Techniques for Pulling Weeds in the GardenPosted by Yolanda Vanveen
In this video, Joey Baird of the group Wisconsin Vegetable Gardeners, shows us his techniques on pulling weeds which may not include pulling at all. By covering weeds up with mulch (organic material such as lawn clippings, leaves and other foliage or even newspaper) you can remove unwanted plants and create a new garden bed.
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How to Grow Hardy and Tropical WaterliliesPosted by Yolanda Vanveen
In this video, learn how to grow hardy and tropical waterlilies with William McClenathan of Garden Time TV and Eamonn Hughes of Hughes Water Garden. Waterlilies are a very exotic addition to your water garden and bloom in many colors.
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Herb Gardening TipsPosted by Yolanda Vanveen
By Yolanda Vanveen
___________________________________________________________________________________________________ With or without the H, herbs are the easiest and most rewarding plants you can have in a container or garden. As everyone knows, the American language is vaguely related to English. Americans have changed words, going so far as to remove the “H” from herbs. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ In general use, herbs (pronounced /ˈɜrbs/ by U.S. speakers, or /ˈhɜrbs/ by other English speakers) are any plants “with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume” or parts of “such a plant as used in cooking”. (In botanical use, the term “herb” is employed differently, for any non-woody flowering plant, regardless of its flavor, scent or other properties, and thus includes only grass-like plants and forbs.) ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, and in some cases spiritual usage. General usage differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs. In medicinal or spiritual use any of the parts of the plant might be considered “herbs”, including leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, resin, root bark, inner bark (and cambium), berries and sometimes the pericarp or other portions of the plant. Culinary use of the term “herb” typically distinguishes between herbs, from the leafy green parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), and spices, from other parts of the plant (usually dried), including seeds, berries, bark, root and fruit. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Thanks to James Stevens of the Sarasota County Extension Agriculture for contributing to this post: http://srq-ag-food.blogspot.com/2011/06/growing-herbs-in-florida.html Herbs are plants which are grown for the special flavor and aroma of their various parts. They are used mainly to season, enrich, or otherwise improve the taste or smell of certain foods. Since they are not primary dishes, they are not classified as vegetables. However, due to similarity of their growth habits and cultural requirements, herbs are often included with vegetables for discussion and in the garden. Since only a small portion of the plant is usually needed at any one time and because the plants are generally small, herbs are adapted to container culture. Their attractiveness as an ornamental plant makes them fit well into the home landscape, either in a border planting, or included in the flower garden. Specially designed formal herb gardens are both practical and attractive. Many herbs are planted among vegetables to repel certain insects and other pests.
LOCATION AND SOIL PREPARATION
Since only a few plants of each herb are required for family use, a small space such as a section of the vegetable garden is sufficient. Some of the herbs live from year to year (perennials), so should be grouped together to one side of the garden where they will not interfere with the preparation of the rest of the garden. In general, most herbs will grow satisfactorily under the same conditions of sunlight and soil, and with similar cultural techniques as are used for vegetables. Therefore, check the appropriate vegetable gardening guides for details on soil preparation, liming, fertilizing, and watering. Special consideration should be given to the location and care of a few of the herbs that are somewhat sensitive to soil moisture conditions. Sage, rosemary, and thyme require a well-drained, slightly moist soil, whereas parsley, chervil, and mint grow best on soils retaining considerable moisture. Additions of organic matter to sandy soils are particularly beneficial to herbs since they are shallow rooting. Keep in mind that some of the herbs, especially the mints, tend to proliferate and become a weed if allowed to grow unchecked.
Most of the annuals and biennials ordinarily are grown from seed sown directly in place. Perennials generally are best started in plant beds or boxes using seed or cuttings, and then transplanted into the garden or growing containers.
A few plants, such as sage, balm, and rosemary, can be propagated best by cutting. Stems from new growth or the upper parts of older stems make the best cuttings for easiest rooting. Cut the stems into 3- to 4-inch sections, each containing a set of leaves or leaf buds near the upper end. To prevent wilting, place the cuttings in water as soon as they are removed from the plant. A shallow box filled with 4 to 5 inches of a mixture of clean sand, peat, and perlite makes a good rooting bed. Insert the cuttings to a depth of one-half to two-thirds their length in the moist mixture; then saturate the mix with water. Place the box in a protected place and keep moist (but not sopping wet) continuously until roots develop in about two weeks. Continue to water until the cuttings are ready to set out in pots or in the garden.
Such plants as thyme, winter savory, and marjoram can be propagated by simple layering, which consists of covering the lower portions of the side branches with soil, leaving much of the top of the plant exposed. When the covered parts of the stem have rooted, they can be cut from the parent plant and set as individual plants.
Older plants of chive, rosemary, and tarragon can be multiplied by dividing the crown clumps into separate parts. These subdivisions can be set as individual plants.
Mint spreads rapidly by means of surface or underground runners that may grow several feet from the parent plant. These runners, with roots attached, can be removed and transplanted to other locations.
CONTAINER GROWN HERBS
Most herbs can be successfully grown in containers attractively arranged outdoors along borders of drives, walks, and patios or on porches and balconies. Hanging baskets are especially suitable for herbs. A few can be grown fairly well indoors with special care. Attention must be given to providing plenty of sunlight. The culture of herbs in containers, including soil preparation is similar to that for vegetables. Organic soil such as compost is the best.
HARVESTING AND CURING
The seeds, leaves, flowering tops, and occasionally the roots of the herbs are used for flavoring purposes. Their flavor is due for the most part to a volatile or essential oil contained in leaves, seeds, and fruits. The flavor is retained longer if the herbs are harvested at the right time and properly cured and stored. The young, tender leaves can be gathered and used fresh at any time during the season, but for later use they should be harvested when the plants begin to flower and should be dried rapidly in a well-ventilated, darkened room. If the leaves are dusty or gritty, they should be washed in cold water and thoroughly drained before drying.
The tender-leaf herbs (basil, tarragon, lemon balm, and the mints), which have a high moisture content, must be dried rapidly away from the light if they are to retain their green color. If dried too slowly, they will turn dark and/or moldy. For this reason a well-ventilated, darkened room, such as an attic or other dry, airy room, furnishes ideal conditions for curing these herbs in a short time. The less-succulent leaf herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, and summer savory), which contain less moisture, can be partially dried in the sun without affecting their color, but excessive exposure should be avoided.
The seed crops should be harvested when they are mature or when their color changes from green to brown or gray. A few plants of the annual varieties might be left undisturbed to flower and mature seed for planting each season. Seeds should be thoroughly dry before storing to prevent loss of viability for planting and to prevent molding or loss of quality. After curing for several days in an airy room, a day or two in the sun will insure safekeeping.
As soon as the herb leaves or seed are dry, they should be cleaned by separating them from stems and other foreign matter and packed in suitable containers to prevent loss of essential oils that give herbs their delicate flavor. Glass, metal, or cardboard containers that can be closed tightly will preserve the aroma and flavor. Glass jars make satisfactory containers, but they must be painted or stored in a dark room to prevent bleaching of the green leaves by light.
Please see our videos on herbs: Growing Herbs : How to Grow an Herb Garden Indoors: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCF2koqM1jw How to Grow Chives: How to Grow Chives Planting Oregano Tips: Planting Oregano Tips Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
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