How to Grow Basil

growing basil

 

Today there are sprays, scented candles, plug-ins, and even discs that promise to freshen your air by putting a variety of aromas into your home. However, when you know better, you know that many of these so-called aromatic herbs aren’t actually aromatic at all. But they make you think that they are! Whether you love the smell of lavender, or love the scent of cinnamon, there is a plant that will give you that delicious fragrance. Basil is such a plant – aromatic, delicious, and works beautifully with almost any food!

yeshas a spice to it – basil anise

The plant grown for its rich culinary uses is called basil. It is actually an annual in the Warmish/Tropical regions of Asia. It grows best in full sunlight, and perfect conditions for this plant include:

– a place that gets lots of sun

– partial shade

– if possible, a sheltered spot

– if possible, rich soil

Basil is also considered worthy enough to grow in a container. These plants can grow anywhere from 12 to 24 inches tall.

One of the first things you need to do is and make sure that the plant gets enough water. Water regularly but try not to over water as that will kill the roots. As the plant grows, trim the suckers that grow in the joint of the stalk and the stem. This will ensure that the plant has fewer stems and more leaves.

You also need to prune your basil a little as it starts to grow. Cut off the flowers as they appear, and clip off the side shoots that try to break away from the main plant. As you trim the plant, pull the leaves gently but firmly from the top of the stalk.

You need to use aphids, thrips, black vine, plant lice, spider mites, and sawfly larvae to control pest issues with Basil. If you find a bad infestation, handpick or spray the insects and spray directly with insect repellant. Be sure to wash your insecticides well before using them on your plants.

Harvesting Basil

When you grow basil, always pick the same stems again and again after the first harvest. This means that you will end up with a continuous supply of leaves. Leaves can be dried as you would leaves, although a better option is to use them fresh. All you do is pick major leaves and clip them off the stem. Basil will still grow, so you can harvest again right through the season.

Basil is used in many dishes such as soups, salad dressings, sauces, pesto and breads. Outside of culinary applications, basil can be used as a common herb and has a long history of medicinal uses. It has powerful anti-oxidant and carcinant effects. Also, it is considered an aid to digestion.

A holistic health wellness Coach showed me Some of the medicinal uses for basil include:

– lowers cholesterol

– relieves stomach pain and improves digestion

-Calming effect for the digestive system

-Lowers blood pressure and reduce hypertension

-An aid to digestion

-An antiseptic effect

-Helps baby’s stomach ache

-flies away if insects are near

Sun, soil and water are the basic requirements for a basil plant, and are considered the best three things to grow when you are growing basil. Sunlight is by far the best for basil to grow. If you are growing your basil in a pot, a nearby window is perfectly alright, however, you can also grow basil in a garden outside if you have enough sunlight. It will grow well in almost any soil, which includes regular potting soil, loamy soils, and sandy soils. Basil will also grow well in containers if it is given the option.

Growing and caring for basil is quite easy and simple. It does not require much fertilizer, and you should not need to do much “manual labour” when tending your plant. Watering is for the most part, all you need to do is pick your basil leaves and be happy with it! Yes, that’s it, water, eat and be happy!

Growing Medicinal Plants in Your Kitchen Garden

Growing Medicinal Plants in Your Kitchen Garden

 

Grow medicinal plants in your balcony

“Food is our medicine; medicine is our food” – Aristotle

Long hours of work, unhealthy eating, less sleep, more pressure are all putting our bodies and health at a severe risk. Diabetes, obesity, thyroid malfunctioning, arthritis, cardiovascular diseases are all interlinked and can be controlled only by healthy food. Greens, vegetables, fruits and nuts are great sources of nutrition that empower the body with all the vitamins, minerals, fibre and water. Green herbs especially can treat a number of patient illnesses and prevent side effects. Instead of stepping out to buy them, you can grow these medicinal plants in your balcony with very little effort. Plenty of reasons why you should grow and eat them on a daily basis!

Methi (Fenugreek)Growing methi in a container is one of the easiest legumes to grow. Choose a sunny spot, sow the seeds in a container and water it. Methi seeds germinate in a couple of days and in a span of 10 to 15 days, the leaves come up and the pods are ready for harvest. Chilly weather conditions might not be suitable for methi to grow.

All diabetics consume methi leaves or fenugreek seeds to combat blood sugar level fluctuation. A natural soluble fibre named ‘galactomannan’ plays a key role in slowing down sugar absorption into the blood stream thereby controlling diabetes. Chronic digestive disorders, acid reflux, heartburn, dandruff and hair fall can all be treated with methi.

Bitter gourd (Karela)– Another miracle vegetable that is completely exotic in taste! Since it is a creeper plant, if you can arrange a small trellis in your balcony then karela can be grown easily. It is a warm weather crop but can also tolerate mild cold. Soak the seeds in lukewarm water before sowing them. This process ensures quicker germination and also strengthens seeds.

Bitter gourd is often disliked by many people due to its bitter taste but the goodness the vegetable contains is indescribable. From weight loss to controlling blood sugar levels, bitter gourd does it all! Regular consumption can also correct vision problems, cleanse liver and kidneys and also boost the immune system. But remember that excessive consumption can lead to stomach upset and cause an imbalance in the hormones.

Coriander (Dhaniya pattha)– Pick a few dhaniya seeds from your kitchen, split them into two, sow them in a container and place it in a sunny spot in your balcony. In a week’s time your coriander crop will be ready! It is seriously as easy as this. The only prerequisite for coriander plants is lots of sunlight according to my neighbor who are business valuation advisors and gardening experts. If your balcony receives plenty of it then just go ahead.

Coriander leaves fight with bad cholesterol and improve the levels of good cholesterol thereby boosting good health. Diabetic patients can keep their blood sugar levels in check with regular consumption of coriander. The rich iron content in the leaves and seeds enhances bone marrow performance and treats anaemia in women.

Stevia (Meetha pattha)- Rapidly replacing artificial sweeteners is the ‘sweet leaf’ or ‘sugar leaf’ mainly known as Stevia. Just one leaf will make anything sweet and easy to eat. Diabetics are now taking solace in this miraculous herb. Home grown stevia might lack the deep sweet flavour that is usually found but the leaves can definitely replace your sweetener. You can either sow seeds directly in a container or buy tiny stevia plants to transplant them in your garden. Light watering regularly and six hours of sunlight is good enough for the leaves to grow.

Brewed stevia leaves are an excellent replacement for table sugar. You can use them in tea, coffee, juices and other beverages. When consumed with ginger or cinnamon, stevia cures constipation and common digestive problems. Diabetics can make this a part of their diet and control their sugar cravings.

Basil (Tulsi)– Found in almost every Indian home, the basil herb can treat a wide range of health disorders. Sowing seeds directly in a container is the ideal way to grow basil. Keep the soil moist always by watering the seedlings regularly. It is an annual crop and continues to produce leaves in all seasons.

Chronic cold, cough and phlegm can be treated very well by dried basil. A strong decoction of the leaves when consumed on a daily basis kills bacterial infections and boosts immunity. Purifying blood, fighting mouth ulcers, treating migraines and keeping infections at bay, the power of basil is vast.

Try these medicinal herbs and have a party with them!

Herb Gardens For Beginners – What to Grow

Herb Gardens For Beginners

 

It’s entirely possible to be a beginning gardener. You need to just stop for a minute and take a closer look at your life and your garden. You need to appreciate that no matter how large or small your plot of land, you can always grow herbs there.

No matter what you grow, you’ll have a very pleasant result at the end of the day.

The most common mistake made by beginning gardeners is to not kill off competition when they first attempt to grow herbs. No matter what they may seem, herbs are in fact very pretty and some quite invasive. If you don’t get rid of them, they can actually take over your garden.

You need to grow these herbs as quickly as possible to prevent any competition from taking root. If you do attempt to grow something, the best result will be achieved by growing two radically different herbs near each other.

An example of two herbs that are similar but different would be pesto and chervil.

Parsley and basil are often found in very few grocery stores, yet they have the most amazing flavor. They can both be used in your favorite recipes, but they have very different taste. While parsley is often used as a garnish, basil is used mostly for its unique flavor.

Basil is a very determined plant that continues to grow more and more throughout the warm months. It will often take over any little space you have left in your garden. It is vital to keep your basil plants pinched back so that they don’t become too leggy. During the cold months, however, you’ll want to dig up your basil plants and replant them deeper in the soil in order to withstand the cold.

One of the most common mistakes made by beginning gardeners is over watering. A common mistake that beginners their let their Indeterminate herbs dry out. They aren’t prepared for the way droughts can affect their plants.

Letting your herbs dry out will stunt their growth and can lead to poor flavor in your recipes.

The next thing you need to do before you plant, is decide what to grow. The best thing for beginning gardeners to do is to start with familiar plants and vegetables. You’ll find the experience both relaxing and tasty, at the same time.

The thing to keep in mind when choosing what to grow is the weather in your area. Are you opting for an sunny or shady area? This will affect the choice of what you can grow.

If you are opting for shady weather, you’ll want to choose plants that don’t require much sun, as those will adapt to the shade.

This is the opposite of what you want to do in the sunny season, as you’ll want those plants that love the sun.

Before you go shopping for your seeds and a business valuation seed store, you’ll want to think about when you want your plants to mature. Then, you’ll know how long you’ll have to wait between harvests. If your plants are going to take a few weeks to mature, you’ll need to opt for those plants that have a shorter growing period.

If you are growing your herbs outdoors, you’ll also want to consider the soil quality in your area. Certain herbs do better in varying conditions. You’ll need to check and make sure that the herbs you choose will be able to survive in the soil type you have in your area.

What are your goals for your herb garden? Are you looking for herbs to use in cooking, in natural remedies, or as a decorative accents for your home?

Take into consideration these factors when choosing plants for your garden. This is especially important when you are choosing the herbs you want to grow, as each herb will have its own unique benefits and requirements.