|Lawn Care For Busy People|
Oregano: Joy of the Mountain
Known as "joy of the mountain," Origanum vulgare is commonly called culinary oregano or Turkish oregano. Oregano is a close relative of marjoram and is also known as pot marjoram. Similar in taste to marjoram, oregano's taste is more pungent and has overtones of mint. Greek oregano, subspecies hirtum of O. vulgare, is recommended as the best type of oregano for cooking. Oregano is a half-hardy perennial that can be grown outdoors as an annual or indoors as a perennial. Blooming in early summer, Greek oregano has pink, white, or purple flowers, dark green opposite leaves that are highly aromatic, and slim, squarish, woody, branched stems. Greek oregano has a branching taproot and grows in a clump. Used the world over in Italian, Mexican, and Spanish dishes, Greek oregano is one of the three essential ingredients in Italian cooking along with basil and marjoram.
Greek oregano grows 24 inches (60 centimetres) tall. Cultivation requirements: does best in light, rich, well-drained soil; requires full sun and a sheltered location; do not overwater and allow the top 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) of soil to dry-out between waterings; pinch off flowers to keep the plant bushy; do not over fertilise. Buy young plants or take cuttings to propagate, as the flavour and aroma of oregano started from seed may be disappointing. Start new oregano plants by layering stems from existing plants. Pin down the stem, cover with soil, and keep moist until you see new growth. Transplant new plants to pots or their new location.
Greek oregano requires at least 5 hours of sunlight a day. If you are growing oregano on a windowsill, turn frequently to ensure that all sides receive equal amounts of light. Oregano can also be grown under fluorescent lights. Hang lights 6 inches (15 centimetres) above the plants and leave on for 14 hours a day.
In the garden, plant oregano with broccoli to deter the cabbage butterfly. It is a beneficial companion to all plants, improving both flavour and growth. Oregano can be grown in pots in the garden as well as in the soil. In the kitchen, use in pizza, tomato sauces, pasta, hearty soups, omelettes, cold bean salads, marinades for meats of all kinds, cheese and egg dishes, and bland vegetables such as zucchini, green beans, eggplant, potatoes, and mushroom dishes. Oregano blends well with garlic, thyme, and basil. Oregano butter can be poured over fish and shellfish just before serving or baking. Oregano has a strong flavour so use sparingly and add during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
To harvest, pick small sprigs as needed. Oregano can be stored by drying. To dry, cup off plants 1 inch (2.5 centimetres) from the ground, tie plants into bunches, and hang in a warm, dry, shady location. After leaves are dry, strip off and store in an airtight container.
Gwen Nyhus Stewart, B.S.W., M.G., H.T., is an educator, freelance writer, garden consultant, and author of the book The Healing Garden: A Place Of Peace ? Gardening For The Soil, Gardening For The Soul and the booklet Non-toxic Alternatives For Everyday Cleaning And Gardening Products. She owns the website Gwen's Healing Garden where you will find lots of free information about gardening for the soil and gardening for the soul. To find out more about the books and subscribe to her free Newsletter visit http://www.gwenshealinggarden.ca
Gwen Nyhus Stewart © 2004 ? 2005. All rights reserved.
Backyard Bird--The Catbird
It's quiet now.
Homemade Hummingbird Nectar
HUMMINGBIRD NECTAR RECIPE
Lady Bugs Are Your #1 Natural Pest Control
First, this bug has many names. Some of it's names are:
How to Build a Waterfall For Your Garden Pond
Building a waterfall is easier than you think and will add a new dimension to your pool.
The Rich History of Chrysanthemums
Did you know that those lush, colorful blooms called chrysanthemums are rooted in beliefs of human immortality and perfection? Today the "mum" graces gardens, cut flower arrangements and even salads (yes mums taste great), but they were taken much more seriously after T'ao Yuan Ming started it all in China around 500 A.D.
Avoiding Unsightly Algae
Excessive organic matter in the pond provides nutrients for algae, contributing to its growth. Algae can obscure the view of colorful fish, and more dangerously, it robs the water of valuable oxygen and releases harmful pollutants.
Feed the Birds
Elaborate and decorative or simple and functional, birdhouses and birdfeeders are lovingly coveted by many people (and birds)!
Backyard ponds are a great source of fun and enjoyment. With them come all kinds of different nature. From the fish and all of the other wildlife, to all the different pond plants and flowers. It truly is a relaxing hobby, once you get it all set up.
Mint: The Herb of Hospitality
The Mentha species or mints as they are commonly called include many varieties that flavour everything from appetizers to desserts. The best-known species in North American are peppermint (M. x piperita) and spearmint (M. spicata), which are highly valued for commercial use. Mint symbolises "hospitality" and can be grown in pots and containers indoors and out. In the garden, mint should be grown with a barrier around the roots, as it can be extremely invasive. Most mints do not come true from seed so it is best to purchase plants from a nursery or garden centre. Fresh mints are a source of Vitamin C and pro-vitamin A.
Plants, Birds, Love and Deer Hate
Gardening in Containers
Every Garden can benefit from the addition of container gardens. They add interst and variety, plus are easily moved around. If you live in an apartment or have a small area to work with this may be the only solution for you.
Pruning Roses Secrets
Pruning your roses is one of the most needed and the most annoyingly difficult tasks that goes with proper rose care. It takes a steady hand the proper procedure to ensure the best possible roses that you can get.
Mowing the Lawn
This is more of a follow up on my original article posted yesterday. As I have now finally managed to buy a new lawn mower, with safetey and usability in mind, I have been chopping away at that lawn this morning.
10 Free Gardening Products
One of the pleasurable spin-offs in organic gardening is finding alternative ways of coming up with the same, if not better, end result.....
This is a project I've had on the back burner for many months now, but now it's finally ready!
A Look at Fall Flower Bulbs
Most people would think of fall as a season when trees are changing colors and dying. For many, the autumn leaves are our last dance with color before the dark, gray winter sets in. It doesn't have to be that way, though. Fall flowers can offer a splash of rebirth and color in a season otherwise known for falling leaves.
The Hosta ? A Shade Loving Perennial
My first introductions to Hostas were four small green and white clumps edging a small section of my mother- in- laws driveway.
The Protea Family (Proteaceae)
The protea family (Proteaceae) includes a wide range of ground covers, trees and shrubs that often make superb garden plants. While some of the species are frost-tender, they are in all other respects remarkably resilient plants that often thrive in situations where others would rapidly succumb. Poor soils and hot dry positions that scarcely seem capable of supporting life are often ideal for Proteaceae. If any plants could be said to thrive on neglect the proteas can.
How To Check If Cut Flowers Are Fresh
Fresh flowers should feel crisp or firm. Before you buy, run your hand under the flower heads from stem to petal tip. Proceed gently under the petals so as not to bruise them.
Rose Meanings Explained
Roses are the traditional gift given on Valentines Day, but they're well-received any time of year. The color and type of rose does carry a meaning, though. Be aware of what you're giving: the color of a rose can have a very different meaning from what you intend. If you're giving roses as a gift, follow this guide to make sure you send the message you want to send:
|home | site map|