Midday Fix: Shawna Coronado’s tips for growing a living wall

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Shawna Coronado


How to Grow Herbs
Herbs and edible flowers are a breeze to plant and upkeep utilizing a vertical wall system. Most herbs prefer full sun, but they can survive in partial sun or partial shade. Herbs and edible flowers are also uniquely beautiful. Having a living wall system jam-packed with herbs on your patio or balcony can be an overwhelmingly delicious scent experience. I once had a visitor come to my cocktail garden, sit next to the oregano and exclaim, “It smells like pizza fresh out of the oven!”  Maintaining an herb living wall takes consistent watering and organic fertilizing several times throughout the season. Cilantro and other leafy herbs can bolt – that means to flower early - then grow less flavorful and leggy with fewer leaves. Trimming browning plants back as well as any plants that might have bolted will keep your garden looking and smelling very fresh.

Tricks for Harvesting and Keeping Your Garden Fresh
Harvest herbs the first time when the plants have reached maturity. Only harvest one third of the plant at one given time, then wait for that third to grow back before you harvest again. This revolving method of harvesting and patience will enable a longer lived vertical wall without having to replace plants as frequently.


Coronado will guest at the Morton Arboretum 2015 Edible Gardening Workshop / Saturday, April 11, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. / Visitor Center, Sycamore Room . The program is titled Small is the New Big - Growing More Plants in Surprising Places! Tickets are still available. (630) 968-0074 for more information. Morton Arboretum: 4100 Illinois Rt. 53, Lisle, IL