Interesting Salad Greens and Garnishes
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Gail Hall
Posted on: January 17, 1999

Waterleaf: Can this be grown in my greenhouse? I am always looking for interesting salad additions, garnish plants and flowers (all edible), culinary herbs for ethnic dishes -- anything that would be of interest to chefs in up-scale restaurants.

Waterleaf is easy to grow in greenhouses. It is suited for pot culture and stands up well to normal watering and fertilizer schemes.

There is increasing interest in my area in Indian cooking and Carribean cuisine.

This is a widespread trend now. We are seeing huge interest in ehtnic herbs now. You should introduce some of the wonderful Vietnamese herbs to your chefs -- herbs such as rau om, Vietnamese coriander, Mexican coriander, even vap ca.

I would like to find a listing of culinary herbs that is quite complete including ethnic herbs. Even better would be a listing of all plants that can be used in cooking and as plate decorations.

The book, "Flowers in the Kitchen" deals with flowers that can be used as garnishes. The book is available from Richters (see the online catalogue at We agree that a listing of all herbs that can be used in cooking and as garnishes would be useful -- and perhaps we will prepare something like that in the future -- but for now there is nothing that quite fills that particular need. You could go through our catalogue and compile a listing of all the culinary herbs using the use code "c" after the latin names, but to develop the list of garnishes would require more research. Actually, in truth, virtually any herb that is attractive and smells nice can be used as a garnish -- so perhaps that is why no one has attempted to create a list.

I would appreciate guidance too on more familiar herbs and the varieties of those herbs that are sturdy and productive. I seem to have a hard time with rosemary. I have many plants, but they are struggling, whereas a friend’s rosemary is 5 feet tall! Same climate.

There are many reasons why one rosemary plant does not thrive in one location and does in another. If you have checked all the obvious things such as pests (e.g. scale and mealy bug), adequate drainage, feeding and watering, you may want to look at supplementary light. We have found that rosemary responds well to High Intensity Discharge lamps druing the winter months. Also, rosemary is susceptible to powdery mildew during the winter -- you should watch for signs of that and treat as necessary.

I grow greens, edible flowers, garnishes and herbs for local restaurants. Spring is coming and I am planning some herb garden expansion. Any help will be appreciated. I live outside Portland, Oregon.

Sandie Shores’ new book, "Growing and Selling Fresh-cut Herbs", is highly recommended. Sandie spoke at Richters Third Commercial Herb Growing Conference (transcripts to be available summer or fall 1999) and we can tell you that she is very knowledgeable about growing and marketing fresh herbs for profit.

I thoroughly enjoy your newsletter. I learn a lot with each issue. I appreciate the work and attention that goes into these letters. Thank you.

Glad you find the Richters HerbLetter useful. We enjoy putting them out, adn we are always delighted to hear from subscribers who are finding them useful.

Back to Commercial Herb Production and Marketing | Q & A Index

Copyright © 1997-2022 Otto Richter and Sons Limited. All rights reserved.