Category Archives: Gardening

Bee Balm (Uses & Benefits)

Bee Balm herb is a perennial meaning it comes back every year if propagated and taken care of during the cold weather. It is a part of the mint family which means it should be grown in a pot. It’s edible and medicinal. All above ground parts of the plant are edible and make an amazing potted herb, and also used as a flavoring in cooked foods. The flowers make an attractive edible garnish in salads and makes an awesome tea. Bee Balm herb is noted for its fragrance and attracts bees and hummingbirds. Its one of my favorites as it flowers because I just love to watch the butterflys and bumblebees go right to it in the summer. Bee balm is a source of oil of thyme and the colonist brewed a black tea from it and named it Oswego. The original name is Monarda didyma. The medicinal benefits are no caffeine, the tea proved to be a good a balm for sore throats and headaches. Oil within the leaves was used to treat insect bites and relieve bronchial congestion. Today bee balm continues to be a most useful herb to use in both animals and humans. Like most mints, bee balm has a special affinity towards the digestive tract. Bee balm has excellent antibacterial qualities that make it useful for treating infections.

When Planting – Remove spent flowers to keep plants looking tidy. After the first killing frost, cut stems back to an inch or two above soil line. Divide plants in spring every few years or when you notice the center of the plant dying out.

Teas: Start with three or four fresh bee balm leaves per cup or fill your infuser with about the same amount of dried bee balm leaves. Put the leaves or the tea infuser into a tea cup and pour boiling water over the top (my favorite tea pot). Allow the bee balm tea to steep for 5-10 minutes.

Preparation Methods & Dosage: The fresh or dried leaf, stem and flowers can be made into an alcohol or glycerin tincture. The dried plant can be infused and made into skin and eyewashes, and herb teas.

In the Kitchen: The colorful blossoms have a strong minty flavor and best used sparingly. Separate the petals from the main head to scatter over fruit salads for an edible garnish.


Winterizing Your Garden (Aloe Vera)

Hey Yall,

Now you know I have a teeny weeny garden and mama has to take care of her babies for the upcoming cold weather so I’ll be able to enjoy my beautiful garden next season, so lets get started. In the up coming video’s you’ll see me prep all my babies and give you a few tidbits along the way. Now I’m no know it all on gardening. I just know what has worked for me in the last few years. I’m studying herbs and plants and will be a herbalist some day and I’ll share all that I know. Let’s get started: Check out the following video:

All about Aloe Vera:

Propagating a Lemon Tree

Hey All,

I have a lemon tree and decided to try my hand at propagating or cloning my little tree and giving it a mate, so I researched online how to do such and here we go. This will be a 6-8 week trial and hopefully excellent results, but we shall see. Here is a link to the awesome information tutorial and I followed it almost exclusively. Let’s go.

April 12, 2017

1. Wash a 1-gallon plastic or clay pot with soap and water — even if it is new — and rinse thoroughly. Sterilize your pot and hand clippers with a dilute household sanitizing cleanser, such as a pine oil product or household bleach. Prepare a bleach solution using 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Rinse your pot and clippers. Place your clippers in a clean plastic bag for transport to the collection site.

2. Fill your gallon-size pot with a light potting soil or seed-germinating medium. Pour water on the medium. Set the pot in clean water for bottom watering to ensure the soil is thoroughly moistened. Allow the pot to stand in water while you take cuttings, if desired.

3. Take softwood cuttings from your selected tree. Softwood is new wood, identified by its green color and lack of bark. Make cuttings 8 to 10 inches long. Wrap cuttings in a moist paper towel to prevent dehydration.

4. Stand cuttings in a clean paper or plastic cup filled with warm water for approximately 20 minutes. Remove your propagating pot from the water and allow it to drain.

5. Remove bottom leaves so that each cutting has only 3 leaves at the top. Pinch out any fruit buds present. Trim the length of each stem so it is 6 to 8 inches long. Make cuts just below a leaf node or bud.

6. Run clean water over the bottom 2 inches of the stem. Dip the cutting in a hormone-based rooting powder to encourage root development. Certain brands of hormone rooting powder contain a fungicide to prevent stem rot. Although some cuttings generally root without assistance of stimulation or protection from rot, greater success is achieved when rooting powder or rooting powder with fungicide is used.

7. Stick a pencil into the rooting media to make a hole for each cutting. A gallon-size container can hold up to 12 cuttings evenly spaced with 1 1/2 to 2 inches between them. Place each cutting approximately 2 1/2-inches deep in a pencil hole. Firm soil around each cutting with your fingers.

8. Space three dowel sticks, approximately 10 to 12 inches tall, evenly around the inside perimeter of your pot. Cover the pot with polyethylene plastic to conserve moisture. Seal the plastic by wrapping string around the pot to hold the plastic tight. Place the pot in a bright window in a warm location, 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil evenly moist but not wet.

9. Check cuttings for roots after three to four weeks. Harden cuttings — once roots develop — by removing the plastic covering from the germination pot. Water cuttings to maintain moist soil. After three to four days without a plastic covering, transplant cuttings into individual pots and set outside in a sheltered location. When the roots of a tree nearly fill its pot, it is ready for planting in the home orchard or upgrading to a larger pot for pot culture.