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Harvesting and Preserving Your Home Herb Garden Crops

You have taken care of and watched over your home herb garden like a mother hen over her chicks and harvesting day has finally arrived. You can now pluck those juicy fresh basil leaves for your chicken tom yam stir fry. And there’s enough mint for that special laksa soup. So what should you do now?

Before using your herbs, particularly those from your outdoor home herb garden a little preparatory work needs to be followed.

Like having to go to the store, you need to pick your crops from your home herb garden before you can use them. The difference is you should ideally do it at the right time, which is crucial if you want your herbs to be full of flavour and taste. You see, fresh herbs are susceptible to the day’s heat and their essential oils can be easily dispersed by the wind and heat. To pick your herbs at the wrong time would not be good.

The best time to harvest would be would be in the morning when the winds are not strong and there is usually no rain. This time is perfect because in such conditions, the herb plants will produce more oils than on a wet day.

The ideal time to bring in your crops would be when the dew has dried on the leaves but before the flowers open. Pluck out just what you need for the day although you can certainly gather more if you are thinking of drying, freezing or marinating them for use later. But do refrain from removing more than one third of the plants’ growth at one go as they will need the foliage left behind to help them to re-grow what has been harvested.

To ensure maximum enjoyment of your herbs, it would be advisable to check that there are no insects or damaged leaves amongst your harvest. These crops will then produce the best flavour for your cooking.

There are a number of ways in which your home herb garden crops can be preserved for future use:

- by drying them naturally or in ovens
- by freezing
- or by soaking them in a solution of vinegar
- or layering them between salt granules.

Preserving your home herb garden crops will provide you with herbs for everyday use all year round but the fact remains that the best taste and results can only be obtained from garden-fresh herbs picked directly from your home herb garden.

Do be careful to wash them properly before use! To do that, place the herbs into a container filled with cool clean water and rinse thoroughly.

For bigger quantities do the same, this time using the kitchen sink. Add salt of about two full tablespoons. As the quantity is larger you may not notice any insects hanging onto the leaves. The salt in the water will dislocate those otherwise hidden insects. Remove the herbs from the water and dry them using a salad spinner.

Not only do the herbs from your home herb garden have different uses, they are also harvested and prepared differently. It would be good idea to do some reading up on the herb you want to use beforehand. The correct use of a herb will ensure that perfect dish!

Should I Really Care About My Home and Garden Furniture?

If you ask anyone that enjoys his life about the two things he cares about the most, you would probably find a unique answer: car and home; the car because it is what you use to move from a place to another so you want it to be nice looking and comfortable; and the house because it is where you spend the most of your time so you want it to be relaxing.

So when it comes to your home, the best thing you could do to make it look better is providing some good home and garden furniture for it.

In fact, when you set up a harmonized decoration in your home, either indoors or outdoors, you make it look beautiful and relaxing; something that helps you spend really good times with your family.

As living in a nice looking place has a positive impact on the human psychology, purchasing the right stuffs for your house inside and outside has became barely a must, not a choice. Watch out! These are not my words, but experts claimed it.

So if you want to get some equipment to improve your living, you have a huge variety of choices. You can go after some contemporary furniture, or you can purchase the traditional version. You can opt either for the wooden ones or aluminum ones. It is up to you to choose according to your taste and budget.

But this wide range of preference available in the marketplace could confuse you; in fact, if you visit any furnishing site, you will be astonished with the big number of stuffs that you will see. So keep your ideas focused on one trend and some specific materials.

To choose the right home and garden furniture you should essentially consider the colors of the paintings and the house architecture, but keep it as simple as you can. It will be really better.

Landscaping Ideas For the Yard and Garden

For those of us who are lucky enough to have an outdoor area of our very own, properly landscaping this area can create a living environment that can be enjoyed and rewarding for years to come. Whether you have a large yard or even just a small piece of yard off a backyard patio, the options for landscaping are endless. But before you head out to the local home and garden market for shrubbery and lawn enhancements, you should examine exactly what type of landscaping you wish to have and the maintenance factor that will come with your new yard.

There are many places to search for outdoor landscaping ideas if you are new to this type of development. Local home and garden centers are a great place to start if you prefer to implement it yourself rather than hire a professional landscaping service. The Internet has a huge online resource of information for anyone that is a beginner or for someone who is knowledgeable in landscaping but just needs a few new and creative ideas for their home.

Take into account the amount of spare time you will need. You will need to allocate time in order to design, set up and take care of your new outdoor project. Some backyard landscaping will take quite a bit of time to design and set up, but will be worth it in the end since there will be relatively no maintenance from week to week. Some simple designs for outdoor landscaping can be implemented with practically no extra time, but require quite a bit of maintenance in order to keep it looking as it did when you first set it in place.

Make sure that you are aware of the amount of work your landscaping entails. For those who do not enjoy mowing a lawn or if there is a lack of natural rain having a lawn can be a tedious and sometimes difficult task to maintain. Items such as rock gardens or flowerbeds are just as visually enticing as having a lush, dark green space in your back yard. There are some families that enjoy having decorative artifacts such as a birdbath, fountain or even statues while others prefer to stick with an arrangement of complementary flowers or stone designs.

Your local climate will have a tremendous impact on the type of landscaping that you should have in place. Flowering plants that require a great deal of humidity will not thrive in a dry climate. While there are some plants that will need direct sunlight, there are others that prefer a shaded area in order to grow. If you are not proficient in the different types of flowers and plants that are best for your area, be sure to utilize local resources in order to check out the best selections for your planning purposes.

Do not feel overwhelmed when it comes to outdoor landscaping. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener, there are many different ideas to suit any skill level. Using the internet as a resource will aid you in the landscaping process for each step of the way and help prevent any misconceptions you may have regarding plants, specific designs, or even landscaping a hill side area.