How To Preserve Herbs By Drying or Freezing

How To Preserve Herbs By Drying or Freezing

Herbs can be preserved by drying, freezing and steeping. Each method has it’s own unique benefits.  Yes, my home herb garden has been a little work but it has been well worth it.

Gathering herbs at the end of the season is vital to keeping supplies available after the garden has gone quiet for the winter. To get the best of the garden in the preservation process, take good care to harvest at the right time and dry the plant materials carefully.

PRESERVATION TIPS

  • As with fresh harvesting through the growing season, it is best to harvest them in the morning after the dew dries.

    (C) Pinterest

    (C) Pinterest

  • When summer wanes and fall begins, keep an eye on herbaceous perennials that are fading. Harvest herbs when they still look good and not when the foliage is drying or turning brown.
  • Keep watch on the weather and as first frost is approaching, make sure to harvest any tender or annual plants before they are killed by the cold. The time you take at harvest and preserving is part of your own quality control and will provide you with herbs in every month of the year.
  • Consider the shelf life of dried or frozen herbs as “harvest to harvest.” Use up herbs before the next season is harvested so the supply is never more than a year old.
  • Store dried herb in glass jars and keep in a cabinet away from sun and heat.
  • Label all the jars with the herb name and harvest date, herbs look alike after they are dried.

Read more: https://www.gardendesign.com/how-to/preserve-herbs.html

 

8 Plant Shops You Need To See

8 Plant Shops You Need To See

More than just an art, choosing plants for your garden requires care and an eye for detail. So if you are looking for beautiful plants for your garden, here are recommended plant shops from decor8.

Hi friends! I’m in Helsinki at the moment shopping, touring a design fair and hanging out with new friends and bloggers who are touring along with me. It’s really nice and a lot of fun to be in Finland for the first time – it’s all just wonderful. While I’m out and about shopping (follow me @decor8 on Instagram to see what I see along the way), I’ve been thinking about how much shops inspire me when I travel and how they give you a real sense of the city and those who live there, don’t you think?

(C) decor8blog

(C) decor8blog

Today I thought we could go shopping together, only for plants. I think the plant trend finally got the best of me because I never cared to have many in my home before, but now I have more than ever before in my life! Like maybe 20 and for me, that’s a collection!

My mother with her macrame planters would be so proud of me! I finally like plants and have learned to care for them. I can’t believe I typed that.

Here are some charming plant shops around the world to check out for inspo today. I wonder if Helsinki has some good plant (or flower) shops? Do you know? Hmmmm….

Read more: https://www.decor8blog.com/blog/8-plant-shops-you-need-to-see

 

How To Make A Terrarium

How To Make A Terrarium

Terrarium making is a rewarding hobby that combines art and nature. Unlike aquariums which require a lot of technical know-how to put up and manage, terrariums can be amazingly simple. Here are some great ideas for making your terrarium into the ultimate terrarium.

Terrariums are a great way to add some greenery to your home. In addition, they can have the benefit of creating an oxygen-rich environment and a charming touch to your indoor area. Regardless of your space, a terrarium can be a nice way to give your home a little splash of green.

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

Before you can get your hands dirty, you need to gather your materials. For this project, you will need:

  • A clear glass container
  • Small stones or rocks
  • Your terrarium plants of choice
  • Potting charcoal
  • Potting soil
  • Any additional fun accessories you want to include in your terrarium

Just follow these simple steps to make your own stylish terrarium:

1. Clean your glass container. You can use any clear glass container. If you are on a budget, you can use old vases or glasses that can be purchased secondhand. Feel free to get creative to add your own personal touch to the mix. Also, some plants prefer humidity and will flourish in a closed environment. Others grow more easily with an open top. See below for tips on choosing the right terrarium plant.

Read more: http://www.dummies.com/home-garden/gardening/container-gardening/how-to-make-a-terrarium

 

 

Common Lawn Diseases

Common Lawn Diseases

Lawn disease can be a real pain in the neck. They’re able to do significant damage to your lawn in a very little while. The main culprit for lawn disease is fungus. You can acknowledge fungus from the emergence of spots, circles, patches or the existence of various colors like brown or yellow or red in your lawn. It is necessary that you’re taking care of lawn diseases without any delay. Below are a few common illness that you understand and how you can eliminate them or at least put them in check.

The first disease is the dollar spot. It should not be any surprise exactly why this disease got its name. The straw-colored, small sized circular spots that appear on golf greens and quite often bigger spots on lawns should be a dead giveaway. Often the spots overlap causing a much more general blight it’s not as easily observed for diagnosis.

There are a number of cure measures which should be followed to prevent dollar spots. Be sure to frequently water the lawn. Watering works well for retaining moisture in the soil, hence staying away from the fungus growth. It is recommended to water the lawn area at intermediate regular intervals rather than short period of time. Also watering should be carried out early in the morning. Such conditions are the best in order to avoid the growth of dollar spot infection in the region.

(C) Turf Magazine

(C) Turf Magazine

Cool-weather disease which usually hits a normally healthy lawn when the temperatures dip to the 50’s and 60’s F for long durations. It creates elongated yellow striping of the grass, eventually splitting blades in an unhealthy manner. The grass blades will develop rust bubbles. To remove this lawn disease mow your lawn weekly and destroy all contaminated clippings. Make sure you feed, water and fertilize regularly.

The easiest way to getting rid of rust is by aerating your lawn. You should water your lawn well each morning hours and reduce shade to the grasses. It’s also advisable to mow your lawn more often with bagging of the grasses. Additionally, you can increase the nitrogen level of the soil by following a normal fertilization schedule. If you intend to use fungicides, you can look at Triadimefon and Anilazine.

Next is the red thread disease that appears like areas of pink grass. You could see red or rust colored threads on the grass. This lawn disease adores cool humid climates. These patches at the affected area are commonly found in abnormal shapes. Actually, you are able to only completely identify the disease when it reaches its more complex stages.

Considering that the lawn with lack of nitrogen is a lot more prone to the disease therefore make sure to utilize a top quality fertilizer with adequate nitrogen percentage. Furthermore, a well drained lawn helps in staying away from the fungus of the red thread disease.

By recognizing and knowing the kind of disease affecting your lawn, you understand the first step for treating your lawn properly. By raking out the area, dethatching, and aerating, you’ll make improvements to things quickly. Mowing & removing all clippings will minimize the spreading of the disease. Drying out the surface – with better sunlight, proper watering, and balanced nitrogen – will keep it from coming back. It is just that simple to remove lawn mold and keep it away.

 

Clean Up Your Garden With The Ultimate Garden Cleaning Kit

Clean Up Your Garden With The Ultimate Garden Cleaning Kit

So before I start my spring cleaning in my garden, I have a spring cleaning kit which is just a pail with all the things I will need so I don’t have to keep stopping and looking for stuff.  It will depend on whether one is properly equipped with the right tools to ensure a beautiful and clean garden.

With the barbecue season upon us (we hope!), it’s time to get your outdoor space looking shipshape with some garden cleaning.

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

Clear out any debris before you do anything else. An overgrown garden looks tatty and untidy, and it’s hard to keep clean. Using shears or secateurs, strip away any loose or dead branches and trim back overgrown plants or trees. Then rake or sweep up all those dead leaves, twigs and general detritus from your lawn, patio or decking.

Work from the ground up by applying either a natural, specialised patio cleaner (if you have pets) or a diluted bleach or washing-up-liquid solution to your path, patio or decking. Scrub off dirt and moss using a hard-bristled brush or a pressure washer.

Wipe down furniture with a dry cloth to remove any cobwebs and loose dirt. Next, use a wet cloth (or scrubber on more stubborn marks) and a multipurpose cleaning solution to clean all the surfaces thoroughly. Finish with a slick of oil on wooden furniture to protect it.

Read more: http://www.idealhome.co.uk/garden/garden-advice/tackle-a-task-clean-up-your-garden

 

5 Tree Surgery Techniques

5 Tree Surgery Techniques

A tree surgeon (or arborist) helps to treat sick or indeed damaged trees. They also remove dead ones that might be difficult. The treatment of a sick tree might involve anything from removing parts, to removing fungus and bacteria with insecticides. They also help to remove branches which might pose a falling hazard.

1. Tree Pruning

Pruning is an important tree surgery process in which dead wood is taken away from the tree. The method additionally involves lowering and also thinning of branches allowing more air and sunlight to achieve the upper floors of your residence, located in proximity to the pertinent tree. This method plays a role in modifying the aesthetic worth of your property at the same time boosting the tree safety and health.

(C) mdirect-expo.f

(C) mdirect-expo.f

2. Felling and Lowering

If you have a tree that’s growing too close to a home, or one whose branches are resulting in a hazard by overhanging too far or growing close to utility lines, a tree surgery quote is a must. They’re jobs that simple really should not be attempted by someone without the essential skills. The felling procedure leads to the piling up of timbers and debris within your garden as well as the service providers in this context remove them which means that your garden looks tidy and clean.

3. Tree Thinning

Like a big pile of human hair, trees have to be thinned every so often. An aborist will be able to tell just how much trimming has to be done, for the required foliage to be removed. Alternatively this could be assessed by a third-party expert into the precise percentage. As soon as the amount of thinning is determined, the aborist must begin eliminating secondary as well as primary branches as well as young new growth. The end result is a tree that enables natural light to pass through.

4. Removing Tree Stumps

The landscaping practice also incorporates eliminating of tree stumps for their unsafe. If trees are placed very close to the place in which you stay then the tree surgeons require taking careful measures to make sure your security and safety. Clearing the place in which a tree is felled is essential as disregarding it leaves the place messy and very much ugly. The larger tree parts are chipped, hauled and shredded after which thrown away in a waste recycling center.

5. Grafting

This is a specialist technique which a tree surgeon will be able to advise on. It could be as straightforward as trying to grow a new tree from a current cutting, or the joining of two struggling trees to form one.

 

Create a Magical Miniature Garden

Create a Magical Miniature Garden

Miniature and fairy gardens are a fun way to create a pint-size realistic landscape that capture the atmosphere and magnificence in a natural landscape. They can be your little bit of paradise even if you don’t have much room in your backyard. You can’t imagine how those tiny pieces can be gathered into a small container with the right accessories and details.

Big interest in little gardens

Fairy gardens—a new take on an old favorite, the terrarium—are tiny worlds complete with miniature furnishings, fairy-scale plants and plenty of mystique.

Just a touch of inspiration, a cute container, some plants and a few accessories are all it takes to get the magic of a fairy garden growing. Click through the next slides for some tips on starting a fairy garden similar to the one shown here, made by the Garden Barn of Indianola, Iowa.

Do it yourself

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(C) Goodshomedesign.com

Pick a container

Be creative, but allow proper drainage to prevent soggy roots. Terra-cotta pots with saucers work great, and you can hide them inside a larger container, like a fun picnic basket.

Add soil

Use quality potting soil that provides nutrients plants need.

Select plants

Herbs are a smart choice because they stay small with just a little trimming, grow easily and offer wonderful fragrance. Thyme (Thymus praecox ‘Minor’) is a convincing groundcover, ornamental onion ( Allium senescens ‘Glaucum’) makes a perfect little hedge, creeping savory (Satureja spicigera) can be shaped into a small bush and lemon-scented geraniums (Pelargonium crispum) serve as sweet little trees. Other top picks: firecracker plant, lavender, dwarf licorice, marjoram, dwarf myrtle, oregano, rosemary and sage.

Accessorize

Create paths and seating areas—and add miniature fences, furniture, pots and garden tools.

Invite fairies

Leave them to the imagination, or pick characters at a fairy garden supplier.
 
Read more: http://www.midwestliving.com/garden/container/miniature-garden

 

Healthy Activity with Gardening

Image result for health benefits of gardening

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Are you into any sort of leisure activity? Well, gardening is one such leisure activity and both adults and children have to do this. There are some positive aspects which you can get from gardening. A few of them are:

1. There is no age limit in the case of gardening so anyone (kids, parents, adults) makes this their bonding time.

2. It improves mental health by lessening stress

3. It has an effect on the mineral density of the body bone.

4. Gardening also absolutely influences self-esteem and sleep.

5. Can build camaraderie with individuals with same interest.

Some might just take gardening as being a basic activity but scientific study has actually compared some gardening intense tasks with other sports just like swimming, running and weight lifting. The following are sample activities.

– lifting pots and heavy materials
– digging holes
– lawn mowing
– Transferring soils
– pulling weeds

From the above described functions, all these involve muscle strength. By working out your arms and leg, you are able to reduce coronary diseases. Likewise, if you do this frequently, for example 2-3 hours weekly, you’ll be able to prevent critical illnesses like obesity, osteoporosis and high blood. Aside from those physical benefits, it could enormously profit the family in decreasing expenses for food as you can just plant vegetables and fruits in your yard and whenever there are extra, you can sell it to your neighbors.

Stress will cause depression, headaches, stomach aches, cardiac arrest and aggravate pre-existing problems in the human body. We are all aware that an excessive amount of sitting and non-active life especially for elder could bring health risks and irritability so motivating them to do small spurts of hobby can make a huge difference. Gardening has come about in recent years as a medically proven stress reliever. We could also let the children to be with the nature since a growing number of people today choose to stay home to play with their devices. But through gardening, they are able to begin appreciating the science of life and the way everything nourishes when they are taken care of. They’re going to start to understand more and see the application of things shown at school like botany, genetics and nutrition.

Although you may enjoy gardening so much, some tasks are not within your capabilities therefore you must also hire people who can get the job done for you like garden clearance.

Through garden clearance, companies will source local recycling plants and ensure junk is taken there for composting. These are a good strategy to conserve the environment and have the know-how and resources to get rid of your green trash in an ecofriendly approach. They can also give suggestions about how you could further improve your garden.

Through gardening, you’re not just helping the environment but yourself also. It could be just a simple activity for you but recognizing these advantages that it could give will truly inspire you to carry out gardening more regularly. Be stress-free, healthy and eco-friendly with gardening!

How to Make a Soil Sifter

Too many stones, rocks and pebbles interfere with plant growth. The soil sifter can be a useful tool when you need to remove debris from your garden.

 

Sifting your soil is an excellent way to refine the foundation of your garden. The basic idea is to sift the soil through a screen much as you would sift ingredients for baking. Sifting “cleans” the soil, removing large organic objects such as rocks and debris like broken glass. The process improves the texture of the soil, loosening it to allow for better water and air penetration. It can also remove old weed rhizomes—root systems that could grow new colonies of weeds. The benefits include improved drainage and moisture retention so that your plants’ roots are more likely to get the water they need without becoming waterlogged or rotting.

You can take the opportunity of sifting your soil to blend in amendments such as compost, manure, or other nutritional additions. It’s a great way to create a premium top soil that will get your garden off to a great start—and keep it growing strong throughout the season.

Sifting soil can be done with nothing more than a sturdy, thick mesh screen held by the edges. But if your garden is like most, you’ll be faced with sifting quite a bit of soil and a simple hand-held screen will be quite laborious to use. That’s why the design of the sifter described in the pages that follow is a bit more sophisticated. It uses a sifting box equipped with wheels, and this box sits in a frame. You sift the soil by rolling the box back and forth within the frame, saving a lot of energy, effort, and sore backs. If you want to make the rig even handier and easier to store, add handles to both the sifting box and frame.

The sifting frame has been sized to fit perfectly over a standard wheelbarrow. But if you are using another container to catch the sifted soil, or if your wheelbarrow is a different size, adjust the measurements to suit. This could even be used over an empty garbage can or barrel. Once you’ve constructed the sifter, sift soil for your whole garden, container plants, or anywhere you want clean, effective top soil. Your plants will thank you.

Tools and Materials

• (4) 1-inch rigid casters (uni-directional)
• 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch galvanized screen
• Cordless drill and bits
• 1-1/4-inch washer head screws (also known as lath screws)
• 2-1/2-inch deck screws
• 1-1/4-inch wood screws
• 1-1/2-inch-wide metal angle
• 3/4-inch x #8 pan head screws

Cutting List

Materials table

Make the Soil Sifter

Build rails

1. Drill pilot holes through the frame guides and into the 1 x 3 frame stiles. Screw the guides to the stile with 1-1/4-inch wood screws, ensuring that the guides are aligned along one edge of each stile. These guides will serve as tracks for the soil-sifting box.

 

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/how-to-make-a-soil-sifter-ze0z1503zcwil

Winter Gardening Tips: Best Winter Crops and Cold-Hardy Varieties

Though, with some experience and a simple forward preparation it’s not too hard produce a garden that will provide you with something to admire within the winter season.

When we think of eating homegrown food during the cold season, we often think of staples such as potatoes squirreled away in the root cellar, or of vegetables such as winter squash stashed in a cool, dry place. But many gardeners are discovering the joys of harvesting fresh produce all winter long, which allows for feasts of cold-hardy crops that are just-picked and just right for the time of year. According to Jodi Lew-Smith of High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott, Vt., the seed-buying season used to be January, February and March. “Now there’s also a surge in June, July, August and into September for fall-planted crops,” she says. Eating from the garden is just too pleasant to give up simply because the temperature — and the snow — may have fallen.

I don’t mean growing tomatoes in January. Fruiting crops no doubt need long, sunny days and warm conditions to complete their delicious arc of softening, deepening in color and perfectly ripening. Winter fare is about leaves, stems and roots, which mature more and more slowly as the weather cools and the days shorten. Better still, winter vegetables sweeten with the cold. If you’ve ever tasted a winter-pulled carrot or winter-cut spinach, you’re familiar with the treasures winter gardening can bring.

With my husband, Eliot Coleman, I run Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine, where winter production is a key part of our business. Over the past two decades, we’ve built, trialed and collected data on many hoop house designs and crop-protection methods. We’ve also tested many crops — and multiple varieties of those crops — to discover what grows best in winter.

Climate Considerations

So, should a winter gardener grow different crops depending on her climate? Not necessarily. Winter has always been a good season for a wide array of crops in the southern states, and in the northern tier of the United States, you can grow the same crops if you use a winter-protection device to broaden your garden’s productive season. This might be a cold frame, a simple greenhouse, the quick-hoop system, or just a layer or two of floating row cover, often called Reemay. All of these season-extension devices capture some of the earth’s natural warmth, especially at night, and block the chilling, drying effect of wind.

At any latitude in the United States, there’s enough daylight to grow a wide range of winter crops. A recent MOTHER EARTH NEWS survey on winter gardening turned up a surprising number of cold-season gardeners in places where weather would present a challenge, such as Ontario and Wisconsin, as well as many in unsurprising locales, such as Texas and Southern California, where an outdoor garden can keep on truckin’ with a simple shift of the planting scheme (see Real-World Gardening Tips for tons of advice from our survey-takers). While in the Northeast we think of the year’s “second spring” starting around August, warmer southern areas can shift that date by a couple of months to around October, when fall temperatures will still be high enough to achieve germination and allow plants to reach maturity.

 

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/gardening-techniques/winter-gardening-tips-best-crops-zm0z13onzsto.aspx