In ancient times when man had not quite got round to inventing the wristwatch, the most reliable source of telling the time was the sun, moon, and stars. There seems to be several opinions of who came up with the moon planting calendar first. Was it the Egyptians or the Babylonians? It is more than likely that each and every farmer had a planting calendar based on the moon phases, and there would be different variations depending on the geographical location. As their calendars where passed on through the generations they evolved to cover the different crops they tried to grow, and the more productive farming techniques used.
athletes foot, brinjals, companion plant, Cymbopogon citratus, fleas, food, gardening, herbs, home grown, insect repellant, lemon grass, marinade, Mosquitoes, organic, plants, skin ailments, stirfries, sweet potatoes, Thai cooking, ticks, tomato
Lemon grass originates from Southern India and Sri Lanka. It has long been characteristic of Far Eastern Cuisines. It has found it’s place in Gourmet dishes as well as fragrant toiletries around the world. Apart from culinary and cosmetic uses, Lemon grass has an array of medicinal properties.
To increase your stock of Lemon grass, divide it by pulling apart sections. Potted Lemon grass should be divided every two years. It makes a good companion plant with sweet potatoes, peppers, brinjals and tomatoes. Lemon grass requires full sun.
- Delicious as a tea.
- The chopped base of the leaf cluster is used in Thai cooking.
- Delicious with cheese, egg and fish dishes
- Flavouring for marinades, oils, sauces and stir fries.
- Lemon grass stimulates cell regeneration.
- Soothes intestinal infections
- A strong infusion can be used as a deodorant.
- Soothes fever, colitis, digestive upset, muscular pain,poor circulation,skin ailments and stress related conditions.
- Useful for treating most skin ailments.’
- Athlete’s foot
- foot bath and massage.
- Essential Oil diluted in carried oil, will deter mosquitoes, ticks, fleas.
- Lemon grass insect repelling spray can be used on insect infected plants.
- Watered over beds where seeds will be sown, to protect them from predators.
- Soak pea and bean seed in Lemon grass tea to have bumper crops.
- Rub the inside of your hive when baiting bees.
A few months ago I conditioned my Grow Zone with lashings of Worm Compost. As usual I had the normal tomato and Paw Paw seeds spout, which I weeded out, as I had enough already. These sprouts may also be transplanted into more suitable locations, to grow into mature plants. I had this butternut which sprouted and I moved it.It soon started growing lushly. I started to notice that all the female flowers just dropped off. So I when I noticed a female flower open, I would pollinate it from a male flower by hand. I managed to successfully pollinate 2 flowers. This is the result. This butternut weighs in 1,1 kg. I have harvested it a little early because Our resident Cape Porcupine (Mrs Schnoof) is finding it very hard to resist. She is gnawing away at my grow zone.
Do you have a problem with caterpillars on your Crinum and Clivias?
This innovative method was sent to me via Jeremy Taylor from Sydney.
Simply drape netting over your plants, this stops the butterfly from laying her eggs on your plants.
Photo credits Jeremy Taylor
Rocket has undergone a huge revival in popularity, even though it has been cultivated since the Middle Ages. It is native to the Mediterranean and was prized among the Romans and Persians. It fell out of use for 200 to 300 years. It only in the 1990s that the Italians started using it in ‘designer salads” that it regained its popularity. Medieval Monks were not allowed to grow Rocket in the cloister gardens as it was considered an Aphrodisiac.CULTIVATION
Rocket is a fast growing annual. It will often reseed itself 3 times in the Summer. It demands little attention and will thrive in full sun on compost and regular water.PROPAGATION
Collect seeds from dry pods. Sow from early Spring until mid Autumn. They can be sown in trays and planted out. Once planted out do not move them.HARVESTING
Pick the leaves and flowers often. The more you pick the more it produces.
Medicinal: Rocket has been used to treat bruises and sprains. Crushed seeds are spread on top of a warmed flannel bandage and holding against the skin without allowing the seeds to touch the skin. Crushed petals are made into a paste to treat skin blemishes. In Medieval times the flowers and green seeds were crushed and mixed with honey to treat coughs. Rocket is an invigorating tonic taken when tired or anxious. To make the teas, use 1/4 cup rocket and 1/4 cup parsley, pour over 1 cup boiling water, allow to steep for 5 minutes, strain and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Drink slowly.
Cosmetic: Rocket juice is used as a facial cleanser for oily skins. It is often used to treat itchy inflamed spots, bites and rashes. Rocket seeds, pounded and mixed with Olive oils is used to treat broken nails and calluses.
Culinary: Rocket is used in many Italian dishes and designer salads. Steam the leaves and make a rich white sauce, and use over baby potatoes of leeks. Rocket pesto is also a firm favorite.
Place all ingredients in food processor, blend until smooth, more Olive oil may be added to make into a creamy paste.
Bottle and enjoy with all your favorite pesto meals.
Banana Peels, elk horn, Elk Horn Fern, epiphyte, Fern, fertile fronds, Flora and Fauna, Frond, garden, home grown, nature, organic, ornamental plant, plants, Platycerium, Platycerium superbum, stag horn, worm castings
This is my “MOTHER” superbum ( Platycerium superbum ). She arrived in my family of plants in 1988, which makes her the ripe old age of 25. Obviously then she was only a pup, looking like the pup pictured below.As she is an epiphyte, a container like the one above was created for her years ago. It was filled with a mixture of potting soil and worm castings. She was then attached using soft string and hung underneath a tree. The leaf drop replenishes the container with humus. She loves a twice weekly spray of water. Chopped Banana peels and mashed banana are added twice a year.