Gardening is one of the best physical activities you can do, as it comes with countless physical and mental health benefits. Moreover, fresh and home-grown produce is of much higher quality than the one we buy at a grocery store, and the taste is simply incomparable.
Yet, did you know that baking soda can be your magic wand in the garden?
This versatile agent is your best friend when it comes to the entire home, as it is an amazing kitchen ingredient, and excellent beauty care and cleaning product.
Baking soda, instead of the synthetic chemicals, is a safer and cheaper way to take care of your garden:
1. Insect repellent
Most of us look forward to the long and warm summer evenings spent on the porch. Just think about it.. drinking a cool cocktail, or maybe taking a nap on the porch swing, making barbecue, reading, or just listening to nature’s sounds…
Yet, nothing is perfect, my friend.. and mosquitoes are there to prove it! I don’t know about you, but they are my party-poopers all summer long!
If you are just like me, you’ll adore me after reading this! Namely, all you have to do this summer is to attract their predators in your yard!
Dragonflies are not pests to people, but they will help you in the fight against mosquitoes as they eat around 100 mosquitoes daily. They also like to prey on pollinators like butterflies, beetles, wasps, moths, and other tiny insects.
First, plant blooming plants, shrubs, and trees, so that young dragonflies will have somewhere to hide.
Dragonflies love water, especially areas with varying degrees of depth from very shallow to around 2 feet, where they can lay their eggs and get nutrients.
Therefore, install a pond or water feature in your yard. The pond doesn’t need to be large or to have a filter, but it should be located in a wind-protected area, that will get five or six hours of midday sun.
Put plants that attract dragonflies in and around the pond, such as Black Eye Susan, Dwarf Saggitaria, Meadow Sage, Arrowhead, cattail, water lily, and Yarrow White Wildflower.
In this way, you will finally enjoy the summer without the itchy mosquito bites!
Spring is the time when the entire nature awakens. However, gardeners are very busy these days, as they have to prepare their lands for the new season.
In the fight against weeds, it is very important to make wise decisions when it comes to the weed killer used. It takes a lot of time to dig up weeds, but chemical sprays harm the environment, eventually leak into our water system, and endanger our health.
Commercial weed killers have numerous adverse effects, as they pollute the soil and groundwater, endanger the wellbeing of insects and wildlife, and even our pets and children.
Their use also irritates our eyes, skin, and airways. These herbicides often include glyphosate, which is allegedly linked to causing cancer.
According to Cynthia Curl, an environmental health scientist at Boise State University in Idaho:
“Many assumptions have been made about the safety of glyphosate that are now being actively questioned. We will see an explosion of information about glyphosate, and it’s about time. We’re really playing catch-up on this one.”
Therefore, many suggest the use of DIY, natural weed killers. White distilled vinegar contains 3-5% acetic acid, which is a potent desiccant and removes moisture.
Vinegar-based weed killers draw out the moisture in order to dry the weeds out, and they are effective in the case of dandelions, chickweed, Canada thistle, Buckhorn plantain, crabgrass, amaranth, Quackgrass, bindweed, and Lambsquarters. Note that vinegar is not effective in the case of plants and weeds that have a waxy coating or some other natural barrier on them.
Vinegar lowers the pH of the soil, which is the main flaw of these weed killers since they might harm the healthy plants as well. However, to avoid it, you should use tarps to hide the healthy plants, and reapply the herbicide for stubborn weeds. Also, do not use this weed killer on windy or rainy days.
Here is how to make a DIY weed killer that will be much cheaper but as effective as commercial products. It will be free of toxins and harmful chemicals, and completely safe to use.
DIY All-Natural Weed Killer
Pour the salt in a gallon-large container using a funnel, add vinegar, and stir well. Leave it aside for about an hour for the salt to dissolve.
Then, add the dish soap, shake well, and pour the weed killer into a spray bottle.
The dish soap is used to bind the active ingredients and their intended targets, while the acetic acid and salt dry out the leaves.
Whether you live in the country, the suburbs, or in a downtown loft, you can plant a victory garden to give you fresh produce all season. In the past, our ancestors depended on their gardens and livestock for food. Buying everything at a grocery store was out of the question.
During World War II, when some food items were rationed, folks showed their patriotism and grew victory gardens. From herbs to fruits, to any kind of vegetable imaginable, these gardens kept the nation busy outside and put food in their pantry.
The recent farm-to-table movement was commonplace for past generations. There were few worries about pesticides, and GMOs had not been invented yet. Each season brought a bountiful harvest as fruits of the families’ labor were gathered from their gardens and fields.
Are you frustrated with seeing mediocre produce on the supermarket shelves? Many of these items are shipped in from overseas, where inspection may be dubious. You may also be concerned with dangerous pesticides and genetically modified produce.
Why not plant a victory garden with your family? When you plant healthy veggies, fruits, and herbs, you can be sure that it’s organic. There’s nothing like preparing a meal with produce fresh from your garden.
PLANTING YOUR VICTORY GARDEN MASTERPIECE
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t have a big plot for a garden in the country. Did you know that you can grow a victory garden in the city on a deck or small terrace? Try these 15 healthy plants that are easy to grow in your victory garden this season.
It’s hard to believe that many people in 16th century Europe thought that tomatoes were poisonous since it’s in the same family as deadly nightshade. Fortunately, they followed suit with the rest of the world, and the tomato has been treasured ever since.
Tomato plants come in varieties for any size garden. If you have more space, then you can grow tomatoes in bushes, or ones that vine around stakes. You can also grow cherry or other small bush varieties in pots on your patio.
Use your tomato harvest to make delicious homemade salsa, canned tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, juice, or just freshly sliced. Most tomato varieties have a long season, so you will have more than enough to share. Tomato plants crave sunshine, and they need to be watered regularly.
This venerable member of the gourd family was favored by the Ancient Egyptians, who poked them with reeds to drink their refreshing juice. Cucumbers are loaded with vitamins and minerals and can be used as a beauty treatment for your skin.
If you enjoy these yummy fruits, they are simple to raise and harvest. Like tomatoes, they are available in vining or small bush varieties. Slice them up for refreshing salads or preserve them with your favorite pickle recipes.
Here is another tasty relative of gourds that your family will love to grow in your victory garden. Zucchinis are renowned for their solid flesh that is delicious when steamed, stir-fried, or added to a veggie soup.
If you want to sneak an extra veggie portion into your kids’ meal, then this is the one to use. It takes on the flavor profile of whatever it’s mixed with. Zucchini is easy to grow and usually produce bumper crops. You may have so many that you can keep the neighborhood supplied. Use some of your harvests to make iconic Italian soups or French dishes like ratatouille.
Would you believe that the “Queen of Berries” isn’t really a berry after all? Strawberries are an aggregate fruit, which has one internal seed. Regardless of their botanical nature, this luscious red fruit is an American staple.
Plant them in your home garden in a square patch or in terra cotta pots that bear their name. Imagine going outside a picking a basket of sun-kissed berries for pies, preserves, or to cut up over shortcake. They are a sweet treat that you can feel good about your children eating.
Are you bored with the bland bags of chopped salad greens from the grocery store? Taste what you’ve been missing and grow lettuce in your yard or patio pots. It is one of the easiest veggies to grow, and it requires minimal care.
You can choose from the countless head or leaf varieties. Another great reason to grow this delicious green is that you can re-sow it for several harvests during the season. Build your favorite salads or use them to dress sandwiches for healthy meals.
Peas are a delicious legume that is in the bean family. Kids love them because they can eat them fresh from the vine. Since peas bloom from vines, you can grow them attractively on lattices, poles, or up string tied from a pot to a porch rail.
Use tender sweet peas in stir-fries or fresh in salads. You can also shell them from the pod and steam them for the perfect side dish. Peas are also a nutritious addition to soups and stews.
Rabbits aren’t the only ones who love to crunch on these tasty root vegetables. Not only can you grow the usual orange variety, but also red, purple, and even white carrots. They are easy enough for children to raise during harvest.
You should plant carrots in rows in your home garden, or even in a small flower bed. Some smaller carrots can be planted in rectangular pots on your terrace or porch. They add the perfect crunch to salads and are loaded with Vitamin A and beta-carotene.
Why spend a fortune on herbs at the grocery store when you can quickly grow them at home? Growing herbs has been a favorite past time for centuries. Rosemary, a woody Middle Eastern herb, makes an attractive potted plant you can grow inside or outside.
9. SWEET BASIL
Where would your favorite Italian dishes be without plenty of sweet basil? This aromatic herb flourishes in your garden or pots and will keep multiplying as you clip it. Once you see how simple it is to grow, you may consider adding other tasty varieties.
The smell and taste of this popular mint are instantly recognizable and have been used in confections and home remedies since ancient times. Peppermint grows quickly and abundantly, so it’s best raised in containers, so it doesn’t crowd out other plants.
Whether you like the scalding hot ones or the mild banana varieties, peppers have a cult following that goes back to the ancient Mesa Americans. They come in a kaleidoscope of colors and sizes.
If you are raising a home garden for children, it’s best to stick with the milder peppers. Spice it up a little for the adults with easy-to-raise jalapenos, hot banana, or habaneros. Eat them fresh or preserve them as pickles.
You needn’t have acres of land to grow a plentiful harvest of corn. A small backyard victory garden is perfect for raising a few stalks of your favorite corn variety. Your kids would enjoy planting popcorn or colorful ornamental varieties in the garden.
Corn is scrumptiously roasted on the cob or sliced off into kernels. Use your homegrown corn in soup, stews, or even zesty salsa. Sweet corn is also simple to preserve by canning or freezing.
Little green onions are the darling crop of spring. They are some of the first veggies to be harvested for tasty salads. Plant onion starts in rows and watch them grow to maturity before you know.
You can also raise larger varieties such as red, yellow, or sweet white onions. Other tasty crops in the onion family include shallots, ramps, and chives. While you’re at it, consider growing garlic, another darling of home gardens.
If you have any gardening experience, then you know that potatoes are grown in mounds, often having a large patch of their own. Did you also know that you can grow your favorite potato varieties in large plastic bins?
Drill drainage holes in inexpensive plastic bins and add quality soil and fertilizer. Plant your seed potatoes in the dirt and keep them weeded and watered. After you see the potato vines sprout, you can dig out a whole bag of potatoes from each bin.
Don’t pay those high prices for pumpkins in the fall. Instead, help your kids grow a pumpkin patch at home. Pumpkins are planted in mid-summer and require a lot of growing space. However, smaller varieties can easily be raised in your backyard.
Pumpkins come in many colors and sizes and are perfect for pies, roasted seeds, and for grinning Jack o’ lanterns during Halloween. Some are as small as tomatoes, while others can weigh hundreds of pounds. They provide a lot of vitamins and fiber to your diet.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON JOINING THE VICTORY GARDEN TREND
Keep your family busy and healthy this year and plant a garden. Consider raising these and any other tasty fruits or vegetables you love. Not only are you kind to Mother Earth, but you are spending quality time with your family.
The world is the home of millions of different flowers, all of them being a feast for the eyes, offering a unique scent and a characteristic color. Yet, roses seem to be on the pedestal forever and ever.
It seems that no other flower’s scent can compare to the smoothness and softness of roses, or the heavenly scent of a damask rose and the exotic one of a tea rose.
Roses spread positivity and love, and are symbols of elegance and beauty.They are traditional and timeless, and are the perfect choice for special occasions.
Roses can be of 150 species, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, symbolizing different emotions: joy, love, romance, admiration, innocence, passion, pride, purity, guilt, sadness, mourning, humility, and friendship.
Combinations are also common. Horticulturists have been cross-breeding roses to make some fascinating hybrids, and one of them has red and white petals- the extraordinary Osiria rose.
This magnificent tea rose was created in 1978 by Kordes Roses, a German rose production and distribution company, and was introduced into commerce in France by Willemse France as Osiria.
It is stated that it is a combination of a rose bush named Snowfire and an unknown to the general public seedling, as hybridizers don’t reveal the second parent, to protect their introduction.
These velvety roses are also known by the names Korsir rose and red blend Hybrid Tea rose. Floral photographers have only recently captured its rare beauty and their viral photos have contributed to its growing popularity.
Yet, the look of these roses in their pictures is often far different from the real one. The real Osiria blooms normally have white inner petals cross-hatched or jagged with red(scarlet or candy apple) pigment.
They are always stunning, but some photos of them might have been enhanced, and they show flawless roses, with velvety deep cherry or garnet red outer pearls, perfectly stuffed on the inside, and the clean white petals tipped with red.
Floral photographer Stan V. Griep of the American Rose Society explains:
“Osiria is not a scam; she does exist but the blooms she produces will typically be different than those shown on the internet which makes the heartbeat a bit faster.”
Griep adds that this rose was named after a theoretical empire, Osiria:
“I doubt that you will find Osiria on any map or any Biblical or historical mention of her as, again, like Atlantis, she was a theoretical empire. Just as some of the enhanced photos of her, the lore behind the name is enticing.”
Apart from the incredible appearance, these roses have an intense and pleasant fragrance as well.
They are not easy to grow in a garden, but if you love to experiment and have highly developed gardening skills, you can of course give it a try.
You can also try other varieties with dual white and red coloration, like the Nostalgie rose and Gemini rose.
With these roses, your garden will become a magical place!
Time spent in nature is invaluable, and it is one of the most effective ways to keep your spirits high and the body in perfect shape. If you are a gardener, you already know and have felt the countless benefits of gardening.
If you are not, we might persuade you to start a small garden this year!
Studies have confirmed that working in the garden lowers stress and boosts self-esteem, lowers the risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s, and improves brain and heart health. Moreover, these activities keep the hand muscles vigorous and agile and strengthen immunity.
Gardening is known to be one of the most successful therapies that treat depression and improve mental health, due to the combination of physical activity, awareness of natural surroundings, cognitive stimulation and the satisfaction one feels after completing the work.
So, if you are willing to try gardening, perennials are the first option to consider. These plants are planted only once and they give produce every year.
Gardeners like perennial plants, as they only have to do the work once, so the minimal effort on their part gives produce year after year.
These crops are beneficial for the environment too, as they are compatible with no-till cultivation, which lowers the loss of moisture, triggers biological activity in the soil, and creates the perfect, crumbly, spongy texture.
Here are ten perennial plants and some tips to help you grow them in your garden:
It grows in a male or a female plant, but the male plants are more productive. This vegetable grows well in cooler climates and dry summers, and it requires only lighter-well-drained soil and full sunshine.
Artichokes are perennials, but they usually produce about 5 years in a row only. Plant them 4 feet apart, as artichokes grow large, and harvest the buds when they are about three inches in diameter.
3. Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes are very productive and need well-drained, alkaline soils. After the first frost, they are ready to harvest. Yet, they grow very large, so make sure you plant them around 6 inches apart from one another.
Chives require sunshine and regular watering. You should spread the seeds around the area, cover them with a bit of soil, and water them. If you allow them, these plants will seed prolifically, so make sure you remove the flowers on time.
Kale is very easy to grow. You should plant it in early spring, several weeks before the first frost, or in the fall. It can grow well in full sunlight too, but it prefers partial shade. Also, make sure the soil is rich in nitrogen.
Horseradish loves fertile soil and full sunlight, but it can easily adapt to any conditions. In the spring, plant a root piece, and in the fall, you’ll be able to harvest it.
You should plant the rhubarb in the early spring when the ground has thawed. Leave at least four feet distance between the plants, and make sure they get full sunlight. Also, the soil should be fertile and well-drained.
This leafy green has a lemony, tart flavor, and prefers cooler climates and full sun. To get the best flavor, harvest it in spring or fall.
Blueberries are not a vegetable and they grow in a bush, but they are delicious and nutritious perennials you would surely like to have in your garden. They need full sun and fruit prolifically.
Plant the bushes in the early spring, and leave at least 5 feet between them. You can also grow blueberries in containers. They come in around the first of June and finish up early to mid-July, and every year, they return stronger.
Watercress grows in a bog environment, so a stream or a small creek would be ideal. You can also create a small bog in the ground with a pond liner to retain the water. Fill the container with gardening soil, sand, compost, and slow-release fertilizer, and add water just to soak the soil. Next, spread the seeds over it.
Enjoy the time in the garden!
One Dragonfly Can Eat Hundreds of Mosquitos a Day. Keep These Plants in Your Yard to Attract Dragonflies
Do you know that dragonflies can protect you from mosquitoes? You don’t even need to use chemicals. Dragonflies eat mosquitoes, and that’s the solution to your problem.
Keep them in your garden, and you will never ever have to deal with mosquitoes again.
Dragonflies may look scary, but they can only hurt mosquitoes. Dragonfly larvae feed on mosquito larvae, and adult dragonflies feed on adult mosquitoes. These insects like comfortable and safe environments. That’s why ponds are perfect for them.
Bring those dragonflies in your yard!
1. Install a pond
Dragonflies spend most of their life under water. Your pond should be around fifteen feet in diameter and a couple of feet deep. Place a few rocks at the edge to give the dragonflies a place to rest and relax. If you can’t dig a hole, use a small pool.
2. Use water plants
Water lilies are a perfect addition for your pond. Dragonflies lay their eggs on the plants. They spend most of their life under water, so make sure you plant Gluceria Maxima. The plant is perfect for dragonflies, and they can climb on it.
3. Use vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 is the only thing that can keep mosquitoes away. It repels the nasty insects as it masks the natural odors that mosquitoes like. Take spirulina every day to get enough vitamin B1. You need a tablespoon every day to get 300mg.
It’s easy to plant a lemon tree in a cup from the comfort of your home. With a little help from this article and some easy, basic instructions, you’ll soon grow your lemon tree by saving the seeds you get from the lemons you eat. And you’ll gain the benefits of adding citrus fruit to your diet, too.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO START YOUR LEMON TREE FROM SEEDS?
One of the first steps in starting your citrus tree from seed remains to remove the seeds from an organic lemon. Non-organic fruit seeds frequently contain seeds that don’t sprout. Other materials besides lemon seeds that you’ll need to plant lemons in a cup include:
• A small amount of potting soil. Preferred potting soil contains an equal mixture of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite.
•Compost to feed the lemon tree as it grows.
•A cup or small container.
•A sunny place indoors.
STEPS TO PLANTING LEMON IN A CUP (IN SEVEN EASY STEPS)
Here are the main steps you can take to start and plant lemons in your own home.
1. PLACE THE SOIL IN THE CHOSEN CONTAINER.
Fill the cup or container to within one inch of the top rim of the vessel. Moisten the dirt, so it remains damp throughout all of the soil. If you get too much water, allow any excess water to drain out from the bottom of the pot through its drain hole.
2. CUT THE CHOSEN LEMON OPEN AND TAKE OUT FROM FIVE TO TEN SEEDS.
The easiest way to clean the seed remains to suck on it. If you’re going to plant several seeds, you might choose to wash them to clean them of debris, however.
3. YOU SHOULD PLANT THE LEMON SEED WHILE IT REMAINS MOIST.
A dry seed doesn’t germinate as well as a moist one. Also, make sure the soil remains moist even after the seed gets placed in the dirt. The pointy end of the lemon seed should get placed downward.
4. PUT THE LEMON TREE SEED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE POT TO ALLOW IT ROOM TO GROW AND DEVELOP A HEALTHY ROOT SYSTEM.
Place about ½ inch of dirt over the seed. Pat the earth above the seed to seal the soil. Then gently spray a light spray of water over the topsoil. Do not overwater.
5. COVER IT UP, NICE AND TIGHT!
Once the lemon seed gets placed in the soil and patted in snugly, cover the top of the plant pot with transparent plastic film. Seal the edges of the wrap. Take a toothpick or other sharp, pointed tool and poke small holes in the transparent cover.
6. PLACE THE POT WITH THE SEED AND PLASTIC WRAP IN A WARM, SUNNY SPOT.
If the soil dries out, remove the plastic wrap and gently spray additional water to keep the top of the plant’s soil moist. But remain careful not to use too much water. The plastic wrap over the pot should keep the humidity high over the growing seed and keep the soil moist, also.
7. ABOUT TWO WEEKS AFTER YOU PLANTED THE SEED, A SEEDLING WILL SPROUT.
At that point, remove the plastic covering off of the pot. Keep watering the soil to keep it damp, but not overly moist. Double-check to ensure the seedling gets at least eight hours of direct sunlight every day. Also, use an organic fertilizer to keep the seedling and emerging lemon tree well fed as it grows.
MORE ABOUT HOW TO PLANT LEMONS FROM SEED
You have a high chance of starting a lemon tree by placing the seed in soil and sun, as described above. A couple of lemon seed facts might catch you by surprise, however. Here are some of the primary points about starting your lemon tree from seed.
• Lemons planted from seed tend to grow a different variety of lemon trees than the parent plant. Many commercial lemon trees get grafted to reproduce, so the resulting baby trees remain the same as the parent tree. But seeds grown from a hybrid lemon tree don’t produce the same plant as the parent plant.
• Using a combination of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculate keeps the soil from becoming too condensed or too moist. Dirt that remains too moist causes fungus and might make the seeds rot.
• You should put the seedlings in a warm place (about 70 degrees F). If you’ve chosen a brightly sunny area, the area should remain warm, too.
• You will start by planting the seeds in a small cup or small, well-drained container. Once the baby lemon tree has several sets of leaves, you can transplant it to a larger container. Consider planting five to ten seeds to ensure successful lemon tree production.
• Use an organic, water-soluble fertilizer that is high in potassium about every other week. Eventually, the tiny tree becomes large enough to plant in the soil outside or a large pot for indoor growth.
• Lemons grow and produce best in climates that are USDA growing zones 8-11.
Don’t forget to remain patient when waiting for your lemon tree to produce fruit. It can take from three to fifteen years and decent pollination for your lemon tree to give you the tart fruit you desire.
THE BENEFITS OF LEMON IN YOUR DIET
Not only do lemons smell great and taste even better, but they also contain a ton of health benefits.
LEMON’S HEALTH BENEFITS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
1 – DETOXING THE LIVER AND BLOODSTREAM.
Squeezing one fresh lemon into a cup of warm water and drinking it when you wake up in the morning cleans out your liver and takes the toxins out of your bloodstream. A glass of warm lemon water, with a touch of honey added, remains an excellent way to improve the way you feel and look by removing toxins from your system.
2 – ADD VITAMIN C TO YOUR DIET.
It provides a daily dose of Vitamin C to prevent and reduce the symptoms of many illnesses such as colds, sore throats, bronchial problems, and fevers. A simple way to ease a sore throat is to combine equal amounts of lemon juice and warm water. Take a bit of lemon juice into your mouth, rinse with the mixture, and then spit it out. Next, rinse your mouth out with plain water.
3 – IMPROVE HEART HEALTH.
Both lemon juice and the fiber gained from the fruit’s pulp have been shown to reduce getting heart disease or having a stroke. Combine drinking lemon-infused water with a walking routine each day, and you will reduce your blood pressure, according to research. Ultimately, this will make a profound impact on your general wellness and heart health.
4 – BETTER ORAL HEALTH.
Drinking lemon juice can keep your gums healthier. That’s because a deficiency in Vitamin C can show up in your body as tender, swollen, or bleeding gums.
6 – IMPROVES THE APPEARANCE OF YOUR HAIR.
Make a lemon-based rinse to help heal up any split ends and keeps your hair from looking frizzy and dry. Just two tablespoons of juice mixed with a cup of water can give your hair shine, reduce dandruff, and control an oily scalp.
8 – BETTER HYDRATION HELPS ELIMINATE KIDNEY PROBLEMS
Research reveals that drinking this citrus in your tea or water increases can help to promote healthy kidneys for two reasons. First, the citric acid helps prevent the build-up of uric acid that causes the stones to form, to begin with. Second, the better-flavored water makes it more palatable. Thus, people tend to keep hydrated.
9 – USE LEMON FOR A NATURAL ANTIBACTERIAL CLEANSER.
Wounds heal easier when you eat or drink the right amount of lemon juice. If you have a cut or scrape, clean the area and put a bit of lemon juice on the injured area. Science suggests that the reason this is so effective as both an antibacterial and an antioxidant stems from a compound called limonene.
10 – LEMON JUICE CONTAINS MANY OF THE SAME PROPERTIES OF ASPIRIN.
You can combine green tea and lemon juice to stop headache pain. The juice of this citrus fruit also causes sweating and helps get rid of fevers, colds, and other symptoms of illness.
11 – A USEFUL CURE FOR UNSIGHTLY PIMPLES OR ACNE SCARS.
One of the most straightforward, most natural cures for acne and pimples is lemon juice. The citrus fruit’s juice remains both antifungal and antibacterial. When you clean your skin, use lemon juice as a toner. It will shrink pores, tighten your skin, and fight the germs that cause acne. You should also use a sunscreen when you go outdoors, as lemon juice makes the skin more susceptible to sunburn.
Applying lemon juice helps to lighten age spots and even the color of your skin.
How does our favorite yellow fruit achieve all this? Remember the antioxidants we mentioned earlier? (see #9). They help protect your skin from further damage. Meanwhile, the topical application helps to turn over dead skin cells for faster healing.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON GROWING LEMONS AND ENJOYING THEIR BENEFITS
You’ve grown lovely lemon trees from seeds you planted. You have plenty of fresh lemons for your personal use. The best way to gain this fruit’s health benefits remains to add them to your diet. Drinking lemon juice gets the vitamins into your system to detoxify it. Even better, eating the whole fruit adds fiber and even more healthful vitamins to your diet.
Oregano is a perennial herb we all need to grow in our garden. US soldiers brought packs of “pizza herb” with them. Oregano was really popular. Truth is, it’s more than your regular pizza herb.
Oregano is native to the Mediterranean region. The Greeks were the first to use it. They believe it was created by Aphrodite as a symbol of joy. Do you know that “oregano” means “mountain joy”?
In ancient Greece, oregano was used as a poison antidote. They used it to treat infections, skin irritations and convulsions. By the Middle Ages, oregano was used to treat toothache, indigestion, coughing and rheumatism.
The aromatic herb is packed with essential vitamins like vitamin A, B6, C, E, and K as well as minerals like iron, folate, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Phytochemicals give oregano its healing power.
Dr. Mercola explains that oregano has one of the highest antioxidant ratings when compared to other plants. According to a 2003 study released in the Journal of Nutrition, “…intake of herbs [including oregano] may…contribute significantly to the total intake of plant antioxidants, and be an even better source of dietary antioxidants than many other food groups such as fruits, berries, cereals, and vegetables.”
Rosmarinic acid boosts immunity and helps the body fight against diseases.
2. Vitamin K
It’s also known as the forgotten vitamin. Vitamin K has an important role in the blood clotting process. It prevents heart disease, strengthens bones and takes part in many other processes.
The lack of vitamin K may lead to osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, varicose veins, tooth decay, infectious diseases, brain health (dementia), and even cancers, like leukemia, lung cancer, liver cancer and prostate cancer.
3. Antibacterial and antifungal properties
Thymol and carvacrol give oregano its antibacterial and antifungal effect. These oils destroy bacteria and foodborne pathogen Listeria. It’s powerful against MRSA. A group of experts have conducted a study in 2013 to prove the antibacterial effect of oregano.
“We have done a few preliminary tests and have found that the essential oil from the oregano kills MRSA at a dilution 1 to 1,000. The tests show that the oil kills MRSA both as a liquid and as a vapor and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating in boiling water.”
A 2001 study conducted a Maryland’s Georgetown University and released in Science Daily confirms that oregano oil is as effective as antibiotics.
Head researcher Harry G. Preuss, MD, MACN, CNS, professor of physiology and biophysics, shared the results of their efforts. “While this investigation was performed only in test tubes and on a small number of mice, the preliminary results are promising and warrant further study.
The ability of oils from various spices to kill infectious organisms has been recognized since antiquity. Natural oils may turn out to be valuable adjuvants or even replacements for many anti-germicidal’s under a variety of conditions.”
4. Anti-inflammatory effect
Beta-caryophyllene (E-BCP) blocks inflammation and helps in the treatment of metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis. Oregano helps relieve pain caused by inflammatory conditions.
Oregano is often added to skin care products. You can see it listed on the side of skin toning products. You can make your own toner using fresh oregano.
Boil a handful of dried oregano leaves in three cups of water for 10 minutes. Cool your oregano tea, and pour it into a glass container. Keep it in the fridge.
6. Cold and flu
Oregano can help in cases of cold, flu and respiratory infections. Traditional healers have used it to treat respiratory issues like coughs, cold, flu, sore throat and bronchitis. Always use oregano oil.
Oregano stimulates sweating and helps the body clean itself. It removes excess phlegm from the lungs and relieves fevers. Use it to clear lungs and bronchial passages. All you have to do is add a few drops of oregano oil to almond oil, olive oil or other carrier oils. Rub the mixture on your chest. You can add the oil to boiling water or a vaporizer. Inhale the vapors and relieve your condition.
7. Pest repellent
Oregano has a strong scent and pests don’t like it. Plant it near your veggies and under your fruit trees. Add a few drops of oregano oil to a spray bottle full of water and mist your plants to repel bugs. Do you hate aphids? They hate oregano. You’re welcome.
8. Pollinators and insects
Pollinators like oregano flowers and their nectar. Plant oregano near your veggies (kale, broccoli, and collards) to protect them. Your garden needs pollinators remember?
Make your own oregano oil
Oregano oil is a bit pricey, but you can make your own at home.
You need one part of dried oregano and one part of olive/almond oil. Rinse, dry and crush your oregano. Make sure your oregano is dried completely otherwise it will become moldy.
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil or almond oil
½ cup dried oregano, crushed
You will also need a sanitized glass jar
Boil 2-3 cups of water in a saucepan. Turn off the heat once the water reaches its boiling point. Put the oregano and your oil in a glass jar, and put the jar in the hot water. Let it rest for 5-19 minutes.
The herb will release its good oils. Remove the jar from the hot water, and put it on a sunny windowsill for two weeks. Shake the content once in a while. Strain and transfer the oil into a sanitized jar. Keep it in a cool and dark place.
Grow and harvest oregano
Oregano is super easy to grow and doesn’t require much attention and care. It’s resistant to deer. Oregano tolerates to drought and likes hot and sunny climate. It likes well-drained soil and survives wet periods and shade. Grow it on a slope to prevent erosion.
Oregano grows up to four feet wide. Cut it back in early spring to make it look pretty. Harvest it often, and do this in the morning after the dew has dried. The concentration of herbs reaches its highest point in warm mornings. Clip the steps above a growth node.
Bundle oregano stems together, and hang the bundle in a dry and dark area. You can cover them with a perforated paper bag. You can also scatter the leaves in one layer and let them dry in a dark and cool place.
Lemons are the juiciest fruit you will put your hands on, and their citrusy flavor is a great addition to every smoothie and dessert. These citruses are incredibly healthy and offer tons of essential nutrients and antioxidants.
They are abundant in vitamin C, and also offer a healthy amount of riboflavin, thiamin, iron, magnesium, pantothenic acid, fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, copper, calcium, and folate.
Juicy lemons were first “made” as a cross between limes and citrons. The Arabs brought them to Europe. Christopher Columbus took them all the way to the New World during his second trip in the late 15th century.
During the California Gold Rush, miners ate lemons to prevent scurvy. This disease is triggered by vitamin C deficiency.
Health benefits of lemons
But, if you can’t find any, plant your own lemon tree!
Grow your lemon tree from seed, and have a great supply of organic lemons.
The best lemons
If you live in cold areas, always use Meyer lemons. They grow well indoors. If your climate allows “free” gardening, use pretty much any type of lemons.
Lemons grow well in soil rich in peat, perlite, vermiculite and organic fertilizer. The soil needs to be light so it can drain well. If your soil is heavy, add hardwork bark chips.
Use a smaller container for your tiny plant. Start with 8-inch pots and then transfer the plant into a 12-inch container. Use pots made of wood, plastic or terra cotta. Don’t forget the drainage holes!
Lemons need 10-15 hours of light every day. Place the pot in spots that get enough sun from a southern exposure. If you can’t do this, install 40-watt fluorescent shop lights above your lemon tree.
The soil needs to be moist all the time. Citrus plants need infrequent deep water when grown indoors. In spring and summer, put the plant outside, and stick to frequent shallow watering.
Your plants needs to be watered once or twice a week. Of course, this depends on the season and your weather.
Dampen the soil in your pot. Pick the best seed of your organic lemon, and remove the fibers using a paper towel. Dampen the seed, and plant it about half-inch below the surface. Add a thin layer of soil. Spray with water, and cover the pot with breathable plastic.
Keep the container in a warm spot for a few days. The soil needs to be moist and warm. Find the right spot. You don’t want the roots to rot from too much heat or water either.
The first sprout will come out in two weeks. Remove the plastic, and put your pot in a warm spot that gets a lot of sun.
Tips for healthy growth
Use organic fertilizer like vermicompost or compost once the plant develops leaves. Feed it once or twice a year. Make a small trench around the base, and fill it with compost. Water it well. Less I best, remember? This applies to the fertilizer.
Puddles of stagnant water will kill your plant. Give it a lot of sun.
If this is too complicated for you, get a fully-grown tree. It will produce fruit in the first year. Meyer Lemon Dwarf Trees are a good option. Their fruits have more delicate flavor than store-bought fruits.