Tips on Growing a Home Herb Garden

Starting and growing a home herb garden is not really difficult. Setting up a home herb garden will take only a little of your time, effort and a little space inside your home. Let me give you some tips on growing a home herb garden that you will truly enjoy.

1.       Choose your herbs. Before you start your home herb garden you have to decide what herbs you want to grow in your garden. You need to know what kind of environment your chosen herbs needs so that your plants will grow to their fullest.

2.       Choose your location. Find the appropriate location for your herbs whether you will be growing them in planting pots or if you decide to grow them outside. The most important factor that you need to consider is a location where your herbs will be provided with enough sunlight. If you will be planting and growing your herbs outside aside from the location you also have to consider factors in the location you have chosen such as rain and sun in the area the whole year and over all temperature. Be sure that your herbs will be getting plenty of light.

3.       Make your soil bed. You need to make your soil bed where you will be planting your herbs. It is important that your soil is of high quality not too heavy, too dry or too wet before you start planting your seeds. Your soil should be loose or mix it with sand so that it will drain better. It will also be better to line your pots using wood chips and stones before putting in your soil which will assure you of proper soil drainage.

4.       Planting your herbs. You have two choices in planting either you start with the seeds or get the herbs you want that have already been grown. If you have a green thumb then you can start from the seeds but if you are not sure getting a small plant that have started to take root would be better. When planting your seeds, plant them one inch apart and cover them slightly with soil.

5.       Tending to your herbs. Tend to your herbs by making sure that you get to water and weed them regularly. When watering your plants, check your soil if it is dry then it is time to water them. If you are not sure just water your herbs a little rather than watering them too much. Maintain humidity by spraying your herbs with water once a week to keep your plants healthy.

6.       Enjoy your herbs. As you see your herbs grow you can start using them for cooking making your meals more delicious, tastier and healthier. You will also be able to enjoy the sweet fragrance that your herbs provide making your kitchen feel homey and cozy.

Having a home herb garden has a lot of advantages for you because you do not need to worry about diseases or harmful insects. You can control how much sunlight your herbs should get and you can relocate them where they can get the most light. You do not have to worry about winter because you will have fresh herbs the whole year round. Finally, you have fresh tasty herbs anytime you need them.

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Harvesting Herbs From Your Home Herb Garden

Perhaps the most rewarding part of growing a home herb garden is when you get to actually use your herbs. Theres nothing like enjoying the fruits (or in this case herbs) of your labor. But your learning isn’t finished yet, there are still many things you can do (and many things you should NOT) do when it comes to harvesting your herbs that will help you get the most out of your home herb garden.

Its a little known fact that herbs change their potency throughout the day. Harvesting at the wrong time will result in less flavorful herbs. Heat and wind can actually break down and disperse the flavorful oils in herbs, so you will want to make sure these herbs have a chance to recuperate before harvesting them. Herbs also lose their oils on wet days as well, so the best time to harvest your home herb garden is on a calm, dry morning, just after the dew has dried off of the leaves and before the flowers open. Don’t worry about pruning them too often because pruning encourages new growth. A good amount to harvest is about one third of the plant. This is also a good time to inspect the herbs for insect damage or disease. Once picked you can use you herbs fresh or preserve them to use later.

There are three common ways to preserve the herbs from your home herb garden. Those are drying, freezing or using a medium such as salt or vinegar. A great way to dry them is to take a half to one full dozen stems with the leaves near the bottom trimmed off, put them in a bundle and tie them up with a string. Next, hang the bundle in a place that is cool, dry and dark. The oils in the herbs will break down if they are exposed to too much sunlight. When drying leaves, put them on a rack or screen and also dry them in a cool, dark and dry place. Turn them periodically to ensure they dry evenly. You can also use home appliances to dry herbs from your home herb garden like dehydrators, ovens and microwaves, although the results are often not as good as the first method mentioned. If you want to freeze your herbs, try cutting them into 1/4 inch pieces and spreading them over a cooking sheet lined with wax paper before putting them in the freezer. Once they are all frozen, put them all together in a bag. Some herbs from your home herb garden like tarragon, chopped mint and basil can also be preserved in vinegar. You can preserve herbs and make flavored salt at the same time by storing them together with alternating layers of herbs and salt. Once the herbs are brown they are completely dried with this method and you can separate them. Storing them in an airtight container will greatly improve their shelf life.

I enjoy eating my herbs fresh from my home herb garden. But before you do the same, its important to wash them before eating. To do this, place them in a bowl of water and add a teaspoon of salt. The salt will drive away any insects but won’t hurt the plant. When finished washing, just dry them in a salad spinner if possible, or let them air dry.

I recommend looking into each herb’s specific harvesting procedures before tackling the job, because what works well for some does not work well for all. These guidelines however, should give you a good general idea of the proper way to harvest your home herb garden.

Thomas Rittenhouse is an herb gardening enthusiast, dedicated to sharing his knowledge of herb gardening with you. His newest website: Herb-Gardening-Center.com [http://www.herb-gardening-center.com/] teaches people how to grow and maintain a flourishing home herb garden.

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Home Vegetable Gardening – Raising and Lowering the pH Levels of Your Soil

The pH level is a scale that displays how acidic or alkaline something is. A pH level less than 7 means, whatever it is you are testing is dominantly acidic and a level over 7 means it is more alkaline. If you get a reading of 7 that means it is neutral which is normally water.

Simply just getting the pH reading is not enough. Once you have that reading you need to know how to make adjustments in your soil for optimum growth of the vegetables that you are planting.

Here is how you can raise and lower your soil’s pH level in your home vegetable garden.

Before you can do anything to your soil you have to know what the pH level is. The best way to obtain this reading is with a pH soil testing kit from your local home or garden center. They are as inexpensive as five bucks or as complicated and expensive as a hundred dollars. The choice of which one you get is up to you.

If you soil falls under seven on the pH scale then you soil is has too much acid in it. That is OK for plants like cauliflower, but if you are going to grow carrots in that spot, you need to get it to around neutral. The best way to do this is to add lime to the soil in the early spring (at least 3 weeks before planting) or in the autumn months after the gardening season is over. It takes some time for the pH level to rise so make sure you give it enough to do so.

If the pH level reading you obtain from your soil is above then that means your soil is too alkaline and needs to come down. Most crops to not like a pH levels above 8.0. That is not to say they won’t grow any vegetables or fruit, but bringing that number down will greatly help production. The best way to bring down the pH level is through composting organic materials and mixing in cow or chicken manure. If you bury your food scraps at least 18″ deep in your garden throughout the year you will more than likely never run into this problem. However, just like above make sure you mix in your compost and manures long before the start of the growing season or once it has completed.

Most home vegetable gardeners never take into account the very important pH level of their soil. If you can keep this level in the optimal ranges for the plants you are going to grow, you will surely a more abundant and tastier harvest.

About the Author
Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the Rest of Us, available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and where ever gardening books are sold. For more vegetable gardening advice, Mike can be reached at his website: AveragePersonGardening.com.

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Harvesting and Preserving Your Home Herb Garden Crops

You have taken care of and watched over your home herb garden like a mother hen over her chicks and harvesting day has finally arrived. You can now pluck those juicy fresh basil leaves for your chicken tom yam stir fry. And there’s enough mint for that special laksa soup. So what should you do now?

Before using your herbs, particularly those from your outdoor home herb garden a little preparatory work needs to be followed.

Like having to go to the store, you need to pick your crops from your home herb garden before you can use them. The difference is you should ideally do it at the right time, which is crucial if you want your herbs to be full of flavour and taste. You see, fresh herbs are susceptible to the day’s heat and their essential oils can be easily dispersed by the wind and heat. To pick your herbs at the wrong time would not be good.

The best time to harvest would be would be in the morning when the winds are not strong and there is usually no rain. This time is perfect because in such conditions, the herb plants will produce more oils than on a wet day.

The ideal time to bring in your crops would be when the dew has dried on the leaves but before the flowers open. Pluck out just what you need for the day although you can certainly gather more if you are thinking of drying, freezing or marinating them for use later. But do refrain from removing more than one third of the plants’ growth at one go as they will need the foliage left behind to help them to re-grow what has been harvested.

To ensure maximum enjoyment of your herbs, it would be advisable to check that there are no insects or damaged leaves amongst your harvest. These crops will then produce the best flavour for your cooking.

There are a number of ways in which your home herb garden crops can be preserved for future use:

– by drying them naturally or in ovens
– by freezing
– or by soaking them in a solution of vinegar
– or layering them between salt granules.

Preserving your home herb garden crops will provide you with herbs for everyday use all year round but the fact remains that the best taste and results can only be obtained from garden-fresh herbs picked directly from your home herb garden.

Do be careful to wash them properly before use! To do that, place the herbs into a container filled with cool clean water and rinse thoroughly.

For bigger quantities do the same, this time using the kitchen sink. Add salt of about two full tablespoons. As the quantity is larger you may not notice any insects hanging onto the leaves. The salt in the water will dislocate those otherwise hidden insects. Remove the herbs from the water and dry them using a salad spinner.

Not only do the herbs from your home herb garden have different uses, they are also harvested and prepared differently. It would be good idea to do some reading up on the herb you want to use beforehand. The correct use of a herb will ensure that perfect dish!

If you do not have the time, all this information and more can be obtained from one easy to follow and results guaranteed step-by-step guide, “Successful Herb Gardening ~ Step-by-Step.”

Shad is an herb gardening enthusiast and owner of the Herb Gardening Site. For more great tips on herb gardening [http://www.herbgardeningsite.com/amce.html] and home herb garden [http://www.herbgardeningsite.com/home-herb-garden/], visit herbgardeningsite.com, the one-stop resource for herb gardening enthusiasts.

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Home Vegetable Gardening – Terms You Should Get to Know

Like many home vegetable gardeners, when I was younger I concentrated on the simple basics of having a home vegetable garden. The information I am about to share with you was never even a thought in my mind, but as I have come to learn, knowing it, has made me a better gardener and my harvest more productive.

You can keep your home vegetable garden at the current level of where it is now of planting some seeds, adding water, maybe a little fertilizer and waiting for the vegetables to come up, or you can follow the advice below and produce even more.

Sowing
This term refers to the depth at which you plant a seed. It varies by plant variety and seed size. A typical rule of thumb is the smaller the seed to more shallow it has to be planted. The reason being is each seed as built into it the ability to push through the topsoil. Larger seeds can push through from deeper depths whereas smaller seeds need to be closer to the top.

Germination
Germination is the process of when the vegetable plant emerges from the seed. Sure that one is easy, but there are factors that you can control to create optimal conditions for your seeds so they can germinate faster. For instance each vegetable plant likes the soil to be a certain temperature. If the soil is colder then what it likes it may take longer to germinate and if it is too hot you could literally cook the seed. But, having it at the optimal temperature will ensure that the seed will not only germinate, but emerge much faster.

Crop Rotation
Every vegetable plant uses nutrients from the soil. They need these nutrients to grow, thrive and produce tasty vegetables. The species of the plant will determine how much it uses of a certain kind of nutrient. For instance just like a body builder needs more protein, or a long distance runner needs more carbohydrates, your tomato plants require more of certain nutrients than say a cauliflower plant. Crop rotation is the process of where you plant your vegetables in different locations everywhere, ensuring that one valuable nutrient is not depleted from the soil due to planting the same crop in the same location year after year. This way the plant that needs more phosphorus will be moved to a location where the previous year the plant that was there did not require as much.

Companion Planting
Companion planting is when you plant different species of vegetable plants next to one another. You do this because these plants can compliment one another for a number of reasons such as insect, pest and disease control or one plant may put a nutrient into the soil that another plant requires in order to grow. Utilizing companion planting will make you garden go further than you ever thought possible.

pH, N, K, P
Get to know these letters well. They are short for very valuable items that your garden needs in order to thrive. For instance, pH is the pH level of your soil. You can get this reading (as well as the others N,P,K) by purchasing a home soil testing kit at your local home or garden center. If it is under 7 then your soil is acidic and over 7 it is alkaline. N stands for nitrogen, K stands potassium, and P stands for phosphorus. Although there are about 16 elements your plants need to grow strong, these are the big three. Knowing how much each of your plants need and supplying them the source to get it, will pay big dividends in vegetable production and taste.

Get to know these terms above and master them. Your home vegetable garden harvest will increase to sizes you never thought possible.

About the Author
Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the Rest of Us, available where gardening books are sold. Sign up for Mike’s vegetable gardening newsletter at his website: AveragePersonGardening.com and he will send you a free pack of vegetable seeds to get your garden started.

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Massage in Bucharest

Recognize it! You’re busy! And so must be! That’s what life is like! But you want more than that, you want to do more for yourself and massage can help. Because massage makes more than a simple relaxation of the mind and body. It keeps your body in shape and gives you enough energy to make you enjoy a longer life better than you do it today.

Massage releases stress. At the moment, stress is a universal evil. Every time you are late, every time you avoid a car in traffic, every time you have trouble working, stress is doing his job. Each time adrenaline increases heart rate and cortisone levels and organs respond to the measure. You will be in a state of nerves and constant agitation.
When there is no release of stress, serious problems such as an upset stomach, hypertension, sleep disturbances, chest pain, or existing illness may worsen.

Some of the changes that may occur are: Anxiety, lack of concentration, depression, permanent fatigue, muscle or bone pain, sexual dysfunction, excessive sleep or insomnia

All these stress-related problems can be diminished and some can be totally eliminated by massage. The researchers concluded that a massage session can lower heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase endorphin production. The massage also releases serotonin and dopamine and the result is a general relaxation, both physical and mental.
Our body care must be at the top of the priorities.
By adding the massage to your routine you will look much better and you will be much healthier and relaxed. Massage can improve your vitality and mood. Massage can prepare for a long and beautiful life.

Our masseuses personalize each massage session according to the needs of the individual.
Our massage parlors offer a variety of relaxation styles and techniques to help you. Apart from relaxing, massage can be a powerful ally in reducing pain, increasing energy levels, improving mental and physical performance

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After a massage session, you will see how the mental prospects are enriched, the body allows easier handling, better pressure resistance, relaxation and mental alertness, calm and creative thinking.
When you have the impression or force yourself to stay straight, your body is not actually aligned properly. Not only does the posture look bad, but it forces some of the muscles to go muddy all day, while others become weaker. After a long time, the incorrect position may cause other drops. For example, internal organs press on what affects digestion, breathing ability is also diminished, which means that much less blood and oxygen reaches the brain and hence all sorts of other complications.

Massage allows you to return your body to the track. Allowing the body to make healthy and accurate movements is one of the greatest benefits of massage. Massage can relax and restore muscles injured by bad posture, allowing the body to position itself in a natural, painless position.
Apart from posture, there is also anxiety. One of the signs of anxiety and stress can also be heavy breathing. When the body begins to breathe too little and deeply instead of breathing at a natural rithm, it is impossible for one to relax. One reason may also be that the chest muscles and the abdomen get tightened and the air gets harder.

Massage plays an important role in learning the body how to relax and how to improve breathing. Respiratory problems such as allergies, sinuses, asthma or bronchitis are a group of conditions that can benefit from massage. In fact, massage can have a positive impact on respiratory function.

Many of the muscles in the front and back of the upper part of the body are breathing accessory. When these muscles are tight and shorten they can block normal breathing and interrupt effective breathing natural rithm. Massage techniques for stretching and relaxing these muscles improves breathing function and breathability. Massage leads to an opening of the chest as well as structural alignment and nerve dilatation that are required for optimal pulmonary function. A good way to treat respiratory problems with massage is the taping made in Swedish massage. When done on the back, along with vibrations, it can detach the mucus from the lungs and can clean the airways for better later function.

Massage not only relaxes muscles, but helps people become aware of daily stress levels. Once the body recognizes what really means relaxation, the mind can rest easily relax before the stress becomes cornice and harmful. This will help you enjoy a balanced life. Massage controls breathing, allows the mind to re-create relaxation before the occurrence of chronic and harmful stress and increases the level of energy.