Like many domesticated plants, the exact origins of lemongrass are hard to pin down, but the plant is most likely native to Malaysia and Southern India. According to the Sri Lankan Department of Export Agriculture, the first written text referring to lemongrass oil comes from the Philippines in the 17th Century. The plant was introduced to Jamaica in and to both Haiti and the US inCulinary lemongrass stalks resemble grass, with long, thick, green leaves and yellow-white stems.
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This cranberry trifle makes a showstopping holiday dessert. Like most edibles in San Diego, herbs have two growing seasons. While cool-season herbs like cilantro may be harvested into May and even June, the prime planting time for warm-season herbs has just begun.
These can be planted now through spring and harvested spring, summer and fall. Most herbs love the heat, and many originate in Mediterranean climates. That means that the San Diego area is ideal for herb growing. Even better: Herbs are some of the easiest edible plants to grow and are great for beginning gardeners. Favorite warm-season herbs are basil, rosemary, tarragon, oregano, thyme and sage. But there are many others readily available. When choosing what to grow, your first consideration should be to grow what you like.
Other things to think about: how expensive a particular fresh herb is at your local market and how difficult it is to find it when you need it. Herbs generally need six to eight hours of full sun. More is even better. Most require regular water.
Herbs are very adaptable and do well in containers of all kinds as well as in the ground. Many have very interesting textures.
Dill, fennel and lemon grass, for instance, look terrific mixed with annuals and perennials. Some have interesting foliage color and beautiful flowers.
Basil: The perfect companion for homegrown tomatoes. Pinch off the flowers to keep plants producing new leaves. Harvest fresh leaves as you need them. There are many types — experiment and have fun with different flavors. Tarragon: Be sure to buy true French tarragon. Oregano: There are lots of oreganos, including ornamental ones with showy flowers. Thyme: Like basil, there are many types, colors and flavors. All are small, beautiful, tidy plants.
Experiment to find your favorites. Common thyme T. Rosemary: This is a woody shrub that grows year-round and can be harvested during all seasons. There are many varieties, all of which have culinary use. Choose the type that fits the space you have.
Chives: Tidy clumps of chives make a charming edging plant for kitchen gardens. Small violet clusters appear in spring. Snip leaves for flavoring or garnishes. Otherwise, they may become invasive. Choose your favorite mint flavors. Sage: The best sages for cooking are common sage Salvia officinalis varieties. All have the same musty flavor and are beautiful landscape plants. Other popular warm-season herbs to consider: lemon balm and lemon grass, dill, parsley, fennel, marjoram and lavender.
Use a safe, organic control. Whiteflies and spider mites can be a problem once warmer weather arrives, as can caterpillars. Watch for powdery mildew on soft-leaved herbs such as basil. There are organic remedies for all of these occurrences.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the San Diego Union-Tribune. With the right plants, tools and know-how, you can create miniature tropical escapes that thrive indoors. Holiday cactuses complex to name, easier to grow. Make time for a trip to these secret gardens near Ojai. Garden Mastery: A guide to garden-tool shopping. It takes some digging to figure out the best fit, quality and functionality to determine the right ones for the job.
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National Business Pfizer pill becomes 1st U. Confessions of a Foodie Sopa Azteca: Ladlefuls of authentic tortilla soup. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. Basil comes in many types and is the perfect complement for homegrown tomatoes. Four herb varieties, from left: thyme, mint, rosemary and dill. Chives, which produce flowers in spring, make a charming edging plant for kitchen gardens. Common sage Salvia officinalis is best for cooking.
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Most insect-repelling plants do so with their natural fragrances, which keep annoying mosquitoes away and introduce wonderful scents throughout your garden. If you don't want to douse yourself or your garden in chemical bug sprays you can grow some of these plants to help keep mosquitoes away naturally. Plant these plants in areas where guests will be often such as by a seating area or a doorway. Need more tips to keep your garden pest free? Sign up for our weekly newsletter for timely gardening information!
Sow & grow Buy a pack of firm, fresh lemongrass stems from a supermarket. Place on a sunny windowsill, then move the plants to a hotspot.
In addition to its delicious and delicate flavor, lemongrass Cymbopogon citratus makes an attractive plant in the garden whether you grow it in the ground or in containers. The upper portion of the tall, grass-like leaves, which can reach up to 6 feet, arches over, giving the plant a pleasant fountain effect. Although this plant is native to hot and humid areas in Southeast Asia, with proper care, lemongrass can be grown in almost any sunny garden. Grow it as a perennial in U. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11 and as an annual elsewhere. Lemongrass requires full sun and warm weather to thrive. If you don't have an area that receives six to eight hours of sun, lemongrass will not grow well in your yard. Frost will kill lemongrass, so if you live in an area where temperatures dip below 40 degrees, grow your lemongrass in a container that can be brought inside during cooler weather. Once the weather warms, your lemongrass can be put outside. Plant lemongrass in loose, fertile soil that drains well, such as potting soil or loam mixed with compost 2 parts soil to 1 part compost , advises the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Most herbs are herbaceous, which means a plant without a permanent woody stem. Plants can look just as good in the perennial or shrub border as they do in the herb garden and most are very water thrifty. Below on this page are some of our favorite herbs at the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center. There are so many more. For a complete list of herbs, landscape ideas and edible flowers, consider looking over these publications:.
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Is your lemongrass looking a bit unwieldy like Cousin It? Learn how to give it a haircut with my step-by-step pruning guide, when to cut it back safely, and why it's important to maintain your lemongrass clump. When I propagated lemongrass purchased from the grocery store for my garden, I started with only three stalks and planted them in the ground once the roots reached a few inches. They were given ample sun, weekly watering in the summer, no or hardly any watering in the winter, and quickly grew into something that kinda resembled Cousin It. The shrub-like herb has multiplied into a clump of at least 50 stalks, with the whole plant spanning 4 feet wide by 4 feet high. The plant is still green, but its leaves will look a bit bedraggled after a long growing season.
One of the signature flavors in Thai and Vietnamese dishes, lemon grass has a light, citrusy, floral scent that may seem immediately familiar. That's because the plant it comes from also gives us citronella, the scented oil that is said to repel mosquitoes. It's easy to grow lemon grass, starting with purchased stalks. Put the stalks into a jar of water and place near a sunny window. When small roots have grown an inch or two, pot into rich soil and keep "damp like a moist sponge. In Thailand, lemon grass is used like smelling salts and thought to be good for headaches, writes Vatcharin Bhumichitr in The Essential Thai CookbookRich in vitamin A, lemon grass also is used in perfume and in lemon grass tea, which he says is "a good remedy for lack of appetite, fever and gallstones.
Like many domesticated plants, the exact origins of lemongrass are hard to pin Most of the fresh lemongrass in the US is grown in California or imported.
When you get lemongrass, make sure you're getting the West Indian variety - the East Indian one is invasive, sends out offshoots and blooms with seeds spreading everywhere. I have just found this out in a discussion with fellow gardeners who were very much against planting lemongrass in a community garden. Confusion got resolved by one of us plant geeks who knew the difference. My lemongrasses are the best plants ever, bush up to 4 feet into a nice, huge well-shaped round ball, never send offshoots and never bloom.RELATED VIDEO: 5 Tips How to Grow a Ton of Lemongrass at Home
A brief stroll down a growing number of streets reveals a new landscape aesthetic where traditional lawns transition to sustainable landscapes. How about something for the environment, for pollinators and for you? The answer: herbs! Not only are herbs a sensory delight, most are well adapted to our climate.
One of the stands of lemon grass in the middle of the Vermont Square Community Garden is in full flower now, a somewhat unusual occurrence.
Most times, orders having items with different shipping schedules are held in full until the entire order is ready to ship based on your grow zone. Plants will be shipped at the proper planting time for your area of the country using the shipping timeframes outlined below. We continually monitor weather conditions for extreme hot or cold and adjust shipping schedules as needed. Due to hot weather conditions, we are unable to ship most plant items in July and August. The type of product you order or the weather in our area to yours may affect the anticipated shipping schedule, shifting earlier or later, depending. Trees and shrubs are kept in the nursery row until full dormant for optimum stress protection.
Spices and herbs are defined as plant derived substances that add flavor to any dish. It is difficult to distinguish between the two. Spices can come from the following plant parts: roots, rhizomes, stems, leaves, bark, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Herbs are typically thought of as non-woody plants.