You can dry herbs throughout the growing season as time allows. For best results, harvest them on a sunny day during a dry spell, and wait until the morning dew has evaporated before harvesting. If evening is the best time for you, harvest before the dew forms again. Harvest the herbs with scissors and shake off any surface dirt. Then cover the cuttings with a towel as you work to protect them from shriveling in the burning sun. Don’t bother to wash the herbs unless they are very muddy. Just begin drying them as soon as possible using one of the following techniques: To hang-dry herbs, first lay stalks on a counter and sort by size. Bunch four or five stem ends together and fasten tightly with wet twine, rubber bands, or twist-ties. Hang the herbs out of direct sunlight in a dry area with good air circulation. You can string a clothesline in an unused room of your home and use clothespins to secure bunches of herbs to the line. If there is no available space out of direct sunlight, put the herbs in paper bags with the stem ends coming out of the top of the bag. Cut several holes in the bags to allow for air circulation, and hang them. For screen drying, set up screens on wood blocks to provide air space. Set them out...Read More
Planning to grow strawberries on your garden? Start from choosing soil. Basically you can choose any soil. But the dependence between the type of soil and productivity, sure, exists. So the best result is unchanging achieved for spodosol soils and for darkly-grey forest soils having light or medium composition. It is Important, that a depth of lie of subsoil waters was no less than 60 centimeter. The south-west slopes, having a steepness about 2-3 degrees are the best for planting strawberry. The process of vegetation begins before on them, the harvest of berries ripens quick. Base and reserved areas for planting of strawberry using is not recommended. If on a depth 15 – 18cm soil is the frozen to the temperature -8 degrees, – a mortal danger threatens your garden strawberry. Acidity of soil must be at the level of 5,5 – 6,5, and maintenance of humus must be at 2% and more. The Colorado beetle – the eternal enemy of potato, does not walk around the attention a strawberry seedlings. Therefore yet before landing of strawberry, it is necessary to check soil for the presence of larvae of may-bug and wireworm. Probability of their presence in soil increases as far as approaching of territory of garden-plot to the forest bell. Critical maintenance of larvae on unit of area is 0,5 square metre. In this case you must bring...Read More
Since the beginning of time, herbalists and physicians have turned to herbs for their almost magical soothing and healing properties. For centuries, herb cure were the only medicines available. But the power of herbs is more than the stuff of superstition and old wives’ tales. Many of today’s prescription drugs are still made from common and not-so-common herbs. Using plants as partners for beauty, comfort, and health is an ancient art now enjoying a much deserved resurgence. And we don’t need medical studies to tell us that spending time in a steaming herbal bath refreshes the body as well as the spirit. Like all work with living things, herb crafting is an art as well as a science. Although there are standard procedures for making herbal products, you’ll find variations among the herbalists who have shared their recipes. One practitioner may like to infuse herbal oils in the sun, another may use a Crock-Pot and achieve equally good results. Similarly, most herbs have a wide range of healing properties. It’s not unusual, for example, to find dandelion leaves used as a diuretic as well as a cure for skin blemishes. Exercise caution when trying an herbal formula, especially if it’s meant to be taken internally. If you’re pregnant, ingesting some herbs may increase the risk of miscarriage. These include comfrey, feverfew, mugwort, southernwood, tansy, and wormwood. If you’re pregnant...Read More
Fifth generation farmer John Berden, Michigan, uses cover crops for fertilizer in his farm fields and his family vegetable garden. John produces dry beans, soybeans, wheat, oats, and organically certified cover crop seeds on his 500-acre farm without using any commercial fertilizer supplements. In his home garden, John also depends on cover crops to build soil fertility. He uses a three-year rotation program, planting a cover crop the first year to build fertility, followed by a “light-feeding” vegetable crop, like peas or beans, in the second year and a :heavy-feeding” crop, like corn or tomatoes, in the third year. “The microbes in the soil thrive on the habitat created by cover crops,” John explains. “When the cover crops are cut and tilled under, the microbes greatly increase in numbers and feed themselves on the plant residues.” In turn, the microbes generate nutrients in forms that plant roots can absorb. Ingredients and supplies 2 pounds per 100 square feet cover crop seed (soybean, oat, and medium red clover seed) Rotary tiller or digging fork Directions 1. In the spring, sow 1/3 of your vegetable garden with cover crop seed, spreading the seed lightly by hand and raking it in after planting. John recommends combining 2 or even all 3 kinds of cover crops in the same planting. 2. Water the seeded plot well. 3. When the seed has germinated and...Read More
Herbs may be the most versatile plants on earth. Of course, they’re unsurpassed for spicing up virtually any dish, but herbs offer much more than seasoning. The seeds, leaves, and even roots of culinary herb plants are power-packed ingredients outside the kitchen, too. Hard-working herbs can be used as natural cleansers and disinfectants. Some herbs can brighten a room with their scent. Others add natural beauty to crafts and gifts. Part of the appeal of herbs is their intense fragrance and flavor. There are rich choices of formulas that will help you get the most from your herb garden. But before you can use them to their best potential, you need to know how to harvest and store herbs. Harvesting and storing fresh herbs There’s nothing like the luxury of knowing that you have a supply of fresh herbs growing just steps away from the kitchen. Because nothing beats the flavor of just-picked herbs, the best time to harvest herbs is when you need them! However, if it’s more convenient to plan ahead, early in the day is the best time for harvesting. Head out to the garden with sharp scissors or clippers just after the morning dew has evaporated. Unless it’s time to harvest the whole plant, think of harvesting as pruning the plant for continued growth. Clip off up to one-fourth of the plant by pruning the...Read More
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