Growing your own cocktails in your very own backyard can be the ultimate way to guarantee you have the freshest ingredients possible with which to create your favorite drinks.
In fact, if you have your own cocktail garden, there are probably quite a few things you’ll never have to buy again—or at least not as often!
With only some dirt and patience, anyone can grow their own perfect cocktail garden, complete with all of the herbs, fruits, and vegetables needed to create delicious craft cocktails all year long! To help you get started, here are nine simple steps on how to grow a cocktail garden from start to finish.
1) Choosing your site
Location is key when growing cocktails, and the best place to plant your cocktail garden will be somewhere sunny. If you’re going to go with a backyard, be sure that it gets a lot of sunlight.
The sunnier it is, the more your plants will grow and thrive; although, don’t leave these out in blazing sun during high-temperature hours or they’ll burn up!
Growing cocktails takes time; they won’t magically appear after just a few days. Don’t rush through any part of planting them because impatience could result in disaster for your budding cocktail garden.
2) Know your climate
Water is one of your most important resources. Growing any plant requires a lot of water, and that’s especially true if you want them to grow quickly.
The best time for collecting rain water is in spring. That’s when you have not too much, but just enough rain so it does not flood your plants, which can actually drown them.
In order to keep rainwater for later use, all you need is an empty bucket and some netting stretched across its opening. When it rains, collect all excess water in your bucket and store it under shelter till required next season.
3) Collect spring rainwater
Rainwater is a viable option for watering your cocktail garden, especially if you live in an area that doesn’t get much rain. If your municipal water supply has been chemically treated or otherwise processed, it could be healthier for your plants—not to mention yourself—to use rainwater instead.
To collect rainwater:
1) Secure a large container with a lid;
2) Place container outside on patio or deck, near open window or door where incoming wind will blow directly into container;
3) When container is full of collected rainwater, detach hose from faucet and attach spigot instead;
4) Run hose outside and fill up containers you’ve set aside for washing fruits and vegetables as well as watering plants throughout rest of year.
4) Learn the basics of cocktail gardening
First, you’ll need to learn a few cocktail basics. Now, I don’t know how much time you want to invest in your garden (or your cocktails).
Each provides interesting stories about different spirits, flavor profiles, and plenty of recipes that are easily converted into soil amendments or direct garden applications.
In fact, after reading these books you may realize just how easy it is to transform ingredients from your bar into delicious-smelling plants in your garden. In fact, after reading these books you may realize just how easy it is to transform ingredients from your bar into delicious-smelling plants in your garden.
5) Choose plants
First, decide what plants you want to grow. Some options are kale, cherry tomatoes, oregano and rosemary. Kale is a leafy green that can be used in green drinks or smoothies. Cherry tomatoes can be added to salads or cooked down into sauces for pasta dishes.
Oregano is popular with Italian-style meals and rosemary adds a woodsy taste that pairs well with many foods, such as roasts and potatoes. You also may want to include lavender as an ornamental plant for your garden—just make sure it’s edible if you plan on using it in cocktails!
Choose a container: Next, choose a container for your cocktail garden. It should have drainage holes at the bottom and be large enough to hold all of your plants comfortably. It should also have enough room between each plant so they have room to grow without crowding each other out.
Purchase soil: To prepare soil for planting, mix equal parts potting soil and perlite together in a bucket until it’s moist but not soggy. Fill pots with soil mixture until they’re about three-quarters full, then place one seedling in each pot.
Water seedlings thoroughly after planting them so they don’t dry out while they’re getting established. Keep watering once a week during hot summer months and every two weeks during cooler months.
Watch plants grow: Once seedlings are planted, water once a week during hot summer months and every two weeks during cooler months. Your plants will begin to mature over time; some vegetables like carrots take longer than others to produce harvestable crops.
Harvest vegetables when they reach maturity (carrots will be orange) and remove any diseased leaves from your plants periodically.
Add new herbs throughout season: As new herbs start growing in your garden, you’ll want to pinch off some of their stems when they reach 8 inches tall. These young stems will become new herbs within days, giving you fresh ingredients for drinks whenever you need them!
6) Soil and Pots
Choosing plants for a cocktail garden doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are a few easy-to-care-for plants that grow well in patio containers: Rosemary, thyme, mint, basil and lemon balm.
When choosing plants based on their scent, keep in mind that each plant produces a different aroma when crushed or bruised.
Herbs like rosemary and thyme will produce stronger scents than soft greens like mint or lemon balm. You can also mix up your flavors by adding fragrant blossoms such as lavender or geraniums.
The first step in your journey is choosing which plants you’d like to grow. Think about what herbs are crucial for your cocktail recipes, and which ones make for a nice garnish. You don’t need too many plants; for ease of use and upkeep, it’s best to keep it between 3-5.
Look at plant profiles on gardening websites so you know what each one needs, as well as its size at maturity.
For example, Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) grows about 12-24 inches tall and width-wise can reach up to 2 feet if left unpruned! Consider how much space you have on your property before getting too deep into research.
8) Keeping it going
Keep your herbs thriving with regular watering, especially during their first few weeks in their new home. Lightly fertilize monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer (e.g., fish emulsion).
You can also make a paste of seaweed or molasses and water, and then spread it on your plants to boost iron and potassium levels. And keep those pests at bay! This recipe works as an effective insect repellent: Mix 1 tablespoon each of castile soap, cayenne pepper and cornstarch.
9) Getting creative
There’s no doubt that planting your own garden is an excellent way to save money and get healthier, but why should we limit ourselves to tomato plants and lettuce? Don’t you want a fresh basil garnish for your next batch of homemade lemonade? These days, herbs are easier than ever to grow at home.
If you have space (and some sunlight), chances are you can find room for a few pots of herbs. Some might even surprise you with their versatility—dill, parsley, mint and basil have all been known to work well in cocktails. So don’t be afraid! Just because it looks like herb doesn’t mean it tastes like toothpaste.
In order to grow a cocktail garden, you’ll need a proper cocktail garden kit. These kits contain seeds of all sorts of herbs and spices that are meant for producing cocktails with. Some kits even come with starter tea leaves and brewing instructions for those who are interested in making sweet tea as well.
If you don’t want your own personal herb garden, it’s just as easy to buy these herbs from your local grocery store or farmers market. Even so, growing a cocktail garden is an interesting hobby that can give you that homemade touch without any of the hassle!