Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Secret for Growing Herbs in Pots

I think everyone should grow a pot of herbs. Even if you only have a tiny spec of outdoor space, if you have some sun, you can grow herbs. Most herbs grow well in containers and some (like mint and lemon balm) should be grown in pots because if you grow them in your garden they will try to take over the world. Also, many are pretty forgiving and even beginners can grow them with success. I grow herbs for cooking and decoration as well.

Almost any recipe is better if you put parsley in or on it (ok, perhaps not chocolate mousse, but you get my point). Parsley is exceedingly easy to grow. You can either buy seedlings, almost anywhere that sells plants or grow it from seed. I usually buy seedlings because the seeds can take weeks to germinate and are fussy about transplanting. If you do start parsley seeds, soak them overnight before planting.

Parsley comes in two types, Italian, also called flat parsley and curly parsley, which is the more common variety. Many people prefer flat parsley for cooking and curly parsley for garnishes. I’ve never been able to tell the difference in taste. Parsley prefers full sun, but can grow in partial shade. It’s very hardy and will make it through a frost. I’ve even found perfectly usable parsley under a a few inches of snow of snow. To harvest, just snip off at the base of a stem. As with most herbs, the more you harvest, the more you’ll get.

Parsley is biennial, which means that it can come back for two years, though some think the leaves are more bitter the second year.

Parsley is an herb that will thrive if you keep using it. To harvest, cut stalks on the outside of the plant, down near the soil.

Are You Think About Gardening Without Ground

For many people, hardscaped areas might be the only outdoor places available to create a garden. Rather than limiting, this lack of earth can open up a world of possibilities. Whether your area is a small terrace off the back kitchen, or a rooftop or balcony, there are a number of practical and design considerations to bear in mind when taking a barren hardscape from boring to beautiful.

One of the primary design considerations for any garden – especially a garden carved out of a barren, hardscaped area – is how you plan to use the space. Defining the purpose for the garden will drive design and plant choices.

  • Do you want to entertain friends or is the area to be a private refuge?
  • Would you like an edible garden from which to cook outdoors or inside
  • Do you simply want to block out the neighbors?
  • How important – or an impediment – is the view?
  • Are there obstructions that cannot be overlooked, such as an air conditioner or gutters?
  • What are the size limitations of the area?

You can delineate garden rooms in even the smallest of terraces or balconies. For example,

  • Freestanding vertically planted walls, fencing, or trellises can be used to separate one area from another
  • Obelisks, furniture, and rugs might divide garden areas
  • Tile or stone paths can send you in a new direction

Your responses to these questions will drive your design decisions. If you want the area to simply be a place to sit with coffee before work, you’ll want to focus on necessities – a chair, a table, and a few plants in containers to soften the hardscape. On the other hand, if your intention is to mimic a larger, on-the-ground ground garden, you’ll want to create different rooms, delineate movement

Logistics

Once you have decided the purpose for the space, determine how you will get containers, plants, furniture, and ornaments to the area and the impact of weight, climate, and weather in the space. Ask yourself:

  • Do you need permission from the landlord or association if you live in a condominium or apartment?
  • Do you need a structural engineer to ensure the area can sustain the weight of heavy plants, vessels, and ornaments?
  • Is the area windy?
  • How does the light bounce off of walls and how will that affect plants?
  • Are there spaces in complete shade?
  • How will the snow or beating sun impact each of the items in the area?

The importance of understanding weight, weather, and climate conditions before designing a terrace, balcony, or rooftop garden cannot be overstated.

How to Grow a Lemon Trees at Home

unduhan-41Growing Meyer lemon trees in garden pots is hugely rewarding. Not only are they prolific fruit producers, the blossoms of Meyer lemon trees are incredibly fragrant and beautiful. The Meyer lemon fruit is also sweeter than the fruit of other lemons and even their thin skin is tasty and great for cooking.

Though Meyer lemon trees are naturally shrub-like, they can also be pruned into tree form. When planted in the ground, they can grow up to 8-10 feet tall and up to 12 feet wide.

When grown in garden pots, depending on the size of the pot, your plant will probably be smaller.

With their growing popularity, Meyer lemon trees are pretty easy to find in local nurseries or online.

What Meyer lemon trees like:

  • Full sun
  • Protection from the wind
  • High quality potting soil
  • A large pot with good drainage
  • Consistent watering – soil should be damp not wet
  • Regular feeding (except during the heart of winter) with either all-purpose or high nitrogen fertilizer
  • Temperatures between 50-80°F though they will survive down to 32°F

What Meyer lemon trees don’t like:

  • Wet feet (too much water will kill them)
  • Freezing temperatures
  • Not enough or too much fertilizer
  • Not enough light
  • Strong winds

All citrus trees love sun – the more the better. They are happiest in temperatures between 50-80 °F. That means, unless you live in USDA zones 9-11, you’ll want to bring your Meyer lemon tree inside when temperatures start regularly dipping below 50°F. In spring, if you live in a cold climate bring your tree outside when nighttime temperatures are consistently above 50. It’s a good idea to slowly acclimate any plant to outdoor conditions by hardening it off.

Once it is used to being outdoors, place it in a sunny area, protected from the wind.

Feeding: During the growing season, spring to fall, feed your citrus plant regularly with either a high nitrogen fertilizer or a slow release all-purpose fertilizer. Citrus trees also respond well to additional foliar feeding with a liquid fertilizer like compost tea or liquid kelp of fish emulsion.

Watering: Proper watering is one of the keys to growing any citrus plant, but particularly those grown in pots. The aim is to keep the soil moist but not wet. Stick your finger into the soil, at least up to the second knuckle. If you feel dampness at your fingertip, wait to water. If it feels dry, water your plant until you see it run out of the bottom of the pot. If your plant is indoors, particularly in winter when the heat is on, misting the leaves with water can help keep your lemon tree happy. It’s also a good idea to use pot feet , so your citrus tree doesn’t sit in water.

Harvesting: If you keep your lemon tree indoors for the winter, your fruit can take up to a year to ripen.

Because citrus fruit will only continue to ripen while it is still on the tree, make sure to wait until it’s ripe before picking. Meyer lemons, when ripe will be an egg yolk-y yellow and will be slightly soft to the touch. Use a knife or scissor to cut off the fruit so you don’t risk damaging the plant by pulling off a larger piece than intended.