Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Calming Synergy Between Catnip and Fennel

At one time I had Catnip in my garden along with the Oregano, Lemon Balm and Mint plants that still remain.  They are all in the same family, and all love to spread and take over the garden if they can.  But our soil in the area where they grow allows for healthy plants, but is not of a quality that lends to spreading. 

I have never grown Fennel. 

Fennel is a very fragrant feathery-leaved plant that is often used as a garnish. It smells much like anise or licorice. 
The full plant that you see here is in bloom. The base of the fennel plant has a large bulb that is above ground.  These are available in food stores to be used in recipes.

As for the coming together of Catnip with Fennel, herbalists combine the two to benefit both the nervous system and the digestive system.  The same properties that please cats are calming to the human body. 

If you are not sensitive or allergic to either fennel or catnip, this can be soothing to spasms in the colon and intestines.  

Some have used this combination for colic. 

If you would like a fact sheet about this combination, please comment and request one, I will not post comments that contain requests...all comments are moderated.

If you have used Catnip and/or Fennel medicinally and would like to share your experience, please do share in a comment.

Image Credit: Catnip - Forest and Kim Starr - Wikimedia Commons
                      Fennel - Alvegaspar on Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Baking Soda Works for Mold or Mildew on Zucchini Leaves

This year I found that I could grow Zucchini in a very large pot as part of my container garden and it did quite well.

After producing some Zucchini for me, it formed powdery mildew or mold on the leaves, and I was at a loss as to what to do. I posted my concern on a social media site that I belong to, and received many helpful tips on how to get rid of mold or mildew on Zucchini leaves. If you visit the preceding link, it will open a new window and you can read the many helpful suggestions posted in the comments.

Of the comments, I chose the least expensive route, and what I happened to have in the house already. That was a mixture of baking soda in water. I just mixed about a half teaspoon into an old window spray cleaner bottle that I had cleaned thoroughly and added water and shook well.

I went out and removed the worst leaves, there were many new leaves coming so it wasn't hard to give the damaged leaves up. I then sprayed the leaves remaining on both sides with the solution and a bit on the stems and fruit. Sure enough, this solution worked. I repeated this once a day or every other day depending upon whether it rained or whether there was any improvement.

Pictured you see Zucchini cut and ready to go on the grill. Sometimes I marinade before grilling, but this  was lightly sprayed with olive oil, a little sea salt added, then grilled until very tender. I cut the pieces thick.

It is the end of the season now, and we did enjoy some nice Zucchini from my first attempt at growing it in a pot as part of my container garden.

Photos are copyrighted, you are welcome to use them if you provide a link back to this page.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Container Garden Grew Very Well This Year

I am showing you part of it in this picture, but all around the railing of the deck there are pots and in them I have planted Finger Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes with Basil, Burpless Cucumbers, Jalapeno Peppers, "regular" green peppers, and my real challenge, a couple of Zucchini plants in a large pot. I'll have to share more about the Zucchinis, and some of the other plants in another post. 

The picture shows the tomatoes and basil in the vintage porcelain bathtub, behind it are the cucumbers growing with tomato cages and reaching up to the sky, and then there is the finger eggplant, something I tried for the first time this year.

Before the plants got so tall that I couldn't view the lake from my deck swing, which lead to me moving them, they were all lined up as you see them below. We were able to grow more plants this year because we came upon a lot of pots that someone was throwing away, and someones trash became our treasure. 
Photos are copyrighted, taken by happynutritionist - you are welcome to use them if you provide a link back to this post.