There is so much to report after eight weeks of growing in my first AeroGarden Sprout LED, including the Genovese basil flowering!
Let’s just hop right into this week’s update.
Today’s maintenance involved adding water for the sixth time in the last two weeks, adding a cap-full of nutrients, harvesting and lowering the lights. Again, this took less that five minutes. It took longer to prepare all the basil I harvested for freezing than it took to harvest it.
AeroGarden Sprout LED Garden #1 Week 8 Condition Before Harvesting Herbs
As shown in the picture, the lights are extended to the maximum height and it’s still not tall enough for the Genovese basil. The very top of the Genovese basil is new flower buds. That front limb is nothing but buds about to flower. The Genovese basil started to flower two days after the Week-6 harvest! That’s a full two weeks before basil typically matures.
Below is a reminder of what this AeroGarden Sprout LED looked like two weeks ago after harvest:
Also, it’s difficult to not take notice of how much the mint has grown during that last two weeks in my second Sprout LED.
A Note About the Flowering Genovese Basil
I had read that if you let herbs flower, all of its energy will go to reproduction instead of growth. So, you shouldn’t let them flower. I was terrified that I didn’t catch the flowering basil in time to pinch it off, even though it had only been two days since the last harvest.
Thankfully, AeroGarden’s official Instagram account gave me some really great information about flowering herbs when I shared the above image to Instagram.
This is what AeroGarden had to say about flowering herbs:
AeroGarden: Some basils produce flowers. But it’s doesn’t mean your plant is done producing, and the flowers are safe to eat as well. Beautiful and delicious!
Me: thanks for that information! Everything I’ve read said to pinch off flowers on basil so that all energy doesn’t go into reproduction instead of growth
AeroGarden: Pinching off flowers will keep up plant production, but if you don’t get to them right away, it will be okay! And you can still eat the flowers or put them in a vase to add a splash of color somewhere!
That is very helpful information! I also think it’s fantastic that AeroGarden took the time to address this.
AeroGarden Sprout LED Garden #1 Week 8 Maintenance Details
As I said in the introduction, this week’s maintenance involved harvesting the curly parsley, Genovese basil and dill. I harvested enough Genovese basil to nearly fill a small freezer bag. I don’t use regular basil that often in cooking so it’s a very good thing that herbs can be frozen for later use. One Genovese basil plant will probably produce enough basil to supply me for an entire year. I guess we’ll know for sure in a year from now.
Because the plants in this AeroGarden Sprout LED have reached maturity, I’m having to top up the water every couple of days. Adding nutrients is still only once every two weeks.
Also, because these plants have reaching maturity, it is now time to harvest them at least once a week, especially to keep the lights low enough so that the parsley gets enough light.
Even though I’ll be harvesting the garden once a week, I’ll still being doing the updates every two weeks. That said, I will include details about the weekly harvest in each bi-weekly update.
How I Used Today’s Maintenance of the AeroGarden Sprout LED Garden 1 for Mental Health Gains
This morning, before maintenance, I was interviewed on Viewpoints with CTV’s Todd van der Heyden, a nationally syndicated radio show that airs through-out Canada on the Bell Media radio network to talk about Star Trek: Discovery. I’m a bit of a Star Trek expert and will talk your ear off about it, if you let me. I do weekly posts on GeekDad about Star Trek: Discovery.
The reason I bring this up is, even though I love talking about all things Star Trek, the second biggest source of dysphoria for me is my voice. It will always be coded as a woman’s voice, even though I’m a man. It always leads to being misgendered when I’m on the phone or people dig up old interviews I’ve been in. I used to do a weekly radio show, interviewing famous geeks and nerds. I stopped doing it, even though I loved it, because of my voice.
So, as much as I was very much looking forward to talking about Star Trek: Discovery this morning, I had a huge amount of anxiety because my voice is going to be all over the radio again and available soon in podcast format. This will lead to being misgendered when people hear it and share it. I also have PTSS connected to being trans: part of it from childhood trauma and part of it from the violence I face today.
Being able to spend 20 minutes tending to my gardens and just being present with the sounds and smell right after I got off the phone from a very enjoyable yet stressful interview was a perfect way to bring my anxiety levels down to something much more manageable.
Monday is Week 8 maintenance day for my AeroGarden Sprout LED Garden #2. I will once again have an update for you!
If you have any questions about today’s AeroGarden maintenance, questions about using the AeroGarden for mental health benefits, or questions about AeroGarden-ing in general, please feel free to ask them in the comments!