Everything you need to know about growing an herb garden indoors – Press Telegram

If you are a lover of herbs and want to grow them in your home, “Herbal Houseplants: Grow Beautiful Herbs Indoors!” (Cool Springs Press, 2021) is really without this It’s a book you can’t do. By the way, technically speaking, the difference between herbs and spices is that the herbs are cultivated for the leaves, whether fresh or dry, and the spices are dried and generally ground seeds, bark, flowers, or Is to be cultivated for the roots.

Light is the main limiting factor when growing herbs indoors, as it requires 5-6 hours of bright light each day. Attenuated, thorny shoots mean that the light is not bright enough. According to the author Susanbets, “Unobstructed windows facing the south, west, or east are a great place to grow an indoor herb garden .. .. When the plants are placed just a few feet away from the windows, the light Intensity is reduced by up to 50%. ”Even in the absence of natural light, you can grow herbs by adopting“ simple full-spectrum glow light with high level of light output ”.

There are some herbs that grow well in the absence of indirect sunlight, of which the mint family is the best. Here, Betts praises the virtues of Mentha requienii. It rarely reaches 1 inch in height and grows into a low mat with small leaves. “I never get tired of this plant,” Betts spouts. “Lightly stroking the leaves gives off an uplifting and captivating mint scent.” Orange mint, chocolate mint and pineapple mint are other favorite mint selections. Betts gives detailed instructions for preparing mint skin toner from lemon balm (Melissa Officinalis) using peppermint leaves and mint bubble bath.

If you are a lover of herbs and want to grow them in your home, “Herbal Houseplants: Grow Beautiful Herbs Indoors!” Is a must-have book. (Amy Kimball / Courtesy: Photo by Cold Springs Press)

Betts quotes Alfred Austin as saying, “Gardening is impossible without humility, a keen learning motivation, and a cheerful willingness to confess that you were wrong.” I really think this is the key to success with common plants, especially indoor plants. People tend to give up after one or two mistakes rather than learning from their mistakes and moving forward. Betts’ definition of the green thumb is also important when assessing aptitude for growing plants. “The green thumb is not only a good understanding of plants and their requirements, but also the time, tendency and determination to consistently meet those requirements,” she writes. The decision to learn what a container plant needs is absolutely essential, as container plants are completely powerless without us and can decline fairly quickly if their needs are not met.

Betts does not recommend using plastic or glass-enclosed ceramic containers to grow herbs indoors. These containers are advertised to keep the soil moist for longer than in clay pots. Still, she writes: “A clay pot is a good choice for growing herbs indoors. Water slowly evaporates from the sides of the pot, increasing air exchange between the soil and the roots, allowing the potted soil to“ breathe ”. .. This means that plants have difficulty holding wet feet (roots), which can hinder (or exacerbate) their growth! In addition, moisture evaporation from the porous side of the clay vessel is an easy way to increase the humidity and moisture in the air around the plant. “

Betts recommends spraying herbs once or twice a week to stop pests that find hot, dry air to their liking. In this regard, it is advisable to group indoor plants of any description, as the loss of water from the leaves during transpiration will humidify the air and benefit the entire group. When it comes to soil for growing herbs indoors, Betts recommends a formulation consisting of 3 parts of potting compost, 1 part of coarse sand, 1 part of compost and 1 part of perlite.

The entire chapter is dedicated to the scented leaf geranium, of which there are more than 100, all of which are called the hometowns of Southern Africa. Fertilize them with a product of 15-15-15 (ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) during the growing season, and if the product is deficient in magnesium as a micronutrient, one glass of sulfate per gallon of water per month Add magnesium. Easy to do from cuttings. Some cuttings rooted in the pot make a fragrant gift. Salad dressing recipes containing geranium leaves with lemon scent, apple scent, rose scent and mint scent are provided. Lemon geranium mousse and pomegranate-strawberry geranium sorbet recipes are also featured. (Geraniums are safe to eat, but you should always check to see if your plants are safe to eat before trying them out.)

“Herbal Ornamental Plants” provides information on the history of each herb being discussed, herbal preservation, herbal topiary making from stem cuttings, herbal tea making, and “quick and easy potpourri” blending. .. In the pest control section, Betts recommends the following prescriptions for aphid, mold and spider mite control, and for overall plant health. Mix 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a 24 ounce spray bottle. Hydrogen peroxide oxygenates and aerates the soil, so you may want to occasionally soak the soil with this formulation, even if pests are not an issue. (Note: Hydrogen peroxide has long been used as a soil conditioner in the garden to increase the availability of oxygen to the roots and for soil aeration purposes.)

I received some response to Recent column on the Palo Verde tree, Including:

I’m a riverside longfellow kindergarten teacher. About three years ago, I applied for a grant to beautify my kindergarten quad. For my small plot, I chose drought-resistant plants such as Palo Verde and Lantana. Bees and humming! Custodian Chris Ricker plants all the trees and grows some vegetables in other plots. — Yesenia Messiah Hudson

I have both Parkinsonia praecox (green Palo Verde) and Parkinsonia florida (blue Palo Verde) in a forest of 40 trees. Blue is by far the most decorative of the two. — Richard Rolex, Apple Valley

The column that introduces the benefits of Palo Verde does not address the issue of its roots. Next to our new artificial turf, a Palo Verde tree was inadvertently planted by our landscape architect. In less than three years, it was 15 feet high. The gardener then pointed out the speed bumps rising on the lawn radiating from the trees. I had the tree removed, but the lawn became dangerous (I’ve stumbled on it many times). I believe you should add a warning to boost your Paean to Palo Verde. – Lloyd Dent, North Ridge

I have never encountered the nasty surface roots of the Palo Verde tree and assume that the water trapped under the artificial turf is the reason for the growth in this case. Desert trees, such as Palo Verde, are usually deep-rooted and grow surface roots only when the topsoil is abundant in water. I would like to hear from others who may have experienced similar problems.

And Tomato theme:

Small green caterpillars eat all the green leaves of tomatoes, leaving only the veins. We have a tool shed full of sprays, some of which say they are not edible. Suggestion? – Donald and Carol Joe Wells, Long Beach

Products containing BT (Bacillus thuringiensis) are effective in killing these caterpillars and are edible and safe to use. Infecting and killing caterpillars by BT is an example of biological control. This is the practice of using one organism to prey on another.

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