For the Best Gardeners in the Cardiff Area

   Mar 24

Your Questions About Gardening

Carol asks…

How do I dry fresh herbs?

I am growing my own herbs and I would like to dry them in order to stock up my herb jars.

GardenersCardiff answers:

I’d guess wash and dry them first, if they are grown outside.

Then, just hang in loose bunches in a warm place such as an airing cupboard to dry completely.

If they dry too slowly, there is the possibility of bacteria or mould growth before they dry enough to inhibit it.

If it’s just for small quantities, you could try putting them on a tray in a slightly warm oven to speed up the drying – but make sure it not hotter than you can stand to touch, or you will cook rather than dry them.

I’d try putting the oven on for eg. A minute and turning off again, then put the tray in after another five minutes so the heat has evened out.

Once they are dry to the point of being brittle, you can crush or chop them.

Mandy asks…

What is the Best Way to Grow an Herb Garden on a Small Patio?

I am interested in dealing with herbs. I’d like to grow my own, but don’t know the first thing about gardening. I live in Texas, and have a small patio to do my growing on.

GardenersCardiff answers:

You can grow most herbs in pots on your small patio. A few I’ve grown in pots are are: basil, rosemary, oregano, mint and thyme. You can use a small pot for each herb or you can get a bigger pot and plant a few different herbs in it. This provides a nice effect and you can use a square or rectangular pot for something different. One year I got a long rectangular pot that mounts on your patio rail.

George asks…

What is the Best Time of Year to plant Vegetables In the U.K?

Hi new to gardening And was wanting to Grow my own Veg ,Fruit and herbs. And was wondering what time of Year would be best to start sowing seeds outdoors?
Seeing as we are in summer now, I want to start getting things (easy to grow) in that will be ready for winter , but not sure what yet any suggestions?

GardenersCardiff answers:

It depends on what vegetables you want to grow as to when you sow. Some crops can be sown now in July. Beetroot sown outside now will be ready to eat in October. Same for carrots and lettuce. Purple Kohl Rabi sown in July or August will give a late autumn or winter crop. Winter radish sown in July or early August will be ready from late October. Winter spinach and rainbow chard can be sown in August and September for picking between October and April – this will give you a winter crop. Sow spring cabbage now to harvest next March to May – you don’t have to wait for them to hearten up and can harvest early as spring greens which are very tasty.

You can sow broad beans in November for an early crop of beans next June, but you can suffer losses in a severe winter so best to wait until next March. Other vegetables should be sown next year as follows :- French and runner beans, courgettes, marrows from May to June, beetroot April to July, calabrese and broccoli April to May, turnips March to June, carrots March to July, Brussels Sprouts and Leeks from March to April for harvesting October.

The best time for soft fruit is Autumn and fruit trees from November to March whilst the trees are dormant. Herbs are best sown in the spring.

Hope I’ve given you some ideas of what you can sow in the next few weeks.

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