Herb Gardening

Herb Gardening is a very enjoyable and relaxing hobby. It is a fairly inexpensive and not too time consuming. Most Herbs in the herb garden can be use for much more than aesthetics. There are several areas / types of Herb gardening, each of which requires different care and management these areas are:- culinary, aromatic, ornamental and medicinal.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Growing Herbs From Seed

Today we have an article from Adam Gilpin
Herb Gardening for Beginners - Growing Herbs From Seed

Herb Gardening for Beginners - Growing Herbs From Seed

By Adam Gilpin

If you regularly use herbs in cooking or on salads and would like to have easy access at home to an abundant supply of fresh herbs, why not try growing your favorite herbs from seed in your own garden? Even though you may be just a herb gardening beginner it needn't take a long time before you enjoy the satisfaction of having freshly-picked herbs to use in your recipes.

If you choose to make a start on growing your own herbs from seed this year, the seeds you sow in the spring will produce plentiful supplies of summer herbs which can be used immediately. And when you take a final harvest of herbs at the end of the summer, this harvest can be stored away for use over the winter.

Herb Gardening is not difficult or Expensive

Growing herbs from seed will not take up a lot of your time or require a lot of effort. Also, you won't need to spend a lot of money to get good results. In this article I have provided you with:

- A list of the things you'll need to grow your own herbs from seed

- A simple five-step herb growing plan.

If you follow the plan and the advice I have given in this article, there's no reason why you shouldn't get results which are as good as those of any professional herb grower - even though you are a herb gardening beginner.

Choosing the Herbs to Grow

You probably already have ideas about herbs you'd like to grow. Many years ago when I was just starting to grow herbs I grew basil from seed because I wanted fresh basil to use in my cooking. Other herb gardening beginners I know started with herbs like parsley, chives and sage because they already used them for their favorite recipes.

But don't just work with the herbs that are very familiar to you. Carry out some research to produce a list which includes these and some less familiar herbs. Get hold of some illustrated Seed catalogs; you'll find that they contain lots of useful information. Also, visit the gardens of other people you know that grow herbs and go to your local garden center and see what herbs they are offering for sale.

Recommended Herb Growing Materials

I said at the beginning of this article that being a herb gardening beginner wouldn't cost you a lot of money. It won't, but I do recommend buying or getting hold of a few items that will help you get off to a good start. I recommend you to borrow or buy:

- One small bag of soil-less growing medium to sow your seeds in. Avoid using garden soil because its texture and nutrient content might not be good for growing seeds

- Several seed trays that are divided into cells and have a plastic domed top (to help keep the soil moist when the seeds are germinating). You'll need between three and six of these depending upon how many herbs you choose to grow

- A kitchen or fine garden sieve. You'll need this to prepare some really fine soil-less medium to go over your seeds once you have sown them

- A water spray (like the ones used for spraying insecticide on roses) or a small watering can with a very fine rose attachment

- 3 inch plastic flower pots to plant your small seedlings in once they have grown.

The Herb Gardening Beginners Five Steps to a Flourishing Herb Garden

Once you have bought your herb seeds and essential equipment, you're ready to start with the first step.

First Step

- Fill your seed trays with the soil-less compost

- Use the water spray or watering can to wet the seed trays (don't make the soil-less compost too wet)

- Place two or three seeds in each cell of the seed tray.

Second Step

- Cover your seed trays with finely sieved soil-less compost. (Don't bury your seeds too deep)

- Spray or water the trays lightly with water again, and then cover the trays with the domes

- Label each tray so that you know what herbs they contain.

Third Step

- Cover the trays with black polythene or newspaper and put them on your window-shelf or in a green house

- Check regularly and keep the soil-less compost moist

- Watch carefully for the seeds to germinate.

Fourth Step

- When seeds have germinated take the black polythene/ newspaper covering off the seed trays

- Put the trays in a light place (but not direct sunlight).

Fifth Step

- Replant your seedlings in the 3 inch plastic pots when they have grown into firm young plants (1 to 2 inches tall). When you replant:

- Fill each 3 inch pot three-quarters full with the soil-less compost

- Make a large hole in the soil at the center of each pot

- Transfer each plant from the seed tray to the pot

- Firm the soil around the plant afterwards.

Keep the pots in a light ventilated area and water regularly. Replant the herb plants in your herb garden or patio herb container when they have grown into strong young plants 2-3 inches tall.

Harvest your Herbs

Now that the hard work is complete, you will be able to start harvesting your herbs in the early summer. When you do this don't remove too many leaves at one time. You want each herb to continue growing after harvesting.

Providing you follow this simple harvesting rule you can harvest the herb again and again throughout the summer and into early fall. During this period you will be able to enjoy the satisfaction of having your own fresh herbs and will be well on the way to becoming an established herb gardener. You will also have something to boast about at your next dinner party when you are complimented on the flavor of the food you have prepared using your own home-grown herbs!

You can get more ideas and help on growing herbs from seed at Adam Gilpin's website which is dedicated completely to growing and enjoying herbs.

Go to http://www.herb-gardening-help.com/ and you'll find lots of practical information and advice on how to grow all sort sorts of different herbs at home, both indoors and out. And once you've grown your herbs, find out about all the different ways of using them to help you create great food and support a healthy lifestyle.

The website is great for both beginners with no previous experience of herb growing and for those who have experience but want to take on some more ambitious herb growing projects.

(c) Copyright - Adam Gilpin. All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Adam_Gilpin


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Lack of sleep can herbs really help with this.

Lack of sleep can herbs really help with this.

At some point during your life you will have had a period where sleep was not easy to come by, and if you live in the western society you will most likely have taken either a prescription or over the counter pharmaceutical drug to aid your sleep. However for centuries many cultures have used herbs to aid with sleep and in many cases the benefits of using some herbs as a sleep aid are well documented.

There are a number of herbs that will help you drift off to sleep peacefully and have no harmful effects on the body, however there are many herbs that are much more powerful and can induce an almost coma like state which can be very difficult to wake up from. It is therefore very important that you know which are safe to use and which to avoid.

Here are four herbs that have been shown to have sleep inducing properties

· Valerian (Valeriana officinalis);
· Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata);
· Hops (Humulus lupulus), and
· Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Traditionally, valerian is one of the best known herbal tranquilizers. That use was not known to the ancients, but evolved from usage in the 17th and 18th centuries.

This cure works as it blocks the breaking down of the GABA or Gamma-Aminobutyric-Acid, a natural sedative neurotransmitter.

Passionflower is native to North America but is more popular in Europe as a sedative, how it works and what components are at work is still being studied.

Hops aside from its popularity as a plant used mainly to make beer, hops are another effective herbs for sleeping. It acts by slowing down the breakdown of GABA in the brain and the melatonin receptors.

Lemon balm, Melissa or Melissa officinalis, is a traditional cure for sleep problems. This folk cure blocks the breaking down of the GABA or Gamma-Aminobutyric-Acid, a natural sedative neurotransmitter. It also inhibits acetylcholine from breaking down. These substances are responsible for making people fall asleep. A lot of manufactured sleeping pills contain lemon balm. Scientific studies show that combining lemon balm with valerian, another sleep-inducing remedy, is effective in treating sleep problems.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Herb Gardening

Herbs have been around since time immemorial. Ever since, herbs have served different kinds of purposes. Herbs have been used to treat illness and also in cooking. They were even believed to have magical charms. Do you want to have your own herb garden? Here are a few ideas on how to establish an herb garden.

Plan you garden.

Consider the herbs you want to plant. Think about their types. Would you like annuals, biennials or perennials?

How much space will they occupy in your garden? If you want, you can purchase a book that can give you the right information on what specific plants you are planning to grow.

List or draw your garden on paper first. Separate the annuals from the perennials so when the time comes that you have to pull out the annuals, you won't be disturbing the perennials. Perennials can be planted on the edge of your garden so when it is time to till your garden; you won't have a hard time.

Another thing to remember is that you have to plant the tall ones at the back and the shorter ones in front. Also, provide your plants with enough space to grow. Proper position shall help you in this area.

Some Design Ideas

You can consider having a square herb bed. You can have your square bed divided into four by two paths crossing at mid point measuring 3 feet. You can border it with stone or brick. A wooden ladder may also do the trick. You can lay it down on your garden and plant your herbs between its rungs. You can also choose to have a wagon wheel bed. Planting here is like planting with the wooden ladders. Plant your herbs in between the wagon wheel's wedges.

Get Your Plants Growing

Of course, different plants have different needs. This is the reason why you have to determine the herbs you want to plant in the planning stage. This can more or less help you find out how you should care for your plants. With starting seeds, remember its germination and soil temperature rules. If you see the seedlings sprouting, check the plants' air circulation, humidity and sunlight. When you see some leaves appear, allow proper spacing.

One of the plants that are easy to grow are herbs. You just have to provide them with an effective drainage, sunlight, enough humidity or moisture and fertile soil. Even with just minimally meeting these requirements they will be bound produce a good harvest.

Herb Gardening Books from Amazon