Can you believe it's March 1st, already? You know what that means, right? Only 19 more sleeps until springtime!!!
Then again, if you're like me and can't wait to go dig your hands deep into some nicely de-frosted dirt, maybe you've been collecting seed catalogs, dog-earing magazine articles and/or surfing Pinterest, creating the perfect garden (in our heads, anyway) since January.
The good folks at Hearst Magazines have harvested expert advice and inspiring photographs from some of MY FAVORITE magazines: Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Country Living and Woman's Day!
Gardening the Easy Way hits the stands on March 6th: however, we get to share a sneak peek at the issue with an awesome article on 1-Hour Herb Garden and Climbing Roses.
The 1-Hour Herb Garden
These aromatic plants are perfect for growing in containers, making this project ideal for apartment-dwellers and experienced gardeners alike. Keep them near the kitchen door, and you’ll have a steady supply all summer long.
Step 1: Cover the pot’s drainage hole with a terracotta shard or a coffee filter. No drainage hole? Drill one in the bottom of the pot. (For smaller pots, the hole should be a half inch in diameter; for larger pots, 1 inch.) Fill the container about two-thirds full with your potting mix.
Step 2: Map the layout of your herbs by arranging the still-potted plants in the container. First place trailing herbs (which will grow over the pot’s side), such as thyme, oregano, and chives, around the edge. Medium-height herbs such as tarragon, sage, and marjoram fill in the next section. The tallest herbs (lavender, fennel, rosemary) go in the center. Leave 3 to 4 inches between plants. Five to eight herbs will fit in a larger pot; three to five in a smaller one.
Step 3: Remove herbs from their original pots and place them in the soil. If the roots are tightly bound, use your hands or a fork to gently loosen them so they can spread out and make themselves at home in the new soil.
Step 4: Use a spoon or your hands to fill in the soil around the seedlings, leaving 2 inches to the top of your container so there’s enough room to water. Herbs shouldn’t be planted too far beneath the surface—where the soil gets compacted—or their roots will suffocate.
Step 5: Pack the soil very firmly around the plants. You want your herbs to feel secure, so the tighter you pack in the soil around them, the better.
Step 6: Water immediately. Herbs do best outside (and love full sun), so don’t start your garden until the daytime temperature is consistently 65ºF.
Problem: Unsightly, spindly shrubs left behind after roses fade in mid-summer.
Solution: Climbing roses—many varieties bloom repeatedly through summer until the first frost. They also scramble up and soften fences, arbors, and walls.
How to Plant: Find a place in your garden with full sun, well-drained soil, and something—a post, fence, trellis, or arbor—for your roses to clamber over. Plant in spring or autumn, spacing roses approximately 6 feet apart. During the first season, expect lots of canes (branches) but few flowers. Using twine, tie the canes horizontally to your structure to promote growth.
How to Cut: Choose canes that have some unopened buds, rather than those that are completely open. Cut each stem 12 to 15 inches below the roses, remove leaves that will be below water level, and cut the stem at a 45-degree angle.
This special edition is available for $6.99 at your supermarket or bookstore, or as a digital version at Zinio.com or Nook.bn.com.
I had the privilege of co-hosting a Lunch Time Gardening Chat on the Horizon Healthy Families Community earlier this month and got to share some really great gardening tips there, as well.
© 2003 - 2012 This Full House
Disclosure: No payment was received for this blog post. Publishing company offered to share a sneak peek with my online friends and fellow gardening enthusiasts and I said yes. Because, we roll like that.