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20.01.2015 admin
Native to southern Europe, the fennel herb is now naturalized throughout Europe, North America and Australia and grown in gardens all over the world. The steps for how to grow fennel are fairly simple since the fennel herb is such an agreeable garden plant. In addition to its kitchen contributions, planting fennel will attract beneficial insects to the garden and its leaves are a favorite with the caterpillars of the swallowtail butterfly. Whether grown for its culinary value or strictly as on ornamental, growing fennel herb will be an easy and attractive addition to your garden.
Today’s post is dedicated to my sister, Rosemary, who lost her battle with ALS on February 6, 2013.
Extraction:  The essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the fresh flowering tops. Characteristics:  Rosemary is a colorless or pale yellow mobile oil with a strong, fresh herbaceous scent and a woody-balsamic undertone. Add the essential oils to 2 oz of distilled or spring water in a spray bottle and use to lift a bad mood! Calico Mix is Condor’s own unique blend of green, white, red, gold and magenta swiss chards.
Farming Friends & TopVeg have collaborated to create some FREE How To Grow Vegetables Cards, including this How to Grow Carrots card. If you would like a pdf of this carrot card or any of the How to Grow cards, please complete the contact form asking for the grow card you would like and we will email it to you. Sweetheart carrots have yielded well in the vegetable garden & not succumbed to carrot fly after all this time.
Growing carrot fly resistant varieties  is a great example of biological control – a method used in organic vegetable production. It is possible to harvest fresh carrots nearly all year round by regularly sowing suitable varieties. Aptly named, sunflowers will enjoy an area that receives full sunlight for the majority of the day.
Sunflowers hate being transplanted and often times won't survive very long when they are moved from pots, directly into the garden.
If started indoors in peat pots, make sure that you can provide the plants with warm temperatures. Most people use cling wrap to lay overtop of their pots to ensure moisture and warmth stays within the pots. If you are sowing outdoors, you might ask, when is it best to sow sunflower seeds outdoors.
Sunflower seeds will begin to germinate fairly quickly, taking as little as 7 to 10 days to sprout.
Sunflowers are a great choice for use as a cut flower, and can often times be seen in many bouquets and floral arrangements as well. Helianthus annuus is popularly established along fences, borders & driveways and used as a background or backdrop plant. The Egyptians and the Chinese used it strictly for medicinal purposes and their lore was brought back to Europe by early traders. Plants may be divided, but this isn’t as easy as it is with other garden plants and often proves unsatisfactory.
It belongs to the carrot and parsley family and is a cousin to other herbs such as caraway, dill and cumin.
The fine textured foliage can grow up to 6 feet tall and makes an excellent backdrop for other flower planting.
It readily re-seeds and while not considered invasive, it has certainly earned its reputation for aggressive growing.

It prefers acid soil, appreciates the occasional dose of mild fertilizer and a little additional water if the weather is hot and dry. Before blending, the seed is decorticated and sized alike for optimum uniform blending and planting.
Raise the sides of your beds to over 2 foot - Carrot fly travel close to the ground, and a barrier 2 foot high will interrupt their flight path, forcing the fly to take another route. And it's too bad, really, as many of the common garden weeds are not only edible and nutritious, but can be a great homegrown (and free) addition to our meals.Part of the resistance to eating plants that we believe to be weeds, in my opinion, is that we are conditioned to only consider the items we find in the grocery store as food, and not things that the rest of the neighborhood sees as unwelcome invaders in lawns and gardens. This humble garden weed, however, is a nutritional powerhouse, as it is said to contain more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable, and can be a great addition to a salad or stir-fry, or used to thicken soups or stews.
Small amounts of raw clover leaves can be chopped into salads, or can be sauteed and added to dishes for a green accent, and the flowers of both red and white clover can be eaten raw or cooked, or dried for tea.4. The seeds of the Lamb's Quarters, which resemble quinoa, can also be harvested and eaten, although it takes a lot of patience to gather enough to make it worthwhile.5. The young leaves of plantain can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, or sauteed, and while the older leaves can be a bit tough, they can also be cooked and eaten as well. Chickweed leaves, stems, and flowers can all be eaten either raw or cooked, where it adds a delicate spinach-like taste to any dish. The seeds of the wild amaranth can be gathered and cooked just like store-bought amaranth, either as a cooked whole grain or as a ground meal, and while it does take a bit of time to gather enough to add to a meal, they can be a a good source of free protein.9.
The stems of the dock plant can be peeled and eaten either cooked or raw, and the mature seeds can be boiled, or eaten raw, or roasted to make a coffee substitute. Their bright, cheery blooms and attractive sunflower leaves will put a smile on anyone's face and are certainly one of our best sellers at Seed Needs.
An annual plant is a plant that completes it's growth cycle from seed to flower in a single season.
However, peat pots are a game changer in sowing your sunflower seeds indoors to transplant later on. Sunflowers won't gain much strength in their stems until they are a bit larger, so it is a good idea to take this into consideration. Once established, tall varieties can reach towering heights of anywhere between 6 to 9 feet tall, if not more! During the Middle Ages, it was believed to hold magical qualities and people hung fennel plants over their doors to drive away evil spirits.
Like their aforementioned cousins, the fennel herb has a long tap root that doesn’t like to be divided or moved.
Like these other herbs, fennel plants produce aromatic fruits which are commonly, though incorrectly, referred to as seeds.
Fennel can be cut back early in the season to encourage bushier growth and should be deadheaded for seed harvest and to prevent over seeding of new plants.
For two years now we have had to cut a lot of (holes & black marks) away to be able to eat what’s left. If carrots are planted in a container at least 2 foot off the ground, the carrot flies will just zoom past the side of the container, and not bother the carrots growing inside. And unless we've been exposed to eating plants that are seen as common garden weeds, and had them prepared for us, we're probably not likely to try to eat them on our own. Purslane is a succulent, with a crispy texture, and the leaves and stems can be eaten raw or cooked to add a peppery flavor to any dish.3. The seeds of the plantain, which are produced on a distinctive flower spike, can be cooked like a grain or ground into a flour, and are related to the more well-known psyllium seeds, which are sold as a fiber supplement and natural laxative.6.
The plant can also be used as a topical poultice for minor cuts, burns, or rashes, and can be made into a tea for use as a mild diuretic.7. It will not return the following year from deeply established roots and will die with the first killing frost.

Soils and growing mediums that are constantly moist will cause your sunflower plants to become waterlogged, resulting in the death of your beloved plants. Peat pots allow you to plant the entire pot into the garden without disrupting the roots of your sunflower plants. Once sprouts appear, nurture the seedlings, providing them with the daily water that they require as well as sunlight and continued warmth.
Clear your sowing area of all unwanted weeds and plant life, turning the dirt, or placing fresh soil in it's place. Dwarf sunflowers are becoming more and more popular, only reaching a mature height of roughly 2 to 3 feet tall. Keep the area moist until the seeds sprout and thin the fennel plants to 12 to 18 inches apart when they are 4 to 6 inches tall. Once in a while, we might come across dandelion greens or purslane for sale in the produce section of the grocery store, or the farmers market, but for the most part, many common edible garden weeds aren't available anywhere else except for our lawns or garden beds. The seeds of your annual sunflower can be collected for regrowing the following season, however be aware that any hybrid sunflowers will not breed true. To improve drainage, we would recommend adding a light compost to areas consisting of hard, compact soil. They are primarily made up of peat moss, which will break down, several weeks after transplanting them into the garden. When the plants become about 1 foot tall, they can be transplanted outdoors to continue their growth. The goal is to transplant your sunflower plants outdoors prior to the roots busting out of the peat pots.
Scatter the seeds to the surface of the soil, covering them lightly with the appropriate amount of soil. Our Salt N' Roast variety will produce hundreds of delicious sunflower seeds, on one large flower head.
You can also refer to your Sunflower seed packet for the best depth to sow your seeds as well. Just be careful to protect your seeds from birds, squirrels and other small animals seeking to steal your snacks.
Dandelion The quintessential garden and lawn weed, dandelions have a bad reputation among those who want grass that looks as uniform as a golf course, but every part of this common edible weed is tasty both raw and cooked, from the roots to the blossoms. Add finely chopped leaves sparingly to potato salad, chicken stuffing, boil mint leaves with cabbage.Parts UsedLeaves are best used fresh but it can be dried for later use. Dandelion leaves can be harvested at any point in the growing season, and while the smaller leaves are considered to be less bitter and more palatable raw, the bigger leaves can be eaten as well, especially as an addition to a green salad. If raw dandelion leaves don't appeal to you, they can also be steamed or added to a stir-fry or soup, which can make them taste less bitter. Mint can be dried in the microwave by putting it one to two minutes on high.Medicinal Uses. The flowers are sweet and crunchy, and can be eaten raw, or breaded and fried, or even used to make dandelion wine. It is said thatAnti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, anti-flatulent, stimulant.
The root of the dandelion can be dried and roasted and used as a coffee substitute, or added to any recipe that calls for root vegetables.2. Tea made of a 5cm sprig in 1 cup of boiling water eases digestion, relieve abdominal discomfort and stomach upsets.
Chew a mint leaf - it will ease flatulence and heartburn.Other UsesRub wooden serving boards with mint before placing the food on the platters.

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