Not Just For Feline Friends

Catnip herb pictureThe common Catnip, Nepeta cataria, a member of the mint family is native to the Mediterranean area of Europe, but has spread throughout Europe and North America and many other places, where it grows freely as a weed. The genus Nepeta has many species, some of which are called catmints and are grown as ornamental plants.

And of course most of people know of the stimulating effect Catnip herb has on cats. In addition to cats, bees are also fond of Catnip.

Catnip plant is a hardy perennial, it stem is covered with fine hairs and grows woody near the base as it ages. The leaves of common catnip are heart-shaped, gray green and have a scalloped edge. They are covered with soft hairs and appear downy. The leaves have a lemon-mint flavor and scent.

The catnip flowers are small spikes of white flowers with tiny purple dots on the throat, and not very showy. There is also an uncommon yellow variety. In good conditions catnip can grow to 5 foot high and 3 feet wide. Catnip herb is tough and spreads rapidly by seed through the garden, popping up everywhere.

Growing your own catnip is more economical than purchasing it in the store. Home grown catnip is also fresher and can be more potent than store bought.


The herb Catnip is easy to grow, perhaps even, too easy.

  • Pot Size                        3,25" container.
  • Seed Spacing               Sow Catnip seeds on the top of the slightly moistened soil and gently press them into the soil.
  • Seed Germination         7 to 10 days.
  • Plant Spacing               Catnip should be spaced between 15” and 18” (38 and 45 cm) apart.
  • Water Requirements    Water on a regular schedule, taking care to not overwater.
  • Soil Requirements        Well drained, average soil.
  • Growing Mix                 Mix two parts sterilized potting soil and one part coarse sand.
  • Fertilizer                        All-purpose organic fertilizer. Use only a very mild fertilizer and apply it at half the suggested application rate.
  • Sun Requirements        Catnip prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade. Plants need at least 5 hours of direct sunlight daily.

Catnip can also be propagated by dividing the roots, or from softwood or stem tip cuttings. Cuttings from young plants tend to root more quickly, often in just a week. Stem cuttings should be about 10 cm (4 inches) long.

Cats aren't the only creatures that benefit from Catnip as the leaves may be used in cooking - candied to enjoy as a dessert.
Long before true tea found its way to Europe people were brewing catnip herbal tea. Catnip was used as one of medicinal herbs and just as a soothing warm drink. It was often given to children to calm them and help them sleep. Since Catnip actually has simulative properties the tea probably soothed the colic pains that were keeping crabby children awake. It still makes a safe and soothing tea.

Catnip herb is settling to the stomach, sedative, and, since it powerfully stimulates sweating, fever reducing. Catnip tea taken with Valerian, Lemon Balm or St. Johns Wort can be used as a natural remedy for insomnia. Its pleasant taste and gentle action make it suitable for colds, flu, and fever in children, especially when it is mixed with elderflower and honey. Catnip is markedly antiflatulent, settling indigestion and is also useful in treating headaches related to digestive problems. A tincture makes a good friction rub for rheumatic and arthritic joints, and, as an ointment, treats haemorrhoids.

A strong catnip tea can be used as effective eyewash to relieve inflammation and swelling due to certain airborne allergies, cold and flu, and excess alcoholic intake ("bloodshot eye" syndrome).

The tea is also very good for the miseries of hayfever and nausea. A small cup of warm catnip tea sweetened with honey is good for calming hyperactive kids.

Catnip oil is used to relieve the symptoms of headaches, insomnia, nervousness and depression. Its essential oil is being tested as a mosquito repellent.

Catnip has also been used to discourage rats, who are said to avoid areas where it grows. Some also claim the herb deters mice, flea beetles and Japanese beetles.

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World's most popular herb

The delicious and vibrant taste and wonderful healing properties of Parsley herb are often ignored in its popular role as a table garnish. Parsley, Petroselinum crispum, a member of the carrot family, is the world's most popular herb. It derives its name from the Greek word meaning "rock celery" (parsley is a relative to celery). The plant is of South European (probably East Mediterranean) origin and became popular in more Northern latitudes in the Middle Ages, when it was commonly grown in monasteries and Imperial gardens.
Parsley is prized both for its looks and for fresh, grassy flavor. There are two common varieties: the mild curly parsley and the more flavorful Italian parsley. Use curly parsley if you want looks and Italian parsley if you want flavor. It combines very well with other herbs (Dill, Cilantro and Thyme), and tends to enhance food flavors.
 Parsley herb grows well in a deep pot, which helps accommodate the long taproot. Parsley grown indoors requires at least five hours of sunlight a day.


Container Size              8" - 10" depth, 8" to 10" diameter (if planted alone).

Plant Height                  Parsley plants grow to a height of 12 to 18 inches (30 - 45cm).

Seed Spacing               Soak seeds overnight to improve germination. Sow about 1" apart and cover them with a ¼" layer of the moist soil.

Seed Germination         21 to 28 days. Darkness aids germination.

Plant Spacing                Parsley plants should be spaced 9 to 12 inches (22 - 30cm) apart.

Soil Requirements         Tolerates most soils, but rich, well-drained, moist, with pH between 6 and 7 is best.

Growing Mix                  Soilless peat based potting mix.

Fertilizer                        Use a liquid fertilizer. Fertilize parsley every other week during watering

Sun & Lighting                Parsley prefers full sun and can tolerate some shade. It requires at least five hours of sunlight a day.

Water Requirements   Average water needs. Keep parsley well-watered at all stages of growth; do not ever let it really dry out.

Fresh parsley photoWhen taking leaves for use (or freezing), snip stalks off close to the ground, starting with the outside ones (that practice best encourages new growth).
Parsley is often used for sauces; the famous German Green Sauce is an example. Chopped parsley and garlic in olive oil make for a wonderful Mediterranean sauce, to be served to broiled fish.

As an alternative, especially in France, chervil leaves may serve the same purpose. French cooks frequently combine parsley with other fresh herbs (e.g., chervil or lemon balm) or use a classical composition, the renowned fines herbes (see Chives); this mixture may substitute pure Parsley leaves for any application, thus giving the dishes a richer aroma and somewhat Mediterranean character. The famous French recipe sauce béarnaise also makes use of fresh parsley leaves.

As parsley aroma suffers from any prolonged heat treatment, parsley leaves should not be cooked if distinct parley fragrance is desired; quick frying in olive oil, though, is acceptable.

An excellent source of vitamins A and C, it also contains niacin, riboflavin and calcium. Rich in chlorophyll, Parsley is also a breath freshener. Parsley can also act as a medicinal herb for diuretic and digestion properties. Parsley is also known to purify the blood and strengthening the immune system. It is known to be good for bladder infections, kidney and gall bladder complaints, arthritis and it alsoaids blood circulation.

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Symbol of Happiness

Marjoram (Origanum marjorana) is a very close relative of Oregano, and is a member of the Mint family. It is native to North Africa and Southwest Asia. In ancient Egyptian culture, Marjoram was a symbol of happiness.

Marjoram is easy to grow as a houseplant. After your have enjoyed it all winter, plant it outdoors after all danger of frost. If you have limited space, try this herb in a container on your patio or deck.

Marjoram has milder, sweeter flavour than oregano with perhaps a hint of balsam. It is said to be “the” meat herb but compliments all foods except sweets. Common to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods, marjoram is grown domestically and imported mostly from Egypt.


Pot size                       6 to 8 inches.

Seed Spacing               Difficult to space because of tiny seeds, spread on the top of soil and scratch into surface (very shallow).

Seed Germination         8 to 14 days.

Plant Spacing                Plants should be spaced 15 to 18 inches (38 - 45cm) apart.

Soil Requirements          Rich and well-drained

Growing Mix                    Mix two parts of potting soil to one part of coarse sand or perlite.

Fertilize                          Do not add fertilizer to Marjoram, and it will produce stronger flavor.

Sun Requirements          Marjoram requires at least 5 hours of sunlight a day.

Water Requirements       Water on a regular schedule, do not overwater.

Sweet marjoram pictureMarjoram really shines in the kitchen. Marjoram combines well with other seasonings and will enhance so many different dishes. Consider it a natural for meat dishes but don't hesitate to use marjoram to season vegetables served cooked or raw, fish and chicken or dishes with eggs and/or cheese. It is especially good along with other cooking herbs in beef stew.

In China, Sweet Marjoram has traditionally been used both as a folk remedy and as a culinary herb. It is known for its soothing and warming properties and has been used to treat respiratory problems, nervous tension, menstrual and digestive difficulties.

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Add a dash of flavor and elegance to your foods

     Without a doubt, Chives are the absolute easiest herb to grow. They are native to Siberia and Southeast Asia. A member of the onion family, Chive plants have narrow, tubular leaves that are delicious snipped fresh into any dish where onions are used. If you let them grow too long, they will produce pretty lavender blooms. Hardy plants need just a little care and love indoors.

Chives herb image
     Most people recognize them as those little, jade-green sprinkles on their baked potatoes in restaurants. Chives are a common sight in gardens or along walkways; they are cultivated for both their ornamental and culinary properties.
Chives go where the others are unwelcome. No onion or garlic breath from this lovely cousin. No tearful chopping or tedious peeling, just snip away at the deep green grass-like fronds. Yet you still get a mild onion flavor that goes so well with eggs, potatoes and fish.

Pot size                       6-12 inches wide x 6-10 inches deep. 

Seed Spacing               Sow seeds just below soil surface and water

Plant Spacing                Chives should be spaced 6 to 9 inches (15 - 22cm) apart.

Seed Germination          Period 15 to 21 days.

Soil Requirements          Well drained, fertile and rich in humus.

Growing Mix                   Mix two parts potting soil and one part coarse sand or perlite.

Fertilizer                          Water in an organic fertilizer such as compost tea or manure tea once a month

Sun & Lighting                Chives prefer full sun. They need 5 to 8 hours of sunlight daily.

Water Requirements        Water on a regular schedule, taking care to not over-water.

Photo Chives My Garden     Chives add a dash of flavor and elegance to many different foods. Chives are best used fresh, but may be frozen. Fresh, they can be chopped fine and added to butters (great for corn on the cob), soft cheeses, and salads.
     Chives are often used as part of "Fines Herbs". This blend of finely chopped fresh herbs is usually made up of equal parts of three or four of the following: Basil, Chervil, Chives, Marjoram, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Tarragon, or Thyme; and is usually added at the end of cooking so that the delicate flavors are not lost.
     Bright purple Chive flowers make an eye catching and flavorful garnish sprinkled on salads, omelettes, chicken and vegetable dishes.

     The medical properties of chives are similar to those of garlic, but weaker; the faint effects in comparison with garlic are probably the main reason for its limited use as a medicinal herb. Chives are also rich in vitamins A and C and contain trace amounts of sulfur and are rich in calcium and iron. They have been used in alternative medicine as a cure for colds and flu, and as an appetite stimulant.

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Easy and Useful

Growing Summer Savory is one of the must-to-do’s in the herb garden as this very popular herb is both easy and useful. Savory is native to warm regions of southern Europe. Ancient herbalists commonly mention two savories: Summer (Satureja hortensis) and Winter (Satureja montana). Both kinds of savories are from the mint family but are not invasive like many other mint herbs. These two aromatic herbs are small, widely cultivated garden plants with narrow leaves and pale lavender, pink, or white flowers.

Summer savory, which is more highly prized as a spice and as a folk medicine, is an annual; Winter savory is a perennial. For hundreds of years, they both have enjoyed a reputation as sex herbs. Summer savory was believed to increase desire (act as an aphrodisiac), and winter savory was believed to decrease the sex drive (anaphrodisiac). It is easy to see why Summer savory became the more popular herb.


Pot Size                     6 inch wide, 10 inch deep container.

Seed Spacing             Savory seeds should be spaced 1/2 " apart at 1/8" depth.

Seed Germination       10 to 18 days.

Plant Spacing              Savory plants should be spaced 3 to 5 inches (7- 12cm) apart.

Soil Requirements        Well drained and moderately fertile.

Growing Mix                 Use a mix of about two parts potting soil to one part coarse sand or perlite.

Fertilizer                        Feed with fish/seaweed liquid fertilizer every 3-1/2 weeks.Less fertilizing is needed in the late winter.

Sun & Lighting              Savory prefer full sun. It needs at least 5 hours of direct sunlight a day.

Water Requirements      Water on a regular schedule, taking care to not overwater.

Summer savory photoSummer savory is a traditional popular herb in Atlantic Canada, where it is used in the same way Sage is elsewhere. Savory gives an excellent flavor to beans and other legumes. In fact, its German name is Bohnenkraut or bean herb. Both savories, as well as the aromatic volatile oils obtained from them, are much used in flavoring various kinds of sausages. Also used very often with a lighter meats such as chicken or turkey and can be used in stuffing.

It has a strong flavour while uncooked but loses much of its flavour under prolonged cooking.

Savory also has marked medicinal benefits, especially upon the whole digestive system, it settles gas and stimulates the digestion. Taken internally, it is said to be a remedy for colic and a cure for flatulence. Savory is belived to be effectual, when combined with hot water in the form of a herbal tea, for minor throat irritations. A sprig of the plant, rubbed onto bee or wasp stings, brings instant relief.

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Little hint of Chilli and everything tastes just so much better

Cayenne herb photoLong red Cayenne peppers, Capsicum frutescens, are favorite for many home gardeners. Cayenne peppers and the name Cayenne comes from the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. These chili peppers are also called African Pepper, Devil's Tongue, Red Bird Pepper, and Hot Flame peppers. Not only are these hearty vegetables easy to grow and delicious to eat, but they also contain more vitamin C than oranges!

Cayenne is a shrubby plant about 2 to 4 feet tall that is native to South and Central America. It is grown worldwide for it's culinary and medicinal properties. The plants have smooth, somewhat shiny, green leaves, and flowers that produce elongated oval-shaped pods (peppers) that contain dozens of tiny, pungent tasting seeds. The peppers and seeds are highly aromatic and have a hot, spicy flavor.

Everybody needs to grow chillis for cooking. Even if you don't like hot food, just a little hint of chilli to warm it up stimulates the taste buds and everything else tastes just so much better.


Pot Size                      6-inch or larger size container.

Seed Germination        16 to 20 days. The seed needs at least 20°C to germinate.

Seed Spacing               Push the seeds just below the surface at a depth not over two millimetres.

Plant Spacing               18 to 24 inches apart

Soil Requirements         Will grow in any reasonably fertile soil and don't need any special treatment. But they grow better in rich soils and produce more fruit.

Growing Mix                  Mix together very well 1/3 Potting Soil, 1/3 Sand and 1/3 Garden soil (needs to be well tilled).

Fertilizer                       Fertilize lightly about once a month with Fish emulsion.

Sun & Lighting               Full sun. Cayenne peppers need to receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Water Requirements       Keep the plant well watered but do not overwater.

The benefits of Cayenne Pepper have been well known for thousands of years, but it hasn't been until recently that the Western world has redeemed this spicy vegetable as more than just a tongue twister. Many herbalists believe that the Cayenne Pepper is the most useful of all medicinal herbs. Not only is the Pepper naturally high in Vitamins A, C, and the B complexes, but its is also very rich in organic calcium and potassium. As an added benefit, Cayenne also acts as a catalyst when combined with other herbs, increasing their effectiveness and healing properties.

Cayenne peppers contain capsaisin, a substance that many believe offer health benefits. Despite its 'burning' reputation, it has a soothing effect on the digestive tract and can aid in the treatment of other conditions including migraines, toothaches, fevers, congestion, sprains and muscle pain. Cayenne pepper delivers healing blood (the river of life) into sick or dying organs better than any other herb or medicine. Cayenne can also be applied topically to improve blood flow.

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A Tasty Herb With Many Uses

Garlic Chives photo     Garlic Chives, Allium tuberosum , are also known as Chinese Chives or Chinese Leek. A relatively new vegetable in the English-speaking world but well-known in Asian cuisine, the flavor of garlic chives is more like garlic than chives, though much milder. Garlic chives are a slightly different version of the onion or  common Chives with flat leaves instead of tube shaped and a more pronounced garlic scent. Pink flowers appear on the common Chives and the Garlic chives have white flowers. They are also edible and can be used to garnish salads.

     Garlic chives spreads by means of rhizomes (underground stems), which are rather similar to the rhizomes of the common bearded iris. Roots emerge from the underside of these rhizomes.


Pot Size                      Use a container 6-8 inches wide and at least 6-12 inches deep.  

Plant Spacing               Garlic Chives should be spaced 3 to 5 inches (7- 12cm) apart.

Seed Spacing               1/4", on a depth 1/2".

Seed Germination         7 to 12 days.

Soil Requirements         Well drained and moderately fertile.

Growing Mix                  Mix two parts sterilized potting soil and one part coarse sand or perlite

Fertilizer                       Liquid fertilizer once every four to six weeks.

Sun & Lighting               Grow best in full sun, but tolerate light shade. Prefer about 6 hours of sun a day.

Water Requirements       Water on a regular schedule but keep soil moist

Culinary herbs photo     The combination of a chive-like appearance and strong flavor makes Garlic chives a popular seasoning. Use tender, mild chives leaves to season cream cheese and butter, and in salads, soups, vegetables, sauces, egg dishes, meat and poultry, and seafood -especially salmon, caviar, and oysters.

     Garnish salads, entrees, and hot and cold soups with a sprinkling of freshly snipped chives. When cooking with chives, add it to your dish during the last 5 to 10 minutes, as prolonged heat destroys the flavor.

     Add leaves to vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.

     Try the flowers in egg, cheese, and fish dishes, or use as a garnish. As the pungent flavor of an entire flower head can be overwhelming, break it into individual florets, and add discretely until you find your flavor tolerance level.

     Like other members of the garlic and onion family, garlic chives contain a sulphur-rich mustard oil that aids digestion and helps promote the flow of blood. In folk medicine chives were used to treat intestinal parasites, enhance the immune system, and treat anemia.

     In Chinese herbal medicine, garlic chives has long been used to treat fatigue, help control excessive bleeding, and as an antidote for ingested poisons. The leaves and bulbs are applied to insect bites.

Meet the flavor enhancer

Dill Image
     Dill is one of the easiest herbs to grow and would make a great first herb for someone who has never grown herbs before. The plant is native to southern Europe and a member of the parsley family. The name is derived from the Norse word dilla, meaning to lull, because it is said to have digestive and sedative qualities.

     Dill is common in Russian, German and Scandinavian cooking among many others. The bright green color of the Dill herb is an attractive addition to noodles and rice or mixed into sour cream with other herbs to be served as a dip. To retain the most flavour from the Dill, add near the end of the cooking process.

Pot Size                     6" - 8" diameter, 6" - 8" depth container.
Dill herb imageSeed Germination        7 to 14 days.
Seed Spacing              Press into surface of soil.

Plant Spacing              Dill plants should be spaced close together. This  will allow the plants, which blow over easily to support each other.
Sun & Lighting           Dill prefers full sun and can tolerate some shade. A location that receives at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight is the best.
Water Requirements     Average water needs. Dill likes moist, well-drained soil.
Soil Requirements        Tolerates most soils, but rich, well-drained, moist is best.
Growing Mix                     Add sharp sand or perlite to a good compost-based mix.
Fertilizer                              A light feeding with an organic liquid or fish fertilizer every 4-6 weeks.


Dill My Garden Photo     The taste of Dill leaves resembles that of caraway, while the seeds are pungent and aromatic. Freshly cut, chopped leaves enhance the flavor of dips, herb butter, soups, fish dishes, and salads. The seeds are used in pickling and can also improve the taste of roasts, stews and vegetables. Try grinding the seeds to use as a salt substitute. Both the flowering heads and seeds are used in flavored vinegars and oils.
      Dill herb is useful as a medicinal herb. To brew a stomach-soothing tea, use two teaspoons of mashed seeds per cup of boiling water. Steep for ten minutes. Drink up to three cups a day. In a tincture, take 1/2 to 1 teaspoon up to three times a day. To treat colic or gas in children under two, give small amounts of a weak tea. Many herbalists recommend combining dill and fennel to ease colic in infants.

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Is it really a wild weed?

Milk Thistle pictureMilk Thistle, Silybum Adans, belongs to the sunflower family, native to southern Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor. Growing as high as 5 feet, Milk Thistle has large thorny leaves with striking light-green and white markings and bright pink flowers. The name "milk thistle" derives from two features of the leaves: they are mottled with splashes of white and they contain a milky sap.

A relative of the artichoke, the Milk Thistle herb may be eaten. The unscented seeds taste slightly bitter and should be ground. Milk Thistle is extremely hardy and is often considered to be a weed plant. However, the seeds and flowers are used extensively in herbal medicine.

The ancient legend says that it was Virgin Mary’s milk that dropped onto the leaves and left white traces. That is why people believe that this herb has lactation improving abilities, therefore, is good for use by nursing mothers.

Nowadays the plant becomes more familiar to the American consumers, too, gaining their confidence and trust in its power and health benefits. Since Milk thistle is easy to grow, it is already cultivated in many states throughout the country.

The wonderful thing about this herb is that it's also very easy to grow.

Pot Size                   8" - 10" diameter, 10" - 12" depth container.

Seed spacing             Push the seeds just below the surface at a depth of about 1/4".

Seed Germination      10 to 20 days.

Plant Spacing            16"  apart.

Soil Requirements      Generally tolerate a wide range of soil types, the ideal soil is midway between sand and loam.

Growing Mix               Use very sandy soil mix.

Fertilizer                    Add a few drops of liquid organic fertilizer to the water every two or three weeks.

Sun & Lighting            It can grow in partial shade, but will need at least 7 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day to go to seed.

Water Requirements    Average water needs, can tolerate both wet and dry soil.

At one time or another, virtually all parts of the plant have been used as both cooking herb and medicine herb with virtually no reports of toxicity, aside from a mild laxative effect in some patients. The whole plant is astringent, bitter, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, hepatic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic. Milk Thistle is used to treat inflammatory liver ailments, especially chronic illnesses, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis, gallbladder ailments and related digestive symptoms, varicose and spider veins problems in the legs.

It is possible to use leaves raw or cooked. The very sharp leaf-spines must be removed first, which is quite a fiddly operation. The leaves are quite thick and have a mild flavour when young, at this time they are quite an acceptable ingredient of mixed salads, though they can become bitter in hot dry weather. When cooked they make an acceptable spinach substitute. Flower buds can be cooked. A globe artichoke substitute, they are used before the flowers open. The flavour is mild and acceptable, but the buds are quite small and even more fiddly to use than globe artichokes.

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Add a distinct flavour to the dishes

     This member of the parsley family may be somewhat confusing. Two parts of the plant, Coriandrum sativum, are referred to as a different herb and spice. The herb, Cilantro, is the leaf and the spice is the round tan seed known as Coriander. Cilantro leaves have a much different taste from the coriander seeds, one that is similar to parsley with a dash of citrus flavour.

Photo My Garden Cilantro      Coriander is native to southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft, hairless plant growing to 50 cm (20 in.) tall. Cilantro leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems.

Cilantro has a mild peppery taste that adds a distinct flavour to the dishes it is used in. In many Mexican dishes, especially in salsa and the tomato garnish called Pico de Gallo, cilantro is the key ingredient. Fresh cilantro gives those dishes their distinct and extremely popular flavours. It is also used in Indian and Thai cooking. The Chinese use so much of the herb that it is also referred to as Chinese Parsley. They often add the root to stir fries.


Pot Size                      Cilantro requires a pot that is 20 - 28 inches wide and about 10 inches deep.

Cylantro herb imageSeed Spacing               1/4" deep, 2" apart.

Seed Germination         Period 7 to 10 days.

Plant Spacing               Plants should be spaced 9 to 12 inches (22 - 30cm) apart.
Soil Requirements         Deep, fertile, light or heavy, but well-draining.

Growing Mix                  Mix potting soil with about 20% perlite to give better drainage.

Fertilizer                       Use diluted liquid fertilizer like fish emulsion every other week when the plants are actively growing.

Sun & Lighting              Cilantro / Coriander prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade.

Water Requirements      Water on a regular schedule, do not overwater.

Cilantro HATES being transplanted.
The stress will likely cause it to go straight to seed and then it dies.
Growing coriander picture
     Chopped Coriander leaves are a garnish on cooked dishes such as dal and curries. As heat diminishes their flavor quickly, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish immediately before serving. In Indian and Central Asian recipes, coriander leaves are used in large amounts and cooked until the flavor diminishes.

     Cilantro and coriander have been known through the ages. It is mentioned in the Bible. Ancient Romans used it to preserve meat. Steeped as a herbal tea, cilantro is said to have stomach soothing properties. And consumed in large quantities, cilantro will offer Vitamins A and C.

     Coriander has been used as a folk medicine for the relief of anxiety and insomnia in Iranian medicine. Coriander seeds are used in traditional Indian medicine as a diuretic by boiling equal amounts of coriander seeds and cumin seeds, then cooling and consuming the resulting liquid.
Also Cilantro seeds are reputed to help reduce stress.

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Pizza Herb

Oregano herb imageAlso known as Pot Marjoram, Origanum vulgare is a perennial herb and a native of the Mediterranean region. Oregano plant derives its name from two Greek words meaning "the joy of the mountain." It is a hardy member of the mint family that has been used for flavouring fish, meat and sauces since ancient times. It was long referred to as wild marjoram.
Oregano plant is often referred to as the "pizza herb." It's a natural for all types of tomato sauces but also goes well with egg and cheese dishes. Oregano herb and basil combine to create a special flavour common in the Italian cooking we know so well.
Possessing medicinal properties dating back centuries, modern herbalists promote many potential health benefits and home-grown remedies derived from this most versatile herb.

Pot Size                    6" wide and 10" deep container.

Seed Spacing             Press into surface of soil about four per inch.

Plant Spacing             Oregano plants should be spaced 12 to 15 inches (30 - 38cm) apart.

Seed Germination        Period 8 to 14 days.

Soil Requirements       Well-drained, sandy, dry.

Growing Mix                 Mix two parts potting soil and one part coarse sand or perlite. Add 1 teaspoon of ground limestone per pot.

Fertilizer                      Oregano plant shouldn't be fertilized. Fertilizer weakens the flavor of the leaves.

Sun & Lighting             Oregano herb prefers full sun and needs at least six hours of bright but indirect light each day.

Water Requirements     Water Oregano on a regular schedule, do not overwater.

Oregano herb has a strong flavour, but it doesn't hold up well to prolonged cooking, especially when used fresh. Harvest fresh leaves right before use. Pick several kinds of cooking herbs and make a culinary bouquet. Aromatic sprigs of Rosemary, Oregano, Savory, and Basil waiting close by the stove will make both the creative and digestive juices flow. Oregano chopped and mixed with garlic, salt, and olive oil makes a great marinade for pork, beef, or roasted potatoes. Or use fresh leaves as a topping for homemade pizza (this is the way Oregano was first used for pizza, not as ingredient in the sauce).

Oregano is high in antioxidant activity. It is strongly sedative and should not be taken in large doses, though mild teas have a soothing effect and aid restful sleep. In the Philippines folk medicine, Oregano (Coleus aromaticus) is not commonly used for cooking but is rather considered as a primarily medicinal plant, useful for relieving children's coughs. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, used oregano as an antiseptic as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments.

And who have not heard of Oregano oil? Oregano essential oil is effective in treating colds and flu, hay fever, sinusitis and allergies. The benefits of oregano oil don't stop there. Fungus and yeast infections as well as viral infections have all been cured, just by introducing the oregano oil through aromatherapy.

Wild Oregano oil has such potent antifungal powers that it destroys the hardest fungal forms of mutated fungi, like those created from antibiotic therapy. Digestive issues, headaches, muscle pain, gum disease, arthritis and bronchitis have been brought under control by using the oil on a regular basis.

Oregano oil is also effective when it is applied topically. Insect bites, rosacea, ringworm, psoriasis and athlete's foot, have all been cured using a mixture of the oil of oregano and coconut oil or olive oil.

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