How to Grow Catnip

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on How to Grow Catnip 

Catnip is a herb that is part of the mint family and it comes with a powerful fragrance, that has the effect of attracting cats. The normal height for the catnip plant is between three and four feet. It has light green and downy foliage and in some cases you will also find smaller lavender flowers on it.

You can grow this herb on almost every type of soil possible, but it’s best if you grow it on a soil that is moderately rich and well drained. If a better aroma is what you’re looking for, grow it in a soil that is sandy, as they love that. It’s a versatile plant, that can be kept both in areas that are sunny and in shade.

You can easily grow the catnip plant in your own backyard, especially since you can use the seed of the plant to propagate it. You can also use the root ball division or the stem cuttings to grow this plant in your backyard. The time period when you should start planting the seeds of the catnip is either early spring or late fall. The cover put on the seeds should be light. If the planting of the catnip seeds is done during the fall season, the crop should end up being denser.

When you keep catnip in your backyard, you should make sure that the space between them is between 15 and 18 inches. The pH of the soil can be in any range, since they accept both mildly alkaline and mildly acidic soils. If you are limited in space, you can grow those seeds in other types of media too.

Other places where catnip can be grown is perlite, potting mixes, rockwool, vermiculite, oasis foam and coco peat. You don’t need to keep it in the sun, as it will do well in a shady area as well.

Verbena Care

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on Verbena Care 

Verbena is more of a genus name than that of just a single plant. There are a number of plants under this name and they have different characteristics. While they are different, they have in common the fact that they need care and love, in order for them to thrive. If you take care of the verbena as you should, they will manage to survive and you will love the benefits that they bring with them.

You can plant either perennial or annual verbena. Both options can be found if you go to a garden center. In a garden center you can also found a number of varieties to choose from. While some survive the frost better, others are woodier and some are more sensitive when it comes to the cold. If you get a tender variety, expect to take more care of them, especially when it comes to offering them sunlight and protecting them during frost. Planting verbenas means that you can expect the bloom period to be during the summer, which they will keep doing until the frost shows up.

These plants are quite colorful, so they will enhance the look of your garden, making it look more lively and bright. You can find both bi-colored and solid colored verbenas. You will find a number of shades of yellow, white, red, orange, purple and peach. In some cases verbenas will seem like they have eyes that are cream colored. They have thin leaves, with the shape of a lance and the color is green. From experience I can tell you that the foliage can look great if it’s fine cut.

The growth habit of the verbenas are loose and sprawling, so they go well in containers and hanging baskets. Taken singularly, their flowers are small, but when they are in clusters they look absolutely great.

Lemon Balm

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on Lemon Balm 

A plant that is hardy and perennial, lemon balm can grow up to a size of 24 inches, as far as its diameter is concerned. This plant is part of the mint family and in many ways it has the same properties as regular mint. You can use lemon balm both for culinary and medicinal purposes, so if you want to grow it in a garden, go for it.

You can grow this plant (lemon balm), both in areas that have shade and in areas that are sunny. The soil where they are grown should be fertile and loose, but you can grow them in soil that is dry as well. One option would be to grow lemon balm together with other flowers and balms, or in their own special place, next to the door of the kitchen. In most cases, lemon balm is best used in a kitchen, but in some cases it can also be used for ornamental purposes.

If you use lemon balm, make sure it is fresh and if possible pair it with some mint. You can use it in some ice or hot tea and the taste will be great. If you don’t have any lemon peel around the house, you can use lemon balm in your recipes. In most cases, lemon balm can be used in recipes for chicken, tea or vinaigrette.

Besides the culinary benefits of the lemon balm, a lot of people will use it medicinally as well. For example, crushing some leaves and rubbing them on your skin can repel mosquitoes. Also, the herb’s leaves have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, so they can be used to fight herpes simplex as well as a calming agent or a mild sedative. The oil that can be obtained from lemon balm is used regularly in aromatherapy.

Growing Chives

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on Growing Chives 

Chives are as easy to grow as putting some seeds in a lot in the corner. While other plants are very difficult to grow, chives are very easy. You can se them in your soups, dips or simply as a garnish. If you want to grow them you should have them in a sunny spot, as they love the light. Still, they can be kept in a less sunny place as well. If you want to plant some chives, wait until the winter is over and frost is no longer a danger. With a ready and moist soil, put the seeds of the chives inside and tamp them down a bit.

If the seeds of the chives are bought from a store, put them in the ground as soon as possible, as they’re usually less viable over longer periods of time. When you plant them, they will clump together and those clumps should be divided in clumps planted every two years or so. You can do that by digging the chive clumps, getting them into groups and getting them back into the ground. In that area more chives will grow.

What I love about chives is that they are quite resistant to pests and insects, much more so than normal herbs and plants are. The great thing about them is that you can put them in the right places and the garden will be protected from pests. My flower garden has chives in it and I really recommend you to keep them as well.

If you’re keeping your chives in some pots or inside some containers, keep those either near your house or inside. The plants need a minimum of five hours of sun on them, so make sure they get it. It would be a good idea to turn the plant every day or so, in order for it to get sunlight on all its sides.

How to Dry Lavender

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on How to Dry Lavender 

There are many uses for dry lavender, so naturally a lot of people want to get it or to make it on their own. You can use lavender if you’re doing aromatherapy or you can use it to create oils and a number of different lotions. It’s an easy thing drying lavender. All you need to do is to do a number of things when you harvest the stems of the plants.

It’s easy to harvest the stems. All you need to do is use the gardening shears and cut above the leaves to get the stem. Do that as the buds begin to open. That’s because oils are stronger when the bud begins to open. If you cut it when they are at that stage, the oils are at their highest point.

After you harvest the stems, make sure you secure them by using a rubber band. After that, place them in an area that is safe. They should be protected from the sunlight that might get to them otherwise. So, make sure they are kept in a storage area that is as dry as possible, without the chance of water or sunlight getting to it.

In order for the lavender to try as it should, you should leave it between 7 and 10 days. After the stems of the lavender dry up, you can remove the buds from the plant’s stem. Use a towel to put the dried stems in it and try rolling them a bit gently. By doing this you are making the buds fall from the stems. Then, you can use the buds and the stems separately when you need to. For example, you can use buds to make some potpourri or to create sachets. As you can see, it’s not hard to dry lavender and use it.