Grow Herbs for Cooking Companion Plants and Flowers

Herbs are such versatile plants. Their uses include medicinal, cosmetic, as essential oils for aromatherapy, as great companion plants, craft-work and of course to add mouth-watering flavours and aromas in our cooking.

I really wonder how some people get by without herbs in their garden. How wonderful is it wander outside and pick a variety of fresh herbs for your main meal?

If you haven’t grown herbs before, just start with some really easy to grow herbs that you find particularly useful. I have an organic garden, so everything is free from chemicals.

Most people would use parsley, oregano and thyme. These are very easy herbs to grow. Oregano and thyme may spread a little in your garden and if you let your parsley eventually go to seed you will find new plants (volunteers) pop up all over your garden by themselves. I love this natural process of self seeding.

My garden is a little on the wild side. But if you prefer a very neat and tidy garden, don’t let your herbs go to seed, or pull out any volunteers growing in an undesirable spot. You can either remove the old plant to make way for new plants or cut off the seed heads. I always let my parsley go to seed. Some seeds make it to the ground, producing volunteers, so I always have enough to cut for culinary uses. The rest of the seeds I dry and also use in cooking.

Borage will grow almost anywhere through the warmer months. It is a great companion plant to strawberries, tomatoes and squash. Plus it looks pretty in the garden with its purple / blue, star-shaped flowers. It will also readily self-seed. The chooks love it, so when I have too many seedlings pop up they go to the chooks.

Rosemary and lavender have multiple uses. Both can be used in craft. Both attract bees. Both can be grown as wonderful looking and smelling hedges.

Grow at least a few clumps of chives or garlic chives. They look amazing when grown in clumps – even as a border in your flower garden. Chives look stunning when they’re in flower. Chives have pink, round flowers, while garlic chives have white star-shaped flowers. Grow garlic chives for times when you don’t have any garlic, or you want a milder flavour.

A good tip is to make sure you keep all mints contained in some kind of pot. If it escapes into your garden it may take over! I love having mint available, so I grow it in an old laundry trough.

Lemon balm is another herb that can get out of control. Cutting off the seed heads will keep it in check.

A bay tree is a great addition to your garden. You can grow it in a pot if space is an issue – they look lovely clipped into a nice shape. Or you can grow it in the ground where it may grow to be a small to medium tree.

Once you’ve grown a few herbs and learn of their many uses I’m sure you’ll be hooked. The herbs in this article are all very easy to grow and propagate, so start with these and try others as your knowledge grows. With a little research you will discover so many uses for herbs, including many wonderful health benefits.

They are also excellent companion plants. Some have properties that confuse and deter pests, some attract predatory insects, while others give more vigour or flavour to plants grown near them.

Many herbs are also excellent activators for your compost heap. Most herbs are easy to grow, take very little time, space or effort and the rewards are delicious. Good luck growing yours.

Julie is an avid organic gardener and recycler, living on a small country property in South Australia. Her mission is to encourage as many people as possible to garden organically. Please visit her website for great info Beginners Organic Gardening or Companion Planting Guide
www.1stoporganicgardening.com

Organic Gardening for Beautiful Plants

Organically grown fruits and vegetables have been proven to be superior to those that are grown with the help of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Hence, more and more people are eating organic food because of their superior health benefits. Organic gardening is also a practice that is resorted to by most gardeners. An organic garden is easy to grow and maintain but you need to follow some guidelines since there are certain factors that affect organic planting in terms of soil, plant protection and the plants themselves. There are of course some variations in the requirements of each garden but these are usually minor and of no consequence.

The first thing that you have to consider in your organic garden is the soil. It is the primary source of nutrients for the plants and acts as the support for them. Organic gardening requires that the soil is free from any chemical. If artificial fertilizers and chemical pest control has been applied previously, it may be years before all traces of them are removed. To be sure, have your soil tested in a laboratory. If you can, you should use virgin soil since it is the kind that is most ideal for organic gardening. You can make it richer in nutrients by adding compost or natural fertilizers. They have the effect of making your organic plants grow healthier and better.

An organic garden needs to be protected against pests and diseases too, but you should not do it with chemicals. There are organic pesticides, free from harmful chemicals, which are available for this purpose. You can use it for pest control and for preventing diseases that may harm your plants. There are usually several types that are available at your local garden shop. Choose one that is most appropriate for your needs. There are also plants which are more susceptible to certain pests and diseases. If you are going to grow such plants, make sure that you can get the necessary protection for them.

You can make any plant grow in an organic garden. But you have to make sure that you start out from healthy seeds to ensure healthy growth. Some may require germination before being transplanted to plant beds. If you choose to grow flowers instead of fruits and vegetables, you can do it organically too. However, most gardeners do not do it since the main purpose of organic gardening is usually better food for the table.

Organic gardening helps you bring healthy food to your family dinner table. You are ensuring that the food you provide for your family is chemical free and as healthy as possible.

Cecil enjoys working in the garden and recycling kitchen waste with his spinning composter. By making his own compost he benefits his garden and the environment. Learn more about home composting on his website, www.kitchencompostbin.net.

Watering Your Container Garden Plants – Some Tips and Techniques

The value of proper watering cannot be stressed sufficient for your container garden plants. Container Gardens are uncovered to wind and sun so they dry out quicker than plants in the ground. There are no accurate systems about watering your container garden plants. You have to become acquainted with the needs of a range of garden plants. The best tip is to check them daily and water the plant when the outside of the soil begins to look dry. Feeling the soil will also help you agree on the damp desires of your container garden. Or, take the simple way and invest in a water meter if you are not sure.

How much and when to water will dependent on the type of plant and soil, the type and size of container, and the amount of spotlight to sun and wind. Climate and the weather also play their part. During hot spells mainly plants in your container garden require daily water, except those in small clay pots, which may need it twice. Some plants, like fuchsias and tuberous begonias, wilt when dry, but geraniums and succulents are not so sensitive to neglect. On the other hand, it is good to let soil dry out a little between watering. This prevents the soil from depleting its nutrients.

Since unglazed containers dry out fast, watch them more directly. Wooden tubs, window boxes, and planters dry out more gradually; metal is the unhurried of all. Groups of plants in big containers keep moist longer than single specimens. An excellent technique to keep away from excess dryness is to have groupings of plants, set close together. This allows the container plants to shade one another to sustain cool and stop damp evaporation.

There are numerous methods of watering the plants. If you have various containers in your container garden, depend on the hose, allowing water to flow through unhurriedly and smoothly. Water small pots with a watering can that has a long spout or buy one of the self watering boxes now available. When plants are grouping closely in a container garden, set up a sprinkler or hose with a fine spray nearby, allowing it to run for an extended while, until the soil is dry. In several states where the climate is dry, an automatic sprinkler system is a must to remain your whole garden hydrated. Remember this tip with geraniums and petunias; keep away from sprinklers which spot blossoms.

One thing is definite; you must not dependent on rain to remain your container garden plants hydrated. Even heavy showers drop a surprisingly small amount of damp, and unless rains are frequent and lengthy, you must do your own watering. Remember those window boxes and other containers close to homes or below trees can stay dry in spite of an all-day downpour.

Though it is necessary to give sufficient water to your container garden, it is equally important not to over water and so cause root rot. Over-watering also prevents aeration of the soil, and will cause the plant to drown.

One good technique is to set your container garden, if the containers are not too big, in a basin or pail of water for a number of hours, or until the shell of the soil feels moist (this is the theory behind self watering containers). Or immerse the pot in a tub or huge barrel of water and put down it there until air is eliminated and the bubbling stops.

The top common rule is to soak soil thoroughly when you water and then permit it to go just a bit dry before you water your container garden again. Best of all, remain a small spiral notebook and paste the care of every plant into it so that you will always have the needs of every individual plant at your fingertips.

If you go away for extended periods during the summer, give the container garden serious thought before making it a project. On the other hand, you can enjoy both holidays and plants if you are not present for only small periods. The best safeguard is to entrust your container garden to a responsible friend. Or if you are going away for a vacation at your other home, or one that you have rented, take the container garden with you as a little bit of home.

Many techniques can be practiced. One is to organize smaller containers in boxes of peat moss, sawdust, or soil that has been well dry. Then there is the pot-in-pot system, whereby small pots are set in bigger ones, with moist peat moss inserted between.

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Why Worm Composting is Beneficial to Plants and Gardens

Worm composting is the process in which you recycle your table scraps into rich compost using live worms. Here we will outline the steps to follow to get your compost pile built and operational.

Step one is to find a suitable box to use. The box can be made out of wood or plastic, but it must have holes in the bottom, top and sides to allow airflow. You don’t want the holes too large or the worms will escape. A hole size of an 1/8 of an inch will allow air into the container while keeping the worms inside.

You can place the worm composting box in your basement, shed, garage, or outdoors. Where you keep the box depends on the space you have available and the climate you live in. Worms don’t tolerate extremes climates well. If it gets colder than forty degrees it best to keep them inside.

What are the best composting worms?

The most popular worm for composting is redworms. It is also referred to as the red wiggler worm. The red worm thrives on food waste and organic materials. These worms can be easily found online or even at some gardening centers.

How many worms to start with.

These worms have a big appetite. If you are going to add a pound of food waste a day to the container, you need about 2000 worms. If you are going to begin with fewer than 2000 worms reduce the amount of waste you add. The red wriggler is prolific breeder. Redworms reaches sexually maturity between sixty and ninety days. After that, their babies are mature within twenty-one days.

Worm composting bedding

You want the worms to have an ideal environment so that they thrive and reproduce. Shredded newspaper, grass clippings, leaves, straw, shredded cardboard and peat moss all make good bedding material for the worms. Keep the bedding material damp, not wet.

Feeding the redworms

These worms will eat almost of a vegetable of fruit origins. In addition, tea bags, eggshells, and coffee grounds make a good food source. You don’t want to use any dairy or meat products, they tend to attract unwanted critters.

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Choosing Green Garden Plants For Your Outdoor Plot

Beautifully organized greenery not only boosts the aesthetic worth of a garden but also contributes to the surroundings. Countless species of flora are available for decorating your indoor and outdoor settings. Each plant has its individual growth requirement. In order to cultivate and nurse different plant species in your lawn, you must have knowledge about the growth requirements of different plants. If you provide favorable conditions to your plants, they will flourish prosperously. By adding flourishing green shrubbery to your patio, you can successfully enhance the beauty of your space. In this article I shall highlight some commonly used floral species that will embellish your garden. I shall also mention some quick tips for their purchase.

Recommended Floral Species

1. Orchids
They are peculiar flowering plants that produce fascinating, brilliant and showy flowers. It is difficult to grow an orchid plant but, if you provide adequate amount of water and an optimum climatic condition, it will surely bloom and blossom.

2. Ferns
They are flowerless components with stunning green foliage. Ferns tend to shed their leaves annually, generally before the advent of winters. Some species are evergreen and offer attractive foliage during the frosty winters.

3. Palms
They are evergreen, tropical wooden trees that tend to reach lofty heights. Their exotic appeal makes them my favorite choice.

Tips for Purchasing these Items Online
Online nurseries enclose a large collection. They have unlimited flora in their stock. They hoard and display numerous perennials, biennials, annuals, shrubs and herbs.

While purchasing plants online, you must pick them from reputed stores that specialize in fragrant, hard-to-find and rare varieties.
While browsing through the different plant sales outlets, make sure that you remember the names and common characteristics of the plants that suit your interest. It helps you in comparing their size and prices.
Before purchasing a plant you should check their growth requirements. It is necessary to determine the exact habitat that is required to raise these floras. Plant growth requirements include- terrain, soil, climatic conditions, moisture content and amount of nutrients present in the soil.
Before placing an online order for the transaction, always remember to note down the dates and deadlines of shipping. Generally, all the retailers follow some shipping rules. A plant can be transported only during their individual optimal planting season. You must place your order, within that period of time.
In case you face some problems in your deal, contact your retailers immediately. If you have a detailed account of your transaction, it will be easier for you to contact your supplier.

Colorful flora glorifies your garden. By adding these components, you can create a wonderful front yard.

Garden are the best areas which can help you to sense the optimistic vibes at your home. You must implement some matched gardening plans to refurbish the look of your garden. You can get additional information about the Garden Accessories on our website.

Get Your Plants Off To A Great Start With Organic Nutrients

If you have a hydroponic growing system in place, then you will be needing hydroponic nutrients. hydroponic nutrient is plant fertilizer, and because the plants are growing without soil, it is imperative that you provide the plants with all the food they need through the hydroponic fertilizer that you use in the system. Organic nutrients suitable for hydroponic gardening are the best way to go, especially if you are growing vegetables and fruits.

These hydroponic nutrients are made without the use of synthetic chemicals, which can be toxic to humans and animals, and thus offer a safer choice for growing food crops in your hydroponic growing system. In hydroponic gardening, the organic nutrients are used as a liquid fertilizer, because the plant food is mixed into water to form a solution. In deep water culture, the plant roots stay submerged in the hydroponic nutrient solution, and are aerated by a submersible pump and air stones.

In ebb and flow hydroponics, plants are grown in a soilless growing medium in a tray with a reservoir holding the organic nutrients solution below, and then periodically a submersible pump raises the liquid level so it floods into the plant tray, after which the fluid leaks back into the reservoir. In aeroponics, which uses no growing medium at all, the crowns of the plants rest in nets that hold the roots of the plants in the air. A mister is used to spray the hydroponic fertilizer on the plants roots, and in this way the plants receive both food and needed oxygen for optimal growth. Organic nutrients have been specially formulated for certain types of plants, certain stages of plant growth or for overall plant nutrition.

Some organic nutrients are especially suited for growing wonderful fruits and flowers, and could contain ingredients such as bone meal, rock phosphate, cottonseed meal and other organic fertilizers. Some of the nutrients are used on a regular basis to supply the plant with food, while others are used as boosters, to the supply the plant’s special needs at certain times, like the bloom booster fertilizer. Whichever nutrient you choose, it will also need to include both macro and micronutrients. These nutrients must all be present in order for the plants to survive and in the right amounts in order for them to thrive. Some nutrient is formulated to produce short, squat plants that have thick, strong stems. Others are blended to bring out vivid colors in flower and fruit production. There are organic nutrients available to meet any hydroponic fertilizer need your plants might have.

From years of indoor and hydroponic gardening, Susan Slobac has developed an in-depth knowledge of gardening supplies such as organic nutrients vs hydroponic nutrients.

How To Start Plants From Organic Gardening Seeds

Are you interested in gardening and you do not know yet where to start? There are various ways on how you can start and create your own garden. One type of gardening can be done by making use of natural methods and using organic based products in its propagation. This type pf gardening is known as organic gardening, and you will utilize organic gardening seeds to create this.

You have to make use of organic seed in the creation of your organic garden. This is because organic seeds are produced in a way that is free from exposure and treatment of commercially prepared products, which contain chemicals. And, as organic garden seeds grow and cultivated with the utilization of environment friendly methods and products, you will be certain that they are safe to eat by humans.

Commercially prepared or synthetic products maybe very effective in the eradication and control of pests and unwanted weeds, and they maybe very successful in stimulating the growth and development of your plants. But we cannot really judge if they are safe or not to the human body. And, majority of these synthetic products causes a lot of trouble in the environment because they contribute in the creation of pollution. Thus, it is highly recommended to make use of organic gardening seeds to make your own garden, and you have to institute natural methods and organic based products in the propagation of organic seed.

You can start growing your organic seeds by following these simple steps:

1) You have to prepare a good soil mixture to your organic gardening seeds. You have to make sure that the soil mixture has good soil drainage and good aeration properties so that water sill not be congested and prevent drowning of your organic seed.

2) Make sure that the soil can support the growth and development of the organic seeds. It should have enough nutrients so that it will grow well. You can apply organic based fertilizers to supplement the growth of your oeganic garden seeds. Organic fertilizers can be made from compost, animal manures, green manures, domestic wastes, agricultural by-products and processing wastes, and industrial wastes.

3) Provide sufficient amounts of water so that as these organic gardening seeds grow, they will have ample moisture that is necessary to their growth and maturation process. And, they will no as well experience dehydration on the process of development.

4) You have to make sure that these organic seeds will receive adequate amounts of sunlight, especially if there are starting to have their own leaves. Sunlight will help the growing organic garden seeds to produce their own food, which is vital to their growth and survival.

5) You have to make sure also that your growing organic gardening seeds will be free from pest infestation and competition of nutrients from weeds. You can control the increasing number of pests by attracting beneficial insects to your garden. They will surely help you control the pests that can possibly damage your growing organic seeds. You can also make use of proper gardening tools to remove unwanted weeds in your organic garden.

Are you an Organic Gardening and Farming enthusiast. If you would like to know any more information about Organic Gardening Seeds please go to http://www.organicgardeningfarming.com/growing-plants-from-organic-garden-seeds. PLUS…You should also consider signing up to the FREE Organic Gardening Farming Magazine (OGFM) which you can do at this website -http://ogfm.organicgardeningfarming.com/

Gardening Hints for Healthy Happy Plants

Plants – like all living things – have basic, minimum requirements to sustain them. Generally, they are food, water and a suitable environment. But if you want them to thrive you need to get more specific. One of the best things to do is look around your neighborhood and see what kinds of plants look great. It means they love your local conditions and are probably easy to grow.

With real estate, the 3 key things to remember are location, location, location. With plants it’s preparation, preparation, preparation! Your plants will thrive if you take care of the basics before bringing them home. You need to make sure your soil is enriched with organic material, providing ongoing, accessable nutrients.

This will also help with conditioning of the soil, encouraging helpful micro-organisms and creating the correct PH levels. Continue to add organic matter to the soil for as long as you want a healthy garden.

Be sure to plant your new plant(s) in a suitable place for them in your garden. Some plants cannot tolerate full sun. Others need a minimum of five hours sun to do well.

Also, take into consideration the mature size of the plant. If you have a small courtyard planting a seedling that will mature into a large tree could be a costly mistake. Read the label on your plant or ask the nursery staff if you’re unsure.

Watering is essential to keeping your plants healthy and happy. Deep watering once or twice a week(depending on your rainfall and the season), rather than surface watering often is far more beneficial to plants as it encourages them to grow deeper root systems.

Deeper root systems allow plants to access water and valuable nutrients and gives them the ability to withstand longer periods without water. Mulching with organic material is also beneficial to your garden, preventing moisture loss, soil erosion and helping with weed control, while adding organic matter.

Remember to experiment with your garden. That’s the only way to discover what plants love living in your area and those that don’t. Try different things and see what works for you. You could chat with your plants or even try planting with the cycles of the moon.

Children love to be involved with the garden. If they show interest you could offer them a small plot of their own to look after. They will be delighted with their efforts when they see tiny seeds mature into food or flowers, and so will you.

Hi, I am an avid organic gardener and recycler. I live on a small country property in South Australia. It is my mission to encourage as many people as possible to start organic gardening. Please visit my website for more great organic gardening tips & information.
Happy gardening, healthy living…
Julie Williams
www.1stoporganicgardening.com

Organic Food Definition From Plants And Chemicals

While most of us have heard about organic foods we may not have that much of an idea about what this term means. So where can you get this information without getting bogged down by the technical jargon. There are a number of different places like dictionaries, encyclopedias, television shows and even the internet. The main item to remember when you are looking for organic food definition is in many cases the standard answer.

The first thing to understand about organic food definition only covers the tip of the iceberg as the saying goes. Well the basics of organic food is quite simply food that is grown without any sort of man made substances being poured over it, around it and even inserted under it. The condition for the growing of the organic matter has to be composed of 100% natural environment.  

Now that we have covered the organic food definition is short we should take a closer look at this subject. For any food to be classified as being an organic food it needs to be free from all genetically modified internal cell structures. The plant must be like the ones that you see growing in the wild – but ones that we can eat without getting poisoned – and their inner cell structure should not have been tampered with.

Next the land that you are choosing to plant these 100% organic plants should be absolutely free from all traces of chemicals. To allow the land time to recover from the abuse of these harmful products like chemicals and pesticides you should uproot any chemically treated plants. Then you will need to leave the land alone for about 2 to 4 years.

This time period will allow the land to recover from the various chemicals which were heaped on it. Once you are sure that the land is ready for planting begin by fertilizing the land with organic fertilizers. These fertilizers will help prepare the land for plants. The first phase of organic food definition includes the preparation of the land where the food is to be grown.

Now you can plant your organic plant into the soil. Using only techniques which are healthy for your garden or land you should make sure that friendly bugs and plants are used to protect your garden’s harvest from plant hungry insects.

The entire combination package of chemical free land, organically produced plants and environmentally safe pesticides – read spiders and ladybugs here – along with protective, sweet smelling (to us that is) plants is what is ultimately meant by the organic food definition.

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Why Herb Garden Plants Are Called the quotPerfectquot Plants

For many centuries, herbs have been considered as being the perfect plant. Within the varieties of plants and flowers that makes up the vegetation of this planet, herbs have received this well deserved title for the many uses and the large contribution they offer mankind.

- Through history, herbal plant have shown to be indispensable to the well being of human by their therapeutic and medicinal capacities. They have been the primary, if not unique solution to numerous ailments in the past and the ancestor of modern medicine. How many pharmaceutical products are still been produce using herbs as a basic ingredient?

If you are considering making use of your herb garden plants for medicinal usage, you will find an extensive list of herbs that have proven their beneficial capacities on for a very long time now.

Recipes and instructions on proper use of medicinal herbs are widely available and if you plant them in your garden for that purpose, you will be able to use them as needed. Documentation can be quite extensive since herbal medicine has been present in civilization for 100’s of years. Though many remains skeptic of the powerful capacities of natural herbs, they can have a radical change of heart given the possibility of trying them.

- Beyond their medicinal use, herbs are also used in aromatherapy inside and around the house. Specific feelings are obtained by the choice of herb grown. If you grow lavender or chamomile in the bedrooms area, for instance, most people will feel calm feeling in that environment.

- There are many herbs you can grow to create an ambiance in specific room and you can even mix certain herbs to ”personalise” certain areas of the home, patio or garden. The added privilege of growing plants indoors is that they can be used all year round. Another way of having these fragrance fill your home all year long is to make potpourri of the dried parts of the plants that have been harvested.

- Landscaping is another instance where herbs can be used. Grown by themselves or scattered around other plants, herb plants can add a totally new dimension to traditional arrangements we are accustomed seeing. In certain circumstances, a well-planned design can even create an exotic effect to a very ordinary environment.

- Planting certain herbs along with vegetables will repel insects that can, otherwise, be harmful to your crop. This organic pest controller is efficient and is naturally chemicals free. You will not only be protecting your garden from these small yet threatening insects but, come harvest time, you will notice an improvement in certain vegetables, especially the tomatoes.

- You can offer your loved ones very personalized unique gifts using herbs in many ways. The choices to present herbs are numerous. They can be offered as a plant, especially flowered plants, dried leaves an flowers in potpourri form or perhaps in little cushions filled with herbs for many months of fragrance. herb bottled vinegars or oils, sets of various dried herbs for cooking or medicinal. If you are in a handcrafting mood, you could have a swing at making scented candles or soaps.

- Of course, herbs are use for cooking and adding flavor to various dish and is probably the most widespread way of making use of them. Once you start using fresh homegrown herbs in your meals, you will never want to go back to store bought products.

The added punch of flavor that fresh herbs adds to your food will have the results found in great restaurants (the ones with a lot of stars when reviewed). If you are not convince, make yourself a spaghetti sauce, using the same ingredients except make half with regular store bought herbs in little bottles and the other half with fresh herbs from plants and enjoy the indisputable difference.

These are some of the ways to make use of herb garden plants. Of course you can diversify the roles that the herbs play in your life. It is advisable that you get to know the herbs that will choose to grow and what are their characteristics, also there are herbs that can be contribute to more than one usage.

Eustache Davenport is a gardening enthusiast and author. He lives in Montreal and enjoy teaching his gardening secrets to work groups on how to setup, optimize and maintain an amazing herb garden. For more great tips and information on getting the most out of your herb garden plants, visit http://www.herbgardeningonlineguide.com.