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Archive for September, 2011

Fall Herb Gardening

Did you know that fall is still a wonderful time to start herb gardening? It’s true! Many people think that spring and summer are the only times when you can plant your favorite herbs, but the truth is that fall herb gardening yields some of the most popular and versatile herbs you can grow. Fall herb gardening is one of the best ways to enjoy the changing seasons while starting an herb crop that will give you some truly amazing results. The drop in temperature and the particular humidity level in the air at this beautiful time of year make it the ideal atmosphere for many types of herbs to thrive!

For most people, fall herb gardening focuses mostly on harvesting the various roots, leaves, and even berries that have flourished over the warmer months. September and October are traditionally the best times to cut your favorite herbs since the very best in fragrance and flavor seems to peak around this time. What many people don’t know is that while you’re out harvesting as part of your fall herb gardening, you can also plant new seeds that will provide you some amazing flavor and fragrance in late autumn and well into the winter as well. Once you learn about just how much you can do in your home garden as the fall comes in, you may find that September and October become some of your most enjoyable and busy herb gardening months of the year! When you’re not working on planting new fall loving herbs, you’ll be harvesting the perfect herbs you’ve grown through the summer, and preparing soil and perennial plants for the winter ahead.

Basil, dill, cilantro, and parsley are some of the most popular herbs to plant as fall rolls in, and for many homes they make the basis for all their autumn gardening. These flavorful and aromatic herbs love the cooler air and the softer soil of the fall, and planting them at this time tends to bring out the very best in their taste and aroma. Many people find that going through their herbs to harvest roots, gather seeds from mature plants, take cuttings, and clip any leaves is a great time to add more plants as part of a full fall herb gardening schedule.

While you’re harvesting mature plants and planting new ones as part of your fall herb gardening protocol, you may want to take some time to prepare your herbs for the cold winter months ahead. This is a simple process, and taking time to do it will ensure that your garden gets a great head start on next years warm growing season. You’ll want to cut back shrubby and woody herbs to help them sleep over the winter, remove any plants that will die as the weather becomes colder, and transplant some herbs into containers for indoor growing if they will live with warmer indoor air. You may also want to add some new soil or soil builder to your herb garden at this time to give it a full season to settle in and enrich the garden you already have now.

Planting herbs in the fall is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the fall while adding some fresh flavor and aroma to your cooking. Parsley, Dill, Cilantro, and Basil are easy herbs to work with during the autumn, and this year is a great year to experience fall gardening for yourself!

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Winterizing Your Home Herb Garden

If you have a herb garden at your home you probably take a lot of pride in the plants that you grow. These plants become very important to you not only because they are used in the food that you eat but also because you have to take care of them so that they will grow. One of the most important aspects of growing your own herb garden is winterizing it. Winterizing a herb garden will be crucial if you want to have plants the following year.

Winterizing a herb garden is something that you will have to worry about especially if you live in a cold climate. If you happen to live in a cold climate you will have to plan out the times when you fertilize your herbs. You will want to make sure that you do not fertilize after early August since new fall growth will be a bad thing. New growth in the early fall is damaging because the plants are tender and will be easily damaged by winter frost. This suggestion is also true for trimming. Trimming should not be done after early august for the same reason that the herbs are not fertilized. Trimming stimulates new growth and will waste the plant’s stored energy.

In truth, winterizing a herb harden is not that difficult. Plants are hardwired by Mother Nature to prepare for winter. As the summer wind down you may notice that your plants are growing much more slowly and that some of the stalks and leaves may wither and die. Do not panic. Your plant is not dead but is in a dormant stage so that it can survive the winter.

The soil that your herbs are planted in should be dryer than normal as winter approaches. Dry soil will prevent the heat from being wicked away from your plants as well as preventing freezing that will crack the roots of the herbs that you have. One thing that you will want to do when winterizing a herb garden is cover the plant with plenty of mulch. Some common things that you can use are pine bark, sawdust, or commercial mulches. Mulch will help insulate your plants and protect the fragile roots from freezing temperatures.

Take care of your plants because they provide you with a flavorful addition to your meals.

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Benefits of a Home Herb Garden

If you love herbs and have ever thought about starting your own home herb garden but believed it would be too much of a hassle or that you’re more of a brown thumb than a green one, you’re not alone. Let me just say from personal experience that the biggest obstacle to starting a herb garden is the “starting” part. Once you get started you’ll soon find out just how easy and gratifying it can be to grow your own herbs how beneficial it is to do so.

The first benefit you’ll experience is the stress relief it offers as well as a sense of accomplishment. Think how rejuvenating the sight and scent of your very own herb garden can be.

Benefit number two is that you get to eat what you grow and supplementing your diet with fresh herbs is not only healthy but very tasty. Adding herbs to your dishes will make simple foods burst with flavor. For example, add chopped rosemary to roasted chicken, sage on potatoes, or tarragon to eggs and you’ll immediately know that adding herbs is a very satisfying thing to do, and the combination’s are limitless. You might even become your family and friends favorite chef.

Another great benefit is that you’ll save money. If you’ve ever bought herbs at your local market, then you know just how expensive they can be, and for what really? After the initial investment of starting your own home herb garden, you’ll have them readily available whenever you want them and for a fraction of the cost of buying them at the store.

Benefit number four is choice and quantity. When you grow your own herb garden, you can pick the herbs that you like best and will use most and grow as much as you want. If you want to experiment with other herbs, you can do so in smaller quantities until you decide if they’re right for you. You also get to choose what type of herb garden you want, whether it be an indoor or outdoor garden.

Benefit number five is what you don’t or can’t use you can share with your family, friends and neighbors. It’s always nice to give and receive gifts. Or you might decide to dry your herbs for future use.

So you see starting and having your own home herb garden is beneficial in many ways, not to mention easy and fun – I guess that’s another benefit in itself. The sooner you get started the sooner you can enjoy these benefits yourself.

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September 2011