ReVisit Your Local Farmers Market

It’s not too late in the season to bring back those childhood memories. You all remember, you might still notice those colorful road side displays even today: “Farmers Market-Held Today ” or the “U-Pick” road side signs that beckon the traveler to come in and try their hand at finding the best produce in the field or market. A child hood experience long forgotten…but has been brought back from the past in the local weekly Farmers Market…. It still awakens a desire in most of us to “get back to the basics, our roots.”

My best experiences growing up were when my folks would pile all of us kids into the back of the station wagon and drive the back roads… searching for that next “colorful road-sign” to beckon us in. When found, we would then reap our rewards by filling buckets full of strawberries, blueberries or blackberries. To this day, my family still reminisces about those adventures.

The next week was spent in the kitchen, preserving all of our tasty finds…stuffing our mouths and bellies full of those sweet delicious berries or anticipating the enjoyment to follow through out the coming months. There was still enough leftover to be given away as holiday gifts. A long day forgotten memory in today’s world, but treasured in our hearts forever.

In these economic times, most local communities hold those ‘memories of days gone by” in their weekly Farmers Market, typically on Saturday mornings. More and more people are becoming aware of obtaining a more self-sufficient lifestyle- especially in the area of gardening. We have seen a boom in local Farmers’ markets. The USDA reports a 28 percent increase in Farmers’ markets between 2007 through 2009. That is because there is a growing concern about where our food comes from and how it is grown! People are coming back to the basics. You will also find that the prices at your local area Farmers Market have been drastically reduced since times past. Today, sweet corn goes for $2/doz. Five years ago, you could only purchase 6 ears for that price. Prices are coming down…especially in the area of produce.

I have always found a feeling of excitement at my local Farmers’ market. Typically a local band is playing music all amongst the exchange of pleasantries with the local farmers. It always gives a feeling of celebration! The festivities sometimes allow you to find an “expert or two” in some form of gardening advice offering a lecture on growing herbs, perhaps a food demonstration or a particular class on food preservation. A Farmers Market is a great leaning experience….But most importantly, you know you are purchasing fresh produce if you purchase produce that is locally grown and helping out your local community as well. Produce is also loaded with tons of vitamins, minerals, and fiber making it much easier to get your recommended daily dose of fruits and vegetables.

If you are not able to grow your own garden vegetables, herbs, and fruits…why not check out your local farmers Market for this much sought after commodity. You will find that the prices are much less expensive than in the commercial supermarkets. Besides: It is American Made— better yet—locally made! Since the product is naturally grown, they contain less preservatives…which means more overall health for your entire family. Be sure to check out your local area newspaper for listings within your community to surround yourself with nature’s plentiful bounty.

Learn more about backyard and container gardening Here!

Store Garden Produce for the Winter Months Ahead Here!

Kali S Winters is a gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her teaching others how to set up and maintain beautiful amazing gardens. Check out all of Kali’s e-books Here!

Plantain Herbs-A Medicinal Panacea

If you took a walk outside and looked down at the cracks in the driveway or sidewalks, you will find plantain herbs. Plantain can also be found naturally in lawns and gardens as well as out in the wild.

Some have dubbed plantain as a “common and noxious weed” while others proclaim it as a “miracle herb”. You would recognize the plantain by its broad leaves (sometimes referred to as “Broadleaf Plantain”) growing from its plants bottom. The leaves are ovate or egg-shaped and are found to be ribbed and jagged. The flowered stems grow up to a height of 4-10 inches with long, slender barbs of dense purple-greenish flowers. The flower contains up to 30 seeds and multiplies and disfigures lawns rapidly. It is a rough and tough perennial plant very much like the dandelion. Please take note that plantain – the starchy, banana-like fruit, is completely different and not related to the plantain “herb/weed” discussed here! See pictures of plantain here!

Plantain 2 Plantain 5 Plantain 4

Plantain Uses:

Plantain herbs have a long history of use dating way back to the 14th century. It has been coined a medicinal panacea, for plantain herbs have been known to be a “cure all” for typically every ailment. The American Indian gave plantain the name “Life Medicine” for its variety of uses. In the United States, the plant is nicknamed “Snake Grass Weed” due to its efficiency in cases of rattlesnake bites where the plantain roots juice is mixed with salt and applied locally to the wound. When any form of the leaf is applied to a bleeding surface, plantain is safe and effective for it quickly stops the blood flow and will repair tissue damage. Plantain has an astringent property that has been used for inflammation of the skin, malignant ulcers, boils, burns, insect bits, sunburns and has been used as a general pain reliever. Plantain is known to be an effective medication for an enlarged prostate, colic and is a remedy for respiratory disorders like colds, sore throats and tonsillitis. It has been known to treat bruises and broken bones.

Among the many other plantain uses, this herb is very popular as a body purifier and cleanses the body of all toxic elements. Plantain will open obstructions in the liver and spleen. It has been used as an alternative medicine for asthma, emphysema, bladder infections, bronchitis, fever, hay fever, hypertension, rheumatism and diabetes. It has been said to be effective with epilepsy, dropsy and jaundice. Additionally, plantain treats ear infections. When the juice is dropped into the ears (3-6 drops twice a day), it will ease the pain and will restore hearing loss. And get this smokers; plantain causes a natural aversion to nicotine in tobacco. It is now being used in “stop smoking products”.

Plantain roots, seeds and leaves can all be used internally and externally. They can be used as teas, washes, poultices, infused oil, lotion, cream, salves, decoctions, juice, tincture, ointment, gargle and syrup. Plantain has never been associated with any common side effects and is thought to be safe for infants and children as well. There is no information available regarding its use by pregnant or nursing mothers, although topical applications appear to be safe. The American Herbal Retailers Association has classified plantain as “able to be safely consumed when used appropriately”. However, there have been rare reported incidences by allergy sufferers having flare-ups when exposed to the plantain pollen. As with any medication, use in appropriate, moderated applications and always pay attention to your bodies needs.

Plantain Nutrition:

If the above were not enough, plantain is also an edible herb. Plantain is very high in beta-carotene, vitamin A and C (ascorbic acid), vitamin K, calcium, potassium and fiber. You will want to harvest the young, tender leaves in the spring and toss them into your salads, or steam and use plantain as a spinach alternative. The leaves have a tendency to get tough quickly, so be sure to harvest only the youngest leaves. The flowers bloom all summer long and the stalks can be eaten raw or cooked. When you harvest the seeds, you will find a nutty flavor. They can be heated and dried then added to a variety of foods or ground into flour. (The seeds tend to have a mild laxative effect, almost like psyllium, which is used in commercialized “Metamucil” so you will probably want to use it sparingly.) The fresh leaves, seeds and roots can all be brewed to make herbal tea. You can dry every part of the plantain herb for later medicinal or culinary purposes. Note: Never harvest any plants along roadways due to exhaust residue or sprayed pesticides. Remember to always harvest or purchase your herbs from a reliable source.


Plantain Infusion– for internal and external use: The process of seeping the leaves, roots and/or flowers in already boiled water for a long period of time. To make Tea: This recipe all has to do with your own personal tastes. Some people like tea strong…others like it weak, according to their own personal palate. (Of course there is always honey, lemon or another sweetener available) To start experimenting with brewing your own plantain infusion, start out with 1 tablespoon of freshly; mashed/ground leaves (you can mash the herbs in a food processor) (1/2 tsp. dried) per 1-cup boiled water. You can also use a mixture of flowers and roots along with this. Remember to place it all in a tea ball or cheesecloth so you will not have the residue floating in your cup. If you have found your seeped tea to be too weak, drink it like water anyway to soothe the throat, lungs, bowels and any other internal organs along the passage way. If you are a smoker, add a bit of honey or other sweetener and drink it to stifle the nicotine cravings throughout the day. Regardless, drink this tea accordenly. Remember, this herb is a medicinal panacea!

If you have found your brewed tea to be too strong…do not throw it out. Use it as a wash by applying the tea to a cotton ball or absorbent cloth then squeeze a few drops into the ears for wax buildup and for better hearing. Better yet, place the tea absorbed cotton ball on the eyes to soothe them after a long, stressful day. This method will cure pink eye or any other eye ailment within days. If you have an open wound, rash, insect bite, sunburn or any other scar tissue present, apply the cotton ball to the effected area externally and continuously until there are no other traces of the ailment found. There have been reports of plantain fading stretch marks and scars.

Infused oil: To start experimenting: fill a pint sized container with freshly crushed plantain leaves (if you are using dried leaves-only fill the jar half full) then pour any type of vegetable oil over the top to fill the jar-leaving enough room to shake the contents. Let the jar sit in the sun and heat for at least 2 weeks. After the allotted time you will find the concoction to be a beautiful dark green color. (It gets better and more potent with age, but to an extent) Strain the mixture and then apply the oil to soften facial tissue. Use it nightly to ease wrinkles, age spots etc. You can use plantain oil on babies/young children’s skin instead of commercialized lotions or creams, (Plantain is 10% of the ingredients found in commercialized Vaseline Jelly or Vaseline Intensive care products.) to cure diaper rash, cradle cap, and diaper yeast infections.

Poultice: A pasty substance. Applied externally. After you have infused the plantain herbs and have strained the residue, you can then use the strained residue as a poultice, a paste like substance, to be applied as a more localized version of the infused form. Infusions get to the blood stream internally. A poultice is external and takes time to be absorbed through the skin tissue locally. Both have their benefits according to the treatment necessary. Apply a poultice to insect sting bites, sun and windburns or broken bones.

This is probably the best time to mention the purist form of plantain herbs: the act of chewing. In an emergency, when a person has been stung by a bee, wasp or rattlesnake, or perhaps is allergic to any of the above, you will need to insert the leaves (in more extreme cases, the flower and root as well) into your mouth and chew the substance, letting your saliva intervene with the mixture, then keep chewing to obtain a juice. You will then want to literally spit the substance upon the wound or infected area immediately. Keep applying the measure until the affected area is covered completely. Let rest, then apply additional plantain as needed when the “spit mixture” has been absorbed of moisture.

This is the most potent measure of Plantain available. Most people object to this measure because of its raw acrid taste…but it is the most potent and effective measure to administer to any infected ailment, especially in an emergency. If you have an infected, broken tooth or suffer from gingivitis, chewing a mixture of plantain parts in your mouth will cure the ailment.

Decoction: internal or external use. The process of boiling the plant material in water for 8-10 minutes. Then strain. For thrush, take 1 oz of the seeds and boil them in 1 ½ pint of water. Let the mixture boil down to 1 pint then let sit for about 20 minutes. Strain and cool. The syrup can then be mixed with sugar or honey and given to a child in tablespoon doses, 3-4 times per day. The syrup will also provide relief from coughs, congestion or sore and inflamed throats. Used as a juice, take 3 cups of fresh plantain leaves to one cup pure liquid honey. Crush the leaves in a food processor, drain then squeeze the juice using cheesecloth. Combine 1 cup of the juice with honey and simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes on low heat, stirring regularly. Let it cool then transfer to any container. Drink 1 spoonful of this nectar 3 times daily to fight fatigue, anemia or flu like symptoms.

By now you can see that plantain herbs are very useful for numerous applications. The plant’s leaves can be taken as a juice, tincture and syrup. An infusion prepared with the plantain’s seeds is also very useful in treating various disorders. Externally, the herb’s leaves may be applied as a poultice, ointment or cream, wash and gargle. And the list continues.

Learn how to add plantain herbs to your own Home Herb Garden Here!

Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

Wild Food Recipes Here!

Learn more about the Wild Dandelion and Cattails

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Cattail Plants-The Supermarket of the Swamp

You may have noticed the cattail plant along the roadways near marshes and swamps. But, did you know that cattails are probably one of the most important wild plant foods around and definitely worth knowing about?

The uses of cattail are versatile, for every part has its purpose during different parts of the year. You can easily recognize a cattail plant. None of the look-alikes grows much more than a few feet tall, so by mid-spring, the much larger cattail becomes unmistakable. It’s easy to harvest, very tasty and provides a rich source of nutrients. A stand of cattails is as close as you will get to finding a wild supermarket for it has been dubbed: “the supermarket of the swamp” due to its variety of uses.

Cattail Shoots-The Edible Cattail!

In spring, as the cattail flower spike is developing, it can be tore off and eaten like corn on the cob. The cattail shoot has an odorless, tender, white, inner core that tastes sweet and mild. They taste like a cross between a tender zucchini and a cucumber, making it perfect to add to salads or sandwiches. If you add the cattail shoots to soup towards the end of cooking they will retain their crunchiness. They add a tasty flavor to stir-fries as well. The cattail shoot provides an excellent source of beta-carotene, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. It’s one of the best naturally wild vegetarian resources of protein, unsaturated fat, and it contain no calories. It also provides nutrient rich enzymes and minerals.

You can collect the cattail shoots after a period of dry weather. The ground may be a bit muddy so you will want to wait until the ground is more solid for better footing. Be sure to bring along a plastic baggie to collect the moist and sticky jelly. The jelly can be used on boils and burns later on. To increase your harvest, find a larger stand of cattails. The best yield is just before the flowers begin to develop. You will want to use both hands to separate the outer leaves from the core. After pulling the core out, peel and discard the outermost layer of leaves until you reach the edible part, which will be soft enough to pinch with your fingernail.

Cattail Leaves

In late spring when the bases of the cattail leaves are young and tender, they can be eaten raw or cooked. The raw form can be added to salads or sandwiches. The cooked form is similar to spinach but better tasting. The dried leaves can also be twisted into dolls and toy animals for children, very much like the cornhusk dolls found in the market today. Cattail leaves have been found on thatched roofs, woven into decorative baskets and rugs, and have even been used for supports for the backs of chairs.

Cattail Rhizomes

The underground lateral stems called rhizomes, can be harvested from late autumn to early spring. They are starchy, like potatoes, and are unchewable so the starch must be scraped off or sucked from the tough fibers. An alternative method of harvesting is to tear apart the rhizomes, wash and dry them, then pound the fibers to release the starch within. Then sift. The starch is very sweet and tasty, a great energy rich food source, and can be eaten raw or added as a thickening agent when cooking. The buds attached to the rhizomes, are also edible and make a tasty cooked vegetable. Get a taste of the wild food by hunting for cattail in your area.

Pollen Nutrition

Cattails are plants that have flowers with both male and female parts. The male flowers form a narrow spike at the tip of a vertical stock. The male usually withers once the pollen has been shed. The pollen can be collected and used as a flour supplement or thickener for gravy and soups. You can also eat the pollen raw, sprinkle it in yogurt; mix it up in fruit shakes, oatmeal, or salads. People have paid an outrageous amount of money to obtain the pollen from health food stores. The commercial form of the pollen is sold in capsules but does not contain the flavor, energy content, freshness, nutrition, and price value like that found in the wild. The pollen is a great protein and energy source.

During its short season, the pollen can be collected on calm summer days so that your bounty is not scattered in the wind. Take the flower heads and bend it down so you can place a large paper bag over the top. Then gently shake it. After letting the pollen settle and sifting out the debris, you can then use the pollen to add to whole grain flour for baking breads, muffins or pancakes.

Cattail Candle

After the pollen has been removed, the cattail is no longer edible. You can then dip the brown flower heads in wax and use the stem as a slowly burning candle. The smoke will drive away the insects.

Cattail Seeds

The large numbers of tiny female cattail flowers form dense cigar-like spikes on the stem just below the male spikes. When ripe, the heads disintegrate into a cottony fluff, leaving the seeds to blow in the wind. The female part must remain connected to the rest of the plant until the seeds have matured and dispersed. But beware, the plant’s airborne seeds have been known to irritate the skin and can trigger asthma.

Cattail Down

Cattails were a major staple for the American Indian. There was no need to cultivate the cattail, for the Indians found it in such great supply. They used the “down” to line moccasins, for bedding, diapers and baby powder. One Native American word for cattails meant “fruit for papoose’s bed.” The Indians also used cattails medicinally. They boiled the rootstock and used it as a diuretic for increase urination or used the jelly-like paste found between the young leaves for sores, boils, wounds, burns, scabs and inflammations. It was a major ingredient for smallpox pustules.

People today use the cattail down to stuff pillows and clothing items. Word of caution: when using the down of cattails-always use batting material to completely cover the down. The fluffy down may cause skin irritation.

Discovering cattails are always a sure sign of water. Their microorganisms have been known to improve water and soil quality. Scientist are now experimenting with the cattail to remove the poisonous elements of arsenic from drinking water. This form of filtration system may be one of the only ways to provide cheap water filtration for developing nations. How incredible is that!

Learn some great Wild Food Recipes Here!

Learn about Dandelion Herbs!

Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

Dandelion Herbs

I could not pass up telling you about the amazing secret life of the natural dandelion.

A Weed!

Before you start killing dandelions on your dandelion lawn, did you know that the dandelion benefits include a highly prized herb?

This lowly plant, disdained by nearly all homeowners and landscapers alike, is probably one of the most versatile healing herbs you could ever possibly find. It has been described as “a plant for which we once knew the use for but we have forgotten”.

Dandelion Herb

Dandelion Health Benefits:
Dandelions are a rich source of vitamin A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as potassium, zinc, and fair amounts of iron and manganese, which contain a higher mineral content than similar leafy greens such as spinach. One cup of dandelion leaves amounts to 112% of the daily-recommended dose of vitamin A, 32% of vitamin C, 535% of vitamin K and 218 mg potassium, 103 mg calcium, and 1.7 mg of iron. Wow!

When ingested, dandelions are also an excellent source of vitamin H, which aids in weight loss reduction. The leaves and roots of the dandelion, or the whole plant, are used fresh or dried in dandelion teas, capsules, or extracts.

Dandelion supplements are available in a variety of Natural Health Food stores. But why go for dandelion supplements when you can pluck them right from your own very yard!

Dandelion Medicinal Uses:
Dandelion mead (the flowers, roots and leaves), have been used for centuries in traditional medicine & medicinal teas. In traditional medicine, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver detoxification.

The Native Americans were known to have used a dandelion decoction (liquid made by boiling down the herb in water ~Dandelion Tea) to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and stomach upset. They also used the natural dandelion as a diuretic and for inflammation reduction.

Chinese medical practitioners have used the dandelion tool to treat digestive disorders, appendicitis, and breast problems (such as inflammation or lack of milk flow). In Europe, herbalists incorporated it into dandelion remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

Today, dandelion roots are mainly used as an appetite stimulant, digestive aid, and for liver and gallbladder function.

The fresh root or its preparations are thought to be more potent than the dried root itself. Additionally, dandelion leaves are believed to have a diuretic effect as they increase salt and water to stimulate the excretion of urine from the kidneys. There is also evidence that this property of dandelion leaves may normalize blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Dandelion Nutrition:
Wait, that’s not all, because the natural dandelion flower is also edible. You can use the flower and leaves in salads and there are dandelion tea benefits as well.

The roasted, ground roots can be used as a caffeine-free dandelion coffee. The flower, additionally, makes a terrific jelly. And who hasn’t heard of Dandelion wine? The flower petals, along with other natural ingredients, have been used for century’s to make dandelion wine. What great stuff! And of course, so natural! Dandelion Recipes Here!

Dandelion Side Effects:
The uses of dandelion are generally considered safe. However, there have been rare incidences of upset stomach and diarrhea, and some people are allergic to the plant. People with an inflamed or infected gallbladder, or blocked bile ducts, should avoid using the natural dandelion in any form what so ever. Please experiment with a small dosage at first before ingesting and consult a herbal practitioner if any symptoms should arise.

Dandelion Art:

If this has interested you so far, forget about dandelion supplements. The next time your child plucks a batch of dandelions to present to you as their prize, why not teach them the dandelion herbs benefit, by sharing a refreshing cup of dandelion tea instead of letting the dandelions wilt in a vase upon the dining room table. “OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES” to quote an old expression.

View Dandelion Videos ~ Dandelion Tea, Using Dandelion Roots, Dandelion Coffee, Dandelion Wine, Dandelion Medicinal Purposes, Benefits of Dandelion Greens

Successful Gardening!

Kali S Winters is an author and herbalist who teaches others how to set up and maintain beautiful amazing gardens. Kali has written numerous books on herb gardening and holistic healing. Check out all 18 bonus books Here!

Here are some great Natural Dandelion Recipes including Dandelion Wine and Dandelion Coffee.

Dandelion Wine Making Supplies



Poultice Recipe

To create a healing poultice after harvesting and drying herbs from your garden, place any of the following over a pot of rapidly boiling water: a steamer, heatproof colander, a strainer or even a sieve. Then add up to 2 ounces — or ¼ cup of your herb into the container, not the water itself. Reduce the heat under the water so it just simmers. Cover the pot.

Allow the steam to penetrate through the herbs until they have wilted. This should occur within five (5) minutes. Next, spread the softened, warm herbs on cheesecloth, folding one layer of the cloth over the herb itself. Apply this directly to the affected area of the body. To help retain the heat longer, cover the poultice with a towel or even a woolen cloth.

The poultice can remain in place for at least twenty minutes. In fact, you can even leave it on overnight. But it absolutely must be covered.

If you prefer to make your pulped poultice from your fresh herb garden, place the herbs between two layers of cheesecloth thats twice the size of the affected area. Take a rolling pin – or other equally heavy round object — and finely crush the herbs. You’ll know that the herbs are sufficiently crushed when the cloth feels damp from the moisture of the herbs themselves.

If you have a food processor, you may want to place the herbs in that. If you go this route, then mix a small amount of hot water with them. Otherwise you will need to crush the herbs manually as indicated above.

After the herbs have been processed or crushed, place them on cheesecloth to retain the ” juices ” and to help hold the herbs in place. A poultice like this may also remain on the affected area overnight, if necessary.

The key to a poultices effectiveness is that you can only use this particular batch of herbs only once. Don’t try to store a used poultice and use it again. Toss it out and start all over again the following day or even several hours later.

Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

Learn which herbs to use in your poultice and what ailments a poultice alleviates by obtaining my e-book, “Holistic Herbs~A Guide to Herbal Gardening.”

Discover more about Home Herbal Remedies as well as Recipes for Making Herbal Teas!

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Fresh & Easy Herb Gardens

Home herb gardens have become quite popular these days, and for good reason. People are becoming more and more aware of the health benifit herbs provide as well as their practial value, purpose served, and the continued use of the herb itself. When most people think of growing garden herbs, the first thought that comes to mind is an herbs culinary purpose, but herbs are so much greater than that single purpose. Herbs are known for their pleasant aroma and beauty and their Medicinal uses as well.

One of the most popular and common herbs grown in a home herb garden is basil. “Dark Opal”, as it’s formally known, and regular green basil are beautiful additions to your backyard herb garden and often times is used as a decoration alone. Dark Opal is recognized by it’s light pink flowers and dark red leaves. Basil isn’t just an ornimental herb however, it is a great kitchen herb used to enhance tomato sauses and pastes. Additionally, Basil is an excellent mosiquito repellant when placed in containers around the backyard patio or deck.

Chives are another very popular herb. It is a very resiliant, petite looking herb that resembles a blade of grass. They are much stronger than they appear,and will grow well through any drought. Their toughness and sturdiness makes Chives a perfect addition for a home herb garden, especially if you don’t want a lot of fuss when gardening. Chives are great when used in salads, egg dishes, and many different sauces and appitizers.

Mint is also an herb that is easy to grow and is ideal for mint jelly, mint juleps, lemonade, and any other kind of fruity drink. Mint is a great addition to a home herb garden due to its unique minty smell. Two herbs that can not be excluded from anyone’s fresh herb garden are thyme and sage. Both of these herb gardening favorites are used for flavoring soups,chicken, turkey, pork, and other sausages. Sage is also grown sometimes for its beautiful blue spiked flowers.

Lavender is probably the best smelling herb of all. It’s wonderful, long lasting fragrance is often used in candles, as a perfume scent, and to improve the aroma in linen and cloths closets. The light purple flowers smell absolutely magnetic! It is also an awesome ortimental flower as well.

Other types of herbs often grown in fresh herb garden include borage (used in salads), chervil (used in egg dishes), sweet marjoram (flavors lamb, fish, salad, and soup), sesame (flavors crackers, cookies, and bread), and dill (flavors meats and used for pickling). Herb gardening allows gardeners to use herbs from their own backyard garden for Culinary, Medicinal and Ortimental delights! Herb gardening will produce much fresher herbs with more flavor than store-bought herbs, and are by far, a lot less inexpensive.

This is but a small excerpt from my latest e-Book: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening! There you will find 12 free bonus books for your reading enjoyment.

Want over 85 Great Herbal Tea Receipes?
Free Bonus Book Here!

Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

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Herbs are very useful in strengthening the body and in treating disease. However they contain active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. So, they should be taken on the advice of an herbal practitioner.

Super Kelp

Super kelp (also known as “Sea kelp ” and “Sea wrack ” ) is a sea herb that is one of the best sources of natural iodine and trace elements. It is also used as the principle agent in cures for obesity. In addition, it cleans out the kidneys and stimulates the thyroid and pituitary gland to produce growth hormones.


Garlic is a natural anti-biotic and is used to disinfect wounds, treat ear infections, cholera and typhus. This herb is anti-fungal and anti-oxidant agent and can help lower cholesterol. It may also be beneficial for risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and cancer. The excess of garlic can cause upset stomach/flatulence, occupational asthma, postoperative bleeding, bloating, bad breath, body odor, and skin irritation. People with bleeding disorders should not use garlic.


Parsley (Petroselinum) is one of the best known, diuretic and most nutritious herbs which contain large quantities of vitamins A, B, C and minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. It’s very useful for kidney and urinary problems and water retention. Its usefulness can be judged by the saying: “if parsley is thrown into fishponds it will heal the sick fishes therein ” .

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extracts are one of the nature’s most powerful anti-oxidants. It helps prevent both heart disease and cancer by helping prevent vascular blood clotting and reducing cholesterol. It possesses antimicrobial properties that support immune-system health and protects against digestive and respiratory infections. The excess of green tea extracts may cause irritability, insomnia, heart palpitation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and loss of appetite.

Horse Chestnut

Horse chestnut supports the vessels of our circulatory system and helps strengthen capillary cells and reduce fluid breakage. It is believed to be an excellent antioxidant to prevent wrinkles. It also helps in the treatments of phlebitis, varicosity and hemorrhoids.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle has some active substances that helps maintain healthy liver function by protecting the liver from damage caused by viruses, toxins and alcohol. It is a herbal remedy for anthrax, asthma, bladder stones, cancer, catarrh, chest ailments, dropsy, fever, bleeding from the lungs or bronchia, hepatitis, rabies, jaundice, vaginal discharge, malaria, melancholy, piles, plague, pleurisy, spasms, and spleen and uterus problems. Taking excess of milk thistle may cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, rash or other skin reactions, joint pain, impotence, and anaphylaxis. It should not be taken in pregnancy and while nursing.

Oregano Oil

This herb has healing, antioxidant and anti-microbial properties. It is used to treat a mildly upset stomach, bronchitis, nervous tension, insect bites, rheumatism, earache, toothaches and even athletes foot. It is also useful in relieve bloating, gas, urinary tract problems, rheumatoid arthritis, swollen glands, and lack of perspiration. In addition, it is as powerful as ‘morphine’ as a pain killer.

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Check out her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening”. There you will find 12 free bonus e-books for your reading enjoyment.

Learn more about Herbal Teas?
Free Bonus Book Here!

Successful Gardening!

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Different Types of Herbal Medicine-

Starting An Herb Garden

If you’re not the type of person who wants to spend their time managing an elaborate fruit or vegetable garden, you might consider planting and maintaining an outside herb garden. While the product itself might not seem as significant now, you’ll still enjoy the constant availability of fresh, delicious herbs to flavor your meals with. First you’ll want to choose the actual herbs for growing. You might have a difficult time doing this because of the huge scope of holistic herbs available. But the best way to choose is to do what I did; just take a look at the kitchen herbs you are already using. By planting your own fresh herb garden, you will save money compared to buying them in the grocery store; all the while having the added herbs benefits of freshness. Some of the herbs you might want to start with include rosemary, garlic, sage, basil, dill, mint, chives, and parsley among others.

When choosing a location to place your home herb garden, you should remember that the soil should have a sufficient amount of drainage. If the dirt constantly gets watered and stays completely saturated, you will never have a chance of ever growing a healthy plant. One of the best ways to fix the drainage problem is to dig a foot deep in the soil, and put a layer of crushed rocks down before replacing all the soil. This will allow all that water to escape, thus saving your plants.

When you are ready to begin planting herbs, you might be tempted to buy the more expensive plants from the store. However, with herbs it is much easier to grow them from an herbs seed rather than it is with other plants. Besides, you will save a bundle of money by sticking with seed packets. Some herbs grow at a dangerously fast rate. For example, if you plant mint in an open space then it will take over your entire garden in a matter of days. The best way to prevent this problem is to plant the more aggressive herbs in pots (with holes in the bottom to allow drainage, of course).

When it comes time to harvest the herbs you have labored so hard over, it can be fatal to your plant to harvest too much at one time. If your plant isn’t well established, it won’t be healthy enough to take any leaves at all, even if it looks like its not using them. You should wait until your plant has become well established for at least several months before taking off any leaves. This wait will definitely be worth it, because by growing unattended your plant will produce healthier herbs for years to come.

Once you’ve harvested your delicious home grown herbs, you’ll want to use them in cooking. Why else would you have grown them? Well the process first begins with drying them out. This is easily achieved by placing them on a screen for a good airing. Turn them often so they dry evenly. After they’re sufficiently dried to be used in cooking, you can consult the nearest cookbook for instructions on using them to effectively flavor any meal.

If you want to store your herbs for later usage, you should keep them in a glass container. Preferably brown so as not to let the light in. Paper or cardboard will not work, because it will absorb the taste of the herbs. During the first few days of storage, you should regularly check the container to see if any moisture has accumulated. If it has, you must remove all the herbs and re-dry them. Put layers of salt between the rows of herbs for faster absorption. If moisture is left from the first drying process, it will encourage mildew after you have stored your herbs. Nobody likes mildew.

So if you enjoy herbs or gardening, or both, then you should definitely consider setting up your own herb garden. It might require a little bit of work at first with setting it up for proper drainage and by picking which herbs you intend to grow. But after the initial preparation, it’s just a matter of watching them grow, then harvesting and drying all your favorite herbs for later use.

Check out my latest e-Book: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening!

Want to Learn How to Start a Vegetable Garden? How about Tomato Growing?
2 Free Bonus Books Here!

Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

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Organic Gardening the Natural No Dig Way

An Australian named Esther Deans first developed the idea of the No-Dig Gardens method. It was originally developed both as a labor saving idea and a backyard organicgardening method to rejuvenate badly depleted soil in a vegetable garden.

The process involves starting with layers of newspaper and by adding lucerne hay, straw and compost in succeeding layers; you can create a plant-growing medium without having to resort to heavy digging. No-Dig Gardens develop into rich growing nutrients, which will simplify weeding and encourage your much-desired plants to grow. The layers of the organic scraps compost together, and greatly encourage garden earthworms. This is an excellent idea for new homeowners that have acquired a “grassy forest” in their new backyard.

These organic gardening techniques are maintained by adding compost layers of newspapers, manure, organic scraps etc., and should not be dug up, as this will undo the natural good work. I have used this approach in creating my own no dig vegetablegarden, and it certainly does work.

The principle of no dig gardens has sound foundations. Over cultivating the soil, especially when very wet or very dry, will damage the structure of the soil, and lead to hard compacted soil. Such excessive cultivation can also discourage the garden earthworms habitat, and they are the best free labor a gardener will ever have.

Some followers of permaculture principals and organic gardening techniques have translated the no-dig gardens method into a never-dig method, which I believe that they are sadly mistaken. If you start with a base soil that is badly compacted, then no-dig gardens will initially work well, however you may find your garden does not continue to perform well in the long run. The fertile compost layer you have built up will encourage the earthworm’s reproduction, but we do know that the worms eventually will need shelter from excessive hot, dry, cold or wet conditions. They have been found to seek shelter from extreme conditions by burrowing more deeply into the soil, sometime many feet down. If they cannot shelter in this way, it is my contention that they will die out or move out.

My belief is that an initial cultivation (tilling) of the soil before you apply the no-dig gardens system will guarantee a better environment for an earthworm’s habitat, and then produce a much better home garden soil for growing your plants, over the longer term.

By all means give the no-dig approach a try – especially for you new homeowners – you will be surprisingly pleased with the result.

Successful Gardening!

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here!

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When & How To Prune Rose Bushes

If not properly pruned, rose bushes can develop into a large tangled mess and produce small, inferior blooms. If you would like to grow an attractive, well shaped, sizable rose bush that produces large lovely blooms, then follow the rose gardening tips outlined below.

Pruning your rose bushes at the right time of year can be just as important as how you prune. Rose bushes go dormant during the colder months and should not be pruned until they come out of this stage. This could be as early as January in warmer climates or as late as April in colder regions. In colder climates, it is best not to prune until all traces of frost has disappeared.

Another important aspect to consider when rose bush trimming is the proper use of hand garden tools. A good set of pruning shears as well as good quality leather garden gloves, is a definite must have. The shears must be sharp, otherwise you will risk tearing your stems instead of just cutting them. A well lubricated, fine toothed, sharp, cutting saw is ideal to use on the older, much larger stems.

You never want to cut your stems straight across. Always cut at an angle between 40 to 65 degrees. Additionally, make sure that the shear’s cutting blade is on the underneath side of the stem in order to produce a clean cut. Always cut upward. This way, any injury to the plant will be on the upper part of the stem. Try to make all cuts at about one quarter inch from a strong outside bud union or eye, the eye is where the new growth stems form.

It is also a good idea to have some type of sealer or pruning paint to seal the larger cuts. Just apply the pruning sealer to the cut ends immediately after shearing. This will aid in the healing process and it will also help keep the insects out as well as eliminating any possiblity of disease.

Take special care in the amount that you prune at any given time. This will all depend upon what you are trying to accomplish and on how well established the plant is. Moderate pruning, leaving 5 or more stems of up to 24 inches in length, will produce a large bush with nice, moderately sized, blooms. Light pruning, stems 3 to 4 feet in length, will produce an even larger bush but with smaller blooms on shorter stems. Light pruning is good for new or weaker plants. Heavy pruning, 3 to 4 stems from 6 to 12 inches in length will produce the largest, showiest blooms, however if the plant is too new or weak you may end up reducing the plants life span. It is best to wait until the rose bush has matured when applying the heavy pruning method.

When pruning roots, remove all suckers. Suckers are shoots that grow from the root stock. This is different from the grafted bush. Suckers may eventually take over the plant completely and kill the bush, so it is very important that they be removed.You can recognize a sucker when you see that it is coming from below the bud union and by the different leaf form and color. Always pull the sucker off rather than cutting it as cutting will stimulate growth again. Pulling if off causes the wound to form a callous.

Additionally when plant pruning, cut out all weak, spindly and deformed stems, and if possible cut out branches growing toward the center of the bush. If stems cross each other, remove the weaker one. Proper shaping and pruning makes for a lovelier bush and allows proper air circulation which will produce a much healthier plant.

This is but a small excerpt from one of 12 of my bonus books which you will get free when you order my ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. Learn more about Herbs!

Successful Gardening!
Kali S Winters

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Culinary Herb Gardens

Anyone who has ever done any type of baking or cooking knows that the food just tastes better with seasoning. This can be as simple as adding salt and pepper, or as complicated as using a blend of spices for the perfect taste. What is surprising to some people is pepper is actually an herb.

Pepper is a berry from the Piper Nigrum plant. Black and white pepper are made from the same plant. The un-ripened berries are used for the black pepper while the red, ripe ones are used for the white pepper.

Along with the natural organic herb, pepper, many other herbs are used to create culinary masterpieces. Nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon are common varieties of herbs grown in many kitchen herb gardens. Sage, oregano and basil are three more popular culinary herbs.

As more and more plants were discovered for their pungent flavor, people started making extraordinary dishes. What would a roast beef sandwich be without horseradish? Try making a good breakfast sausage when there isn’t sage garden herbs around. Herb bread would just be plain old bread if it were not for the flavorful little buggers.

One of the most beneficial attributes to growing kitchen herbs is that herbs have no calories, have no fatty acids, no cholesterol, and generally no bad ingredients at all. They just have a unique taste that wakes the taste buds in all of us.

When using herbs for cooking, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way. Too much can actually distract you from the natural flavor of the food. The entire concept of using herbs is to highlight the natural flavors. Too much can overpower the food and result in a tossed meal.

Did you know that there is even an herb that adds the sweetness of sugar without all the calories? This is an herb known as STEVIA. Although this herb cannot be sold as a sweetener for foods, it can be used in place of sugar. One leaf has enough sweetener in it to sweeten a glass of lemonade. Imagine a hot summer day when the only thing that can cool you off is a frosty glass of ice cold tea! You can brew the tea from your backyard herb garden, pour it over the ice, add a leaf off the stevia plant and one off the lemon balm plant, and you have a wonderful sweetened glass of ice cold lemon tea! You can even use this herb in sauces, salad dressings or even your salsa instead of sugar to cut down on the calories.

Many of the meat marinades on the market get their flavoring from natural organic herbs. You can use dill with lemon balm on fish. Saffron in your rice is always a delight. Putting rosemary on a pork roast or lamb results in a mouth-watering treat. With so many different herbs on this planet, there is something for every dish you could possibly create.

Having herbs in the kitchen is a wonderful experience for the novice cook to the master chef. With the right blend of herbs, you too can make meat rubs, soup and stew bases, or how about trying a new flavor for your morning coffee or tea.

Successful Gardening!

This is but a small excerpt from my new ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. If you would like to learn more about Holistic Herbs, Landscape and Garden design, Click Here to pick up your copy today! I’ve also included 12 free bonus books as well. Learn how to Harvest and Dry Herbs Here!

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Creative Water Gardens

A Landscape Masterpiece

A backyard garden pond is the kind of structure that can turn your average backyard into a landscape masterpiece. Water garden ponds often times are considered to be the centerpiece of a yard. As the variety of inexpensive water garden kits increase in the market, water garden features are becoming more popular to the public. Water garden ponds were only a luxury in the past for only those who could afford them. However, with the current landscape water features available today and with the efforts of home owners, building perfect landscaping water features has become a luxury for all.

Unfortunately, the rush of home owners to integrate ponds into their home landscaping, several DIY’ers have made mistakes. Building a backyard garden pond is not as easy as the market has made it out to be. There are several important factors to take into account before and during water garden construction. The following are some guidelines on how to build perfect landscaping water features the smart way. Remembering these key points will help in reducing those mistakes that DIY’ers usually make.

Tips and Tricks

First, let your backyard decide. The first question that comes to mind is where to place the pond? In most cases, home owners just find an open spot in their yard and immediately start working. The result? They still have their plain old backyard but now with a pond. Home owners have to integrate the pond into their existing landscape. Otherwise, the backyard water pond will fail to compliment the overall design and feel of the property. In situations like these, the presence of a pond can actually diminish the beauty of a homes landscape.

When considering water garden construction, take the time to pick out a design and suitable spot that will flatter the over all water garden design of your yard. Don’t just simply grab that shovel in and dig on the first spot you can find. Do a little research and if you still feel that your own judgment and creative water gardens design is not enough, ask some friends or family members to help you out. Remember two heads are better than one.

Second, consider the elements of your backyard. If you are considering breeding fish, you may want to rethink placing your pond in a shaded area. Warmth is an important element in maintaining the fish population. If the pond is placed near a tree, you may find yourself in a position where you are constantly cleaning leaves off the pond. The environmental surroundings of your backyard will have a great impact on the appearance and maintenance of the pond.

Last of all, size does matter. You need to make sure that the size of the pond will meet your goals. Some homeowners will build a small pond and place a variety of live aquatic plants and animals in it only to find out that the pond cannot satisfy the necessities of the plants and fish. Another thing to consider carefully is the depth of the pond. This is especially true for landscaping water features in colder climates and the ponds that contain fish. If the pond is built too shallow, it could freeze completely. Proper depth should always be considered when talking about size.

Building landscaping water features in your backyard can definitely make it more attractive. It is a great way to make outdoor living more colorful and enjoyable. If built correctly, it can add a certain luster to the beauty of a property and can ultimately raise the market value of the property. However, if done poorly, your backyard garden pond could become more stressful and ultimately present an incredible nightmare.

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here! There you will find one of 12 free bonus books on Building a Backyard Pond….with instructions and pictures to help!

Successful Gardening!

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Tweaking Your Backyard Garden Pond

A backyard garden pond is not just for rich individuals. Nowadays, even the simplest homeowner can make their own backyard garden pond as luxurious as the any wealthy estate. Once you get your backyard garden pond set up, it will provide both fun and enjoyment. It also provides a dwelling place for the fish, wildlife, live aquatic plants and flowers. It is a relaxing hobby that not only provides relaxation but appreciation of Mother Nature as well.

Plan Ahead

Building your own backyard garden pond may not be extremely difficult, but thorough planning should be considered during water garden construction. The hardest part in building water garden ponds is digging the hole. It all depends on what type of soil your region has. This determines how easy or how strenuous the digging part would be. The size and shape of the pond depends on your preferences. It can be a small, preformed water pond or one that needs a fish pond liner that can hold up to seven thousand gallons of water.


Consider the location of your pond. Where would it be best seen? Picture yourself sitting outside. What location grabs your eye the most? Consider these important elements. Is the water source situated nearby? Is your pond’s location a flat area? Is an electrical supply available? Keep in mind that these are just some of the questions that need to be answered.


Building a backyard garden pond of any size requires a complete set of tools. In water garden construction, one must need a water pump, a UV filter, a pond filter, and some pond plants among others. Additional must haves are the following: a fish pond liner of appropriate size, an air diffuser, pond lights, a skimmer, the aquatic animals, and fish food.


Another thing to consider in water garden construction is the cost. Initially, constructing and maintaining the pond could be quite expensive, that is with out a doubt. But there are now cheaper do it yourself backyard ponds kits available in the market. Once it is finished, the enjoyment it brings is well worth it. Another plus for the backyard garden pond is that it turns an oh-so-boring piece of land into a place of beauty. It works best if you have the proper landscape to go with your pond. Make your pond the centerpiece of your back yard. However, because of too many do-it-yourself homeowners, they usually make mistakes. Following these guidelines may help you avoid the pitfalls of do it yourself backyard pond disasters.

Initially, it is important to incorporate your pond into the current landscape of your backyard. This works best for amateur landscapers who just want to get right down to work. Do not let your pond detract the beauty of your yard. Make it fit so that your pond will not feel out of place.

To Sum It Up

Integrate your water garden design into your landscape. Do not make it lavish if you have a very simple backyard. Take time to choose the design that will flatter the overall landscape. Secondly, think of the essential requirements of a pond. Do not place your pond in complete shade since this will hamper the amount of sunlight your pond gets. Aquatic animals and plants need ample amount of the warmth of the sun. Finally, size does matter. Plan the size of your pond. Do not house too many fish in a small pond. Experiment with a variety of live aquatic plants. A backyard water garden will provide luster and relaxation to your yard as well as increase your property’s value. Make your backyard more attractive and enjoyable by adding a backyard garden pond.

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here! There you will find one of 12 free bonus books on Building a Backyard Pond….with instructions and pictures to help!

Successful Gardening!

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Starting a Fruit Tree Orchard

If you have a large amount of land that you have not put to use, you may want to consider planting a fruit tree orchard. If you’ve had previous experiences with planting fruit trees, that is just an added reason why you would be perfect for planting fruit trees. It might seem like an overwhelming thing to undertake, but it is actually fairly simple. All it takes is some commitment.

If you’ve never grown fruit trees on your property, you may not want to take the time or put out the money with buying lots of orchard trees to start. If you are inexperienced, you will want to begin with just one or two fruit trees so that you can get a feel for the growing process. Once you have seen one tree along all the way to adulthood successfully, you are probably experienced enough to handle multiple orchard trees. You should never plant so many trees that you are going to be overwhelmed, though. Only plant what you can handle.

Generally if you are getting started on a large fruit tree nursery, you will want them to all be the same type. If they all require the same amount of water and nutrients, you won’t have to spend as much time catering individually to the different types of orchard trees. As an added benefit, you will become very familiar with the process of growing that specific fruit tree. You won’t be overwhelmed by having many different types, but instead you will become a master of that specific orchard trees type.

If you have already stared planting fruit trees in the past on your property that you have maintained from their childhood, then you know that the soil is acceptable for that type of orchard trees and ones similar to it. Since you’ve already been through the process of growing that type of tree fruit before, you shouldn’t have any problem testing all of the soil to make sure it is similar to the segment you already planted on. Then it is just a matter of growing more trees and causing the process to be the same as it was before. Since you’ve already dealt with the same problems in the past, you probably have a good idea of how to deal with any pests that might come about during growth.

Generally in a fruit tree orchard, the trees are planted in a row, then pruned to be in a two dimensional shape. This is known as either a fan or an espalier shape. There is one main branch in the center that is completely vertical, then multiple branches that go off to the side. If the side branches are horizontal it is known as an espalier. If they are sloped, it is known as a fan. Generally these 2 shapes are used in a fruit tree orchard because of how compact they are. By using them, you allow for many more trees to be grown in the certain amount of space. However, if land conservation is not an issue or you’re not looking to be efficient, you should probably stick with the traditional tree shape.

To aid in the watering of your trees, you should install either a sprinkler system or an irrigation system. The sprinklers require more maintenance, but if you dig an irrigation ditch then it is really easy to just run the faucet for a few minutes every day and reach all the trees. It’s just a matter of what you would prefer.

Once your fruit tree nursery starts to bear large amounts of fruit, you should consider starting a fruit stand or participating at the farmers market. Instead of letting the fruits go to waste or trying to eat them all (which can lead to some bad stomach aches), you can let the rest of the world enjoy the product of your intense labor. If you become a popular vendor, you might even make back a decent return on your investment. However, you can’t count on making very much money. Starting a fruit tree orchard shouldn’t be a capitalistic investment. You should only start one if you have a passion for trees.

Kali Winters is a gardening enthusiast and author who spends
much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain
beautiful, amazing Gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A
Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here!

Successful Gardening!

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Tree Shaping for Different Situations

Through the use of tree shaping techniques, it is possible to shape your tree to a certain style. There are seven main tree shapes and all of them have their own benefits for certain situations. During the growth of the tree, simply cut off the unneeded branches, tie the wanted branches into the proper shape, and you will be able to shape it however you want. However, for some of the more advanced shapes, equally advanced pruning techniques are required. There are many books written on this subject.

Usually, if you’re training trees to get to a certain shape, all the tying and pruning should occur in the fall. This will encourage the shape to stick, since no fruits will be produced at that point in time. Each of the different shapes is very useful in certain situations. So, here are some different types of shapes you are able to choose from.

Standard trees hardly need any explanation. These are the varieties that are most common, and probably what you picture when you think of any tree. No specific shaping is required to get the shape to take this type of form. Just let it go and prune it as you would normally, and unless you have a strangely deformed tree then it should end up being a standard tree.

It is possible to turn a standard tree into a bush tree through pruning. The branches take the same shape, but the stem or trunk of the tree is noticeably shorter. This can be beneficial if you want to grow trees, but don’t want to block the view. For example, my house has a great view of the Rocky Mountains. I didn’t want to sacrifice this gorgeous view, so I grew my trees up as bush trees.

Cordons are a type of tree that you might not be familiar with. It consists of one stem with no branches. It is planted at an angle so that it arches up over the ground. Through the course of its growth, all branches are removed. These are beneficial because they take up very small amounts of space and more can be fit in a certain square footage. The only negative aspect is that they produce smaller amounts of fruit per tree.

Espalier trees grow with a single vertical stem in the center, and several horizontal branches on each side. These allow for long rows of trees, while still producing large amounts of fruit. If you operate a fruit tree orchard, you probably use this shape to fit as many trees as possible into the area you have.

Fan trees use the same theory as espalier trees. However, the shape is slightly different. The same central vertical stem is used, but the connected branches are not horizontal; they grow in the same pattern as a standard tree, only they are two dimensional rather than three dimensional. They are also used to save space, and are used instead of espalier trees for certain types of fruit trees that do better with sloped branches.

Another type of espalier is the step-over espalier. They are like a normal espalier, but with just one horizontal branch very close to the ground. They are particularly interesting because they still produce delicious fruit while providing a border for whatever you want. I have used step-over trees to fence of my garden. They are definitely my favorite shape of tree, mainly because they are like a fence that bears fruit. What’s not to love?

As you can see, each of these shapes has its own benefits and negative aspects as well. If any of these sounds like they would be a good fit for your garden, you can ask your local nursery employee for advice on reading material that will help you achieve your goals. Most of the time, getting the training tree into the desired shape is a very easy process and just requires some guidance at the beginning.

Kali Winters is a gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here! Learn more about Home Herbal Remedies

Successful Gardening!

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Removing Trees

Sometimes a tree gets to the point where it is necessary to say goodbye. Sometimes the choice of removing a tree can be a painful decision to make, but sometimes removing a tree proves valuable when it gets too close to the house, becomes diseased, gets an incurable infestation by a pest, or grows too tall and gets close to a power line. If any of these tree removal situations occur, its best to do the right thing and set yourself up for the task of removing a tree.

Although you might have spent hours and hours getting the tree to where it is today, it is almost dishonorable to the tree to allow it to suffer in bad conditions.

Once you have made the choice of removing a tree, you need to then concentrate on a plan for its removal. I can’t begin to count how many windows I’ve seen knocked out or cars I’ve seen crushed because of poor planning in the tree removal process. Decide what direction you want it to fall, and accurately measure to make sure it will fall completely clear of anything else that it could possibly cause damage to.

Once you have the falling direction planned out, you should climb up the tree and tie two long ropes near the top. Anchor them on the opposite side of the one that you want it to fall towards. This will allow you to adjust the direction the tree is being lowered to, just in case it starts leaning towards anything it could destroy.

Now that you’ve taken all the necessary precautions, you are ready to begin chopping and the actual removing of the tree itself. If you plan on using a manually operated saw or axe, please step back and consider how insane that is. Chopping down a tree by hand will take you forever. It is a cheap tree removal method but you will not even begin to be as accurate as using a chainsaw. If you don’t have a chainsaw, you shouldn’t even consider doing it without one. Ask around with your neighbors and see if anyone has one that you could borrow. If that doesn’t work, rent or buy one from your local home improvement store.

Before you start chopping away at the tree, you should wear proper eye and face protection in case any wood chips fly towards your eyes. I had a friend who blinded his right eye while cutting down a tree, so I hope all of my readers do not make the same mistake as he did. Whenever you operate a power tool, always be sure to wear proper protection for any exposed parts of your body.

When making the cut, you do not want to just cut a straight line into the tree. It is best to cut a sideways “V” into the tree. This is because if you cut the straight line, the tree will end up rolling to one side or the other. If you cut in a “V”, the tree will be able to fall in the exact direction that you want it to fall. Occasionally it might be a few feet off due to human error during the cutting process, but if you have some strong friends pull on the ropes you tied, you can line it right back up with the path you wanted it to take. The entire process shouldn’t take more than an hour.

Removing tree stumps can be slightly more difficult. You have several choices; you can rent out a stump remover that will completely destroy the visible section of the stump. Or you can spend countless hours digging it out. Removing tree stumps by digging out the stump is much more thorough, but takes forever. If you have kids this shouldn’t be a problem. Kids often find the thought of digging fun, and are excited to go outside and dig all day long with their friends. This was the method I used, and I had the entire tree trunk removal done within a week. Keep in mind that my stump removal was about 1 foot in diameter, and digging probably won’t work for tree stumps much larger than that.

Kali Winters is a gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here! Learn more about Herbal Advantages

Successful Gardening!

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How To Start a Garden in Your Backyard

In periods of financial difficulty, vegetable garden planting becomes a viable option that achieves two things: it helps the family reduce expenses related to buying food, and it offers the opportunity to sell the surplus to friends and neighbors. Starting a vegetable garden is not particularly difficult, as long as you put enough time, thought and effort into it.

The first decision you have to make is the location of the vegetable garden itself. You must place it in an area where it will be exposed to at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. The location must also be accessible to the water source. It must be near enough for short trips if you are carrying heavy pails of water, or it must be close enough to a hose connection either inside or outside your home.

Also, check if the area has soil conducive for growing plants. It must have good drainage, and must be free of silt, stones, and other hard objects. Last, the location of your vegetable garden must be somewhere accessible, so that you can frequently check for pests and weeds when you walk by.

Included in your vegetable garden layout should be the type of plants and how many of each you intend to grow. This will help determine the size of the plot you will actually need. Afterwards, make a list of all the plants you want to grow. This decision cannot be completely random, especially since the yield of the garden will be what you consume as a family. Make sure to plant vegetables that your family would love to eat, or vegetables that you often use for cooking. This way, you are ensured of a direct benefit from your vegetable garden planting.

Make a plan for the arrangement of the vegetable plants in the garden as well. Remember, you must think about rotating vegetable crops. The first consideration is the frequency of yield. Perennial plants, or those that yield vegetables constantly throughout the season, must be placed at the back where they will be undisturbed by whatever gardening activities you have set for the rest of the garden. Put the crops that produce early together. These crops include radishes, spinach, carrots, beets, and the like. Make some space for replanting successively. Once these crops have seen their yield, you can then rotate your crops and plant the vegetables that are able to produce late into the season.

The last consideration for your vegetable garden layout is the reality that there are plants that cannot grow beside other plants. They are known as companion vegetables. For instance, there are plants that enhance the growth of others when planted together; there are those that inhibit the growth of others as well. It is important to take into consideration which crops inhibit the growth of others. For instance, potatoes are capable of inhibiting the growth of both squash and tomato plants. Broccoli inhibits tomato growth. Beans, on the other hand, inhibit the growth of onions. Carrots also inhibit the growth of dill plants. This does not stop you from planting all these plants in the garden. This only serves as a reminder of which plants you should separate from the others when making your vegetable garden plans.

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here! There you will find one of 12 free bonus books on Starting a Vegetable Garden….with instructions and pictures to help!  Find out more about Herbs!

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Vegetable Garden Layout

Your vegetable garden layout will depend upon what vegetables you intend to grow, the planting space available and if you would like to opt for companion planting. Here are some helpful tips on how to layout your own garden and start planting vegetables.

Sit Down and Plan

Before choosing a layout you need to decide on what type of vegetables you would like to grow and where you would like to plant them. Here are some other factors you need to consider for your vegetable garden layout:

* Garden Space * Amount of Light in the Space * Drainage System * Soil Amendments * Type of Vegetable * Additional Space (if needed)

You should also think about whether you want to grow one type of vegetable like lettuce and tomatoes or if you want one type of vegetable with different varieties, such as romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce. Research the amount of light and space each vegetable requires for optimal growth.

Make a list of vegetables you want to plant and find out the plants requirements, then compare it with the garden space you have available. This should give you an indication of where you are able to plant each particular vegetable in your allotted space.

Choose your Garden Layout

There are three basic vegetable garden layouts: rows, beds and the “potager” style.

The more traditional layout style consists of planting seeds in a row. This type of arraignment would either mean planting one type of seed in a row or different seeds in a row. Regardless, the style is in a row formation.

A similar layout and a more popular approach is the raised vegetable garden beds. This bed type is similar to the rows style but on a smaller scale. The layout allows access to the plant beds from all sides. The beds are raised off the ground with some being as high as 3 feet. This is particularly convenient to avoid stepping on the beds which tends to pack down the soil, making it difficult to dig and aerate in the spring or fall. Plant beds are great ways to maximize a garden space and you can even use raised beds for easier gardening.

The most decorative style of layout is called the “potager” which means kitchen garden in French. This layout is described as geometric which allows you to layout your garden in circles or arrange plants by color or even food type. Gardens like these often contain vegetables, flowers and herbs planted together.

Companion Vegetable Planting

The idea behind companion planting involves planting different kinds of plants together so that they help each other grow. A perfect example of this is planting beans, corn and squash together which were commonly done by Native Americans. While the corn gives the beans a place to climb, the beans gives its three companions nutrients in the soil and the squash serves as a shade to the roots of the plants beside it. This not only prevents weeds from growing, it also saves up on water.

Other great companion vegetables are onions, which scares slugs and aphids away, tomatoes, which grow well with carrots and basil, which improves the taste of tomatoes. Another example is horseradish and potatoes which when planted together give your potatoes protection from disease.

Companion vegetable planting is certainly worth considering when vegetable garden planting. My new book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners guide to Herbal Gardening,” has a complete vegetable companion chart. You will get the chart for free along with 12 other bonus books when you order my book Here!

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Water Garden Construction

Aesthetic Appeal

A backyard garden pond offers an aesthetic addition to your landscape. Water garden construction projects such as these will offer tranquility and relaxation to the whole family as well. However, building, constructing, and taking care of ponds are not as easy as you may think.

A lot of effort, planning, and money must go into water garden ponds. It is important that you think things through before deciding on constructing and installing your very own creative water gardens.

A backyard water garden is not as simple as installing it and letting it go afterwards. It is a consistent and constant endeavor, much like a hobby. Maintenance should be done periodically.

There are backyard ponds kits, water garden kits, as well as fish ponds kits available on the market. However, by following some of these guidelines, you will be able to construct and install a do-it- yourself backyard garden pond.

First Tip: Utilize a plastic fish pond liner for your pond.

In separating the garden fish pond from the surrounding soil, it is better to use a plastic fish pond liner (PVC liners work best). It prevents the escape of the live aquatic plants, fishes, and other pond contents from the garden fish pond. Along those same lines, it also prevents the entry of nutrients from the soil or other non pond materials. This will make maintenance and cleaning easier since you will only have to deal with the mess and dirt of the backyard pond itself and the fish that live there.

In building the pond of your preferred size, fish pond liners are the option to choose. Usually, they are utilized for large ponds that do not have pre-formed sizes available.

However, it is imperative that you choose the right size of the pond liner. Pond lines or fish pond liners are used for any size of pond. The usual sizes available are 10’ x 15’ to 20’ x 25’ or sometimes larger. This will allow you to build creative water gardens to your preferred size either by using them individually or by connecting together two or more pond liners with an adhesive especially made for this material.

A cement pond liner or molded fish ponds will also do, however, these options are more expensive and may require extra labor in construction.

Second Tip: Avoid low lying areas.

Water garden construction in an area of your yard where runoff water from your lawn flows is a huge no-no. The runoff water will only accumulate in your fish pond, causing it to overflow and become dirty as well. This is one of the common mistakes of do-it-yourself backyard water pond projects. Maintaining a fish pond or backyard water garden is difficult enough without excess dirty water coming from your lawn.

On the contrary, installing the pond in an area a little above the ground or in high parts of the lawn will prove to be easier and wiser to maintain.

Third Tip: Provide sufficient sunlight.

This means that placing the pond in shady areas will not enhance the growth of the live aquatic plants. On the other hand, placing it in an area where too much sun shines will just cause them to die. Place your pond where there is enough sunlight to filter through. Most live aquatic plants need sunlight to grow, but some do not. Research on what plants suit your weather the best.

Fourth Tip: Water your plants.

Adding a variety of live aquatic plants may decrease the excess nutrients in the pond. They will also hamper algae growth that makes the pond murky and dirty.

Consulting your local pond professional is also an option. Not only will they provide advice to make your project work, they may also make maintaining your backyard garden pond easier and more pleasant to do.

Kali Winters is a gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here! There you will find one of 12 free bonus books on Building a Backyard Pond….with instructions and pictures to help!

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A Backyard Water Garden

A backyard water garden was once thought to be owned only by the wealthy elite. Today, a backyard garden pond can be built by even the simplest of homeowners. Water gardens liven backyard living spaces up and make a great conversational piece for guests and visitors. Water garden ponds will not only provide a beautiful and visually appealing backyard but create a relaxing one as well.

From cozy and small, to rich and lush, a backyard water garden can range from extravagant natural water gardens to simple container water gardens. Just a little background about building a back yard pond and the right materials is enough to build your very own creative water gardens.

Step One: Decide where your pond will be situated.

Look for an area in your yard where there are very little trees. Falling leaves and debris can make maintenance an everyday occurrence. Place your pond in an area where the warmth of the sun will reach it daily as well. Fish and live aquatic plants need the sun to grow and survive. However, too much of the sun’s heat can cause some plants, especially lilies, to die. Creating a balance is a necessity.

You will also want to place your pond in a high area of your yard. This will prevent runoff water from accumulating and overflowing your backyard garden pond which will create murkiness and additional maintenance.

Step Two: Lay out the area of your pond.

To form the size of your water ponds designs, trace the perimeter of the pond using a bendable material such as a garden hose. Form the garden hose to your desired design then mark the area using spray paint or household flour, which is biodegradable.

Step Three: Use a pond liner.

Fish pond liners are used to prevent water from the pond, fish, plants, and the other pond contents from escaping the pond itself. In the same way, it also prevents non-pond materials from entering and causing dirt or excess nutrients in the pond. Pond liners range from pre-formed liners to PVC liners. Using cement or molded fish ponds are also applicable, however, they are a bit more costly.

Pre-formed liners are usually utilized by small ponds. They can be bought at pond supply outlets and can be easily installed after digging the ponds layout. However, if you want creative water gardens, PVC liners would work the best. They are basically used for complex or large backyard ponds. Other types of liners are available as well, so it is always best to ask for advice from your local pond expert.

Step Four: Dig your pond.

Dig your pond according to your water garden design. A general rule of thumb is twenty four to thirty six inches. If your backyard garden pond will house fish, thirty six to forty eight inches in depth would be desirable. Diligently and carefully place rocks on the edges of the pond liner and fill in any empty spaces with gravel. Then camouflage the rest of the exposed liner with stones, pebbles, or plants.

Step Five: Assemble the equipment.

Make sure that the water filter, pump and lighting are functioning properly before placing them in their desired location. Connect them to the electrical supply and place them in the locations according to your design. Do not forget to make a proper drainage system for your pond as well.

Step Six: Just add water.

Now is the time to fill the pond with water. Clean out the area first and then add clean fresh water to your pond. You will want to observe if there any places your liner is leaking. Place the plants in their rightful spots and let the plants settle for at least a week before adding the fish. Add your fish one at a time so that the natural bacteria of the pond starts to form. Never overstock your pond with fish or you will probably loose them all. Remember, always consider the size of your backyard water garden to your fish. Make sure they are compatible.

And now, sit back and relax. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here! There you will find one of 12 free bonus books on Building a Backyard Pond….with instructions and pictures to help!

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Basic Tools For Gardening

Nearly every gardener has some type of lawn and garden tool, it’s nearly impossible to have a garden without them. The type of lawn and garden tool you use will obviously depend on the size and extent of your garden, what you are able to handle, if you want to spend a lot of time in your garden or get done quickly, and finally, how much money you are willing to spend.

While many gardeners do not have expensive or high-tech gardening tools, all of them have some type of gardening equipment for cultivating. Tools for cultivating can include both hand held tools and power tools. The type you buy depends upon how serious of a gardener you are. Gardening hand tool include your everyday items such as shovels, spading forks, rakes, trowels, and diggers. They can all be used to get a garden ready for planting and are relatively easy without too much emphasis upon strength for operation. Other tools include a wheel cultivator, pickax, and mattock.

While gardening power tools are a little more expensive than hand tools, they really cut down on the hard labor. The most essential piece of gardening equipment is undoubtedly the tiller. The tiller will break up the ground and get it ready for planting, chop up any debris, and help mix in fertilizer and compost. If you don’t want to spend the money on a tiller you can hire someone or rent a tiller for one time use. Other power tools that are very popular include chippers, garden shredders, and chain-saws.

If you have shrubs, hedges, or small trees in your yard, pruning tools are a vital piece of gardening equipment. Pruning shears are good for branches about ¾” in diameter, while lopping shears can handle branches from a half inch up to about 2 inches. Pole pruners are on a pole and can reach branches about 15 feet above ground. Hedge shears and pruning saws are both larger, more heavy duty pruning tools for the serious gardener.

Since your plants must be watered in order to survive, and lets face it, it doesn’t rain whenever we want it to, gardening equipment for watering is a must have. The one thing you can’t get along without is a water hose, everything after that is optional. Many gardeners use sprinklers or s drip irrigation hose. There are even timers you can purchase for sprinklers or drip hoses, if you are willing to drop the extra cash.

Gardening without gardening equipment would be a nightmare. Sure there are some people who enjoy getting a little dirty while they plant their flowers, but even those types of people have the most basic of gardening tools, like a rake or a hoe. Gardening equipment is a part of gardening, as important as the dirt and the seeds.

Kali Winters is a gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here! There you will find 12 free bonus books available for immediate download!

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Design Japanese Garden

Japanese garden design is a cultural form of gardening that is meant to produce a scene that mimics nature as much as possible by using trees, shrubs, rocks, sand, artificial hills, ponds, and flowing water as art-forms. The Zen and Shinto traditions play a large part in creating Japanese gardens and because of this; the gardens produce a contemplative and reflective state of mind. Creating Japanese gardens is much different than the Western style and most would say it is far more meditational and soul soothing.

To design a Japanese backyard garden, you will need to know that there are three basic methods for scenery. The first of which is called reduced scale. Reduced scale is the art of taking an actual scene from nature, mountains, rivers, trees, and the like and reproducing it on a smaller scale.

Symbolization involves generalization and abstraction. An example of this would be using white sand to suggest the ocean. Borrowed views refers to artists that would use something like an ocean or forest as a background, but it would end up becoming an important element of the scenery.

There are essentially two art forms to design Japanese garden: tsukiyami, which is a hill garden and mainly composed of hills and ponds. The other is hiraniwa, which is basically the exact opposite of tsukiyami: a flat garden without any hills or ponds.

The basic elements used in Japanese garden landscaping include rocks, gravel, water, moss, stones, fences, and hedges. Rocks are most often used as centerpieces and bring a presence of spirituality to the garden. According to the Shinto tradition, rocks embody the spirits of nature. Gravel is used as a sort of defining surface and is used to imitate the flow of water when arranged properly. Stones are used to create a boundary and are sculpted into the form of lanterns. Water, whether it be in the form of a pond, stream, or waterfall, is an essential part of a Japanese garden design. It can be in the actual form of water or portrayed by gravel, but no matter what form of water it’s in, it is crucial to a Japanese gardens balance.

There are several signature forms and types of Japanese garden plants, the main one being Bonsai. Bonsai is the art of training everyday, average plants, such as Pine, Cypress, Holly, Cedar, Cherry, Maple, and Beech, to look like large, old trees just in miniature form. These trees range from five centimeters to one meter and are kept small by pruning, re-potting, pinching new growth, and wiring the branches.

Japanese garden design is a tradition that has crossed the poet, Muso Soseki, who stated “Gardens are a root of transformation”. A Japanese garden is sure to bring about many different feelings and is definitely a transforming experience.

Kali Winters is a gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here!

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Vegetable Garden Plans

Vegetable gardening has lately become just as popular as going to the grocery store for produce. Vegetable gardening can produce vegetables that are usually cheaper than store bought, and home grown vegetables definitely taste better by far. Vegetable gardening is no different than growing herbs or flowers and if the proper steps are taken and the plants are give the proper care they will flourish and produce very tasty vegetables.

First you must decide what size of garden you wish to plant and then select a location for it; somewhere that has good drainage, good air flow, and good, deep soil. Your garden will also need as much sunlight as possible. Because vegetable gardens have such tasty rewards, animals such as dogs, rabbits, deer, and many others will try and get to your veggies. One way to prevent this is by building a vegetable garden fence, or by putting out a trap to catch mice, moles, and other rodents.

Before planting, the soil must be properly prepared. Good soil for vegetable garden planting is achieved by cultivation along with the application of organic materials. The soil must be tilled (plowed) to control weeds and you must mix mulch into the soil. If you have a small garden, spading would be a better bet than plowing. Mulching is also a vital part of soil preparation.

Organic matter added to the soil releases nitrogen, minerals, and other nutrients plants need to thrive. The most popular and best type of mulch you can use is compost. While the kind and amount of fertilizer used depends on the soil and types of plants, there are some plants that have specific needs; leafy plants, like cabbage, spinach, and lettuce, usually grow better with more nitrogen, while root crops like potatoes, beets, turnips, and carrots require more potash. Tomatoes and beans use less fertilizer, while plants like onions, celery, and potatoes need a larger amount.

One thing that is vitally important in vegetable garden planting is the arrangement. There is no single vegetable garden plan that will work for every garden due to varying conditions. One popular way to arrange a vegetable garden is to plant vegetables needing only limited space together, such as radishes, lettuce, beets, and spinach, and those that require more room together, such as corn, pumpkins, and potatoes. Try to plant tall growing plants towards the back of the garden and shorter ones in the front so that you can make the most out of the available sunlight.

When you are finally ready to begin your vegetable garden planting, make sure to plant at the right time of the season. If you are dying to get an early start, you may want to begin your garden inside in a hotbed and then transplant when the weather permits. After you are finished planting, make sure your vegetables receive the appropriate amount of water, which depends on the type of plant. Most plants will need the equivalent to about an inch of water per week.

Weeds must be controlled in vegetable gardening because they will take away the water, light, and nutrients that are meant for the vegetables themselves. Weeds often bring disease and insects to the garden as well. You can get rid of weeds by cultivation or mulching. To protect against disease and insects you can buy seeds that are disease resistant or use controlled chemicals.

Vegetable gardening is many people’s favorite form of gardening because you can actually taste the fruits of your labor. Vegetable garden planting is not that expensive to start and the taste of home grown vegetables definitely beats that of supermarket veggies. Your vegetable gardening days will be full of produce if you take the proper precautions when planting and continued maintenance of your garden.

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here!

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Rose Gardening Tips

Roses have received a bad wrap over the years for being difficult to grow and maintain. If you are thinking of gardening roses don’t let this rumor stop you. While rose bush gardening can prove to be challenging, once you get the hang of it, it really isn’t that bad.

When you first start gardening roses, you will have to choose what type of rose you wish to plant, and no, I’m not talking about the color. You will have to choose between bare-root, pre-packaged, or container-grown roses. Bare-root roses are sold in the winter and early spring. They should be planted as soon as the frosts are over and the ground is warm and workable. Pre-packaged roses are bare-root plants that are sold in a bag or box with something around the roots to retain moisture, such as sawdust. Container-grown roses are grown; you guessed it, in containers. They will be either budding or already in bloom when they become available in the early spring.

Gardening roses is not that much different than any other type of plant. The most important thing, as always, is good, healthy soil and a prime planting area. It doesn’t matter whether your roses are bare-root or you’re planting container roses, the planting methods are the same as any other shrub. Make sure the spot you choose has good drainage, gets plenty of sunlight, and will not overcrowd your other roses.

Before planting, any dead leaves, thinned or decayed shoots need to be cut off. Any damaged or very long roots also need to be trimmed. Soak bare-root roses in water for about 10-12 hours to restore moisture before planting. Always water the soil before planting as well. Make sure the hole you have dug is large enough for the root growth of the rose. Also it is a good idea to use compost or mulch. After all, roses like extra nutrients just like any other plant.

Roses need the same things as other plants; they are just a bit more high maintenance. One of the most important things to remember in rose gardening is that roses are heavy feeders and will need several fertilizer applications. Fertilizing should be started in early spring and discontinued in early fall. Make sure not to over-fertilize (fertilize should come with instructions) and water after each feeding. Roses require large amounts of water; a thorough watering twice a week should be enough.

Pruning rose bushes is an essential part to flower gardening. It increases blooms and encourages healthy plant growth. Different varieties of roses have different instructions for pruning, so you might want to read up on your rose types and see what is suggested.

The main thing to remember in gardening roses is to water, water, and water some more. One other thing about gardening roses is the amount of fertilizer and nutrients you will need to use, and the pruning that needs to be done to keep your roses under control and healthy. Even though rose gardening takes a little more time and roses are more work, they are one of the most unique and beautiful plants, and definitely worth the extra work.

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here!

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Butterfly Flower Garden

When creating a butterfly flower garden, the possibilities of what to include in your butterfly garden design are endless. Below are some helpful suggestions to help you get started. They are designed to spark the creative process of your mind and get you started on your way to creating a lovely butterfly flower garden.

Before you even begin your butterfly flower garden, find out which species of butterflies are in your area. Consider taking an exploratory hike around your location with a butterfly identification book. This may take a little extra time and effort, but the results will be well worth it. After you have compiled your list of local butterfly species, be sure to write down in your butterfly garden plan what these particular species of butterflies use for nectar and food plants.

Make sure that your garden is in a location that provides at least six hours of sunlight per day. Butterflies are cold-blooded creatures and therefore do better where they can be kept warm and protected by shelter.

Wind can be a butterfly’s worst enemy so be sure to incorporate plenty of wind protection in your design. You can plant tall shrubs and other plants in order to create a wind break, but a location that avoids the heavy winds is more appropriate.

The best possible location of all would be a butterfly flower garden placed on the sunny side of your home with windbreaks on both the west and east sides, or wherever the prevailing winds may come from in your area. Try and locate your garden close to a window so you can watch the butterflies from indoors. Provide seating outside too to take in the view as well.

If possible, you could excavate an area and build a stone wall around it. This would create the ideal windbreak for your butterflies. Create gravel pathways around your garden to spare you from walking in the mud.

There are many creative ways for constructing a butterfly flower garden. Take your time to design a garden that you will enjoy and be proud of.

This is but a small excerpt from my new ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. If you would like to learn more about Holistic Herbs, Landscape and Garden design, Click Here! to pick up your copy today! I’ve also included 12 free bonus books as well.

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Indoor House Plant Care

Many people worry a lot when it comes to caring for their plants. When talking about indoor house plant care, there is no need to worry. There are just a few things you need to consider.

1. Overwatering House Plants
Overwatering kills most indoor house plants. Looks can be deceiving. To check if your plants soil is dry enough to water, try the finger test. Insert your index finger up to the first joint into the soil. If the soil is damp, don’t water it.

2. Feeding
Foliage house plants usually have high nitrogen requirements, while flowering house plants, K2O is needed. Slow release fertilizers can be mixed in your compost bucket. However, certain plants like cacti and orchids need special fertilizer. Fertilizer house plants need feeding during their most active growth period.

3. Indoor Plant Lighting
Plants like Sanseveria and Aspidistra are shade loving indoor plants that require no sun. They can be placed away from a window. Spider plants need semi-shade. You can put plants like these near a window that does or does not get sunlight. Check the label to see what your plant needs.

4. Indoor Plant Temperature
An indoor house plant can survive in cool or warm temperatures, but drastic fluctuations of temperature may not be good for them. One thing that most indoor house plants cannot survive is gas heating. If you have an indoor house plant that likes warm conditions, don’t put it near an air conditioner in the summer.

5. House Plant Humidity
Some houseplants require a humid environment. One tip to maximize humidity is to put the pot inside a larger pot and fill in the gaps with stones or compost to keep in the moisture. Grouping indoor container plants together often creates a microclimate that they will benefit from. If you want, you can spray them with water once or twice a day depending upon the temperature.

6. Transplanting House Plants
Repotting indoor plants for optimum growth is sometimes required however, sometimes your indoor house plant may resent having their roots disturbed. Their root system may be too small that they do not require re-potting. One way to check if your indoor house plant needs re-potting is to turn it upside down. Tap the pot to release the plant and check its roots. If roots are all that you see, then re-pot. Sometimes the roots will come out of the pot. You should either cut them off or transplant.

You just need to have a little care for your indoor house plants and in turn, you’ll reap the benefits. Indoor house plants not only add to the beauty of your décor, but they also give much pleasure to the indoor gardener.

This is but a small excerpt from my new ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. If you would like to learn more about Holistic Herbs, Landscape and Garden design, Click Here to grab your copy today! I’ve also included 12 free bonus books as well.

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Home Landscaping Design

Home landscaping design can usually be a fairly big task, consuming a lot of your time and energy. But before you go out and hire professional landscape services, here are some landscaping tips and ideas that could save you both time and money.

1. Spend some time thinking about exactly what you want your final home landscaping design to look like. A great place to start is to focus in on the area where you will spend most of your time. Do you want to include an area for entertaining? A barbeque? Is there going to be an area for children to play, a garden fish pond or a swimming pool? You need to take into account the style and function of your landscape as well. Also form an idea of the type of plants you will grow in your space.

2. Think twice before hiring a professional landscaper. An independent designer may cost you hundreds of dollars when you could just as well access free plans on the internet or at a nursery. There is also landscaping design software available at a fraction of the cost. However, if you have an awkward slope or a very steep grade to your lawn, professional landscape services may just give you the expertise to save yourself on costly mistakes.

3. The style of your home must be taken into consideration. If you have a rural cottage, a formal garden design will look out of place. You would want to lean towards the country style landscaping design. Think also about your lifestyle. Do you want to spend hours plant caring or flower pruning? If so, go ahead and plant them, but if you’d rather spend your free time at the beach, then go for an easy-care garden and landscape.

There are various home landscaping design styles you can choose from for your own garden:

a. Formal Landscape: This style uses a lot of straight lines and perfect geometrical shapes. Orderly arrangement of plants instead of random positioning is employed. Close arrangement and pruning is seen on many landscaped garden design of this style.

b. Informal Landscaping: This kind of landscaping works well with cosy cottages. This style is sometimes known as the country style landscaping design. Beds with curved edges instead of straight lines and random placement of plants suit this landscaping style.

c. English Garden Design: This style emphasizes the harmony between the homes architecture and the garden. Many times you might see an english garden bench tucked amongst the trees.

d. Formal/Informal Garden: This style often comes with a brick walkway that exudes formality. This walkway leads to the rear with a circle of plants. The arrangement of plants resembles the English garden design style but it has no formal borders.

e. Oriental Gardens: It is often the kind of garden found in small backyards. The most famous known is the Japanese backyard garden design. It uses rocks, evergreens and water. A wide variety of plants create several interesting angles with this landscaping style.

f. Woodland Landscaping: This landscaping suits a house that has a wooded backyard and sloping ground.

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening” is available Here!

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Hydroponics Home Garden

Hydroponics was derived from the Greek word hydro, which means “water” and ponos, which means “labor or water-working”. Hydroponics gardening involves growing plants with their roots in other nutrient solutions and without soil.

A hydroponics garden is as simple as ordinary gardening. Both of them require sufficient light, water, temperature and humidity. But with indoor hydroponics gardening, no soil is used. Instead a soil substitute holds the roots while nutrients are carried by the water. Indoor hydroponic gardening is not that hard and plants respond well to this type of method for growing.

The type of soil medium used is one of the major considerations in hydroponics gardening since it sustains the plants. You have to make sure that this soil mediums nutrient solution maintains a pH level of 5 to 6 after dilution. In a hydroponics home garden, the plants should be watered at least three times a day, if not more. This is usually accomplished by using a pump and timer. You can do this manually, but it will get quite old after awhile.

In hydroponics indoor gardening, the most suitable temperature will be between 71 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this temperature may change depending on the different types of plant you are working on, e.g. tropical plants.

Place your plants somewhere they will receive ample amount of sunlight. Otherwise artificial light must be used. High pressure Sodium lights or bulbs are a suitable substitute for natural light.

Humidity is good. When the room’s temperature rises, the air will be able to hold the sufficient amount of moisture your plants will need.

A hydroponics system can be fully automated. Since it is water-based, the gardener has no soil to dig or weeds to pull. Also, the water can be re-used to prevent wastage.

With hydroponics, an excellent yield of quality plants can be easily achieved. Home hydroponics systems and DIY kits are readily available in most hardware stores.

If you would like to learn more about the specifics of indoor hydroponic gardening, my good friend Narelle just came out with an awesome book and audio tapes here!

Kali Winters is gardening enthusiast and author who spends much of her time teaching others how to setup and maintain beautiful, amazing gardens. Her latest book, “Holistic Herbs-A Beginners Guide on Herbal Gardening” is available Here!

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Gloves for Gardening

Gardeners gloves protect your hands from blisters, thorns and cuts while doing rough work like digging or pruning in the garden. Investing in one or more pairs of quality gloves is a good decision and a great investment.

Here are some tips on how to choose the appropriate pair that will suit your needs the best:

1. Look for quality leather garden gloves with a back cloth; this will let the gloves breathe and keep your hands dry, cool and comfortable. Goatskin gardening gloves are one option. There are also deerskin garden gloves available as well.

2. If mud bothers or effects you, select rubber gloves with a cotton lining inside. The cotton keeps your hands warm while digging deep into the cool mud.

3. When spraying pesticides or chemicals choose gloves that are made from neoprene, a synthetic rubber. Gloves made from latex or any other type of plastic may not offer the best protection if the chemicals should happen to penetrate the glove and get onto your hands.

4. There are gardening gloves for roses available in the market as well. These extra long gardening gloves reach all the way up the arms which makes them perfect for pruning rose bushes.

5. If you usually operate large garden power tools, buy gloves in the color brown instead of red as the latter may dye your hands when your hands become wet or sweaty.

6. Light cotton or even fingerless gloves may be useful for transplanting seedlings. They will allow more dexterity and also help to prevent the tiny roots from being crushed.

7. And of course, make sure that the gloves you buy actually fit your hands. If you have small hands, try the children’s gardening section. There’s nothing worse than trying to garden in gloves that are too big.

Your gloves must be comfortable as well as give protection to best serve your gardening needs.

This is but a small excerpt from my new ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. If you would like to learn more about Holistic Herbs, Landscape and Garden design, Click Here! to grab your copy today!

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Basic Flower Garden Designs

Many times we buy plants on impulse then find there is nowhere in the garden that really suits them. Before buying plants carefully examine your garden to see how much sun and shade it gets, whether the soil is well drained or waterlogged and whether your aspect is sheltered or windswept. You’ll then be equipped to go and buy the best plants for your situation; a shade plant for the sheltered areas, sun-lovers for the warm spots, drought-resistant plants for the parched areas which may be either sunny or shaded, and swamp plants for the poorly-drained parts.

But wait! Test your soil first, to determine the pH level of your soil and what kind of nutrients you need to add, if any. Is the soil acid or alkaline? Most plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic, but there are some that must have alkaline soil to grow. You can alter the soil’s pH level, but it’s much easier to simply plant for the soil you have.

Now you are ready to plant. Well – almost. Will you plant in groups or plant solo? If you buy ‘one of everything’ your garden may seem rather spotty. Group plantings are organised, harmonious and you can vary the color for interest.

Before planting, place your chosen plants around the garden bed in their pots to see how they will look. Re-arrange them until you are satisfied. Grouping plants in sets of threes or fives usually looks better than planting in groups of even numbers. Be sure that you have an interesting combination of colors and textures of plants. Tall plants should go to the back, or the centre if your garden will be viewed equally from all sides. Try to keep your plants away from trees. The roots of trees are fiercely competitive and will steal all the nutrients and moisture meant for your flowers.

The right color scheme is one way to maintain the harmony in your garden. Imagine the color of the flowers when they are in bloom. Some colors may clash with others, but can still be planted side-by-side if they have a different blooming season. Foliage color is also important. Many flower plants have silver, grey or purplish foliage that is just as attractive as the flower. This means that they are still attractive well past the blooming season and so have added value.

This is but a small excerpt from my new ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. If you would like to learn more about Holistic Herbs, Landscape and Garden design, Click Here to pick up your copy today!

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Kali S. Winters

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Garlic Uses & Dieters Green Tea

Many in today’s society use alternative and holistic medicine to promote a healthier lifestyle. Despite the availability of modern medical treatment methods, many are still opting for natural herbal healing to avoid side-effects and to get as much savings as possible from the treatment itself.

In most cases, alternative natural medicine vary according to their formulation and functions. Most of the ones you see in the market today are carefully formulated as herbal weight loss remedies. Some come in the form of a natural diet supplement, to give the body enough energy to last the day, as well as to build up the immune system to ward of any signs of ailments.

Herbal Advantages

Alternative medicine remedies have been proven to be safe by many doctors and medical experts today. It is formulated with 100% natural ingredients that have no side-effects in the body unless taken in large doses outside the boundaries of the prescription. Since the ingredients are mostly from animal and plants extract, they are cheaper compared to the synthetic medicines developed by pharmaceutical companies today.

One of the advantages of using alternative medicine remedies is that it promotes natural holistic healing. The fabricating products manufactured today only affect a specific part of our body or they only address one specific type of health concern. Alternative natural medicine is formulated to boost every single function in the human anatomy.

If you see that one herbal diet supplement is for weight loss, then you can be sure it will have some extra ingredients that has other functions related to weight loss — like a hunger suppressant, added vitamins, and so on. To add to your knowledge about medical home remedies, here are some examples of the most common herbal supplements.

Garlic Uses–The Most Popular

The benefit of garlic is that it is one of the most widely used potent herb for medical home remedies today. It has the most number of uses compared to other plants. Aside from being a useful kitchen spice for a great recipe, garlic can also be used to keep your heart and liver healthy. Garlic remedies are great for the common cold and offers a tasty brew when used as drinks for health purposes.

Some of the Garlic health benefits is its ability to treat heart problems. Many people use garlic as herbal vitamin supplements to treat high-blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and reduces the risk of heart attacks. Garlic is also used as an anti-bacterial agent in herbal acne remedies as well. Over all, Garlic is an exceptional herbal nutritional supplement.

Green Tea Benefit

The Green Tea plant leaves you see in the market today can actually be used as potent herbal weight loss remedies, when used correctly. Drinking green herbal tea at least twice a day can help oxidize your fat to make it easier for your body to burn. Green tea is a great natural diet supplement for people who are suffering from overweight or obesity with high cholesterol levels.

Many say that Green Tea also has a calming effect that is perfect for those who are always under the mercy of stress. Its herbs extract has the ability to get rid of nasty toxins in our body that usually causes signs of aging to appear on our face or in other parts of the body. You can either drink green tea or purchase green tea tablets.

Alternative natural medicine is used to promote a healthier body. However, keep in mind that you have to be specific with what you want from your natural herbal healing before using them to avoid complications. Just make sure that your herbal nutritional supplement is from a credible medical or pharmaceutical company, as well as following the exact prescription or dosage to ensure that you won’t be having any problems with it during and after use.

This is but a small exerpt from my latest eBook: “Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide in Herbal Gardening”! If you’d like to learn more about the wonder of herbs, sign up for my free mini course to the right of the screen. Better yet, grab your copy of my ebook: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening

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Kali S Winters

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Herbal Advantages

Herbal alternative medicine is considered to be the best solution to address the growing number of health-related concerns today. Rather than making use of fabricating products commonly prescribed by their doctors, smart consumers today are looking towards natural herbal healing to address their health concerns without having to dish out hundreds of dollars for treatment, as well as a potential allergic reaction to the chemicals used in simulated products.

Before starting out on your journey towards natural holistic healing, it would be best to know the herbal advantages and disadvantages to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth in addressing your health-related concerns.

Advantage 1 – Natural Ingredients

Medical and pharmaceutical companies that bring you alternative and holistic medicine only make use of natural herbal health products. The process of extracting oil from plants is carefully formulated to ensure that every pill or tablet is filled with the essential nutrients to address your health concerns and improve your body’s natural recovery process.

If you check out the labels on natural herb remedies, you will see that they mostly contain an herbs extract. No product fabrication is needed to complete the medicine. There might be a few others that are integrated into the mix to improve its effectiveness, but government health agencies ensure that it will not get in the way of your treatment.

Advantage 2 – Cost-Effective vs Cost-Efficient

One of the advantages of natural herb remedies is their price. They are a lot cheaper compared to simulated products commonly prescribed by doctors today. In fact, low-budget consumers are opting for this solution to their health problems in order to get as much savings as they can get when addressing their health-related concerns.

The reason why alternative and holistic medicine is cheaper is attributed to the ingredients used in them. No expensive chemicals are used in the formulation of the medicine and the ingredients can be grown almost anywhere under the right conditions.

Advantage 3 – No Allergic Reactions

You don’t have to worry about what you eat when you take in herbal health remedies for your health problems. Since the ingredients are 100% natural, you don’t have to be careful about your meals causing allergic reactions that will compromise your health.

But it would be best to have a doctor look at the herbal health remedies you plan to use and undergo a serious of laboratory exams to determine that your system is compatible with it. Even if the product works for some, there are no guarantees that it will have the same effect when you take it yourself.

The Disadvantage Of Using Natural Health Cures

With all the advantages stated above in the use of holistic and alternative medicine as a treatment method, many would think that there are no complications when using it whenever they feel like it. This is a common misconception that often leads to more health-related problems.

We can never deny the fact that herbal products are classified as medicines and should be treated as such. Proper formulation and dosage is necessary for a safe use. Consumers are urged to follow the dosage indicated on the label of the natural herb remedies they choose or to consult a health expert or your family doctor to safely determine the proper usage of the product. It is also advisable to get an expert opinion on medical diagnostics and undergo a consultation and physical or laboratory examination to ensure that your body will not react with alternative herbal medicine for your health problems.

If you’d like to learn more about the wonder of herbs, sign up for my free mini course to the right of the screen. Better yet, grab your copy of my ebook: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening Here!

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Stewing Herbs

Strewing Herbs

The History Behind The Name

Although you may think these herbs were called as such for culinary purposes…you will be surprised by the actual reference to the name.

In the middle ages, it was customary for the wealthy English noble to religiously bathe every three weeks. However, a peasant could not afford this luxury. The excessive nature of hauling and heating water for a nice warm bath proved to be too burdensome. Pneumonia became a concern during this time, for it was believed that bathing, especially during the winter months, would lead to chills and ultimately death. This historic period in history became then known as the “age of the great unwashed”.

Needless to say, body odor became quite pungent, especially when on many a cold winter night, it was customary to sleep two – three to a bed for warmth, wrapped in many a heavy blanket. The wealthy could afford the luxury of heavy doses of perfume, however the peasants simply slept beneath cuttings from very strong-smelling plants. These plants became known as stewing herbs for they were literally strewed about on floors, outhouses and even between the sheets of the beds to perfume the peasants.

During this era of the great unwashed, there evolved unique means of scenting clothing. Women’s long, voluminous skirts trailed behind them. In castle gardens, it was not uncommon to find a thyme lawn composed of a ground-hugging mat of aromatic Thymus serphyllum. When walked upon, plants were crushed, and then skirts trailed over them to soak up any oils exuded from the foliage.

Lavender is a very well known odor-covering stewing herb. Lavender’s Latin root name means to wash, or “lavare.” We inherited this herb from the bath-loving Romans, however, by medieval times, the Romans ceased using the herb as a scent for bathing and applied it as a masking fragrance quilted into hats or other particles of clothing.

Additionally during this time it was customary to throw table scrapes and bones to the household pet, whose shaggy and unkept mane was bathed less frequently than the peasants who housed them. Soon the filth caused many disease-breeding vermin within the confines of the house. Thereafter, history encountered a second reason for stewing herbs, as a pesticide. Many of the oils from herbs could deter fleas, lice, weevil and other undesirable insects.

There are many well known herbs today that Thomas Tusser indicated in his 1557 well known book, “A Hundreth Good Points of Husbandrie” . Basil, Lemon Balm, Sweet Fennel, Germander, Hyssop, Lavender, Santolina, Marjoram, Pennyroyal, Sage, Tansy and Winter Savory are among his list of 21 stewing herbs.

One such herb, Pennyroyal, also known as fleabane or Menta Pulegium, is a pungent member of the mint family. The homes where it was grown and liberally used for strewing, had fewer incidences of the Black Death, for the plague was spread by fleabites. The plants are still used today for stuffing dog beds and doghouses to discourage these pests from taking up residence.

The planted seat was also designed to scent clothing. It was created of carved stone and appeared much like a heavy church pew. The seat was hollowed out into a cavity about 6 inches deep and into this was packed earth planted with either chamomile or thyme. When a person sat down and crushed the plants, resulting oils soaked into breeches or skirts.

At the root of our most favored aromatic plants of the modern herb garden are the fragrances used to disguise aromas of the great unwashed. It was not until the dawn of the 20th century that bathing became a frequent practice. Let us rejoice in the luxury of bathing every day, knowing we no longer have to douse ourselves in perfume or live amid a pile of wilted herbs to abide each other’s company.

This is but a small excerpt from my new ebook: Holistic Herbs ~ A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening. If you would like to learn more about the many wonders of herbs, Click Here to grab your copy today!

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Herbal Recipe for Kabobs on the Grill

Oh to barbecue!!

Whether you prefer charcoal or gas…it’s the age-old question. Who amongst us, whether it be male or female (especially the male) doesn’t love the flavor, aroma and all the ‘prestige’ of barbecue dining? It’s a chance to get outdoors with family and friends and to enjoy a nice cocktail or two on a lazy afternoon. It gives the women folk a break from cooking, to turn it over to the male gender…and boy do they enjoy it, and so does she!

There is something about barbecuing outdoors. I personally prefer charcoal; the flavor is unbeatable especially if you add a bit of hickory wood to the barrel of coals. No matter what type of meat or vegetables you’re grilling, hickory seasoning can turn a plain old burger into something scrumptious!

However, barbecue dining is just as much about seasoning as it is to the fire and meat. Many herb enthusiast’s who grow their own herbs, flowers and produce, do so with the intent to enhance their barbecuing experience as well. Many have found that the herbs stem of a rosemary, basil or sage bush are extremely rich in oils, perfect to use as a rub, baste or to even skewer meat. What once was just a backyard pleasure has now kicked it up a notch turning a barbecue experience into a backyard culinary delight!

If you have ever tried your hand at grilled kabob’s, you may just want to take a fresh look at shish kabobs skewers produced straight from your very own herb garden plants.

Certain herb bushes have an unusually, long straight stem. The best herbs to grow are rosemary, bay, sage, oregano and tarragon. First of all, they are basically free and second; the wood of the herbs stem contains oils of the herb, which makes it perfect to season your meat on a flavored skewer from the inside out.

When your grilled kabobs are basted with an herb brush, the leaves of the herb sprig become “bruised” when heated. This lets out the natural oils of the plant, therefore it makes it delectably charming to your meats! Essentially you are making herb oil.

You will want to be on the look out for the strong, stiff stems that have hardened enough to hold up under the weight of your BBQ kabobs. To make it easier to puncture your meat or produce, whittle the stiffer end of the herbs stem into a point. A rosemary skewer is particularly great for portabella mushrooms and fast-cooking barbecue vegetables.

If you are an avid BBQ griller or you have a special occasion in the near future, you will need to collect plenty of big sprigs to make your herb brush and shish kabob skewers. They tend to be quite rare at your local nursery or produce store, but then again, why bother searching when you can gather them up right from your very own home herb garden.

A traditional barbecue brush can be costly to replace, it you are constantly barbecuing. Why not use an herb brush you have created from your very own home herb garden instead. However, a word of warning, once you taste the difference of this method of grilling kabobs with an herb brush, your grilling experience will never taste quite the same. You will want to make a new herb brush each time you barbecue, so be sure to leave enough material in your herb garden for future pickings.

To create an herb brush, you will first need to look for stems to make 6 inch skewers or longer from a variety of herbs in order to create a handle. Attach a wire or twine to the bundled herbs stem for the handle. Make sure you have plenty of clean fresh leaves on the upper branches in order for the basting to create its full effect. After that, tie in some of the more fragile herbs like basil. A solo basil brush tends to be a bit floppy, so you will want to add a strong framework with other herbs…Besides….what better way to enhance the flavor of your meat kabobs? Along with the basil you may want to tie in a bit of chives, dill, mint, thyme or cilantro/coriander. Remember, you are going to be applying some amount of pressure to the surface of your grilled barbecue fixings, so you will want a strong herb brush.

In the turn of the growing season when BBQ grilling, why not toss some of your “turned up bushes” from your yard onto the grill to “squeeze out” the last remaining resources of your garden. What better way to get the last drop out of your hard earned labor so to enhance your barbecue dining experience and to enjoy the last bit of flavoring of your grill towards the end of the season!

If you’d like to learn more about the wonder of herbs, sign up for my free mini course. Better yet, grab your copy of my ebook: Holistic Herbs~A Beginners Guide to Herbal Gardening Here!

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Kali S. Winters

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