes five acres of outdoor growing space and 1.6 acres of heated greenhouses that house the herbs.
Young plants require a clean water source and, once established, they’re irrigated via three collection ponds located at the lowest points on the property. Automated watering, heating, cooling and humidity control keep the operation running year-round, though day length eventually limits what can grow.
Each plant begins one of three ways:
- Seeds: Quality seeds are planted in soil. Art Form has five different soil mixtures, each customized for different plants.
- Propagation: A cutting is removed from a healthy plant so that it may grow its own roots.
- Division: Ideal for herbs that grow in clumps, the plant and its root system is cut into two or more plants.
If you take home an herb in an 8-inch pot, you’re all set! Otherwise, it’s recommended to transplant your new herbs to a larger home, whether that’s your garden or a planter.
Of the herbs offered, basil is the most popular selection. It’s also the most high-maintenance. But with the right amount of care you’ll be enjoying it in many meals. Our biggest piece of advice? Avoid watering it at night as it rots easily. The same goes for rosemary.
Don’t be afraid to allow your herbs’ soil to dry out a little in between waterings. That dryness encourages roots to search for water, leading to root growth and a stronger plant.
When it comes to flowering, you may have heard that you can no longer cultivate once you see blossoms. It depends on the herb. Basil has its highest amount of essential oils when flowering, though you’re encouraged to pinch the blooms so the plant continues to produce leaves. Cilantro, on the other hand, will rapidly lose flavor once it starts flowering and removing them does not bring it back. To avoid flowers on cilantro it’s recommended to cut it often.
“The biggest thing with your herbs is to use them,” says Theresa Spear, Sales Manager at Art Form.
Planting an herb garden this year? Look for the following at your local Heinen’s:
*Supplies are limited and selection varies by location. Heinen’s Garden Celebration is not taking place at our Downtown Cleveland Store.