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Archive for the ‘Seasonal Herb Gardening’ Category

Spice Up Your Summer With An Herb Garden

Growing herbs at home can be a simple and fulfilling project that yields wonderful – and useful – results. If you have never before embarked on such a botanical conquest, rest assured that only a few important tips are needed to make something beautiful and aromatic-and practice makes perfect. For beginning gardeners aspiring to make the most out of their summer, try beginning with these basic guidelines to building a fantastic herb garden.

Starting Off

First of all, your herbs need a proper place to grow. For many people, planting herbs in pots seems to be a practical and easy way to get everything in the right place. Many herbs require a lot of sunlight, and having them in pots means that they are easily portable and can be placed in whatever spots of the porch, deck, or outside patio to get the optimal amount of sunlight and water. Seeds and starts may also be planted in the ground, if the soil is well-tilled and nourished before doing so. This is a great way to complement a vegetable garden, and provide an aromatic element to your yard.

Each type of plant you wish to grow may require a certain amount of space, water, or care. Before you purchase the herb, it is a good idea to do some research or check with the nursery experts to find out some simple things you should know about each plant, in order to reap the best results. For those who have not worked with seeds, transplanting a start of each plant is an excellent way to start an herb garden off well.

Herb Garden Must-Haves

Some of the basic herbs that are “must-haves” in your garden include herbs and spices that you can use in every day cooking, as well as others that will give you an opportunity to branch out a bit. Herbs that thrive on the summer heat and sun include basil, rosemary, parsley, oregano, and chives. Combined in salads, breads, chicken, fish, and potatoes, these herbs can really add a splash of color and taste to any meal that you make. Tarragon is another great option that is excellent on fish and salads.

Use Fresh, Or Dry For Later

The great thing about having an herb garden is the access you are granted to fresh herbs that have a taste that you just can’t find in the grocery store. You can use your herbs while they are fresh, crushing the leaves until the juices come seeping out, or just throwing them into soups and stews to get each rich flavor. For use in later dishes, hang the plants upside down in a cool dry place until they are completely dried.

Now is the perfect chance to try your hand at a summer herb garden.

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Herb Garden, Spring Planting

Planning Your Herb Garden For Spring Planting

For many people, spring planting is the perfect time to begin an herb garden. For most herbs, planting should wait until there is no more danger of frost if you plan to put the seeds directly in the ground. However if you want to grow herbs from seeds, you can also start your seeds indoors a few weeks before you plan to put them outdoors and then simply transplant them after the frost danger is gone.

However, planting seeds is not the only way to go. You can plant seedlings instead of seeds, whether you grow the seedlings yourself indoors before transplanting them outdoors for your spring planting or you can purchase seedlings from a nursery. These will come in seed trays that can often be reused. For instance, purchase your seedlings from the nursery this year and after you plant them in your herb garden you can save the trays for planting your own seeds indoors next year.

You can also get well established plants from your local nursery for herb garden spring planting. These may come in a flexible nursery bag or in a pot, usually made of plastic. You may even purchase a fully prepared and planted container garden where the herbs are planted in a large container that is designed to be your herb garden. This type of garden is self contained, and the plants may be a bit more expensive because the container is the garden.

Another method of starting an herb garden is to use cuttings. You can get cuttings from your friends who have herb gardens or you can take cuttings from plants that have already been established in your garden. Remember to take a new shoot that is quite vigorous and about three inches long. It should not have any flower buds on it. Cut it from the stem but leave a small portion of woody stem on it. Plant the end directly in the garden or in a pot. Hardy herbs like Rosemary are perfect for cuttings.

Remember, you can do the spring planting of your herbs using seeds, seedlings, established plants, or cuttings. You can start your herbs directly in your outdoor garden or in containers. You can also get your seeds growing using hydroponics. Hydroponics is a method of gardening to grow plants indoors using artificial lights and a special chemical preparation instead of actual soil.

Any way you grow your herb garden, you are bound to find not only great fresh herbs to add to your cooking but also a great deal of satisfaction from growing them yourself.

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Winter Home Herb Gardens

Spring is that time of year when the weather starts allowing us to get back to our outdoor activities. A lot of us include herb gardening in those activities and late Winter / early Spring is the ideal time to start your herb garden so you can reap its rewards throughout the Summer months. But are we limited to just those few months to enjoy our own fresh herbs? Not necessarily since most herbs can be grown in containers and can be brought indoors when the weather turns cold and inclement. No need to give up your home grown flavor for cooking. In fact, by bringing them indoors, you can add the fresh aroma of living plants into your home. The climate is controlled for easier growing as well. With a little care, you don’t have to give up fresh savory taste just because old man winter comes calling.

If you don’t already have herbs planted in containers to bring inside for winter, here are a couple of ways to grow an indoor herb garden. One is to set aside a small area in your home, then buy seeds, containers, organic soil, and for best results, a grow light or two. Fill the containers 3/4 full with soil, plant the seeds as directed on the seed package. Water regularly, but be careful not to over water. Set the grow light(s), or at minimum a fluorescent light, to be on at least 6-8 hours a day and withing a couple of weeks you should start seeing the plants sprouting. After a few more weeks, or until they get about 4 inches high, the plants will be ready for use in your kitchen. Another method that is gaining in popularity is hydroponics. If you have the patience and know how, you can build your own hydroponic unit, or an even easier way is to purchase one of the many tabletop hydroponic units on the market today. The most popular being the Aerogarden which comes in many varieties of plant options.

Either way you will be assured of fresh herbs for all your winter dishes, and that makes it worth it.

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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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July 2024