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Posted on 24 August 2008 by urbangardencasual.com

Herbs In The Garden: Oregano (and Recipes)

By Cindy Naas

The stone walkway in my herb garden is edged with oregano.

When the sun heats the stone or when those walking on the path brush against the oregano, the spicy scent fills the air.

It is an easy to grow herb and I use a lot of it.

How to Grow: Like many Mediterranean herbs, oregano needs a lot of direct sun. It also needs well-drained soil and doesn’t need a lot of fertilizing. My herbs grow in a soil which has been amended with sand and fine gritty gravel, and even during this rainy summer they are doing fairly well.

Harvesting Oregano:
Use your scissors to snip off a stem or two of oregano. Strip the leaves from the stems inside, and add to a variety of recipes. You can also Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 12 August 2008 by urbangardencasual.com

Herbs In The Garden: Sage (and Recipes)

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By Cindy Naas

Sage is a wonderful herb with many uses.

Herbalists use it as a digestive aid, some people grow it just for its aromatic qualities used in freshening a house, and its uses in cooking are numerous.

For the urban gardener, sage can be a great choice for a dry sunny corner where nothing else likes to grow.

Growing: Sage is another Mediterranean herb which likes hot dry well-draining soil. This is one plant which will be very unhappy during a humid summer. If you live in a humid region, add a lot of grit and sand to the soil around the sage, and make sure it is not crowded near another plant. Without adequate air circulation and well drained soil, your sage will not thrive.

Harvesting: Sage has large soft leaves which feel Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 02 August 2008 by urbangardencasual.com

Herbs: Lavender (and Recipes)

By Cindy Naas

The sweet fragrance of lavender on a hot summer afternoon is one of my favorite scents of summer.

I have lavender plants tucked into nooks and crannies all over my garden because of the perfume this herb gives off.

Because it can be used in cooking, herbal medicine and in perfuming the home, lavender will always be a must-have in my urban garden.

Growing: Lavender requires full sun and very well drained soil. It is not a heavy feeder and will do poorly in soil which stays too damp. Mine is grown throughout my rock garden instead of with the other herbs, and it benefits from being surrounded by the warm rocks as well as from the gritty soil.

Harvesting: Lavender blooms are used in Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 25 July 2008 by urbangardencasual.com

Herbs: Rosemary (and Recipes)

By Cindy Naas

Rosemary is a perfect choice for city gardeners who have some room on a porch or balcony, since it is one of the herbs which really should be grown in a planter.

Rosemary is too tender to be left outside in the winter in most of the U.S.

It also makes a beautiful indoor plant in the winter, filling your home with the spicy-fresh scent of rosemary.

Growing – Rosemary needs a fertile yet well-drained soil. I use an extra handful of manure added to my container potting soil mix, and I line the bottom of the pot with small rocks. Water fairly often, letting the soil become nearly but not quite dry between watering.

This plant will not thrive in constantly damp soil. Grow in full sun. In regions with late summers/early falls, place small stones on top of the planter soil to retain heat into the evening.

This will allow the essential oils to become more concentrated, at least according to my elderly Italian neighbor who grows perhaps the finest vegetable garden I have ever seen.

Harvesting – Rosemary is used in fairly small quantities. Using scissors, snip off ends of branches. Peel off the needles or snip the needles directly into your recipe. Rosemary doesn’t keep as well as some herbs, I always pick it just before I need it.

Recipes: Here are a couple of really good uses Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 21 July 2008 by urbangardencasual.com

Herbs In The Garden: Mint

By Cindy Haas

Mint is one of my favorite herbs to grow.

I love to sit outside at night in the middle of summer listening to the crickets and watching the stars.

The smell of mint still warm from the sun is always a part of that memory, it is a very evocative scent. Because of its strong scent as well as strong flavor, mint has a lot of uses and is a wonderful choice for adding to your herb garden.

Growing Mint

Mint is easy to grow- it can be too easy. Mint will take over a small garden if allowed, and can Read the rest of this entry »

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