My name is Mattias, but you may know me as Matt – The Gardener. I am here to help you learn about the best gardening methods and techniques for your home garden.
Our articles and guides are based on actual projects in our garden. And we like to think that this makes Nordic Lavender different from most other online gardening resources.
I have been gardening for 30+ years and want to show you how to grow, care for, and harvest herbs and garden vegetables. My experience is rooted in gardening in a four-season climate (zone 7). Many techniques and gardening tips are universal but may be best suited for zones 4-8.
I draw on years of gardening experience and knowledge from gardening courses and training programs by, for example, Hemmaodlat at SLU, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and the National Gardening Association. If pressed, I would confidently label myself an expert home gardener.
We start herbs and vegetables from seeds and cuttings with a focus on using grow bags, pots, containers, and raised garden beds.
But we also share smaller versions of DIY projects, like how to build a fungus gnat trap using an empty plastic bottle and apple cider vinegar.
As gardening plays a big part in my life, I may also include tips about lawn care, flowers, shrubs, trees, and bushes. You want a diverse growing space that attracts pollinators and other beneficial insects.
You can also find us on YouTube
Our YouTube channel offers easy-to-follow video tutorials that will help get you started.
If you find our videos helpful, please remember to support us by clicking “Like” and “Subscribe” to our YouTube channel.
Frequently Asked Questions
I can’t find an article about a specific variety of herbs or a vegetable I want to try to grow; why not?
If you are searching for an article about a specific herb or garden vegetable but find none, it is because the articles we write are based on actual projects we do in our gardens. And as we do not write articles from memory, we only have articles covering what we have grown recently.
We like to show photos and videos to document the process.
An example is strawberries, where I see myself as an expert. Still, we have not grown strawberries since we reorganized our vegetable garden. And therefore, we have not published a strawberry article yet.
Nordic Lavender offers current and relevant information and a vast amount of new information to share. We work as quickly as possible to publish new articles. So check back with us often for updates and news.
Please write to us if you have questions about any particular herb or vegetable. Where possible, questions will be answered by publishing a new article to help as many readers as possible.
Do you grow for fun?
Yes, but not just for fun. I do grow herbs and vegetables because I find them extremely rewarding in many ways. Gardening has always been there to de-stress me after a busy day at the office.
Self-sustainability also plays a part. We are firm believers that it is better to do something than nothing.
And whereas we are not in a position to be 100% self-sustainable all the time for everything – we aim to be self-sufficient to a degree.
And self-sustainability should not have to be about “all or nothing.” We like to refer to it as our version of urban self-sustainability.
What do you mean by urban self-sustainability?
For us, urban self-sustainability is about doing what you can and being allowed to feel good about it. After all, every little bit helps. And we should all try to do what we can.
Sitting around and feeling guilty about not doing enough is not productive. And it surely does not solve anything.
Instead, do what you can do and celebrate the small victories where you can make a difference. Feeling great about yourself may spur you on to do more.
Can anyone apply the idea of urban self-sustainability?
Sure. Grow what you can, use, and the things that make sense. Look at where you spend your money and the space you have available for growing herbs and vegetables. Other examples include recycling soil and pots and reusing materials. And why not start composting?
I will give you a couple of examples from our garden.
– We like hot and spicy food. Growing garlic and peppers allows us to be 100% self-sustainable on all varieties of peppers, chilies, and garlic hot sauces and rubs.
– The same goes for most herbs and spices, except for hard-to-substitute spices like salt, pepper, cinnamon, and saffron.
– We grow beefsteak and cherry tomatoes and are self-sufficient from June through October. We start a fresh batch of tomatoes from seed in May for a late fall harvest. Green tomatoes can also be a great addition to your kitchen when handled correctly.
– All leafy greens, including kale, arugula (rocket), corn salad, and different varieties of lettuces, are other examples of where we are self-sufficient for large portions of the year.
– We have grown sweet potatoes as a fun project in the past. But potatoes do not make sense for us to grow as they take up too much space. Also, when they are ready to be harvested, they are readily available and inexpensive to purchase.
– On the other hand, we grow horseradish in containers, yielding a great harvest from a small space. Also, as a product, a little horseradish goes a long way.
– And as we love Italian food, we grow many different types of basil – including our favorites, common basil and Thai basil – for homemade pesto year-round.
– We also spend a lot of time with DIY projects and like to make our DIY grow bags, raised garden beds, hydroponic grow systems, watering cans, soil scoops, labeling markers, fungus gnat traps, planting tables, and so on – all from at least partly recycled materials.
Again, we enjoy the lifestyle; it saves us money and makes for good eating!
Gardening and, in particular, growing herbs and vegetables from seeds is our main passion.
Most global plant hardiness zone maps place us in hardiness zone 7 (worldwide USDA hardiness zone 7a/7b). But we are firm believers in “growth zone hacking.” Using combinations of indoor and outdoor spaces, we, for example, grow ginger and turmeric. This is just one of many advantages of container gardening, where we can use pots, grow bags, and containers to our advantage.
We never stop learning about a particular herb or vegetable. There is always more to learn. Our how-to tutorials are continually updated with our findings, and we always try to include details such as the type of pot and soil used.
You will also find buying guides on what and where to buy the best gardening gear to help you create your perfect garden.
Almost all photos on our website come from one of our gardens. You must contact us for permission before using any of our images.
We look forward to seeing you on Nordic Lavender!
Mattias, aka “Matt – The Gardener” Writer & Chief Planter
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