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How to Know If Herbs are Annual, Biennial, or Perennial

A true annual grows, flowers, sets seed, and dies within one year. Sometimes a biennial herb acts like an annual and vise versa. Some annual herbs are basil, marjoram, summer savory, dill, calendula, anise, chervil, and cilantro. Cilantro usually refers to the leaves of Coriandrum sativum while coriander usually refers to the seeds of the same plant. Calendula, cilantro, and dill are the most likely to reseed if you don’t cut your plants back until the seed has dropped. I have never heard of basil reseeding. Biennials grow leaves the first year and flower, set seed, and die the second year. Borage, parsley, clary sage, and angelica fit this category. Sometimes borage is an annual. Parsley leaves can be harvested for a short time during the second year of growth. I let my parsley reseed the second year so it plants itself for the following year. Perennials live for two or more years before dying. Some perennials live many years. There are shrub like perennials such as sage, lavender, thyme, and hyssop which do not die down to the ground for the winter. Other perennials including lovage, fennel, and sorrel grow back from the ground each spring. It is important to know which is which because it most cases you do not want to cut the shrubby herbs to the ground. Some perennials listed above may be a tender perennial in your climate. This could be due to winter temperatures or it could be due to other factors including soil moisture. Sage, lavender, and French tarragon are perennials in my dry, zone 6 garden. Even those who have the same climate zone may not be able to grow them outdoors because the soil stays too wet. The variety also makes a difference in whether something is a perennial in your

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Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Bees, Wasps

First of all it is important to know the difference.  Some sites with photos and other information: Yellow Jackets Bald-faced Hornet Bumblebees Honeybees Wasps Bees Knowing the difference can help you to know which ones are worth worrying about.  They all provide some benefit to your garden. Bees. Honeybees and bumble bees are only two types of the bees which help pollinate our plants. Mason bees are another type and are a native bee which although they don’t produce honey are very beneficial. Native bees also don’t sting. If you have bees where you do not want them call a beekeeper and they would be happy to remove them. Yellow jackets provide some benefit by eating insects and pollinating plants.  However they are the most vicious and can sting numerous times.  If you are allergic to their stings or you have so many that they are eating your grilled steak or getting in your soda pop, controlling them would be a good idea.   The best times of the day to use any controls are in the evenings just before dusk and in the morning just after sunrise.  Yellow jackets go home at night and so you will kill more of them and be less bothered when using sprays, hanging traps, etc. If you know where the nest is you can use sprays on the nest or on the opening to the nest. If spraying near power lines be sure to use a spray designed for that purpose. If the nest is in the ground a better solution may be diatomaceaous earth which you can purchase at many garden centers including Basil & Rose or online. Place the diatomaceous earth on the openings and at least 6 inches around the area where the openings are (there will likely be at least

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Are Your Potatoes and Onions Dying?

Does it appear that your onions and potatoes are dying?  Maybe garlic too?  Or did they seem to die a few weeks ago? When potatoes, onions, and garlic begin dying (especially if it is mid to late summer or later) they may just be ready to harvest.  Try pulling the soil away slightly or digging them up.  If the onions and garlic have formed bulbs and the potatoes have tubers then go ahead and harvest what you have.

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Looking for Gardening Gloves?

Gardening gloves are something that I  did not like to wear when gardening except for some of the time when pruning roses.  I like to feel the soil, the seeds, and the plants.  It just seemed that gloves were more in my way than helping. When working for a landscaping company I found that gloves were a necessity.  I never knew what I might find in the soil – broken glass, dog poop, moose droppings (this was Alaska).  I would start the day with a large box of latex gloves but each pair may not last through one job and my hands couldn’t “breathe”.   It seemed like such a waste throwing away so many gloves everyday. One day my boss gave me a pair of gloves to try out.  They were fantastic and I have them to this day.  FoxGloves are machine washable, come in a variety of colors, and make a great gift for a gardener (or for yourself).  For me, wearing FoxGloves is almost like I am not wearing gloves.  I have only tried the original style.    I also used FoxGloves when installing Christmas lights at the grounds of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah and they worked very well for that purpose. I would think that birdwatchers and photographers would also love these gloves. When I opened my store Basil & Rose in Bountiful, Utah I began selling all styles of FoxGloves including their work gloves which do not get stiff when wet like many work gloves. All of their gloves are machine washable on delicate.

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10+ Ways to Protect Your Landscape From Deer

Deer visiting my yard can be an exciting but frustrating experience.  If we could only teach them how to prune and weed properly!  Some of the following may help reduce deer browsing in your yard.  Some people have success with one method and others report the need to periodically change what they are doing.  In Alaska, Moose were the untrained gardeners.  Good luck and let me know what works for you! Soap – especially Irish Spring – placed in net bags or nylon stocking and hung from trees or shrubs. One bar can be cut into 4-6 pieces. Coyote urine clips to attach to branches or trees and shrubs. Coyote spray will have an overwhelming scent so the clips are a better option. Deer repellents – Liquid Fence, Deer Off and similar products contain eggs, garlic, hot pepper – not for use on edible plants. Blood meal (sold as a nitrogen fertilizer) or Blood Meal/Chili Powder mix sold as a repellent – works best on plants growing close to the ground such as tulips. Dog hair or unwashed human hair placed in net bags or nylon stockings and hung from trees, shrubs, or trellises. Fertilizing with liquid fish emulsion is great for plants and said to repel deer. Use a hose end sprayer set at 1 T per gallon. I like to mix it with equal amounts of liquid kelp. Deer tend to dislike smelly, fuzzy plants such as lavender. Planting such plants around those you want to protect may work as a repellent. Planting things deer tend to dislike.  Deer have been known to eat plants that they typically do not like.  Also, sometimes they take a bite and spit it out.  List of deer resistant plants Deer fencing.  Needs to be tall enough so they can’t jump it

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When to Plant

I have seen some lists going around for planting that are incorrect or may contain dates which don’t apply to all parts of the world. Although it is difficult to make a list that applies to every climate I felt that this list would be helpful to most people in most places.  To make the most of this information find your last average frost date This list is referring to when to plant in the ground or in a pot or raised bed outdoors. Some things such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are best planted as a plant and others such as peas, beans, and corn are best planted as a seed directly into the ground. If planting indoors you may plant whenever you want. Remember to add good quality compost before planting. I have added  compost to my Square Foot Garden beds and then planted cabbage (which I started indoors from seed), peas, lettuce, and arugula. In containers use good quality potting soil – not garden soil. When you see something under two headings it is because it can be planted at either time. Succession plant: Plant multiple crops, one after the other, to get a longer harvest. Early Spring – as soon as the soil is workable (you don’t get to actually play in the mud when planting). In my area beginning 2 – 2/12 months before the last average frost date. Arugula – succession plantBlackberriesBok ChoyCabbageCabbageCarrotsCeleriacChardChervilCressCurrantsGooseberriesKiwi – hardy Kiwi survives the winter in colder climates including parts of Utah and AlaskaLeeksLettuceMacheMiner’s LettuceMizunaMustardOracheParsnipsPeas – traditionally planted by St Patrick’s Day in my USDA zone 5/6 areaPerennial herbsPerennial flowersPurslaneRadishesRaspberriesRhubarbSalsifySorrelSpinachStrawberriesTurnips Spring. In my area beginning about two  months before the last average frost date. ApplesApricotsAsparagusBeetsBroccoliBrussels SproutsCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryCherriesChicoryChivesCilantro – succession plantDill – succession plantEndiveFennelFlorence FennelFrench tarragonGarlic (in my area – Utah –

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