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How To Grow And Handle Fresh Herbs From Your Garden Beds Or Your Container Garden

How To Grow And Handle Fresh Herbs From Your Garden Beds Or Your Container Garden
How To Grow And Handle Fresh Herbs From Your Garden Beds Or Your Container Garden

In any recipe calling for herbs, use fresh herbs. Preparing the herbs for your dish is easy. The more tender herbs like mint, parsley, basil and cilantro can be gathered in a bowl and snipped with scissors. This is the fastest and safest way to chop the herbs. If your recipe calls for the more hardy herbs like oregano, rosemary, or thyme you should use the stripping method. Hold a branch of the herb upright in your fingers and run the fingers of your other hand down the stalk stripping the tiny leaves free. The flavor will be more intense if you have gathered the herbs from your herb gardens or container gardens because they will be absolutely the freshest herbs available.

The best way to have fresh herbs is to plant and grow them yourself. No longer is there a designated herb garden. They can be found in your flower beds, along walkways or in pots on your porch. Many ambitious gardeners are finding new ways to incorporate herbs into their garden beds and their container gardens.

Many gardeners are unaware of the beauty of flowering herbs and never consider planting them within their flower beds. Some herbs that have beautiful flowers are purple coneflower, catmint, bee balm, yarrow, pinks, lavender, pot marigold, borage, feverfew, and nasturtium which is particularly lovely in fresh salads.. Many other herbs, such as parsley are excellent next to flowers of all sorts because of their spectacular foliage. When planting red or blue flowers, place purple basil around them for an artful arrangement.

Another area to consider is to use herbs as ground cover. The herbs that are suitable to this are the low growing oregano, chamomile, woolly and other creeping thyme, mint, and rosemary. Not only will it look pretty but it will be absolutely fragrant. Just be careful of the mint family, they tend to take over everything.

One of the best ways I have grown herbs is in containers. In fact, I like container gardening so much I wrote my eBook Container Gardening Secrets (available at ContainerGardeningSecrets.com), so everyone could enjoy this type of gardening. The beauty of a container garden is that it is portable and can be changed at a moment’s whim. When there is no more room in your garden, start a container garden which you can place on your door step or patio. Use them to fill in bare spots that come up during the gardening season or put them on a sunny window sill in your home for easy harvesting. Best of all you can bring your herb containers inside over the winter months and continue to harvest for months to add to your tasty meals or to be used for medicinal purposes.

Another way to employ pots in your garden is to plant invasive herbs such as mint into a pot and then plant pot and all into the ground. This is an easy trick to keep those creepers from taking over your garden beds.

Plant a container garden near your door with the cherry pie scented blue flower heliotrope and other fragrant herbs such as rosemary, thyme and basil. Every time you walk by you will be greeted with there delicious scent.

Some herbs that have grown on rocky hillsides over the centuries such as thyme, oregano and lavender are perfect for cracks in flag stone paths or walls and rock gardens. They thrive in hot dry areas with good drainage. Some believe that those herbs grown in these conditions produce much better flavor.

Now is the time to plant your herbs, whether it is in a garden bed, a cracked wall or a container garden. Use your imagination. Consider color height and texture when planting your gardens. Not only will it be visually pleasing but your cooking will improve too!

Happy Gardening!

Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.

This article may be distributed freely on your website and in your ezines, as long as this entire article, copyright notice, links and the resource box are unchanged.

Container Gardening Tips For New Gardeners

Container Gardening Tips For New Gardeners
Container Gardening Tips For New Gardeners

Container gardening is a fun and rewarding hobby that is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. Not only is it relaxing and enjoyable, but you get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re growing your own plants and you know where they came from! With more and more stories on the news about various outbreaks of food poisoning from things like lettuce and green onions, many people are finding it important to start growing as much of their own produce as possible.

Many people are afraid to deal with container gardening. They think it is too difficult or too expensive. On the contrary, it is actually very easy and can be quite inexpensive! Here we explore the ease of setting up your first container garden, as well as the expenses involved.

We’re going to walk you through the process of setting up your first container garden. In this example, we will be growing some basil.

Step One: Purchase your container gardening supplies. You will need the following items for this example. Three plastic pots with drainage holes in the bottom, preferably with trays underneath to catch soil and water drainage, about 5-6 inches in diameter, and 5-6 inches deep, one packet of basil seeds, one small bag of organic compost, one small bag of peat moss, one small garden trowel, one small watering can or clean spray bottle, and one very sunny windowsill (or a florescent or halogen grow light if no sunny window is available.) The total cost for these materials will be somewhere around $20 or less if you have a sunny windowsill. If you need a grow light, that will cost an additional $15-$20.

Step Two: Prepare the soil. Mix together 1 part peat moss with 5 parts compost. (For every one trowel full of peat moss, put in 5 trowels full of compost.) Fill the three pots up to about Ω inch from the top with this mixture.

Step Three: Plant the seeds. Simply make a hole about 1 inch deep in the center of each pot with your finger. Put about three seeds into each hole. Then cover the seeds with soil. Water lightly and place in the windowsill or under a grow light. Once the seeds sprout and reach about 2 inches in height, remove any extra sprouts so that you only have one plant in each pot.

Step Four: In order to care for your plants, all you need to do is water them regularly and keep them maintained. Check the soil daily for moisture. Whenever the soil feels dry, water lightly. To maintain the bushy growth, pinch off the tops of each stem every couple of weeks and remove any flower stalks as soon as you see them growing.

That’s it! It’s really that simple to start a container garden. In this example, we planted basil, but you can apply this method to practically any herb, small vegetable, or flower, with only minor modifications.