The plants are usually in too small pots with little soil. They were only bred for quick consumption and not for prolonged harvest. It takes about twelve weeks after repotting until the plants are big enough for a harvest.
For use on pizza, pasta, etc., not just individual basil leaves, but entire shoots should be harvested. This makes it easier for smaller shoots to grow back. The best time to harvest is before flowering.
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The name basil comes from the Greek word for "royal" back. This is why basil is still sometimes called royal herb today. It was first brought across the Alps in the time of Charlemagne and people first grew it here as a medicinal plant in monastery gardens. The aromatic herb should help against infertility and strengthen the nerves. However, this effect has not yet been confirmed.
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The myrtle originally comes from the Mediterranean region. There the myrtle can grow up to three meters high. In this country it is growing a little more modestly. It is particularly popular with amateur gardeners as a topiary. But if you want to plant a little Mediterranean flair in your garden, you definitely need a green thumb. Because the myrtle is a little tyrant and demanding to look after.
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Myrtles are not easy to care for: "They are tyrants when it comes to watering"says horticultural engineer Maria Sansoni of the Mediterranean Garden Society. She knows from her own experience: "Woe to you forget them once – the leaves immediately crumble dry from the bush." Even if the hobby gardener dutifully pours regularly for a long time, but a little too much, problems arise: Most of the time, root fungi grow as a result of the high humidity.
When watering you should also make sure that the plants do not like lime. Soft rainwater is ideal. But you can also add a splash of vinegar to calcareous tap water. Tanja Ratsch, a graduate engineer for land management, recommends using a high-quality substrate for potted plants for healthy, even growth. "Good soil is characterized by coarse-grained components, for example lava gravel and expanded clay"she explains. These keep the substrate airy and at the same time store water and nutrients in large quantities.
"A high proportion of peat is not a quality feature, but a quality-reducing factor"says Ratsch. She also recommends transplanting the myrtle into a slightly larger pot and fresh soil every two to three years.
The pots can be outside from April to October. The plants need a protected location over winter. Because myrtles don’t tolerate much frost. Damage can be expected at temperatures below minus five degrees. This means that the plants are not hardy in Germany.
"They should be as bright and cool as possible and only be watered a little", advises Sansoni for winter quarters. If it is too warm there, scale insects will settle on the shoots. Spider mites are most common in summer when it’s hot and the air is dry.research argumentative essay According to Ratsch, however, irregular watering is the reason for most problems with the plants.
The myrtle is popular with hobby gardeners who like to create a figure cabinet out of the bushes. "If you like topiary and at the same time don’t like to cut, you can’t go wrong with myrtle"says Sansoni. The shrubs hardly take a cutting error crooked, willingly sprout from the old wood and can be cut into pyramids or imaginative figures as desired.
However, there is a weakness: "Strictly cut bushes tend to fall apart after a storm, for example"warns the horticultural engineer. The hobby gardener has to cut back here again and a little deeper. "The narrow and small-leaved variety Tarentina is particularly suitable for topiary cutting"says Ratsch. In addition, there is about the variegated variety "Variegata" beautiful, the foliage is variegated cream-white-green.
The evergreen leaflets are glossy dark green and ovate, pointed. If you rub them between your fingers, they smell tart and spicy. "The white, fragrant flowers appear in the leaf axils"describes Sansoni. After flowering, pea-sized, purple-black berries develop. By the variety "Leucocarpa" the fruits are white. These edible berries taste sweet but have a bitter aftertaste. They were once used in part as a pepper substitute in the Mediterranean region.
A few decades ago, the myrtle bush was part of the inventory of every household. Because bouquets of the Mediterranean plant adorned the groom’s suit jacket – and that is often still the case today. The bride wore a myrtle wreath in her hair. "In the past, the thrifty peasant women didn’t throw these bouquets away, but instead rooted them"says Maria Sansoni. "So sooner or later every wedding brought a few new potted plants."
This custom dates back to the 16th century. The explanation for this tradition can already be found in Greek mythology, where the myrtle (Myrtus communis) was declared a protective plant for all lovers. "According to tradition, ancient Egyptian women and divine beauties such as Venus or Aphrodite adorned themselves with blooming myrtle branches", explains Tanja Ratsch.
Care profile Myrtle substrateHigh quality soil for container plants with coarse-grained parts. WateringRegularly with low-lime water. But be careful: if there is too much moisture, there is a risk of root fungus. Repot every two to three years in a slightly larger pot with fresh soil. Overwinter In a bright and cool location, the myrtle is only watered a little.
The real sage is not only used as a seasoning herb in the kitchen. The essential herb is also used in naturopathy, for example against sore throats or gastrointestinal complaints. Sage can be dried well and still retains its aroma. Care tips.
Herbs: This is how chives, parsley, basil and the like thrive. Herb garden: Planting thyme in the garden: With the right care you can harvest a particularly large amount of aroma. Potting soil unsuitable for herbs Sage: Sage: How to plant, harvest and dry it Leaves ready to be harvested all year round: Sow and plant chives How to plant chives, sage, basil and Co. in pots and in the garden
Sage loves stony, dry limestone soils and locations in full sun without waterlogging. Sage can be sown from April (in the greenhouse from March). To do this, place the seeds in moist soil, press down and cover with a little soil. If watered carefully, sage will germinate in 7 to 21 days. In mid-May, the sage plants should be planted outdoors at intervals of 35 by 35 centimeters. It is faster to plant cuttings and cuttings that are simply placed in the ground. It should be fertilized with moderation. Fresh manure damages the Mediterranean plants that are used to poor soils, which thrive better with well-rotted compost. From March of the second year, sage can be given small amounts of complete fertilizer every four weeks. But be careful with too much care: if over-fertilized, sage stops blooming.
With the flowering varieties of kitchen sage, the plant takes a break after flowering. This reduces the aroma in the leaves and less green is formed overall. With the flowering varieties, the rule of thumb is to harvest the leaves when flowering begins. But there is a trick you can use to prevent the plants from dormant: you have to remove the flowers early. The plant cannot then form seeds – and has practically not reached its goal. It must now continue to grow.
After harvesting, you can tie the twigs into a bouquet with string and hang upside down in a dry place. The best way to do this is to stretch a clothesline across the floor or the pantry and tie the sage bouquets to it. This is the best way to dry the leaves. To season Mediterranean dishes and meat, you can use both fresh and dried leaves in moderation.
Sage tea helps relieve a sore spot on the gums that is sore. To do this, fresh sage leaves are boiled with water. When it has cooled down a bit, you use it to rinse your mouth. Sage has a calming effect
For a gargle solution against scratching the throat, simply pour a few leaves on with hot water and let the brew sit for a few minutes before removing the leaves again.
If the plants become too lignified after a few years, new subshrubs can easily be grown from the harvested seeds. But the sage can also be reared with cuttings and offshoots. In autumn, the shoots are cut by half, but do not cut too far into the woody parts. Otherwise there is a risk that no new shoots will grow back.
Brushed sticks or fir branches protect against frost in the cold season. If you keep the sage on the balcony or in pots, you should take them into the house in winter or protect the pots with jute sacks or fleece. Incidentally, the green leaves remain visible in winter. In spring, the shoots should then be cut back to about 15 centimeters – so the sage always sprouts lush and evenly.
Herbert Vinken, master gardener and author, advises from experience to keep the time in winter quarters as short as possible and as long as necessary. "In a mild winter period, it is best to put the pots back outside"the expert advises. Because in winter storage the plants often do not get enough light. They then form soft, long and sometimes lighter shoots. "Horny" call this the experts. This weakens the plants, and these shoots are susceptible to lice and other pests.
The herbaceous taste of the leaves is due to the sage oil. Its medicinal properties were appreciated early on: the Egyptians used it to treat sterility, and the Celtic druids believed that they could even bring the dead back to life with sage. Indians used the medicinal herb for smoking when special places were to be cleaned and consecrated.
"A distinction is made between the Mediterranean, semi-shrubby and perennial shrubbery and annual species", explains Prof. Cassian Schmidt, head of the Hermannshof viewing garden in Weinheim.
– The semi-shrubby specimens: This group often represents the common sage (Salvia officinalis). "These species are natural partners of lavender and rosemary, with which they shape the landscape of dwarf shrub heath and rock steppe in the Mediterranean region", explains Prof. Schmidt. A sunny, poor location promotes life expectancy. The kitchen sage is divided into a good 20 types, which differ mainly in the color of the leaves. The most important are ‘Berggarten’ with broad leaves and mostly sparse flowers, the red-leaved variety ‘Purpurascens’ and the variegated leaves ‘Icterina’ and ‘Tricolor’.
The lavender-leaved sage, known as Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulifolia), is also attractive. "The foliage is a bit narrower and also silvery-gray", Prof. Schmidt describes the robust subshrub with lavender-blue inflorescences.
– The ever-growing species: They come from the Eurasian region, from meadows and from steppe landscapes. Especially the summer sage (Salvia nemorosa) represents this group. "’Ostfriesland’ and ‘Blauhügel’ are two particularly proven forms", explains Jan Weinreich, perennial gardener from Wolmirstedt. ‘Ostfriesland’ blooms violet-blue and therefore darker than ‘Blauhügel’.
The ‘Caradonna’ variety can grow up to 70 centimeters. The stems are dark purple, which enhances the color of the flowers, explains Weinreich. The ‘Marcus’ variety is only about 20 to 30 centimeters high. His special recommendation is ‘May Night’: It blooms in May, a few weeks earlier than the varieties described above. All perennial varieties bloom twice. "When the first flower is nearing its end, the clumps can be cut down", explains Weinreich. The plant then sprouts again and flowers again.
Schmidt recommends calcareous, but not too heavy, soil for the herbaceous sage. "Yarrow, for example, are ideal partners for summer sage"explains the garden manager. Their horizontal yellow or terracotta-colored flower discs harmonize with the vertical purple-blue flower panicles of sage. Dark red knauties, sedum and grasses go well with this.
– Among the annual species, the blue blooming flour sage (Salvia farinacea) and the red fire sage (Salvia splendens) are popular. They come from North or South America, for which the red flower color is typical. The pineapple or honeydew sage has made a name for itself in the field of culinary herbs. "The species from South America are all short-day plants", explains Prof. Schmidt. They then form buds when the days are shorter than the night – in autumn. You can keep the bushes blooming in a cold greenhouse until winter. Schmidt is also enthusiastic about ‘Phyllis Fancy’ in delicate blue and ‘Nachtvlinder’ with purple-blue flowers.
Don’t most garden plants hibernate? They don’t grow, they don’t sprout. So why should they be watered? The answer: Because some plants otherwise die of thirst. These are particularly at risk.
Why water garden plants in winter? How often should you water potted plants? How to prepare garden plants for winter? Which plants are most thirsty? How often should you water plants in winter?
It’s hard to believe, but one of the most popular tips from professional gardeners in winter is: water, water, water – when it’s frost-free.
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