Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category
Anybody who has attempted to grow something in their garden will be all too aware that
pests have a way of rearing their ugly little heads very quickly indeed! Sadly, the first
response for many gardeners is to head to their garden shed and reach for the pesticides in
order to get rid of their problem as quickly as possible. While this may be the quickest way
to solve the problem, it is most certainly not the greenest! Pesticides can have an adverse
effect on the environment, meaning that a quick-fix is not always the best remedy.
This is now finally being understood by those who make their living from the land; with
nature in mind, many farmers are now employing integrated pest management techniques
in order to protect their livelihood for the long-term – in essence, people are now making
much more of an effort to strike a balance between protecting their crops and protecting
Fortunately, there are plenty of natural and organic methods that gardeners can employ
when attempting to rid themselves of would-be garden invaders! Below are some of the
methods of saving both crops and the planet:
Smells like trouble – many common garden nuisances (such as foxes) can be deterred with
the employment of strong smelling substances. The most commonly used substances that
can be turned into a stinky “keep out” sign are garlic, fish, rhubarb and tobacco.
Hot hot heat – would-be garden invaders can be sent packing with the use of a little heat;
this can include chillies, kerosene, methylated spirits and even table salt!
Odour eaters – many readily available garden plants give off natural odours that can be
extremely uninviting to bugs and other pests. This is nature’s way of informing the bug that
the plant probably carries some form of natural insecticide; it also lets it know to keep well
Get slick – commonly found oils can be a great way of controlling certain kinds of garden
pests. Some tried and tested oils include mineral oil, vegetable oils and proprietary oils.
These can kill soft-bodied invaders by clinging to them and eventually causing suffocation.
Clean up your act – a little-known pest controller comes in the form of soap. Ensuring that
the soap is natural and vegetable-based is the best way to make sure that it will not harm
the plants as opposed to the pests!
Back in 2009 I wrote the article about growing garlic. One quy sent me a question about growing bigger garlic cloves.
If you want to grow bigger garlic cloves you need to do the following:
Be sure you are starting with the biggest cloves in the bulb only. Remember, in this case the size DOES matter! 😉
Garlic loves sun. So plant it in the sunny areas.
Make sure the soil is well drained. Otherwise garlic will root.
Fertilize it. Garlic loves manure. Some people say that chicken manure giver great results but I didn’t try it yet.
Don’t forget to weed garlic.
Remove scapes or garlic false seedheads. Otherwise they will take energy and power from your garlic cloves. By the way, garlic seedheads are delicious when young! You can cook them in oil and enjoy their great taste!
Harvest garlic in the right time! The right time to harvest garlic is when the bottom three leaves are brown.
Help the world! Use paper pot maker!
Hello, my fellow gardeners! Like a promised on Saturday, I wrote a post of how to grow parsley for you. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to write a comment, I will gladly try to help you!
How To Grow Parsley
No doubt, parsley is a popular herb in every kitchen. It has a nice flavor and adds attractiveness to our table. Moreover, it is a rich source of minerals, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. So, if you want to relish this tasty and healthy herb, you must know how to grow it. Growing parsley is not so difficult as it may seem. Just stick to our tips and you will receive a high yield.
- Rich soil
- Soak parsley seeds in hot water for at least a couple of hours to speed up germination.
- Sow the seeds in warm ground (early spring) at 3-inch intervals.
- Make sure a spot you’ve chosen receives enough sunlight and moisture.
- Water the plants deeply once a week.
- Mulch around the plants to retain moisture and prevent weed growth.
- Use general purpose fertilizer once a month.
- Harvest parsley from late spring throughout the season by cutting stalks just above the ground.
It is better to use parsley while it is fresh, however, frozen it also tastes good. Besides, if you like to eat garlic or curry, a spring of parsley after dinner will freshen your breath better than any chewing gum. Enjoy it!
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Stinging nettle has a lot of vitamins and minerals: С, К, В2, carotene, calcium, pantothenic acid, chlorophyll, potassium, sulphur and many others. It increases blood coagulation, the level of haemoglobin, platelets, red blood cells, decreases the sugar level. Stringing nettle also has diuretic and wound healing properties.
It has also been used in folk medicine to treat asthma, cough, and digestive spasms.
The stringing nettle can be used for food as well, but at the spring time only as a chemical change occurs in nettles around midsummer which makes them particularly bitter.
Also it helps to get rid of dandruff.
Stinging nettles are an important habitat for rare butterflies species so please leave some nettles in your garden.
If you don’t have a time to collect it, you may want to buy different kinds of stinging nettle’s extracts in your local pharmacy or on the Amazon just below.
Hydroponic Herb growing has become a very sought after endeavor for people who want to enjoy fresh herbs all year long. The great thing is that you won’t have to spend a lot of time and energy maintaining it once you have it put together. When you think about how much money you would spend on herbs from the store you will realize that it is worth your while.
Although many people have not heard about this type of growing system, the truth of the matter is that it has been around since ancient times when the herbs were used to treat injuries and illness. In more recent years the idea caught on with everyone from the common household to larger corporations who supply many people with fresh produce during the winter months.
Like anything else, there are several methods for getting your garden set up. However, no matter which way you choose to set it up you will need the same types of materials to get started. The central items that you need to get started are a couple of pans with one being a little bit bigger than the other, herb plants, plant food, water, small scaled plumbing pipes, and some sort of sterile medium.
The first thing that needs to be done is to punch small holes into the smaller of the two pans. Make the holes small enough to fit the pipes in tightly. Once you do this put the pans together and insert a pipe into each opening. Put your medium on top leaving each hole open for the plants. If you can’t find this type of planting surface you can use such things as small garden rocks or even plant moss. Just make sure that they are sterile.
Take a container and mix up the recommended amounts of plant food and water. Be careful to break up any lumps if you are using a powder treatment. Cover the entire pan with the mixture being careful to get it down into all of the holes. All that needs to be done now is the planting.
You will need to take great care in rinsing all of the soil that is on the roots of your plants. It may be better to soak them in a small tub as opposed to rinsing them off with running water. Take some type of cloth and blot all the water away or simply tap them lightly on the side of your tub. Place each plant into its own tube and all that will be left is to tend to their daily care.
How to care for your herbs
After you have your garden set up find a bright area in your home to place the container in. If your house is not lit up enough you can always find a plant light to put over your pans. The ideal environment for your herbs would be cool and moist and there are many cooled air humidity machines that will provide the perfect solution for homes where the air is dry.
The best thing about hydroponic herb growing is that you can add a fresh taste to all of your dishes all year long. They will add a wonderful aroma to your home and it is an effort that your family is bound to appreciate.
You can grow Basil outside and inside of the house in containers. All you have to do is to provide plenty of sunshine and water. The technique of planting is the same for outdoors and indoors.
You’ll need watering can, potting soil, seeds or basil seedlings.
First of all, choose a high quality soil mix. I recommend to use organic potting soil. Once you filled the container with soil, you have to water it to give seeds good contact with soil. Water the soil and mix it around. After that sprinkle the garden seeds slightly over the soil. Try to space them up as best as you can. Tap down the soil and then ad some more soil on the top. Cover the seeds up with just about a quarter inch of soil. Water it again with a gentle steam of water. Don’t let the soil to try out until you see the seedlings.
When the seedlings pop up and are about 2-3 inches tall, you need to thin them to 4-6 inches apart. It will give them a plenty of space to grow.
How to make your basil bushy
Basil has so called opposite leaves – they come out on the opposite sides of the stem. They are called setup leaves. When you get 3-4 setup leaves, you can start pruning. You need to pinch off the top part of the plant right above the setup leaves. You’ll get some basil for kitchen use and setup leaves on the main stems will turn into the branches and continue to grow. When they have 3-4 setup leaves, you can pinch off the top of each stem. Buy doing that, you’ll have a plant with 4-8 branches.
How to preserve basil
Don’t put the basil into the refrigerator – it will make it black. Place them in the bottle or glass with water and put it on your window.
How to grow herbs indoors
Growing Mint is easier then growing tomatoes in pots. Mint grows better in a fertile, well drained soil, fair amount of moisture and moderately shady place in your garden or indoors. However mint is not fussy and can grow anywhere you plant it. Mint is one of the best herbs for beginners and it is suitable for balcony or container gardening.
Mint can be propagated in two ways: by garden seeds and by root division.
If you want to grow mint from garden seeds, then it is better to plant them in a recycled pots (have a look on paper pot maker I sell here) and plant them straight into the soil with the paper pots when the time comes.
I recommend to propagate mint by root division. It is easier and quicker way. Mint doesn’t grow well from garden seeds.
It’s better to buy a small mint plants at the nursery or in the garden centre somewhere near you and then grow and propagate them.
How to plant mint
I must warn you in advance: mint is very strong plant and can kill other plants in your garden by taking their territory. So it is better to plant mint in a container without the bottom to prevent it from spreading. If you grow mint indoors it should not be a problem – just plant mint in separate pots or containers. We grow mint in a small pot on the balcony and it looks like the plant is very happy there.
If you want to grow mint outdoors, then plant herb approximately 12 inches apart and keep the soil moist until the plants are established.
Please note: the plant stop growing after flowers appearance, so if you want it to continue it’s growth till autumn, you need to remove flowers.
Growing Thyme is very easy but before writing about that I would like to say a couple of words about propagation of Thyme.
It can be done by seed, from cuttings and by root division. The speedy way is to grow from root division, the longest – to grow from garden seeds.
Soil condition and requirements for growing Thyme
Thyme is not fussy, it grows by itself and you don’t need to take care of that plant. Thyme likes dry, lean soil and sunny locations as it is Mediterranean herb. You can plant it indoors in container, in the pot or outside.
Growing Thyme using root division
You should divide roots of 3-4 years old Thyme plants in April. To do that, dig up the plant, clear away soil and carefully tear the plant into 3-4 pieces. Then plant them in the ground in the area you want. At the beginning of July they should be ready for harvesting. You should repeat this procedure every 2-3 years as Thyme becomes woody by time.
Growing Thyme using seeds
Thyme has to be sown in the middle of Spring (in March) indoors our in the green house first with temperature of 60F (16C). Cover seeds with a very thin layer of potting compost. Move Thyme plants outside when the danger of frost is over and plant them in the chosen area of your garden. Place them at about 12 inches (30cm) away from each other as they will spread later.
We all like to use herbs in cooking to provide the that special flavours and aroma in our food. It will be interesting to know that most professional chefs prefer to use fresh herbs in their cooking. So why not to do the same and grow herbs indoors?
It is very easy to grow herbs indoors using home garden seeds and grow the most commonly used ones. Most of them require average soil and just some of them need rich soil, for example oregano.
Most of the herbs grown in a basic organic home garden such as parsley (note that this herb is biennial in nature. This means the first year it is grown it will not be useful for seasoning), sage, rosemary, thyme (this is a very forgiving plant and if it dries out will likely come back when an appropriate amount of water is given), oregano and basil are tolerant of direct sun, and will need minimal amount of water to survive. You can harvest leaves, sprigs and twigs from any of your herbs as they are growing giving fresh organic herbs for your kitchen.
Whenever possible, plant the organic garden seeds close to where the plants will be used.
In most cases it is easier to grow herbs indoors close to the kitchen (on the window, for example) for easy harvesting of the fresh crop. Note that you don’t have to cut and use the entire growth at once. With the right care, the herbs will grow and be usable for the entire season. You may want to dry or freeze the extra cuttings at the end of the season. It will supply you with the herbs throughout the winter.
A home garden of herbs is a great addition to your kitchen supplies and won’t take too much of your time to look after.
Save home garden seeds.
Grow Plants From Seeds