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How To Grow Basil

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Basil is an annual plant, relatively small, which is easy to grow.

Basil plant is very rich in nutrients. Italian basil contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed for proper body functioning .

It is an important source of calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and an important source of minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.

It is also good to know that this plant contains important substances such as tannin, a substance that has antiseptic and antispasmodic effects, and other active compounds that protect body cells from the negative effects of UV radiation. Flavonoids and volatile compounds have strong anti-inflammatory effects.

Its leaves are used to flavor foods or for the preparation of certain natural remedies.

Those may be good reasons for growing your own basil.
It can easily be grown in a pot on the balcony or on a window sill. Or, of course, in your herb garden.

The organic herb seeds can be sown in spring in covered seedbeds or in pots with nutrient topsoil to a depth of about 0.4 inch. If there were too many seeds sown the plants can be removed when they have about four or five leaves. When the temperature is above 15ºC they grow really fast.

After sowing the seeds, the topsoil should be kept moisturized, avoiding the stagnation of water.

The plants may be left outside when the temperature reaches 12ºC.

A pot with 10 inches diameter and depth is quite fit for a basil plant.

The ideal climate for growing basil is the warm temperate one but it can adapt to temperate areas and it is very sensitive to frost. If temperatures drops overnight the plants should be protected and taken into a warm shelter.

Basil prefers sunny positions at north and shady at south. Excess sun leads to premature inflorescences. The ideal position for a basil pot is the one guaranteeing few hours of shade daily, preferably during midday.

The pots should be filled with universal soil rich in organic matter and irrigation should be steady and moderate. Excess water can cause root to rot. For an efficient drainage you may place a 1 inch layer of expanded clay or gravel on the bottom of the pot.

The flowers should be removed as they arise, to stimulate the production of leaves. The crown of the plant needs to be clipped regularly preferably starting with the lower leaves.

Harvesting can begin in about a month after sowing. As the flowers appear, the plant stops producing leaves and they are less flavorful.

The leaves can be harvested during the summer months and even in early autumn.

Fresh leaves can be frozen, dried, or may be preserved in oil. Those who want to obtain special color effects may grow basil in the same pot with other herbs like sage, rosemary, dill.

Home Gardening Tips & More for Beginners

flower gardenGardening has become a pleasant hobby for many people. This is a good way to escape the hustle bustle of everyday life. It is also a means of relaxation for most people, and the best way to transform a vacant lot into something beautiful. However, homeowners think that gardening is expensive. Nevertheless, there are numerous ways to do home gardening without hurting your pocket. Here are some thrifty ways to do your gardening:

  • Find a vacant lot. If you have a large space in either front or backyard, you can turn this into a garden depending on the concept you have.

  • Think of a concept. Before starting your work, try to think of a concept. This will help you achieve the desired results of your home gardening plan.

  • Look for designs. There are numerous designs available in the internet, magazines and gardening books that will help you create that perfect plan.

After you have decided on what approach to take, choose which plants to use. Typically, a flower garden is the most common choice for first time gardeners. This is because there are many varieties to choose from. If you live in a place where there are four seasons, try selecting annual flower-bearing plants. This will allow you to move them in a shelter once winter occurs.

How to Start Your Flower Gardenhome garden

Before planting your flowers, make sure that you have prepared the lot. Use herbicide to get rid of grasses. The latter usually hinders successful thriving of plants as they share the nutrients of the soil where these flowers are planted. Then cover it with black plastic sheeting and let it stay for two weeks prior planting. You can do this during the late winter season when frosts are already minimal.

Always think about the climate of your location. This will help you pick out good flower choices for your garden. Take note that your plants should also be environmentally-friendly and will not house rodents. Some pests could also use it as nesting grounds therefore you should choose your plants carefully.

Think about the colors that you want your flower garden to have. For instance, you can start a row by planting red colored flowers and the second row with plants bearing blue flowers. This would create a good sight as a colorful flower garden can soothe and relax the eyes.

Advantages of Home Gardening

There are many advantages that home gardening brings. Here are some of the advantages that you can get from doing your own home garden:

  • Relaxation. Working homeowners get tired and bored from their usual day at work. With a garden at home however, there is something new to do and look forward to. Those who are staying at home may also find gardening relaxing. It can also be rewarding once the results are seen during your flowers first bloom.

  • A good way to spend leisure time. Instead of partying and intoxicating yourself with alcoholic drinks, gardening can promote a healthy lifestyle. This is because you get to move your body while you work on your garden. This would serve as a good exercise that would keep your body healthier as you would be working in your garden on a daily basis.

  • Money wise. A simple home garden would allow you to spend money wisely. Instead of shopping around for things that you don’t necessarily need, invest in a garden. It’s an inexpensive hobby that also gives you the satisfaction once your flowers start to bloom.

  • Home beautification. A garden is a good way to add beauty to your house especially if you have empty spaces. This will not only make you feel good but also other people who would pass by and stare at your home’s façade.

Water for the Better: How to Make Sure Your Plants Aren’t Thirsty

watering the plantsSome people think that after years of gardening, they would have a fairly good idea about how to grow most plants. In reality, some of them can grow well and others, well, you need to learn tricks because gardening isn’t always as easy as it seems. There is a fine line between having a good garden and having a great garden. Often times, doing the right technique draws that difference.

Like for instance, when watering a vegetable garden. You might think that it can be as easy as watching the rain or as ridiculous as feeding plant limbs intravenously. It’s like taking the hospital-bed approach into the garden. That’s just the weirdest idea.

Each garden has its own idiosyncrasies that should be observed. I mean, keenly. Without being in your garden, no one can tell you how much water it will need. You really need to have the effort to learn and to do it right.

Here are a few things to do when deciding how and when to water your beds.

Plant Irrigation Needs

You really need to figure out how much plant irrigation you need, especially if you live in areas like Houston, Texas which gets lots of rain and a wide range of temperatures from winter to summer.

If you don’t need a lot of water, then a simple hose might do the trick and it won’t take up much of your time. But if you live in a dry area, you might consider an automatic system which waters everything for you so you can go on about your day watching your favorite football game without missing a moment.

Investigate Your Soil

Dig into your garden. Find out what type of soil you have (clay or sandy). This certainly makes a difference in your drainage. Clay soil drains water slowly whereas sandy soil makes water flow more easily. Both clay and sandy soils can be turned into a preferred loam by mixing organic material such as compost.

Choose Your Time Wisely

Cool temperature means that less water will evaporate. This is why it’s best to water during early morning or late afternoon. It would be a good idea to limit your watering time if you use overhead sprinklers. It’s also safer not to do your watering activity at night because it’ll cause the leaves to be wet for a long time -thus plant diseases might be encouraged.

Get a Hold Of Your Bucket

Deep, less frequent watering works best. Once plants are established, more harm than good is done by giving them a daily sprinkling. Watering should be reduced as the crop matures to keep the vegetables from splitting.

Always Take the Initiative To Look At Every Part Of Your Plant

It’s like looking at someone you love from head to toe. You make sure that every part of them looks good. In a plant, remember to look at the leaves. Watering this part more often causes a variety of fungi that develops under moist conditions such as mildew and blight.

Some gardeners are small enough to water by hand. The large size of others or a lack of time may require more elaborate arrangements, including sprinklers or drip-irrigation systems. You have to balance your commitment with the needs of the plants and the results you expect.