Herbs in Bergen County
Many grocery stores these days carry fresh herbs, and natural food stores sell bulk dried herbs. So you are probably wondering, “Why should I bother growing my own herbs?”
One reason is to be assured of the freshness of your herb supply. Those “fresh” herbs you find packaged in the produce department were picked an unknown time ago. How fresh are they really? When you go into your herb garden and cut some parsley, it doesn’t languish on a shelf, losing freshness. Also, remember that buying any quantity of fresh herbs is much less economical than growing and harvesting your own supply as you need it.
When you buy fresh herbs, it’s always possible that some have been exposed to natural and unnatural contaminants. Many purchased herbs are not available in an organic form. If you grow your own crop organically, though, you know that the pollutants affecting you have been minimized. Shown to the left is Bee Balm of which the fresh or dried leaves can be brewed into a refreshing aromatic and medicinal tea.
Herb Gardening at Goffle Brook Farms
Plan to put your herb pot or plot in full sun. Make sure the soil is well drained and has some humus mixed in. If you want a raised bed you can get three 8-foot ties to make a good starter herb garden. Cut one in half and make the slightly raised bed 8-by-8-by-4 feet. More ties will make the bed higher, but you have to secure these together. Be sure to remove any sod or weeds, place the ties in place and fill in with good compost, topsoil and potting soil. Mix well because herbs like a friable well-drained soil. A small garden this size is easy to care for and can be kept weed free and harvested 10 minutes a day or less than an hour a week.
A few perennial herbs can be planted in the center and they will remain for years. Try lavender and a sage — both like full sun and well-drained soil. Then add a couple of boxes of parsley or plant a pack of parsley seed. No one ever has enough parsley and sometimes we have to share with the larvae of the beautiful swallowtail butterfly. Around the edges, plant some permanent perennial thyme, choosing lemon and other varieties as well as the old–fashion thyme. Plant pansies and nasturtiums in between the thyme to have edible blooms for salad and cakes. Both will cascade over the edges of the ties, giving the garden a quaint look.
Add other perennials, such as a chive plant, a rosemary or two, and perhaps a lovage and tarragon. Be sure to have several kinds of basil and plenty of dill. Sprinkle seeds of cilantro, arugula, and more dill in empty areas. Save oregano or mint for a place outside of this bed where it can spread in all its glory.You can plant it along the edges of the ties so you do not have to mow or edge. Remember, its blooms are also a butterfly magnet and it can be treated as a blooming perennial in any garden.
This selection of herbs is usually good for a small or first herb garden. Add other favorites of your family.
Herb Gardening Tips and Care
There’s no better choice for container planting than flavorful herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme and parsley. You can have your herbs close to the kitchen, on the patio, on the back-porch steps or even on the kitchen windowsill. Herbs will add beauty and fragrance to your living space. And it will be so easy to snip a few stalks that you may find yourself cooking with herbs in new and adventurous ways.
Herbs are much easier to grow than many houseplants. All you need is a sunny, warm place and containers large enough for your plants to grow. Sunny decks, patios, and other such areas are great for container gardening. By growing Herbs in containers, you save yourself the difficulty of digging that starting a garden plot requires.
However, if you are lucky enough to have a great location for a garden, and you like to work outdoors, remember that your plants always prefer to be in the ground. Some plants grow quite large and do much better in the ground for that reason alone. Container gardening requires diligent watering and regular feeding, but it can be easy and fun.
Next, you need to prepare the soil. Digging with a large garden fork loosens soil that has become compacted over the years. This allows water to drain and creates space for plant roots to reach down into the soil. This is the most important step–shortcuts here are disastrous for your plants. Adding compost to your soil, about an inch or so on top and then mixing it into the soil, helps prevent drainage problems and adds fertilizer to the garden. The final step is to plant healthy, strong plants and water them when they become dry. Most Herbs like to be watered as soon as the soil located a couple of inches below the surface is dry to the touch. Since temperatures and humidity cause drying times to vary every week, you must check the soil often. Do not over-water. More water is not better and can lead to diseases or just poor growing conditions for your Herbs, which will result in reduced growth.
For harvesting, you simply cut off about 1/3 of the branches when the plant reaches at least 6-8″ tall. By cutting close to a leaf intersection, your plants will regrow very quickly. Some plants, such as parsley, grow new leaves from their center. In this case the oldest branches need to be completely removed, leaving the new tiny branches growing from the center. The main requirement for growing Herbs is growing them in the proper location. Most prefer full sun as long as regular summer temperatures don’t rise above 90 degrees. If you have very warm summers, then consider planting in and area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade in the summertime, or a place that receives filtered light. There are many ways to enjoy your herbal harvest. Herbs can be incorporated into your cooking by adding them fresh to your dishes, or by making herbal syrups, and infusions to be used in baking and cooking recipes.
Why Shop at Goffle Brook Farms
- Courteous, knowledgable and professional staff
- Locally Grown Fresh Seasonal Produce
- Quality Perennials – Annuals – Herbs and Garden Plants
- Full-scale Garden Center on Premises
- Conveniently located in Ridgewood, New Jersey
- Open 7 days a week from March 15th through Christmas Eve
- Family owned and operated since May 1st, 1968
- Serving Bergen County for almost FIFTY years
What Our Customer’s Say
Really cute garden center. My boyfriend and I stopped by to get some pumpkins. They had a great variety of both small and large pumpkins. They also have a small petting zoo with goats, sheep, and a pig. They have a small variety of produce for purchase inside. We wound up sampling cider they were selling and bought that as well as it was delicious. We may go back to get more. Employees were very helpful and friendly.
Highly recommend this garden center.
This is such a great place. Goffle Brook Farm & Garden Center has friendly and helpful staff that seem to really appreciate your business. They have a great selection of plants, flowers, gardening supplies, great FRESH local produce and I am sure tons of stuff I have yet to discover. The staff is very knowledgeable and always takes the time to walk me through any garden problem or question I have.
I’ve been going to Goffle Brook Farm & Garden Center regularly for the past year since my family moved to the area and every time I go I leave happy. What more can you ask for?
They will have my loyal business. I think they deserve your business too.