Basics for Beginners: Fool Proof Herb Gardening

Get all the basics down for creating your own herb garden from Celeste Longacre, author of “Celeste’s Garden Delights”. All the advice you need from an accomplished gardener that has been growing for over 35 years.


Fire It Up With CJ
————JUMP TO ANSWERS ——————————————-
1:21 How do you plan for herbs year around? Celeste shares a green you can grow indoors during the winter. Start the seeds in October and you can get greens year around.
4:26 How do get herbs to grow indoor? Herbs need to be grown in a south facing window sill. This is the direction that gets the most sun.
5:02 When do you start an herb garden? What works for starting from seed? What are some things you should consider buy? Celeste starts by planting onions inside in Feb/March. She buys tomatoes, peppers, and paprika from the nursery. Lettuce, peas, beets, carrots, cucumbers, summer squash, parsnips, and snow peas she plants in the soil as soon as the snow melts and plants things that don’t mind frost (Lettuce,swiss chard, peas, snow peas, broccoli, cabage, brussel sprouts,etc).
8:40 What are good herbs that can you eat (and not eat) and are good for tight spots? Add some good compost in between the spots.
10:28 /39:08 What are some hearty plants that are good for confidence building? Thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, mint(invasive) are hardy herbs.The varieties are about the same in hardiness, it’s more about the flavors you want in your food.
12:04 How do you plant from seeds? Celeste shows how you would plant lettuce, carrots and beets.
12:30 What are the best soil to buy? Get a local soil because local soil encourages healthy roots, nutrients, and water retention plants love. The key to having great soil is having soil alive with microorganisms that help keep your plants healthy. You should add kelp meal and rake it flat
15:01 How deep should you plant the seed? Seeds need to be planted twice the depth of their thickness. Spread your soil mixture or compost
15:30 Celeste shows her favorite planting fork (mini pitch fork) for weeding and to test if your plant needs water. Stick the fork in and if it comes out dry, your plant needs water.
16:50 How much water is too much? Initially plants needs a lot of water, soil absorbs so you can pour a lot of water in. If you notice water is pooling up at the top it means that you don’t have enough organic matter in your soil (compost).
17:38 What is the best watering can to use? Water until the soil looks very moist and saturated like a sponge every day until the plant comes up. Once the plant pops above the soil, then let top part of the soil dry out a bit so that the roots go down.
18:54 How long till the seed turns into a plant? Celeste said it varies. For example, lettuce, zucchini, and summer squash plants comes up quickly (5-6 days) and others like carrots can take 10-14 days.
19:30 More on planting lettuce from a package from the nursery. Initial leafs are pretty small. The more you thin them the more they grow.
21:35 How do you harvest plants? Basil grows up so pinch the buds and tops off so that the plant bushes out. Don’t let basil flower or it will change the flavor. Pick cucumbers, summer squash, when they are about 6″ long since they don’t taste as good when they are longer. September is the best time to harvest root vegetables (e.g.-carrots, beets, etc). You want to think them out throughout the year. In terms of root vegetables, the bigger they are the longer they stay in the root cellar. Parsnips can stay outside until the spring.
24:17 How do you dry your herbs at the end of the year? You can cut certain plants completely bare (thyme, oregano) and cut them every few weeks so that the plant doesn’t flower and throughout the whole year.
26:37 How do you dry out herbs? You dry out herbs by putting them on a cookie sheet and then putting them in an oven with a pilot light, OR just at a low temperature with the door open. Tie it in a bundle and hang from ceiling. Dry it until it crumbles. Place the dried herbs in bag, or bottle. To use take off stems.
28:26 How to make garlic powder? Take dried garlic and crush it down in a blender.
31:26 Essential gardening supplies: Gardening gloves, pitch fork to turn soil (vs. rotor till) to not disturb the community in the soil.
33:02 Container gardening – How do you prepare soil? Use fresh soil every year or the soil won’t have any nutrients left to draw from. Place unbleached paper towel to create drainage and prevent soil from slipping from the bottom, place some manure, alpha meal, etc. Change out the soil out every few years for established pots.
36:06 Where should you buy seeds? Get local seeds that have been acclimated and proven to grow successfully in your area.

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