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Archive for July, 2011

A Quick and Easy Guide to Herb Gardening

Herb gardening is ideal for people who love fresh herbs but have a limited space for a garden since they will grow virtually anywhere. You don’t need to be a green thumb to grow herbs since they are amongst the easiest plants to grow. First get an idea on what herbs you’d like to grow, then do a little research (usually seed packages contain viable information) to determine whether they are adaptable to your climate and how much room they need to grow. Some herbs, like mint, are invasive spreaders and can take over a garden if not carefully placed and maintained. Most herbs will require a significant amount of sunlight, between 6-8 hours a day, and should be grown in an area that will provide it – normally on the south or west side in the northern hemisphere. Water regularly but be careful not to over water, which in some cases can cause root rot, meaning death to the plant.

Most herbs can be grown in containers, which is ideal for many people who have very limited space, have pets, or live in an area of intense climate changes. Some herbs like rosemary and thyme can be grown in containers, but are hardy enough to endure most climates and pest if planted in the ground. One of the best aspects of small container gardening is that they are mobile and can be moved in the event of inclement weather, even indoors during the winter months. You might also want to learn about drying and/or freezing some of your herbs for the winter.

Another method of herb gardening is hydroponics which in essence is a method of growing plants without soil and has grown more and more popular each year. You can build your own hydroponic unit or there are many on the market today designed for indoor counter tops.

As you grow your own herbs you’ll discover that not only do they add wonderful flavors to food but some even possess medicinal properties that have been used for centuries to combat indigestion, fatigue, and a wide variety of other ailments. Some, like basil, are known to repel insects like mosquitoes, which makes planting basil near or on a patio a great idea.

Planning a herb garden is pretty easy and a lot of fun. You may already have an idea on what you’d like to plant, but if not here’s six I’d recommend for starters that will go with just about any kitchen, basil, oregano, dill, cilantro, rosemary and thyme. It’s always fun to add another one or two herbs every year to your garden and soon you’ll be the envy of all your neighbors.

Many herbs like basil are annual, meaning they will die and need to be replanted every year – although some will grow back themselves from their own seeds. Others are perennial like rosemary, meaning they live at least two years. It’s always a good idea to have a mix of both.

Whether you decide to grow your herbs indoors, outdoors, in the ground, or in containers, you’ll find herb gardening satisfying and rewarding.

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Grow a Mint Garden for Scent and Use

Mint is quite the versatile herb. It comes in dozens of varieties, from the well known peppermint and spearmint to the exotic flowering alpine mint bush to the unusual chocolate mint. You can use it in cooking, for jellies, seasoning or teas. You can use it for skin care and treatment of indigestion. Fresh mint rubbed between the fingers smells heavenly!

Mint has long been a favorite herb, rich in folklore and history. A cookbook from the first century lists mint in many recipes. The Greeks believed mint was an aphrodisiac and would not permit their soldiers to eat it in any form. In the 17th century, scholars were advised to wear a crown of mint to aid them in concentrating on their studies.

Mint is an easy plant to grow. It enjoys partial shade and moist ground, but will thrive almost anywhere. In fact, mint grows so well it will soon take over a garden or small yard, choking out all other plants. So it is best to plan carefully when deciding to cultivate a mint garden. Use a container when planting mint to keep it from spreading. A large coffee can or milk carton with the bottom cut out will work just fine. Mint will also thrive in terra cotta pots or any type of container garden.

The best mint gardens are small and include only a few species of mint. It’s possible for mint to cross-pollinate, so choose similar types when planting close together. You can plant several small mint gardens, of different varieties, in choice locations throughout the yard. Mint will grow well under trees where many ornamental plants don’t thrive.

Mint can be low growing or it can grow up to two feet in height, depending on the type. The small flowers are white. If you want to encourage your mint to grow thick and bushy, pinch the flowers off when they appear. You can harvest mint at any time, but don’t strip the plants of leaves. Use scissors or your finger tips to nip the leaves next to the stem. Harvest from the top of the stalk first to encourage new shoots to grow.

If you have a paving stone walkway that is inlaid in soil, you can plant Spanish mint between the stones. This type of mint is low growing and will spread between the stepping stones. Not only does it look pretty but when you walk on the mint and crush the leaves, it smells wonderful and will soothe your senses.

There are many ways to utilize mint plants. A mint garden is a no fuss, easy way to fill the empty spots in your yard. Their stimulating, sweet fragrance will lift your mood and bring enjoyment for many years.

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When to Plant a Home Herb Garden

If you love the flavor that adding fresh herbs to your cooking gives, but you hate to spend a lot of money in the grocery store to constantly purchase them, then you may have just figured out when to plant a home herb garden. Once you have come to the conclusion that you will be better off doing it yourself than relying on the store to have just what you need, you are ready to make the move to growing the herbs yourself.

When to plant your herb garden will depend on where you live. If you live in an area with mild winters, you may plant most herbs in the fall or the spring. However, if you live in a colder climate and experience hard frosts, you will need to be aware of the exact requirements of the herb(s) you are planting. While indoor herb gardens can be planted virtually all year round in containers or via hydroponics, the best time to start an outdoor garden in the northern hemisphere is in the spring time and after the last threat of frost.

However if you’re starting with seeds you can get a jump on the season by starting your seeds indoors under grow lights or in windowsills that will allow 4-6 hours of daily sun, usually at a south and/or west facing window, and then transplant them to the garden (or if you prefer, larger containers) when the weather warms up. Look for compact seeds as they will grow best in indoor containers and check seed packets for individual planting depths. For best results from this method use the same kind of containers and potting mix that you’d use for other indoor seedlings, keeping the soil mix moist until the seeds germinate. Set lights between 3 to 6 inches above the plants, and water thoroughly whenever the soil gets dry to the touch, but not too wet as that can result in root rot. Always keep your plants away from temperature extremes like the kitchen stove or a fireplace. For best results before transplanting outdoors, help the plants adjust by putting the seedlings outside briefly each day while progressively increasing the time for a week or more.

Of course the first step is to figure out what herbs you want to plant and where, keeping in mind that most herbs require lots of sunshine and moderate wind protection. Luckily, this type of garden doesn’t take up a lot of space. You can use an existing vegetable garden or a raised garden or even grow the herbs in separate containers if your yard has minimal space. Once that’s determined and understanding that the time of year can make a big difference to the growth of any plant, you’ll want to know when to plant your home herb garden.

Once the plants have enough foliage to sustain growth, you can start harvesting your herbs continually. The more you harvest the more growth the plant will produce. Pinch off flower buds to keep the plants growing.

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How to Transplant Nursery Plants Into the Ground or Into Larger Containers

People are constantly looking for ways to save money and have fun at the same time. One great way to do this is to create hobbies that will save you money in the long run. Growing herbs in your home can be a great activity that can be rewarding while saving you money at the same time. Obviously, growing plants and herbs in your home will require some space and require you to expand your garden as the plants grow and get bigger. This may be difficult, especially if you are not sure how to transplant nursery plants into the ground or into larger containers.

There are several tips that you should focus on when you are trying to transplant your plants into a different location. The first thing that you will want to take into consideration is when you should transplant your plants. If you’re planting in the ground and you live in an area where all of the seasons are present, you will want to transplant your plants in the early to mid spring, after the soil has thawed and softened. If the early spring is not an option, the next best time is during the late fall. By doing the transplant at this time, you will be able to avoid shocking the plant and have a much higher success rate. Transplanting in containers can be done year around indoors or outdoors in areas of mild climate, and indoors in areas of harsh climate.

The next thing that you will need to consider is the time it will take you to transplant your plant. With small plants, this will be much easier but larger plants will be more of a challenge. The roots of a plant are very sensitive and can be damaged easily. The shorter amount of time that the roots are exposed means a lower chance for shocking the plant. This will keep the plant healthy so it will continue to produce and live healthily. Keep in mind that it’s always best to transplant outdoors in cloudy weather toward the evening rather than when it’s sunny and in the morning.

When transplanting, gently remove the plant from the original container. If the roots have begun growing up the side, gently loosen the soil with your fingers, making sure the soil stays in contact with the roots and that the roots are exposed to the air for as minimal amount of time as possible, then place in the new container so they will grow properly. Add enough soil to completely cover the roots and water immediately. Mixing in some vitamin B1 plant starter will also help reduce shock to the plant.

You may need to get several different tools before you start the transplant of your nursery plants. The place is the most important thing that you need to consider. Make sure that you have a place in your garden or a pot large enough to place your plant. You will also need a spade or shovel, depending on the size of the plant, pruners, and something to transport the plant. Once you get the plant into its new home, you will want to ensure that the soil is healthy and can sustain life. This means a good supply of water and nutrients. You may want to get fertilizer in the soil so the plant will have nutrients right away. There are many more tips that are available on the Internet for people who are looking to transplant their plants and herbs.

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How to Grow Herbs in Containers

Herb gardening is becoming an increasingly popular hobby. Many people have started herb gardens because they are looking for a way to get high quality herbs that have not had pesticides and other dangerous chemicals used on them at a decent price. When you go to the store, there is usually a good selection of different herbs that you can buy. Most of these herbs are produced commercially and have pesticides and other harmful chemicals used in the growing process. Herbs that lack these chemicals are known as organic and are much more expensive as they are more expensive to produce and grow. Because of these two factors, many people are choosing to grow their own herbs and plants in their homes or gardens. This can be a great option for you if you are looking to create a more healthy diet and save money at the same time.

If you plan on growing your own herbs in your home, you will have to find a space to put them. Typically, people use pots and other containers to grow their plants indoors and/or outdoors. These work well as long as you choose a pot that will allow your plant to grow to the size that it needs to in order to be harvested. Many times people think that they don’t need a large pot and end up planting the herbs in a pot that is too small for the plant to grow.

One thing that you will want to consider when choosing a pot for your herbs is how well it will drain water. Water drainage is crucial when you are growing your own herbs because if water is allowed to pool, mold can start to grow in your plant’s pot and kill the herbs that you are trying to grow. So be sure your containers have enough holes in the bottom to allow sufficient drainage.

The next thing that you will want to think about when you are growing plants in containers like pots is the soil that you are going to use. There are many different types of soil and soil products that you will be able to find at the local gardening store or from a reputable online distributor. Look for a high quality organic soil and compost and put in the container leaving enough space at the top for watering, roughly 1 to 1 1/2 inches, depending on the size of the container. Note: If the container is large and deep enough, add 1 to 2 inch base of gravel or small stones which will ensure good drainage and help prevent root rot. It’s always a good idea to clean any containers that you reuse to remove any possible contamination and/or bugs.

Make sure to keep your herbs in a sunny location and properly fed and watered and you will be cooking with your own herbs in no time.

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Best Culinary Herbs to Grow at Home

As herb gardening is quickly becoming a very popular hobby as people look for ways to save money and eat healthier. Herbs that you grow in your own garden or in your home have higher nutritional value than herbs that you can buy at the store. They also cost less and are much better for you because they have not been sprayed with dangerous chemicals like insecticides. Some people even take this to the next level and make money by selling the extra herbs that they grow in their gardens at farmers markets or just to their neighbors. Herb gardening becomes more popular, there is more and more information available about it. If you are interested in getting your own herb garden started, you will want to find out which are some of the best culinary herbs.

While there are many different types of herbs that you can grow, you may want to focus on herbs that you will actually use and can be used in a variety of different applications, or on herbs that you cannot get easily in your area. One of the most popular herbs that is fairly simple to grow is basil. Basil is a great culinary herb because it can be used in a huge amount of dishes and it requires very little care. As long as the basil is placed in the sunlight and has heat it will grow with minimal attention besides water.

Another one of the most popular culinary herbs is Oregano. Oregano, like basil, can be used in a wide variety of dishes. It also has many different therapeutic properties as well. Oregano is a perfect herb to grow along with basil because the two are used together in many recipes.

Dill is also a great culinary herb to grow. It can be used in soups, goes great with fish and eggs, vegetables, and many other applications. Dill is traditionally used in the pickling process and can add a great flavor to home pickled vegetables.

These culinary herbs are just a sample and ultimately, you will have to decide which herbs you are going to use the most and plant those accordingly. You may want to look through the recipes that you normally use and choose the most common herbs to plant in your garden. However, you don’t have to limit yourself, you may also want to grow some herbs that you have never cooked with before so that you can add some new variety and different flavors to your cooking. The Internet is a great place to get more information on the culinary herbs that can be grown in your garden and used easily in your kitchen.

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Why Herbs Gardens Make Great Gifts

Gift giving is not always an easy thing to figure out. It seems like everyone has different tastes and it can be hard to know what to get them. If you are looking for a unique gift idea to surprise your loved ones with then look into herb garden gift giving. These gifts are great for anyone that loves plants because it can help get them started on that garden that they have always wanted to have. You can go about this type of gift giving a few different ways including just giving them herbs. These are fun and interesting gifts, and they last more than just a couple of days.

Herb garden gift giving is even a good choice for people that have never done gardening before. Many people enjoy the challenge of helping something to grow. You can find herb garden starter kits that you can give out to people to help them know the steps they need to take to have a successful garden. You can find these types of items at any local nursery, garden store, or hardware store in your area. Or you can find online retailers that will ship these kits out. There are other things that you can get to go along with these kits including fertilizer, soil, and also some kind of pot to put the herb in. You just want to make sure that you give the recipient everything they need in order to get their garden started.

If you are thinking of herb garden gift giving ideas for someone that already has an established garden then you may want to try and think of some plants or starter seeds that they haven’t tried to grow before. One of the best ways to find these kinds of plants is to do a search online or maybe talk to a nursery specialist about what some good herbs would be that you could give that are not usually available in the area. If you can give someone a unique plan to add to their herb garden they will be excited to try out then new addition.

As you get into the spirit of giving and start buying gifts for your family and friends, look into herb garden gifts to give something unique this year. Most people enjoy gifts that are outside the box and your gifts can be a real success. This can be a great alternate gift idea for any holiday or birthday that is coming up in the near future.

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Giving Herbs as Gifts

If you are like most people in the world you probably have a difficult time trying to decide what to get people for a gift. Deciding what to get someone is hard, especially if it seems like they have everything that they have ever wanted. Choosing the right gift for someone is important because it shows that you put thought and effort into getting them a meaningful gift. If you find yourself in a situation where you have no idea what to get someone you may want to consider giving herbs as gifts. Giving herbs as gifts is a great way to give someone a gift that they will be able to enjoy for a long time. It doesn’t matter if the person already has herbs or doesn’t know the first thing about gardening; herbs can be the perfect gift for anyone.

If you are giving herbs as gifts to someone that has never been involved with gardening before you may want to consider getting them an “herb growing kit.’ You can purchase all of the items that will make up an herb growing kit at any local home and garden store. You will want to buy a pot, soil, fertilizer, and either a starter plant or seeds. When you buy a starter kit the person receiving the gift will be sure to have everything that they will need to get started in the wonderful hobby of herb gardening.

If you are buying a gift for someone that already has an interest growing herbs you may just want to go out and buy some starter plants or seeds that the person does not have in their garden yet. One good idea is to search the Internet for herbs that are not readily available in your area so that the person can have something new and exciting to grow. There are many different herb websites on the Internet that have a variety of herbs and spices that can be purchased and grown. The herbs bought from the Internet will most likely be seeds as it is difficult to ship live plants.

Whether you decide to give a starter kit or exotic herbs as a gift the person receiving it will be getting a gift that they can spend their time on and experience a hobby that they may do for the rest of their lives. Giving herbs as gifts is a great alternative to traditional gift giving.

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Medicinal Herbs For Diabetes.

There are many people who are out there struggling with the aftermath of diabetes. This can be a pretty debilitating disorder and many people have to deal with it for their entire lives. Usually, this means that people have to change their way of life in order to cope with the side effects including what they eat and how they go about their daily routines. There is also a lot of medicine that is involved with treating diabetes and it become overwhelming. If you are looking for an alternative treatment then look into medicinal herbs for diabetes.

Banner - Brand - No PromotionPeople have used herbs as medicine for centuries because many of them really do have healing properties. Many medicines that have been created by scientists today have been formulated out of known healing herbs. There are three herbs that have been proven to help people with type 2 diabetes and they are the fenugreek, the blueberry leaf, and also the bean pod.

The first is the bean pod and it derives from the French bean, a very common vegetable in the world today. This is one of those medicinal herbs for diabetes that has beneficial skin that contains helpful hormone substances. One of the main things that these substances do is raise the natural amount of insulin production in the human body. They actually will help stimulate the pancreas and can be ingested in a cup of tea to provide relief.
The next type of herb that can be tried is the blueberry leaf, and one of its most beneficial components are the antioxidants that can be derived from it. There is a certain anthocyanoside compound that is located within the plant and it can help the body with important tasks like collagen synthesis. This synthesis can help protect the vascular portions of people with Type 2 Diabetes. The leaf of a Blueberry can also help by lowering blood sugar levels and can also be taken within a tea.

The last of the medicinal herbs for Diabetes that will be talked about is that of the Fenugreek. It is also known as trigonella and contains the foenum-graecum seeds. These seeds have all kinds of beneficial components including fiber, amino acids, and even some alkaloids. Some of the things that Fenugreek can do is help your body to absorb carbohydrates and even lower your blood sugar after a meal. Another benefits would be that this herb can help stimulate the production of insulin.

As you can see, there are options other than medicine to try in order to help treat harmful disorders and diseases like Diabetes. This is a very natural way to help those with Diabetes live regular and wholesome lives.

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Medicinal Herbs and Herb Gardening

Getting into medicinal herbs and herb gardening can be a very fun thing to do, if you know where to start. Some of the medicinal herbs out there are worth a lot of money as well as being extremely effective for certain ailments that are experienced by the human population. If you are new to this practice and hobby, the best thing to do is to talk to an expert grower that has been doing it for years. The reason why we say this is because there Banner - Brand - No Promotionare many different techniques and ways to grow medicinal herbs. There are also several factors that can affect the way that these plants grow such as temperature, climate, and altitude. Having an experienced grower in your area consult with you will not only give you great information, but it can get you very excited about getting started.

Once you have gotten some advice on growing, it is time to decide on what types of herbs you will grow. If you are getting into this hobby to make money, it is important to research the plants that are worth the most money in your area and to also analyze the demand for them. Another thing to make sure that you check is the legality of plant species for the state you live in. The reason why this is important is because not every state allows the growing of certain medical plants. Many states require growers to become licensed as to be able to track the herbs that are grown for medicinal purposes. Doing your due diligence will protect you from legal recourse and will help you to get more business in the long run.

If you don’t have a garden to grow your plants, make sure to create one in an area that gets plenty of sun and water. Many people who grow plants for business usually always create a greenhouse in order to keep a constant climate for the plants to ensure proper and maximum quality results. Creating a greenhouse can be done on any budget as the materials are cheap. The biggest thing is making sure that you have the space to accommodate one.

Once you have done your research and have created an effective growing station, it’s time to let the fun begin and start planting. Growing these plants is very fulfilling as you will be able to nurture plants throughout the entire maturation process until they are used for the end results which is to help people reduce the pain and ailments that they are suffering from.

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July 2011