Beautiful Home Garden

Useful tips on gardening6


Growing a Themed Kitchen Herb Garden


I really like learning to cook dishes from other countries, especially a couple of the best Mexican dishes. What about you? You can try your hand at planting a mouth-watering themed kitchen herb garden.

You can raise the major herb plants in your own garden and have the freshest ingredients to add to your recipes, or experiment on your own.

A themed kitchen garden can be grown in the ground or you can raise your themed kitchen garden in pots.

These are some suggestions on growing your own themed kitchen garden:

  • Asian:From Thai and Vietnamese to Indian and Chinese, Asian cooking has a lot of tastes and spices to choose from. Some fabulous herb plants to grow in your Asian-themed garden are lemongrass, cayenne pepper, cardamom and anise. The licorice taste of anise adds a warm sweetness to baked goods, soups and Indian dinners. You can also try it in tea and in baking a savory-sweet cookie. Although it used to be pretty popular in American cuisine, it kind of died out, but in the last few years has been growing in popularity in the kitchen.
  • Mexican:Would you love to chow down on a Mexican herb fiesta? I love to eat my favorite Mexican meals, including burritos, fajitas or quesadillas at least once a week. Can you even make a real Mexican dish without Cayenne pepper, Cilantro and Garlic?
  • Italian:Just about everybody I know has their favorite Italian dish. Mine is baked ziti with grilled herbed chicken. The best I ever had was my mom’s which included all these fabulous herbs: basil, fennel, parsley, garlic, marjoram, oregano, rosemary and thyme. You can add garlic to all your favorite Italian dinners and savor the oniony flavor! Put a little of it on your roasted chicken or add it to your soups and stews. You can even toss some chopped garlic in your mashed potatoes. Be aware, the longer you cook it, the milder the flavor becomes so don’t overcook it!
  • Middle East:If you haven’t tried any of the exciting and flavorful foods from the Middle East and Northern Africa, you are missing some fantastic meals. There is such variety in the array of herb plants used in Middle Eastern cooking. Add chick peas, couscous and figs to your pita and herb yogurt sauce for something extra special. These herb plants are often to be found in the recipes for Middle Eastern dinners: cardamom, garlic, parsley, rosemary and saffron.
  • German:You do not have to wait for October to cook up an Octoberfest meal at home if you have the right herbs used in German cuisine. For authentic German dinners, try these herbs: chives, dill, horseradish, sage and thyme. Horseradish, which is related to mustard, is a great condiment, opening the sinuses while adding tang to the taste buds. Horseradish is a fantastic addition to your dinners. Try it in mayonnaise or potato salad. It will also go well in cream cheese spreads and meat loaf.

One of the fabulous things about herb gardening it that herbs are like a gift that keeps on giving. Once you clip off some lemongrass for your pad Thai, it will grow back. Oftentimes it will grow back bigger and fuller than it was before.


How Earthworms Make a Difference in Your Garden


It is known that all God’s creatures are vital for the earth. The smallest creatures that are not even visible to the eye are part of the way earth survives. The earthworm is one of the most important creatures for the earth’s healthy balance of soil.

“The intestines of the earth” are earthworms according Aristotle and Charles Darwin mentions that earthworms have basically had a taste of everything that has ever existed on this earth, from everything natural and unnatural. Earthworms are actually worshipped in some cultures. Earthworms should therefore be cherished as they are part of the ground we live on.

Earthworms‘ mains functions are too make pathways through soil to let in air, water and plant roots, this in turn enriches the soil for plants to survive. Another function would be that they distribute castings (earthworm poop) through the soil. Their castings are filled with compounds that improve plants’ resistance to disease. It is noticeable that gardens that have more earthworms are healthier than gardens that fewer earthworms. They can also clear the earth from contaminants restoring the soil its natural balance. Not only are they vital for the earth some cultures eat worms as a source of protein.

Compost makes for fantastic earthworm habitats. As most gardeners know or for new gardeners, spreading a nice thick layer of compost over newly planted bedding is ideal. This is because this feeds the soil and also attracts worms, especially earthworms. You can also speed up your composting process through using earthworms by either buying them or farming with them. This is called vermicomposting, this is an admired technique for gardeners throughout the world.

For vermicomposting at home you need a few things. You need to get bins, this can be anything from wood, plastic, and metal containers. The size of the bin depends on how you plan on storing your worms and how you will feed them. Although you may use any bin, there are less favorable ones, like metal will conduct too much heat throughout the bin and also it might rust by sending heavy metals through the compost making it poisonous for the worms.

Vermicompost gives seedlings a really good start in life and earthworms are part of this wonderful process of maintaining a beautiful garden. Making the earth greener starts with you and you don’t have to have millions to make a difference. Earthworms are your key making a difference.


Getting Started with Herb Gardening


I began my first herb garden in my parents’ backyard, tucked over in the corner beside the storage shed, encircling an immature Bradford Pear tree. Once I made up my mind to do a square-shaped bed I used red bricks to edge the bed and to divide it into four square sections. I planted different herbs in each section.

In one area I started an Italian herb garden that included oregano, basil and parsley. One section was for the tea herbs, such as anise, chamomile, fennel and peppermint. In the third quarter I tried my hand at herb plants with healing purposes, like calendula, aloe vera and horseradish. The last [section|quarter] had cosmetic [herb plants|herbs] like for lavender, chervil and lemon verbena that I used in soaps, lotions and shampoos.

I was really pleased with the outcomes that first year. The second year did not go so well, because the mints I had started quickly took over, my chamomile crept way outside the herb garden, and my lavender died from overexposure.

The second year was unsuccessful because I hadn’t taken time to think about what my herbs needed most: the right soil, the right kind of light and enough water.

Before you plant a single plant, be sure to check out the place where you will eventually put your herbs so that you will know the best herb plants for that place. Each [plant|herb] [require|need]s optimal conditions to [thrive|persist|grow|survive] and prosper. Try [herb plants|herbs] like white willow, thyme, sage, poppies and lemon balm.

Try these herb plants for instant success:

  • Basil:If you plant basil, you’ll be on easy street because basil won’t need much help from you. Basil requires full or part-sun and can grow in a bed or container, as long as it has good drainage, which reminds me to mention that you’ll only need to water it when the earth is dry. Use the sweet basil variety for your Italian dinners for an unmistakable taste.
  • Lemongrass:I like the fresh, clean smell of lemongrass. Whether you get it or cultivate it from seeds, this bright green, lemon-scented grass will add a spot of color to your garden and grow pretty tall in just one growing season. For best results, I suggest that you purchase the plant rather than starting with seeds, and before you know it you’ll have another ingredient for your Indian and Thai meals!
  • Cilantro:I say “Ole” to this wonderful little plant that I only discovered a few years ago. It is simple to grow cilantro in your herb garden and it makes an awesome addition to your Tex-Mex meals.
  • Chamomile:To add some extra sparkle to your hanging baskets, use the German type of this chamomile. Cut off a few of the leaves to use in your calming tea or even your bath for some added luxury. Chamomile is considered to be a sensual plant because it has a light and woody apple scent that will heighten your senses. It will also make you happy because it looks like a daisy with white petals and a yellow center.

Now it is up to you to get started, with a little planning, you’ll be digging in the dirt in no time. Just do not get bogged down with trying to be perfect about it—there is no such thing as perfect so just have fun with it.

Good luck with your herb gardening outside. Be sure to let me know how your herb garden grows.