Archive for Vegetable Garden


Growing Your Own Herbs

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Growing Your Own Herbs by Robert Thomson

If you’re not the type of person that wants to spend their time managing an elaborate fruit or vegetable garden, you might consider planting and maintaining an herb garden. While the product might not seem as significant, you’ll still enjoy the constant availability of fresh, delicious herbs to flavor your meals with.

First you’ll want to choose the herbs that you’ll plant. You might have a hard time doing this because of the huge scope of herbs available. But the best way to choose is to do what I did; just look at what you have in your kitchen. By planting your own collection of these herbs, you can save money on buying them from the grocery store while having the added benefit of freshness. Some of the herbs you might start with include rosemary, sage, basil, dill, mint, chives, and parsley among others.

When choosing an area to put your herb garden, you should remember that the soil should have extremely good drainage. If the dirt gets watered and stays completely saturated, you have no chance of ever growing a healthy plant. One of the best ways to fix the drainage problem is to dig a foot deep in the soil, and put a layer of crushed rocks down before replacing all the soil. This will allow all that water to escape, thus saving your plants.

When you are ready to begin planting herbs, you might be tempted to buy the more expensive plants from the store. However, with herbs it is much easier to grow them from seed than it is with other plants. Therefore you can save a bundle of money by sticking with seed packets. Some herbs grow at a dangerously fast rate. For example, if you plant a mint plant in an open space then it will take over your entire garden in a matter of days. The best way to prevent this problem is to plant the more aggressive plants in pots (with holes in the bottom to allow drainage, of course).

When it comes time to harvest the herbs you have labored so hard over, it can be fatal to your plant to take off too much. If your plant isn’t well established, it isn’t healthy to take any leaves at all, even if it looks like its not using them. You should wait until your plant has been well established for at least several months before taking off any leaves. This wait will definitely be worth it, because by growing unabated your plant will produce healthily for years to come.

Once you’ve harvested your delicious home grown herbs, you’ll want to use them in cooking. Why else would you have grown them? Well first the process begins with drying them out. This is easily achieved by placing them on a cookie sheet and baking them 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 4 hours. After they’re sufficiently dried to be used in cooking, you can consult the nearest cookbook for instructions on using them to effectively flavor a dish.

If you want to store your herbs for later usage, you should keep them in a plastic or glass container. Paper or cardboard will not work, because it will absorb the taste of the herbs. During the first few days of storage, you should regularly check the container and see if any moisture has accumulated. If it has, you must remove all the herbs and re-dry them. If moisture is left from the first drying process, it will encourage mildew while you store your herbs. Nobody likes mildew.

If you enjoy herbs or gardening, or both, then you should probably consider setting up an herb garden. It might require a little bit of work at first to set it up for optimal drainage, and pick what herbs you want to grow. But after the initial hassle, it’s just a matter of harvesting and drying all your favorite herbs.

Jonathan Locke is the author of many articles on gardening, including How to Grow Tomatoes, How to Grow Potatoes, and How to Grow Herbs.

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Originally posted 2009-01-20 12:23:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Categories : Landscaping
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Gardening – A Labor of Love…Or Just Labor? by Kevin Bilberry

Gardening for many is a labor of love. All those hours spent weeding, pruning, watering, and fertilizing is worth it when your first spring bulb flowers, or your vegetable garden is ripe for the picking. Some don’t consider gardening work, but therapy – a way to relax and escape for a few hours a week. For others, however, gardening as another chore added to their already busy lives. If only there was a way to save some of those labor hours, but still reap the benefits of a healthy garden.

The following tips won’t make your gardening responsibilities disappear, but they will help to reduce the amount of time you have to spend in the yard.

1. Watering a large garden can take up at least 30 minutes or more of your day. If you’re living in an area with water restrictions, then your chore time is dictated by your municipality’s watering schedule, which isn’t always the most convenient. Invest in a drip irrigation system for your lawns and gardens. It’s a bit of an initial investment, but after a season of automatic, timed watering without dragging around heavy hoses, you’ll be glad you did. It’s also great if you go on holidays; you’ll appreciate not coming home to planters full of withering, dried up plants.

2. Mulch should become your new garden mantra. Generously spread it under shrubs, plants, small trees, and flowers. It will cut down enormously on watering and weeding. It also works great if you’re selling your home and you have to give your flower beds a quick face lift.

3. Gardening takes up twice the energy when you’re using tools that haven’t been maintained properly. Get a file and keep sharp edges on your shovels, edgers and clippers.

4. Weeding for ten minutes a few times a week can maintain a garden that may otherwise become unruly and demand hours of your attention. It also helps to catch the young weeds before they flower and spread even further. Some people do their best gardening during TV commercials. Generally they last at least 3 to 4 minutes, it’s just enough time to get outside do some quick deadheading or pruning. The best part, it keeps you out of the fridge and gives you a bit of exercise while you’re at it.

5. If you do set aside a long stretch of time on the weekend for gardening, split it up with plenty of rest time. Take Fido for a walk, go shopping, or surf the net.

6. You’ll be surprised at how much time is available during weekday mornings or after dinner. Sneaking in a few gardening sessions during these times frees up your weekends.

7. Make use of containers or raised beds for plants, flowers or vegetables – they cut down on weeds and watering.

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Originally posted 2009-02-02 11:09:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Categories : Gardening
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by:MarigoldsOrnamental Cabbage, French Green Beans and Daylilies COOPER HILL

Gardeners growing vegetables find that companion planting provides many benefits, one of which is protection from garden pests. A major enemy of the carrot is the carrot fly, whereas the leek suffers from the onion fly and leek moth. Yet when leek and carrot live together in companionship, the strong and strangely different smell of the partner plant repels the insects so much that they do not even attempt to lay their eggs on the neighbor plant. They take off speedily to get away from the smell. This is why mixed plantings give better insect control than mono-culture, where many plants of the same type are planted together in row after row.
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Originally posted 2009-09-30 14:53:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Categories : Gardening, Landscaping, Tips
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