Deep Roots Garden Center             Newsletter                          April 2013

Deep Roots


  Easy Reader's

Best Garden Center in the South Bay 2013

Thank you to everyone who voted for us!

We truly appreciate your support and patronage! 


It's April! It's Spring!

It's National Gardening Month..

What to do in your garden ...

Spring is officially here and it really is the right time to sow, plant, and transplant. The growing season is upon us and it is time to take advantage of it to enhance the beauty of your entryway and back yard. 

Wonder products:

Vitamin B... reduces transplant shock. Use this every time you transplant and watch your baby plants take hold and grow.

Worm Castings: Fertilizes the soil, add micronutrients...plants show an immediate improvement.

Container Gardening: Just about any receptacle can be used for planting, including the kitchen sink long as it has drainage. Deep containers are better than shallow, the minimum depth should be 7"- 8" for most plants. Exceptions are succulents that do no need a deep soil depth.

Plant flowers in a bright container: For color all season long plant sun-loving flowers such as geraniums, nemesia, bacopa, osteospermum, petunia and million bells. Reliable shade loving plants: fuchsia, impatiens, coleus, dichondra, begonias and vinca. Try blue flowers in an orange container. Gorgeous! Or red geraniums in a blue container... very Mykonos!  Or for a July 4th celebration plant red geraniums, white bacopa and blue lobelia... Now's the time to plant. For a long season's color mix a handful of Osmocote slow release fertilizer in with the soil as you plant the flowers. 


Plant tomatoes:  There is nothing like the taste of a ripe, home grown tomato and we have many different varieties of tomato plants at Deep Roots Garden Center, including delicious heirloom tomatoes of all colors, shapes and sizes. Plant them in full sun in the ground or in a large container. Be sure to add a generous quantity of organic fertilizer and soil amendments to the soil before you plant.


Tomato plants can often show signs of nutrient deficiencies as the season progresses so forewarned being for-armed, here is a diagram of some symptoms:


Tomato plants need a full range of nutrients, preferably from natural sources, so if you suspect your plants are lacking one type of nutrient or another do not be tempted to treat for that specific nutrient. It is better to use a full spectrum fertilizer as overdosing them on one (even if it’s in response to a deficiency) can often reduce the availability of others. For for organic solutions the following are good: 

Seaweed Liquid Feed: Quite expensive but full of all the required nutrients, particularly potassium which is great as tomato plants mature. You simply dilute a capful in a watering can, best applied to the leaves (a ‘foliar feed’) once a week, where it is better absorbed than being washed into the soil. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that vegetables shouldn’t be harvested for a few days after a feed has been applied and even if it is organic they should be washed well. 

Gro-Power Plus All Purpose fertilizer, a great organic fertilizer and soil penetrant that will feed the soil and provide balanced nutrients to keep your plants healthy.

Dr Earth Organic Fertilizers: A range of product formulated for different types of plants. Improves spoil health as well as feeding the plants.


Plant Bedding plants: Replace fading cool-season annuals with heat lovers such as celosia, dahlias, marigolds, petunias, salvia, verbena, and vinca. Try starting cosmos, sunflower, and zinnia from seed, even if you're a novice gardener. They're all super-easy, make good cut flowers, and attract the beneficial insects you want in the garden.


Rose companions: Planting perennials in your rose beds adds complementary textures, forms, and colors, and provides interest when roses are not in bloom. Good choices include catmint, cranesbill, French lavender, Shasta daisies, African daisies, and veronica. We also like scented geraniums, and salvia.


Vegetables: Coastal gardeners (in Sunset climate zones 21-24) can continue to plant quick-maturing, cool-season crops, including chard, leaf lettuces, radishes, and spinach. Inland (zones 18-21), switch to warm-season crops such as beans, corn, cucumber, eggplant, melons, peppers, summer and winter squash, and tomatoes. 


Start an herb garden: Plant chives, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme, and my all time favorite herb - Winter Savory. Many varieties can also be grown successfully from seed, such as arugula, chervil, cilantro, and, of course, dill. Plant perennial herbs, such as thyme, sage, savory, and rosemary together and annual herbs such as parsley, basil and cilantro together, to match their water requirements. Spreading herbs such as mint, marjoram and chives should be grown in a container by themselves. Tall herbs like dill and lovage should be planted at the back of the flower bed or grown in pots.


Divide cymbidiums: If pots are too packed with bulbs, some brown and leafless, it's time to repot. Knock the root mass out of the pot and separate it into clumps by hand or with pruning shears. Keep at least three healthy bulbs with foliage; re-pot those in fresh potting medium designed for orchids.


Fertilize: If you haven't already done so recently, feed trees, shrubs, ground cover, perennials, and other permanent plants. Using an organic fertilizer like Dr. Earth or Gro-Power will replenish micro-organisms in the soil as well as feed the plants. Try using a fertilizer containing iron on all plants, not just the chlorotic ones. 


Combat powdery mildew: Warm days and cool nights are ideal conditions for powdery mildew. To treat it, spray foliage with Bonide Copper Fungicide or Neem Oil.


Manage aphids: Keep the aphid population in control by dislodging the pests from plant foliage with a strong blast of water from a hose.  If they keep coming back spray with Bayer's Rose and Flower insecticide, or an organic alternative Dr. Earth's Home & Garden insect spray. If you do not want to use pesticides try a carton of Lady Bugs from our Bug Fridge.


Manage snails: Search for snails on strappy-leafed plants such as agapanthus, liriope and daylilies, then hand-harvest and dispose. Or trap by allowing them to collect on the underside of a slightly elevated board. 

Not your idea of a good time?  Try sprinkling pet-safe Sluggo all around your garden beds instead.


Grow perennials bees love: Lure bees to pollinate your fruits and veggies. The following bee magnets need only moderate water: Agastache, ‘Mönch’ aster, catmint, germander, lavender, rudbeckia, and Salvia chamaedryoides. See for more choices. No need to be afraid of bees. They are only interested in flowers. If they investigate you closely it is because you are wearing a bright color or a sweet perfume. Stand still until the bee realizes her mistake and she will fly away. Wasps and yellow jackets, however, are another matter..... they eat meat!!!


Sow or Grow annuals: Cosmos, sunflowers, and zinnias are quintessential summer flowers ― neither fussy nor thirsty ― and are great if you’re new to growing seeds. They also draw bees and beneficial insects. Other non-thirsty annuals include celosia, marigold, portulaca,  and sweet alyssum.    


CSA vegetable boxes

We are an established drop off point for the South Central Farmers Cooperative Community Supported Agriculture vegetable boxes. The boxes are delivered to Deep Roots Garden Center every Wednesday at approximately 2.00 pm and we store them in our large flower cooler until closing time the following day.


Customers may order a box every week, every two weeks, once a month or simply when you feel like one. The boxes contain enough seasonal vegetables to feed a family of four for a week or a single/couple for two weeks.


Payment is in advance – please place your order before noon on Mondays. Why not come in and order a box? Or you can phone 310-376-0567 or e-mail and order one. Have your credit card handy!


To find out what is in the box visit:

You can also sign up for their newsletter on their site 


Not just a box of vegetables...

The story of the Los Angeles South Central Farmers' fight to keep their original farm in South Central L.A. is at once poignant, discouraging and uplifting. You can see this David and Goliath battle between them and the City Council, which alas they eventually lost, in the two movies below, which can be viewed on Netflix.


Support these valiant and persistent farmers by purchasing their organic seasonal vegetables through us at Deep Roots.






Notes from the farm...

South Central Farmers' Cooperative CSA is thrilled to share that one of our Cooperative members and non-profit (South Central Farmers' Health and Education Fund) board members was awarded this year's National Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Growing Green Food Justice Leader honor.                                                          

Read more about their work and vision:


"We are truly humbled to receive the NRDC Growing Green Food Justice Award. With this recognition of our collective work, we’re expanding our efforts and encouraging others to engage in agricultural incubations, cooperative marketing services, technical training for new farmers and under served communities, and community gardens. By creating new economic opportunities right in our own backyard, we hope to strengthen communities with access to fresh, healthy food, and help them reconnect to the priceless cultural heritage behind it."


~ Tezozomoc

Growing vegetables in containers

Just because you don’t have a plot of land doesn't mean you can’t enjoy home grown vegetables. Ideally, vegetables should be grown outdoors, on a patio or a balcony. Growing vegetables in containers and pots takes a bit of planning, but it is totally possible to have a large array of veggies in your container garden. As long as you have good soil, a sunny place, fresh seed and good drainage in your containers, you can grow vegetables in containers anywhere. Nothing beats enjoying your freshly picked veggies in a salad or sauce. They always taste so much better than store bought.


When growing vegetables in containers you can use any type of container from the simple bucket to purpose made large wooden planters. In the past I have used plastic buckets, old sinks, polystyrene boxes retrieved from the grocery store, plastic laundry baskets, half wine barrels and plastic window box planters. Whatever you use - the deeper and wider the better. If you are using terracotta or wooden containers for container gardening the soil will dry out quicker than if you are using plastic containers. For top heavy plants like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, make sure that the container is heavy and weighted. For trailing plants like snow peas think about growing vegetables in hanging baskets instead. Hanging baskets are also a novel way of growing herbs. 


Making sure that your containers have good drainage is essential. In wide, shallow containers make sure that the holes are well spaced around the perimeter of the base. Rectangular containers should have at least one drainage hole in each corner. If sufficient drainage is not provided your plants will become water-logged and the soil will turn sour. In the end they will come to nothing.


You don't need to waste space by using broken pottery or stones at the bottom of your containers. However, to prevent the soil being washed away through the drainage holes, place a piece of metal mosquito netting across the holes before adding the soil. 


Use high quality potting soil. Vegetables grown in containers really need to have good soil to thrive. We recommend Fox Farms potting soil. You need all the help you can get when growing vegetables in containers, so it is best to buy high quality, nutrient rich soil. Mix some organic fertilizer such as Dr. Earth or Gro-Power into the soil before planting.  


What to grow? Plants that thrive in containers: tomatoes, strawberries, dwarf citrus trees, herbs, beans, peppers, and lettuce. As long as you containers have depth you can grow carrots and parsnips as well as other root vegetables such as beets, turnips, and radishes, and even garlic. 


Small vegetables like cress, mustard, scallions and most herbs are ideal for growing in containers, as is fast-growing arugula, spinach and a variety of lettuces. Leaves can be picked on an ongoing process, even before they have matured. Look for dwarf and bush varieties of your vegetables which are easier to maintain in containers. 


If you start from seed, don’t sow your seeds immediately into outdoor containers. Sow them indoors in small grow pots so that you can baby them a little, and wait until you have strong and thriving seedlings. Alternatively, buy small plants and replant them into your containers.

When you grow vegetables in pots or boxes move them around to obtain the most direct sunlight. Also remember to water them regularly

It's Science Fair Time Again....

We have had several parents accompanied by their kids come in and buy plants or seeds for Science Fair Projects so it must be that time of year again. Science fair projects that involve plants or soil chemistry are very popular. It's fun to work with living things and the environment that supports them. These projects are great from an educational standpoint because they integrate concepts from different areas of science.


Plant or Botany related projects are easy to set up and very visually pleasing but often require a little more time than other types of science projects as plants do not grow much in three days. Our advice to you is don't leave it till the last minute!


Here are some useful web sites with lots of ideas for plant related science fair projects for kids of all ages:


Here are some science fair project ideas to help you define your project. Some relate botany and chemistry, some have an environmental science slant, and others are soil chemistry.The following plant project ideas provide suggestions for topics that can be explored through experimentation. For best results, as plant growth is slow, many of these projects need to be started at two or three months before the project is due.

  • Do different colors of light affect the direction of plant growth?

  • Do sounds (music, noise, etc.) affect plant growth?

  • Do household detergents or soaps affect plant growth?
  • Can plants conduct electricity?
  • Does soil temperature affect root growth?

  • Does caffeine affect plant growth?

  • Does water salinity affect plant growth?

  • Does freezing affect seed germination?

  • Does fruit size affect the number of seeds in the fruit?
  • Do vitamins or fertilizers promote plant growth better?

  • Does soil pH affect plant growth?

  • How does plant growth and health correlate with the cost and quality of potting soil? (Potting soil comparison)

  • What is the effect of different levels of light on fast growing plants such as tomatoes?

  • How do different fertilizers affect the way plants grow? There are lots of different types of fertilizers, containing varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, in addition to other ingredients. You can test different fertilizers and see how they affect the height of a plant, the number or size of its leaves, the number of flowers, time until blooming, branching of stems, root development, or other factors.

  • How do different factors affect seed germination? Factors that you could test include the intensity, duration, or type of light, the temperature, the amount of water, the presence/absence of certain chemicals, or the presence/absence of soil. You can look at the percentage of seeds that germinate or the rate at which seeds germinate.
  • How are plants affected by the distance between them? Look into the concept of allelopathy. Sweet potatoes are plants that release chemicals (allelochemicals) that can inhibit the growth of plants near them. How close can another plant grow to a sweet potato? What effects does an allelochemical have on a plant?
  • Is a seed affected by its size? Do different size seeds have different germination rates or percentages? Does seed size affect the growth rate or final size of a plant?
  • What are the effectiveness of organic pesticides versus chemical pesticides? How close does a plant have to be to a pesticide for it to work? What factors influence the effectiveness of a pesticide (rain? light? wind?)? How much can you dilute a pesticide while retaining its effectiveness? How effective are natural pest deterrents such as lady bugs?
  • What is the effect of a chemical on a plant? You can look at natural pollutants (e.g., motor oil, smoke,) or unusual substances (e.g., orange juice, baking soda). Factors that you can measure include rate of plant growth, leaf size, life/death of the plant, color of plant, and ability to flower/bear fruit.
  • Do magnetic fields affect plant growth?

Growing fruit

There is nothing more glorious or satisfying than seeing a tree full of ripening fruit in your yard. Fruit trees are the gift that keeps on giving with pretty blossoms heralding the arrival of spring and delicious sweet fruit to pick at the height of summer. Cultivating fruit is not difficult as long as you match the type of plant with the space and light conditions, and are willing to do some seasonal pruning and spraying. The rewards are worth it.

Site assessment: The first thing that needs to be done is to assess your property to determine if it is suitable for growing fruit trees. The soils must be well-drained (no standing water at any time of the year), have a slightly acidic pH (this can be determined by a soil test), at least eight or more hours of direct or full sunlight, a source of water, and enough space for the trees to grow, which will depend on their mature size. 

   Though fruit trees often prosper with only minimal care, paying attention to their needs will reward you with a larger, more flavorful crop. 


Size matters: Trees are sold as standard, semi-dwarf and dwarf. Select dwarf or semi-dwarf trees as much as possible. The ultimate size of the tree is determined by the rootstock (almost all fruit trees are grafted) and to a lesser extent the scion or cultivar that is grafted onto the rootstock. Smaller trees are easier to prune. The crop will be closer to the ground which decreases the need for ladders. They are easier to spray and require significantly less space. 

   Because of our relatively warm winters there are several types of fruit that will not grow well in the coastal region because they need more hours of winter chill in order to go dormant. These include pears, some varieties of apple and nut trees. Varieties of apple that will fruit in our zone:  Beverly Hills- nice flavor & color, Anna- very low chill needs, Golden Dorset- great flavor, Fuji, great flavor.

 Conversely some tropical fruits need more heat than we get along the coast. These include mangoes and bananas.

  There are many types of fruit you can grow in your back yard in our region. We have many varieties in stock. Come in and see us if you have any questions.

Citrus: These include lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit, mandarins and kumquats. 

Stone Fruit Trees:  These include plums, peaches, apricots, avocados (yes it is technically a fruit tree),

Fruit Trees: fig, pomegranates and apple. 

Soft Fruits: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, Boysenberries, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit, kiwi and guava (a little more inland).

Tips for small spaces:

- If you do not have space in your backyard for full sized fruit tree consider using containers and growing dwarf varieties.

- Try the "three or 4 in one" technique where three or four varieties that have similar growth habits and water requirements are planted in the same hole.

- Try a tree where 4 different varieties of citrus or peach are grafted onto the same rootstock.

- Create an espalier against a fence or a wall.

- Grow grapes, passion fruit or kiwi on a trellis or arbor.


   Though fruit trees often prosper with only minimal care, paying attention to their needs will reward you with a larger, more flavorful crop. 


Lovage, lettuce, pea and cucmber soup


A refreshing and pretty summer soup. Serves four.


1/4 stick of butter1 onion, finely diced1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, choppedSalt and freshly ground black pepperA few young lovage stalks, chopped3 pints chicken or vegetable stock

2 little gem lettuces, finely shredded6 oz peas½ cucumber, cut into small cubes1 handful lovage leaves, shreddedA few tablespoons of crème fraîche, sour cream or thick yogurt, to finish


Warm the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, thyme and a pinch of salt, and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the lovage stalks and sauté for a couple of minutes. Pour in the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the veg (keep back some lovage leaves to garnish) and simmer for five minutes. Season and serve with dollops of crème fraîche and a scattering of lovage leaves.

Deep Roots

Garden Center &

Floral Design Studio



9AM - 6PM daily

201-207 N. Sepulveda Blvd.

Manhattan Beach,

CA 90266


Garden Center: 310-376-0567

Flower Shop: 310-379-3634

Proms and Grads



Look no further for all your Prom boutonnieres and corsages; Mother's Day or Grad bouquets and arrangements!


Our unique, custom, one of a kind floral arrangements are created to your specifications by our talented team of designers whether you are looking for traditional or contemporary boutonnieres and corsages, romantic or cutting edge Mothers' Day arrangements


Weddings and Events

Are you getting married soon? For all your floral arrangements, bouquets, boutonnieres and floral decorations contact

Deep Roots Floral Design Studio 310-379-3634 and set up an appointment with one of our floral designers. For more information visit the Weddings and Events Gallery page on the Deep Roots Floral Design Studio web site.


 Flowers for Fragrance

Summer is almost here...The days are getting longer and life will be moving outdoors.


Sweet peas, which should be planted in the fall in our climate, are now blooming and scenting the garden as are white jasmine vines and freesias. Now is the time to plant scented shrubs and vines or even a complete scented garden in your outdoor room.


The supply of scented plants is excellent this time of year and if planted now, you will have a good chance of plentiful fragrant blooms all summer.


Almost all scented plants can also be grown in containers so they make a great addition to patios and balconies.


Most of them require good drainage and slightly acidic soil.


Here is a list of the best summer scents:



Butterfly Bush


Honeysuckle (vine)

Night Blooming Jasmine (vine)


Stephanotis (vine)

Citrus Trees

Old-fashioned Roses



Star Jasmine (vine)

Viola Odorato


Brugmansia (night scented)


Scented geraniums


Petal Attraction

Here is a list of plants that attract butterlfies:

Achillea, (Yarrow)

Alcea rosea, (Hollyhock)

Anethum graveolens , (Dill)

Antirrhinum majus, (Snapdragon)

Aquilegia, (Columbine)

Asclepias incarnata, (Swamp Milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca , (Common Milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa, (Butterfly Milkweed)

Asclepias (tuberosa)

Aster, (Aster)

Astilbe, (False Spiraea)

Borago officinalis, (Borage)

Calendula officinalis , (Calendula)

Chelone glabra, (Turtlehead)

Chrysanthemum maximum, (Shasta Daisy)

Coreopsis, (Coreopsis)

Cosmos, (Cosmos)

Delphinium, (Delphinium)

Dianthus, (Dianthus)

Echinacea purpurea, (Purple Coneflower)

Echinops, (Globe Thistle)

Erigeron, (Fleabane)

Eupatorium, (Joe Pye Weed)

Echinacea purpurea

Gaillardia grandiflora, (Blanket Flower)

Helianthus, (Sunflower)

Heliotropium arborenscens, (Heliotrope)

Iberis, (Candytuft)

Lathyrus odoratus, (Sweet Pea)

Liatris, (Gayfeather or Blazingstar)

Lobelia, (Lobelia)

Lobularia maritima, (Sweet Alyssum)

Lupinus, (Lupine)

Monarda, (Bee Balm or Bergamot)

Origanum vulgare, (Oregano)

Penstemon, (Beard Tongue)

Phlox, (Phlox)

Primula vialii, (Primula vialii)

Rudbeckia hirta, (Black-eyed Susan or Gloriosa Daisy)

Salvia, (Sage)

Solidago, (Goldenrod)

Tagetes, (Marigold)

Tithonia rotundifolia , (Mexican sunflower)

Verbena bonariensis, (Verbena)

Zauschneria, (California Fuchsia)

Zinnis elegans, (Zinnia)

World's Hottest Chilli

There are super-hot chili varieties. And then there's the sweat-inducing, tear-generating, mouth-on-fire Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili pepper. Are you brave enough to eat one of these hottest chili peppers in the world...four times hotter than a habanero.


Plants now in stock at

Deep Roots!


If you're not familiar with the name, this pepper is endemic to the district of Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago. The New Mexico State University’s Chili Pepper Institute has identified the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion as the newest, hottest chili pepper in the world as of February 2012. It rates 1.4 million units on the Scoville scale, compared to 400,000 for the hottest type of habanero. 


You take a bite. It doesn’t seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty.A family could buy two of the super-hot peppers to flavor their meals for an entire week.


The beauty of the peppers is they're not only the hottest in the world, but they're also some of the most flavorful peppers.


You can make a barbecue sauce or a hot sauce at a mild to medium level using small amounts of these peppers.


Grow some, grind them up with lots of water, spray the juice on your lawns and flower beds and fruit trees.. that should discourage raccoons, squirrels, dogs and cats from invading your garden! (Desperate times require desperate measures)...            


Or eat them... but be careful!


We think the Scorpion chili is best when it's used to spike a chunky tomato salsa, or as a chili oil to drizzle on stews, pizzas or made into a spice-filled mayonnaise. If you think you're a match for the smoldering power of the Scorpion chili we urge you to try them in the recipes below and not to swallow them whole.


Use gloves and proceed with extreme caution when working with these fiery peppers--just the scent is enough to knock you off your feet. Tie a bandanna around your nose and mouth so as to not breathe in the fumes once you start blending the salsa in the food processor. Have a glass of milk or some ice cream on hand to cool your mouth down...


Disclaimer: Deep Roots accepts no responsibility for any injuries or deaths that may result from eating this pepper...!!!



Scorpion Fire Salsa

Remember, a little goes a long way. Mix it into rice and beans or gloss over a crunchy taco


1/2 ounce stemmed, Scorpion chili.

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon white vinegar

¾ lb tomatoes diced very small

Salt to taste


In a blender, combine chili and 1/3 cup water, and then add garlic and vinegar; puree. In a bowl, add chili puree to tomatoes, and combine.


Scorpion Chile Oil  makes 3 cups 


3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 1/4 cups canola oil

1 dried Scorpion chili, cut in half lengthwise


Preheat the oven to 225ºF. In an oven-safe dish, add oils and chili. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 3 hours. Remove from oven and let it cool for a while.Transfer to an airtight container, and place in refrigerator to cool. For added heat, leave pepper in the oil. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month. 


Devils Kidney Bean


1 lb. dried red kidney beans (or beans of choice). 

1 Scorpion pepper. Use whole, If you slice it, it gets hotter! 

1 onion, sliced 

4 sliced sticks of celery 

2 cloves of garlic 

1 tablespoon garlic salt.

1 quarter lb.of ground turkey (or beef if you prefer).

2 tomatoes, chopped.


Rinse beans, check for rocks, add 6-8 cups of water for 2 cups(1lb.) of beans. Soak overnight.


Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer, add other ingredients, stir for about 1 1/2  to 2 hours or until the beans are soft. Try not to break the pepper and get it out before serving. No Joke, it will be hot if you break or eat it.

Lovage actually


It's one of the most intriguing and versatile of herbs, yet when was the last time you saw it in a shop or even growing in someone's garden? Time to redress the balance …


When you've tasted this delicious herb in the likes of a soup with lettuce, pea and cucumber (see recipe below left), it's hard to work out why it isn't more popular. 


You can toss its lively young leaves in salads or tuck them into the cavity of a chicken or fish before roasting. Finely shredded, Lovage is a great addition to soups, stews, mash potatoes or scrambled eggs. You can steam the stems, braise the roots and use the seeds in biscuits and bread – What's not to love about lovage?


Lovage has sturdy, hollow stems, leaves that look like large Italian flat-leaf parsley and greenish-yellow flowers that are followed by golden-brown seed pods. It's a member of the Umbelliferae  family, which includes carrots, parsnips, parsley and celery. The flavour is like parsley and celery combined with a hint of aniseed and curry. 


 As suggested above, you can use the leaves as a punchy substitute for parsley or celery (the French call it céleri bâtard) – go easy at first because it's stronger than both, though the flavour mellows a bit in cooking.


Lovage is easy to grow. We have lovage plants here at Deep Roots. I grow it in a large container and it comes back every year. Planted in the ground it can grow very tall so place it at the back of the bed. Grow in sun to partial shade and water regularly. Keep it clipped (easy, when you realise how useful it is in the kitchen) to encourage fresh new shoots 


The green leaves, cut into fine ribbons, are very good with lightly cooked summer veg. Or add them, chopped, to salads or stuffings for pork or chicken, or to fish chowder, or to just-boiled new potatoes in a mustardy vinaigrette. Lovage is delicious with eggs, too – stir leaves into omelets, scrambled egg or frittata. Tender young stems (from the centre of the plant) can be steamed and served as a side vegetable – lovely with a summer roast chicken.


 When the seeds start to turn brown, harvest them and use in place of celery seeds in pickling mixtures, breads or in savoury biscuits to go with cheese. You can even use the hollow stems as a peppery, tongue-tingling stirrer for a Bloody Mary 


Deep Roots Garden Center • 207 N. Sepulveda Blvd. • Manhattan Beach • CA • 90266
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