Thursday, February 12, 2015

Harvesting Lemon Balm for Herbal Tea

I grow a tea garden in my backyard because there is nothing better than a cup of soothing herbal tea in the afternoon after a rigorous day of working in the garden. Many of the teas that I grow fall under medicinal as they will cure many ailments. Lemon Balm is my go to herbal tea for a natural anxiety relief and it also helps me to sleep. If you like the taste of lemon then grow and harvest lemon balm for herbal tea.
Brew herbal tea from harvested leaves from garden

When it comes to harvesting lemon balm for herbal tea I think it is best to harvest the leaves early in the morning, after the dew has elaborated. Choose young leaves as they are more potent and have the best flavor.

Today I am made  herbal tea by putting a half teaspoon of dried lemon balm leaves into an infuser. (I had harvested these leaves last fall and air dried them on a screen)  The dried lemon balm leaves  in the infuser was then set into the teapot.  I adding the hot water and let the herbs steep for ten minutes.
I use a stainless steel infuser that I bought at rather than a tea-ball.  to view this infuser open this page and scroll down to the bottom.  It is an inexpensive infuser, I think I paid $8. but it is high quality and you can brew your herbal tea in your cup or in the teapot  You can add fresh herb leaves or dried leaves to the infuser.  

Learn more about growing an herbal tea garden by viewing this video.

Growing Medicinal Herbs in Sun Garden

Normally I grow lavender, aloe Vera and German chamomile, rosemary lemon balm and peppermint in my medicinal herb gardens but this year I intend on growing lemon balm, witch hazel and St. Johns wort, thus creating a medicinal herb garden that will ease my aches, pain, heal cuts and help me to get to sleep.
Pretty yellow flower of the St Johns Wort herb plant

The lavender, chamomile, lemon balm are good for relieving stress and are a natural sleep remedy. The Aloe Vera is good for stomach upset and constipation when taken internally however this herb is also good for your skin, a natural remedy for burns and when used as a moisturizer will reduce the signs of aging. Witch hazel makes an excellent compress for bruises and St. Johns wort is an anti-inflammatory and is good when used as a compress for small cuts or wounds. It can also be used to treat stomach upset and mild depression.
Rosemary in garden

I grow these medicinal herbs in gardens outdoors, the Aloe Vera is grown in my kitchen in a container. My gardens are raised beds with organic soil. The area is sunny with partial shade in the afternoon because my summers are too darn hot.
When it comes to growing a medicinal herb garden I care for my plants by watering in the early morning. And when it is really hot I will mist the herb garden in the late afternoon to prevent the flowers and leaves from wilting.
In the past I have been successful in growing a variety of herbs in the garden and I am looking forward to growing the new herbs; witch hazel, St, Johns Wort this year.
View this youtube video to learn about other medicinal herbs that you can grow in your garden.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tractor Supply Co Organic Seed - Greenhouse Review

A friend told me that I should check out the garden products and organic vegetable seed at tractor supply Co.  I was told that they had a variety of organic vegetable, herb and flowers seeds for the garden and that I needed to also check out a portable greenhouses for patio or deck.

 I shopped online at and found that they had a good assortment of lawn and garden products including  a five foot greenhouses with shelves that would be perfect for starting my organic vegetables.   I was interested in viewing a small 5 foot greenhouse with shelves for my deck and saw that it was on sale but only available in the stores. 
Organic vegetable seed bought from Tractor Supply Co

I drove across town to the Tractor Supply Co I found the greenhouse and a variety of organic vegetable seeds.  I was able to buy Seeds of Change 100% certified organic vegetables. I am really happy that I found these USDA organic seeds because they are the only seeds that I will grow in my gardens.

If you are looking for organic vegetable seeds then I would recommend that you go to the Tractor Supply Co store and check out their products. I found that they were priced fair and liked that the seed packages are sealed and dated. You get first quality organic seeds in safety packages.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Gardening During Winter Months

Normally this time of the year there is snow on the ground but instead bitter cold temperatures we are blessed with warm spring like weather.

 Due to the warm weather  I had two clients that needed help with their gardening needs and I was busy last week doing  yard and garden projects. This week I find that the  weather will be warm on Wednesday so I am making plans to work in my yard and garden.  I really love being able to work in the garden during the winter months.
Normal weather in January is Snow

There is not much to do in the backyard but I would like to fertilize the irises especially the ones that met my husband weedeater last fall. These irises took a beating because he cut them almost to the tuber. 

The extra soil  around the tubers will be good because the last snow did cause erosion and many of the roots are exposed.  I am mixing compost, potting soil and bone meal and will fertilize my tulip bulb garden, lily garden and the irises.

When that garden project is completed I plan on adding new mulch around the garden path and fill in where pea gravel is needed. I think the mulch and gravel will make the yard and gardens look good for the rest of the winter.
Gardening During Winter Months, cleanup gardens

Then all that is left to do is trim back the ornamental grasses and remove any leaves from this garden.  I really love that we are having warm weather during the winter months as it allows me to get my gardens ready for planting and my yard cleaned up.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Another Productive Day in the Garden

Today I was up early and out the door before stopping for coffee. I needed to be at my clients house at 8 AM to do their spring bulb containers.  Lucky for me my client Marge handed me a cup of coffee and also offered me 2 slices of cinnamon toast. It is safe to say I have been on call to do their gardening needs for years and tend to think of them as friends who are also my clients.

The bulb resin containers came in two sizes 16 inch and 19 inch, both were deep enough for the bulbs.  

Planting the spring bulbs was an easy  project.  I planted the two large containers that would feature red tulips and Dutch master daffodils and the other 2 containers would feature grape hyacinth bulbs, Muscari armeniacum with yellow daffodils and narcissus bulbs. 

Then I did some smaller daffodils and tulip containers that would be kept in cold storage (average temp 48 degrees Fahrenheit)  My client said she would use the small bulb containers to  decorate indoors; dinning table, coffee table and she would give some to neighbors.

Since the bulbs came from clients cold storage and had sprouted already I did not recommend that they put the containers outdoors especially if the weather was bitter cold and soil would freeze. This would not be good for the bulbs that had signs of new growth.

My client agreed and said they would put the containers on their deck where there was plenty of sun.  Then if the weather turned bitter cold again they would move to a protected area where the soil would not freeze. 

 I also recommended that the soil stay evenly moist but not wet as they did not want the bulb to dry out.

After the spring bulb container gardens were planted I went back home and got busy being productive in my own garden. Worked some on my new herb garden and also made a list of the things that I needed for the garden center at Lowe's.

This time of the year is busy for me because clients are a calling for help with their yard and garden needs and I also need to get my gardens ready for spring flowers blooms and garden plantings.

Today was another perfect day for working in the garden. I am glad that we have had warm days in January because I have used the time wisely by being productive in the yard and garden.