Are Dandelion Flowers, Seeds, Roots and Leaves Edible?

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are perennial plants from the Asteraceae (daisy) family, that are native to Europe and Asia. They’re often described as ‘edible weeds’, which is a rather disparaging term, considering that the plant has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for many centuries across many cultures! In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) dandelion isContinue reading “Are Dandelion Flowers, Seeds, Roots and Leaves Edible?”

Three Useful Herbs Which Can Be Used as Natural Compost Activators and Much More

Comfrey, nettles and yarrow are herbs that are dynamic accumulators, plants capable of concentrating nutrients at much higher levels than the surrounding soil. When added to compost, these herbs break down, releasing their concentrated nutrients, helping initiate the composting process in a new compost pile, or restarting it in an existing pile that has slowedContinue reading “Three Useful Herbs Which Can Be Used as Natural Compost Activators and Much More”

How Many Hours of Sun Do Vegetables and Herbs Need to Grow?

The amount of light that vegetables and herbs require varies, depending on the type of plant. We can make most of available garden spaces by observing which areas are in full sun and part shade, both during summer and winter, and then selecting the right plants that will grow best in the available light. SunContinue reading “How Many Hours of Sun Do Vegetables and Herbs Need to Grow?”

The Easiest Way to Dry and Process Turmeric Root to Make Turmeric Powder

Turmeric (Curcuma longa syn. C. domestica) is a subtropical/tropical plant which is a member of the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family, and is native to Southwest India. It’s grown traditionally as a spice, medicine and as a source of bright yellow dye. Ground turmeric root is an important culinary spice, and curry powder contains up to 25%Continue reading “The Easiest Way to Dry and Process Turmeric Root to Make Turmeric Powder”

The Fastest Way to Transplant Volunteer Seedlings with Minimum Root Disturbance

It’s always a great idea to let vegetables such as lettuce to go to seed, because a single plant can produce hundreds of seeds, resulting in lettuce seedlings popping up all around the garden. Plants that grow on their own, that weren’t intentionally planted, are known as volunteers, and volunteer vegetable seedlings are basically freeContinue reading “The Fastest Way to Transplant Volunteer Seedlings with Minimum Root Disturbance”

Companion Planting with Land Cress for Natural Caterpillar Control

Land Cress (Barbarea vulgaris) and American Upland Cress (Barbarea verna) are biennial, edible leafy-green vegetables from the Brassicaceae (cabbage) family. The young leaves, which are spicy in flavour, are often used as a substitute for watercress in dishes, and can be cooked, or used fresh in salads and sandwiches. They’re nutritious leaf vegetables that containContinue reading “Companion Planting with Land Cress for Natural Caterpillar Control”

How to Grow the Medicinal Aloe Arborescens

Aloe arborescens, also know as the tree aloe, torch aloe, candelabra aloe or krantz aloe, is a hardy succulent perennial plant from the Aloe family Asphodelaceae, which is native to the south-eastern coast of Africa (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe). This drought-tolerant succulent prefers to grow in sandy or rocky well-drained soil. ItContinue reading “How to Grow the Medicinal Aloe Arborescens”

How to Make Aloe Vera Gel from Fresh Aloe Vera Leaves

Aloe vera leaves contain a gel which is used externally to treat skin irritation, minor burns, sunburn, itching due to allergies and insect bites, sores, skin ulcers and many other conditions. The edible variety, Aloe vera barbadensis miller, is also used to make Aloe vera juice. This useful plant has a been used medicinally forContinue reading “How to Make Aloe Vera Gel from Fresh Aloe Vera Leaves”

Why Is My Aloe Vera Plant Turning Yellow and Brown?

Aloe vera is a hardy, succulent, semi-tropical plant native to North Africa and the SW Arabian Peninsula, which can tolerate quite harsh conditions. It will grow in poor soils in hot, dry sunny locations with very little water, but can also tolerate dappled sun or part shade, which allows it to be grown successfully asContinue reading “Why Is My Aloe Vera Plant Turning Yellow and Brown?”

Identifying and Growing Edible Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a hardy succulent semi-tropical plant which is native to North Africa and the SW Arabian Peninsula, but at the present time can almost be found worldwide. It’s a very tough plant which will grow in poor soil and hot, dry sunny locations, but can also be grown as an indoor plant nearContinue reading “Identifying and Growing Edible Aloe Vera”

How to Grow Pandan in Temperate Climates

Pandan plant (Pandanus amaryllifolius) (Chinese Name : 班兰) is a tropical plant native to South East Asia. It’s a perennial evergreen tree with fragrantly-scented leaves, growing into a small shrub 1 – 1.6 m tall when the leaves are harvested often, or a small tree 2 – 4.5 m tall in it’s tropical native habitat.Continue reading “How to Grow Pandan in Temperate Climates”

15 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors

Herbs are easy to grow and have many great health benefits, we can use them in the kitchen, for making refreshing teas, or as natural remedies to make us feel better. Herbs can be grown in all spaces, from the smallest balcony to the biggest garden. There are herbs suitable for growing in dry areas,Continue reading “15 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors”

How to Grow Turmeric in the Garden in Temperate Climates

In the previous article on Growing Turmeric in Containers in Temperate Climates, I mentioned that I had discovered a temperate climate technique for growing turmeric in the ground. For those who like to grow plants out of their climatic range without a greenhouse, we’ll explain not only how it’s done, but we’ll also explore theContinue reading “How to Grow Turmeric in the Garden in Temperate Climates”

How to Grow Turmeric in Containers in Temperate Climates

Turmeric (Curcuma longa syn. C. domestica) is a member of the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family. It’s a subtropical/tropical plant native to Southwest India, and has been grown traditionally as a spice, medicine and as a source of bright yellow dye. The root of the turmeric plant has been used in Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine forContinue reading “How to Grow Turmeric in Containers in Temperate Climates”

Companion Planting Table

  Good Companions Bad Companions Apples Chives, Horsetail (Equisetum), Foxgloves, WallflowersNasturtiums, Garlic, Onions Grass, Potatoes Apricots Basil, Tansy, Southernwood Tomatoes, Sage Asparagus Tomatoes, Parsley, Basil   Basil Tomatoes, Asparagus, Parsley, Apricots   Beans Carrots, Cucumbers, Cabbages, Lettuce, Peas, ParsleyCauliflower, Spinach, Summer Savory Onions, Garlic, Fennel, Gladioli, Sunflowers, Kohlrabi Beans, Broad Potatoes, Sweetcorn, Dill   Beans,Continue reading “Companion Planting Table”