The violets (Viola pratincola), are in popping up everywhere here in northern Maine. The children and I gather the delicate flowers for a special treat called Violet Infused Sugar. Simple and pretty, we layer blossoms with white sugar and repeat, until everyone grows tired of picking.
This is a spring tradition on our farm, and it is a delightful way to share my love of wild plants with my family.
Can you believe that April is gone? It flew by faster than any other month this year. I think it is because we were all so tired of winter that once those first warm days hit, we got out in the garden and never looked back.
Here is a roundup of the new content for the month of April 2013:
How To Control Aggressive Herbs
What Herbs Grow As Herbal Vines
Where To Buy Herbs For Allergies
Guest Post: Osha Root
What To Plant In An Herb Garden For Allergy Sufferers
Spring Tonic Herbs
What Fun Supplies Do I Need For An Herb Garden
It's not always about serious herb garden stuff anymore. For fun, I have compiled a list of items that are not only useful for the herb gardener, they are also fun! Check it out and see if you agree.
Meanwhile, up here in Maine, an essential herb garden supply is a head to toe suit made from mosquito netting. Seriously, if the black flies don't kill you, the mosquitoes certainly will. I didn't put that on the list.
Spring is in the air and as my family likes to say, "Grass is on the plate." I'm sure they mean that in a most loving way. ~not~
Do you eat dandelion greens? They are delicious and as far as wild herbs go, pretty tame. Take a look out in your lawn, they probably are coming up right now. If not dandelion, then most likely at least some of these Spring Herbs. Get out there and see.
Today's herb information is brought to you courtesy of Anne Asher, owner of Posturally. Anne has written a great article about the herb Osha Root. Be sure to check it out and let her know that I sent you!
Also, if you would like to submit a guest article, I would love to discuss your ideas. Feel free to contact me across most social media channels, or simply email me.
Without weather bouncing around like it is, sometimes we forget that before tucking new herbs into the ground outside, they have to be hardened off. . This is an easy but essential task that often has us running out in a moment of clarity and saving a tray of teeny lavender plants before they fry in the midday sun. Marie Iannotti, About.com's Guide to Gardening, has a great article about hardening off plants, that applies to the herb gardeners as well.
Your baby herbs will acquire a faded and/or shriveled look if they become scalded by early spring sun. If you buy your herbs straight from a greenhouse grower, you may find that a couple of days in and out of the sun should harden them off nicely. Don't let all that hard work go to waste, by putting fragile plants out into the sun and wind without taking a couple of days to get them used to their new digs.
In other news, got allergies? If you don't have a stash of these 5 herbs for allergies, here is a handy-dandy list of direct links to buy them. It is a good idea to get started with an allergy reducing schedule about 4-6 weeks before you usually get your first allergic reaction.
Is anyone lucky enough to have dandelions, chickweed, nettles, or other wild herbs ready for harvest yet? We are experiencing our first warm day to speak of, and as much as I would love to get out there to forage, the green grass is just about all I can see. Soon, very soon.
This week, check out 5 herbs for that Allergy Sufferers' Herb Garden that you were thinking of growing. Interesting.
We are getting used to being back in rain country after 16 years of dryness and drought. Since rain is still a novelty, it hasn't bothered us that everything is mucky and sticky with mud. It smells heavenly, and there is so much green!
I am going to have to remember what gardening was like back in the day, when seedlings didn't burn up if you weren't fast enough planting them!
I'm curious, what is the weather in your part of the world?
Well, there comes a time when a gardener has to give in and get started; even if it is a few weeks early. With the extra time, you could play around a little bit with your plants. There will be a cushion of time to correct anything that doesn't turn out well. Why not try rooting your own herbs?
If you are rooting herb cuttings, you can make your own rooting hormone from willow twigs. Don't think of rooting herbs as a sink or swim chance. Learn to play around with your herbs, trying new techniques and change things up a bit. Growing herbs is more than just cut and dried (no bad pun intended) gardening. What makes us Herbies so cool is our ability to experiment.
Are you an herbal lurker? The Herb Gardens forum is certainly busy with readers. There are not as many posters. If you have a minute, check out some of the great new threads that have sprouted up.
As we draw near the
day of candy feasting Easter holiday, it is time for that age old tradition of dyeing eggs.
We can use natural foods and herbs to make some pretty colors on our eggs. Don't worry if you only have brown eggs. The colors will be just as nice. If you happen to have little chefs who don't seem to get along well during Easter egg dyeing (cough, cough) it helps to have actually have both brown and white eggs ready to go. Then everyone can have their *own* type of egg. Please don't ask me how I know.
This article of mine, gives some natural herb material to use: Dyeing Eggs With Herbs. If you need more ideas, here are some egg dyeing articles from around the About.com network:
Photo: Flickr user Somewhereintheworldtoday