Sunday, September 12, 2010

Steps in Growing Basil Indoors

Some herb gardeners think that growing basil indoors is not easy. Well, whether you are an experienced gardener or a new one, you can successfully grow basil by following these steps. Many dishes can be cooked with basil and if you have one at home, you will have a fresh supply of this herb variety. For gardeners with limited yard space, there is a solution - growing basil indoors.

Step 1- Prepare the needed supplies. You will need pots and containers of various sizes, soil, gardening tools, and seeds of basil, gloves, and fertilizer (optional). If you have gardening tools, then there is no more need to purchase them. Soil is readily available at home but if it is not well drained, you should buy commercial soil instead together with the seeds and fertilizer. Get the supplies you need to growing basil indoors from the local garden center or the nursery. Most of the supplies are reasonably priced and if you get the gardening kits, you can save a lot of money.

Step 2 - Learn everything you can about planting basil. As you purchase the supplies from the local nursery or center, you can ask the people there about growing basil. Use the net to find additional info about growing basil indoors. If you are knowledgeable enough, it will be very easy to grow the herb indoors.

Step 3 - Growing the herbs inside the house is similar to the outdoors but the difference is the location. You will also use container and pots so the planting area is limited. You have to ensure that you provide the required soil, water, and sunlight. The soil was already discussed earlier and in growing basil indoors, you should not provide too much water. Too much water can rot the roots of the plant. You also need to check if the pots have enough holes at the bottom. Here is a tip - water the plant with just the right amount of water everyday so long as to keep the soil moist.

Step 4 - Check the pH level. The ideal pH for basil is from 6.5 - 7.5. Growing basil indoors require you to conduct pH tests every month to make sure that the pH level is just right. Tester kits can also be obtained from garden centers. As long as you are growing basil, you may need to check the pH every month.

Step 5 - When harvesting the basil leaves, get only single leaves. Leave off paired ones. You can have several basil plants and growing basil indoors will be able to provide you with a year long supply of fresh basil leaves. You can use basil for cooking certain dishes and it can be used for medicinal purposes as well. If you plan to use basil for cooking, use organic fertilizer only.

Follow these steps and you will surely grow healthy basil at home. You do not have to be an expert gardener because with the appropriate knowledge, you can harvest basil at any time of the year. You can begin growing basil indoors once you secured the supplies.

Tim is an experienced herb gardener and loves to grow herbs. To learn more about growing basil indoors as well as other great herb gardening, planting, growing and using techniques check out his dedicated herb growing and care website

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Planting Garlic

Garlic can be planted from fall to early spring, although hardneck varieties prefer to be in the ground during a cold winter.

Garlic grows best in deep, fertile well-drained soil. To plant, separate the cloves from each bulb and place pointy end up 1-2 inches below the surface of the soil and about 3-4 inches apart. Mulch the area and keep the garlic moist.

Garlic will be ready to harvest in summer when the flower stalks of hardneck garlic stand up straight or when the leaves of softneck garlic begin to turn yellow. Allow garlic to dry for several weeks before storing or using in your cooking.

Read More: Celebrate National Garlic Month - Vegetable Gardener

Sunday, May 2, 2010

How To Grow Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is easy to grow from seed, rooted cuttings, or by root division. It prefers light soil, but will adapt if some amendments are worked into heavier clay soils; soil should also be fairly fertile and well balanced. Balm thrives in full sun but can be grown in partially shaded areas. (The cultivars ‘All Gold’ and ‘Aurea’ have variegated and yellow foliage, and need some shade since the full hot sun tends to burn them.)

A member of the mint family, balm looks and grows much like mint, though it does not send runners. It will compete for space and is best planted next to other vigorous perennials that will hold their own against this sweet, yet invasive herb. Balm grows from 2 to 2-1/2 feet tall, bushing out laterally, so give each plant 2 feet all around.

Trim plants to help maintain their handsome bushy appearance. The hardy root system will survive the coldest winters if the plants are well mulched.

Read More: Herbal Harbingers of Spring: Lemon Balm - Vegetable Gardener