Tag Archives: Self Sufficiency

How to plant a medicinal herb garden

How to plan and plant a medicinal herb garden - www.homesteadlady.com

I discovered this ladies site through a link on fb and I am so glad I did, this post is really long so I only copied over half of it, to read the rest pop over to Homestead Lady.

It really called to me as next year I want to grow loads more herbs and use them in many more ways. All photos and links below are from Homestead lady’s page:

Why would you want to know how to plan and plant a medicinal herb garden?  Well, with more and more of us opting out of the conventional this or that there’s been a rise in interest in gardening in general and growing herbs specifically over the last few years.  Herbs are amazingly useful plants in the landscape, even if you’re not ready to use them medicinally.  Most herbs are really not very difficult to grow, many have lovely flowers and/or interesting foliage and they can easily be integrated into your perennial beds or any traditionally landscaped area.  A lot of herbs grow well in pots, either indoors or outdoors and many are very adaptable to climates and types of soil.  Many, many herbs are basically pest resistant plants, ta-boot!  So, come let’s chat about how to plan and plant this medicinal herb garden you need…

 

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Growing garlic

Garlic-bulb-alamy-large

“Whole books have been written about garlic, an herb affectionately called “the stinking rose” in light of its numerous therapeutic benefits. A member of the lily or Allium family, which also includes onions and leeks, garlic is rich in a variety of powerful sulfur-containing compounds including thiosulfinates (of which the best known compound is allicin), sulfoxides (among which the best known compound is alliin), and dithiins (in which the most researched compound is ajoene). While these compounds are responsible for garlic’s characteristically pungent odor, they are also the source of many of its health-promoting effects.

More recent research has identified additional sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for garlic’s star status as a health-supporting food. These sulfur compounds include 1,2-vinyldithiin (1,2-DT), and thiacremonone. The hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) that can be made from garlic’s sulfides has also been the subject of great research interest. When produced and released from our red blood cells, this H2S gas can help dilate our blood vessels and help keep our blood pressure under control.” Sourced from whfoods.com

I was very sporadic in my garlic planting last year and would like to get with it and grow enough garlic so I don’t have to buy any next year, I did work it out we would need to plant something like 140 bulbs to come anywhere close as we use so much in cooking, at the moment with Tom being on his fodmap diet this number has reduced but I will still need to plant a lot! So with this in mind, I searched for some tips and found this great piece on The Telegraph today:

September is not too early to be thinking about next summer’s garlic crop. Garden centres stock a few varieties, but there is an increasing range available. Order early from a specialist supplier such as thegarlicfarm.co.uk to ensure top-quality seed garlic.

  1. Garlic is easy to grow but needs a period of low temperatures for plants to bulb up. Planting in autumn (October-November) or early spring provides the necessary chilling period.
  2. Choose an open sunny site and well-drained soil or grow in raised beds. Garlic does well on soils manured for a previous crop. Otherwise, add a couple of buckets of manure per sq yd.
  3.  Apply a general fertiliser, such as Growmore, at planting time at 2oz per sq yd (50g per sq m) followed by a light dressing of 1oz sq yd (25g sq m) of sulphate of potash in February.
  4.  Break up the bulb into individual cloves, selecting the largest for planting and using the remainder in the kitchen. Plant an inch deep (slightly deeper on light soils), 6in (15cm) apart with 1ft (30cm) between rows.
  5. On heavy, wet soils, start off garlic in module or cell trays in autumn, overwinter them in a cold frame and plant out in spring.
  6.  Keep garlic weed-free for good yields. In spring, during dry spells, water every 14 days. To reduce fungal diseases water the ground and not the foliage.
  7. As foliage yellows in summer, stop watering.
  8.  Harvest autumn-planted garlic in early summer and spring-planted from mid-summer. Don’t leave them too long in the ground or bulbs will open up, which reduces storage quality. 
  9. Dry bulbs in the sun or greenhouse or a well-ventilated shed for two to four weeks.
  10. Garlic suffers from similar pests and diseases to onions. The most common problem is rust, which can cover foliage in orange pustules. To avoid this, plant into fresh ground each year.

Planting-garlic-Alamy-large

There are two main types of garlic. Hardnecks produce flower stems and fewer larger cloves of stronger flavour. They rarely store beyond mid-winter. Softnecks store better, autumn plantings lasting to late winter and spring plantings to mid-spring. Elephant garlic is related to leeks. It produces a small number of very large cloves of mild flavour. Best planted in October.

I have been using shop bought garlic to plant and its not really worked very well so I am going to try some bulbs from the seed shop and see how they fare, wish me luck! if you have grown garlic with great success I would love to hear from you.

Got an allotment? a beginners guide

I often get asked how do you know where to start when you are given an allotment, sometimes it can be overwhelming, especially if the plot is large and overgrown.

There are 3 different types of allotment growing styles from my perspective,

1.The uniform, weed free, everything measured and in lines allotment.

2. The raised beds, kind of tidy but with extra plants type

3. The free range, eco, grow everything mixed in type.

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Renewable energy Wind turbines

wind turbineHarnessing the power of the wind to create energy we think is an amazing thing but when you chat to other people they don’t always agree!.

Wind turbines are like Marmite you either love them or hate them it seems.

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Top 4 versatile herbs to grow

We love herbs here at Naked Wild and Free and have a lovely collection growing in our garden but we tend to keep going back again and again to the same few for cooking, medicinal purposes and to use on our bodies, garden and home.

lavender

Herbs are valued for their flavour, scent and healing properties. When you grow your own herbs you will save a lot of money and enjoy the benefits of having them at hand just by your kitchen. They are so versatile too!

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Renewable energy woodburning stove

A woodburning stove epitomizes self-sufficiency, as soon as you imagine a woodburning stove you think of a cosy log cabin, the smell of stew cooking, cosiness and warmth.

woodburner

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