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Harvesting Dill

Dill Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Dill was one of the plants we began early in February in our mini greenhouse aka our garage. She struggled for a while and was re-sown a few times. Eventually, dill was put outside away from the other greenhouse plants because she, along with several other plants, showed risk of disease. To prevent disease from spreading to other plants in the greenhouse we placed dill outside on the back porch in the fresh air where disease would be discouraged more given the limitations of our particular greenhouse.

She started to show some promise by sporting a couple of leaves. We then repotted her and moved her to the front porch where we could keep a closer eye on her and further away from insects. She began to flourished. She just loved being outdoors on the porch. Dill seems to be a perfect container, urban or kitchen plant. She has done very well in her pot. So, much so we could not resist harvesting a few leaves for a shrimp and lemon cream sauce dish. We used a few leaves as garnish.

Scroll up and down…learn more about greenhouses. We read this book. It helped us turn our struggling greenhouse plants around.

We learned a few lessons while harvesting. Because herbs like dill can only be harvested at about a third at a time, it is best to plant several plants or 3 times as much as you would want to harvest at one time. The plant needs the remaining leaves to photosynthesize and continue the growing process. What do you need to start your own container plant? Just want to pick up a plant all ready to go? Shop our plants. What are the benefits of having fresh herbs on demand? Share your comments with the community by posting below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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For the Love of Lavender

Lavender Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

We started most of our seedling early in the season inside our mini greenhouse, which is actually a garage with several windows. Lavender was one of the plants we started in our mini greenhouse. We started our seedlings in February just before the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic. Since the pandemic many people have begun their own gardens for a host of reasons. Since our growing season for the seeds we planted did not began until March we planted inside in February and then transplanted them into the outside garden when the season began. There are several benefits to growing in greenhouses. Many gardeners and farmers use greenhouses or some type of greenhouse system to lengthen the growing season. Indeed I have seen some gardeners and farmers growing in snow season. Our homes are a sort of greenhouse for the plants we keep indoors. The plants needs are not the same when they are inside or in some type of greenhouse structure. Richard Bray gives an excellent brake down of the greenhouse in their many forms in “Greenhouse Gardening” . What was most helpful about “Greenhouse Gardening” was understanding how to create an environment in which plants can grow indoors. Bray reminds us that plants have different needs than we do when indoors and that their needs change when they are indoors as oppose to outdoors. Read our review of “Greenhouse Gardening” to learn more. “Greenhouse Gardening” can be found here.

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greenhouse shidonna raven garden and cook
Mini Greenhouse
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Lavender was one of those plants we struggled with until we had a better understanding of how to care for our plants inside our mini greenhouse. She grew from a simple shoot into a shoot with several leaves. We re-potted her and brought her outdoors once the growing season began here in Norfolk, VA, USA. We were not certain if she would make it. But, these plants will surprise you. Just when you think they will not make it they come back in big and powerful ways. As you can see lavender has gown into a host of shoots with leaves and what we believe will grow into stems of lavender blossoms. We know a few people who like lavender so we kept sowing her until she grew into the large plant picture above. For gardeners and farmers alike the growing process can be one of trail and error even for the masters. Many have great difficulty growing lavender, so we were pleasantly surprise to see her flourishing. One thing to remember about lavender is to keep her well drained and sparsely watered. She does not like much water and her seeds must be properly prepared.

Did you know that besides smelling amazing lavender is an edible flower? Which edible flowers do you like? Many of us enjoy these flowers for their medicinal purposes (such as echinacea). Which edible flowers are your favorite? How do you eat them? We also know several tea drinkers. Share your comments with the community below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Sow What! The Basics of Sowing

apple seed gala shidonna raven garden and cook

Sometimes its good to get back to the basics so, lets talk about the basics of sowing. Sowing is the beginning of gardening. After you prepare the soil, form your rows and select your seeds, one must sow the seeds in order to get started. There are a few different ways to sow. One can have a water garden, container garden, a garden with beds, a garden in a greenhouse or in the ground directly. This basically boils down to 3 forms of sowing: in a container. That may include a pot or a bed. Or in the ground. Or in water. We will be covering the 2 main ways to sow: either in the ground directly or in a container such as a pot or a bed. This will cover the basics, should you require more information just post a comment and we will give you more specific details.

Sowing in a Container

Sowing in a container involves selecting soil rather than preparing the soil on the ground. You will also have to select a container. Its important that your container has a hole in the bottom to allow for water to drain. This prevents over watering. We are partial to clay pots because its organic and ideal. Metal can scorch a plant. Glass can be difficult to find but a good choice. Plastic is just not apart of our Organic Journey. The clay pot can be glazed or not. It is recommended that your tray be glazed to prevent the surface your container is on from getting moist from the water from your pot. Choose a location with the proper amount of light. Give your plant the proper amount of water and fertilize the soil so the plant can continue to pull nutrients from the soil.

Sowing in the Ground Directly

Sowing in the ground directly involves tilling, fertilizing and forming the soil into rows that will allow enough space for specific plants to grow. Each plant will need a different amount of space. Preparing the ground soil is a lot more involved since it is not all in the bag. This can get very involved including testing the soil, composting and green manures. Similar to container gardening you want to give your plants the correct amount of water and light for the plant as well as fertilize your soil on a regular basis to replenish the soil with nutrients as the plants pull the nutrients they need. This is why crop rotation is popular with farmers because different plants will pull different nutrients from the soil. To even this process out they move crops around to prevent one nutrient from being pulled from a particular spot until there is not more.

Many people are beginning gardens because of COVID 19. Now is the time to get started! What would be the benefit to you and your family to start a garden? How much do you think you can save on your grocery bill? How much do you think you could save by obtaining a plant from us to maintain and continually harvest?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

sowing flower seeds shidonna raven garden and cook
sowing flower seeds shidonna raven garden and cook
These are the seeds from MiMi’s Flower
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Cynoglossum amabile flower
Cynoglossum amabile flower
Today Mimi’s plant is bigger than this!
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
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Watermelon, Greenhouses & Indoor Gardening

Sugarbaby Watermelon Shidonna Raven

When we decided to start our garden, as you know, it began humbly with a mere 2 packs of seeds destined for the kitchen window. It quickly grew into over 30 seeds. We planted each one. Some where successful and others were not. But, as Eliot Coleman will tell you, even the experienced farmer learns through trail and error. When we started we began in our mini greenhouse, which is really our garage with 3 windows. We were so excited to get started that we begun at the end of the winter season, which was at the very very beginning of the growing season for many of our seeds in our zone (Virginia, USA). When you began before the last frost has past, you must start inside with the seeds that can be transplanted. Then once the frost has past and its growing season has begun one can transplant them outside. So, because we began early we started in our mini greenhouse and got a jump on the season. Greenhouses can be used year around for various reasons. However, they are key when you want to grow outside of a seeds growing season by either starting early or extending the season.

Pumpkin Flower in Bloom
Pumpkin Flower in Bloom

The watermelon you see (1st image) in our outside garden started as a seedling in our mini greenhouse. The mini greenhouse presented several challenges to us with its high moisture and low light. We discovered there were many other factors that were hindering the success of some of our seedlings. When we had questions and were left scratching our head when our seedlings ran into trouble, we turned to Richard Bray’s book “Greenhouse Gardening” for answers to our questions. Understanding greenhouse gardening is understanding how to garden indoors whether one has a kitchen herb plant or a simple house plant. He helped me to understand factors such as heat, ventilation, watering and sunlight. This book was a tremendous resource that helped us grow our watermelon successfully. We had to sow her several times. At first she did not sprout successfully. But, once we understood greenhouse gardening more, we were able to grow her successfully into a plantling. Now she is in the garden outside thriving. We located “Greenhouse Gardening” for an absolute steal. We love deals around here. Click the link below to get yours. We can not wait to see her fruit. I know someone who is a huge watermelon fan! So we are happy to report that she is doing well and in the same row as pumpkin. Stay tuned to see her progress.

What information do you find helpful? How did “Greenhouse Gardening” by Richard Bray help you? Email us photos to share with the community. Which one do you prefer: pumpkin or watermelon? We have big fans of both. As usually, we are all waiting to taste!

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Basil & Echinacea’s New Home

Medicinal Benefits of Echinacea

Basil & Echinaeca traveled to their new homes today. Read today’s article on “Harvesting Echinacea” to learn more about how to harvest Echinacea. What did you learn from the video. How do you transport your plants safely? How do you prevent plant shock when you bring new plants home? Stay tuned for more on Harvesting Basil. Want to know? Just ask. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep growing.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.