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Herb Garden

first_imgUniversity of Georgia horticulturist Bodie Pennisi doesn’t just study herbs in her research garden in Griffin, Ga. She also grows them at home to add flavor to her food.“I grow herbs because I use them in my kitchen,” she said, “and I do quite a bit of cooking. I use them fresh, and I use them dry, so I have to know which will grow in containers [and] in the ground, how to preserve them and use them the best.”Her general message is to “eat more herbs,” she said. “Using herbs in the kitchen is a dietary way to help yourself in not eating too much salt and increasing the flavor in your food.”All herbs like well-drained soils, so she’s found it easiest – and better for the plants – to grow them in pots. The exceptions are rosemary and thyme, which can be planted as ground cover in sunny areas. Sage can also be grown in the ground, but Pennisi has found, “in my view, it likes the pot a little bit better.”Because herbs grow well in pots, they are easy to transport indoors and back outdoors depending on the weather. “You can grow just about anything if you put it in the house,” she said, “but you have to give it a lot of sun. A southern-exposure window is the best. But, you’re never going to get the good growth you get outside.”Both dried and fresh herbs can be found at most grocery stores. Dried herbs usually come in bottles. Fresh herbs can be found in the produce section, usually bunched, in a bag or enclosed in a tube. But Pennisi prefers hers grown at home. And in the winter when fresh isn’t readily available, she’s prepared.“It’s a lot better if you grow them yourself,” she said. “And dry them yourself, but don’t hold them dried for more than a year. I dry my own lemon balm and mint for tea. It’s not hard.”To dry herbs, she uses an inexpensive plastic dehydrator. In the summer when the air inside her house is dry due to the air conditioning, she hangs them in her kitchen.Below are a few of Pennisi’s favorite herbs and a few tips for growing them.Basil. “You can start from seed or purchase it in plant form,” she said. Basil can vary from the most common – a wide-leafed variety – to the small-leafed lemon basil and purple opal basil, which has dark maroon-purple leaves. It should be grown in full sun and well-drained soil. As soon as its flower heads appear, these should be pinched back to prevent the plant from going to seed.Thyme. There are more than 400 varieties of thyme, with English thyme being the most common. For the South, Pennisi suggests growing lemon thyme, caraway thyme and mother-of-thyme. Thyme varieties that creep make an excellent ground cover.Sage. A perennial plant, sage varieties can be used interchangeably in cooking. Once it is established, it usually does well in well-drained soils. One particular variety of sage, known as pineapple sage, can be used to flavor drinks, chicken dishes, cheeses, jams and jellies.Rosemary. Rosemary can be enjoyed year-round from the garden, because it too is a perennial plant. The shrubby plant can grow to between 3 and 5 feet tall. It’s drought-resistant after it’s established, but should be planted in full sun. “If you see that the plant is not growing vigorously, it’s a sign that it’s not getting enough sun,” Pennisi said.Mint. Mint should always be grown in a pot, she said, because once it’s planted in the ground, it can take over. “The same goes for oregano and marjoram,” she said. “They’re a little too happy to grow.” The invasive mint can tolerate partial shade. Pennisi likes to grow peppermint and spearmint varieties to add to her tea.Winter and summer savory. Winter savory has smaller, darker green leaves, a stronger flavor and is a perennial. It grows best from cuttings. Summer savory grows more easily from seed. Both require full sun.Chives. Chives are a member of the onion family. “It’s basically your onion,” she said. “Onion chives are planted each year. The garlic chives have flat leaves, and they’re perennial.” They are easy to grow, but require a balanced fertilizer to grow well. Onion chives have pink flowers, while garlic chives have white flowers.Lemon balm. “I like lemon balm for tea,” she said. Lemon balm is a perennial that can spread up to 3 feet. It will grow in partial shade.For more information on growing herbs in Georgia, see UGA Extension Bulletin 1170.last_img read more

Cattermole confident of survival

first_img “All we can do is take confidence from that game,” said Cattermole. “The manager said it is the best performance he has seen from his Sunderland side – we controlled the game throughout. The message from the manager is that if we play like that for the rest of the season we will have no worries.” Former Wigan midfielder Cattermole was making his first start since being sent off in a 1-0 defeat at Hull on November 2 and the 25-year-old feels that the strength in depth required to survive a relegation battle is evident at Sunderland. “We have got a good squad of players,” he added. “Obviously we are bottom of the league but there is a lot of quality. The gaffer has rotated quite a bit and I think he is just trying to find his best XI. “We have got some great players on the bench today (Saturday), we have just got to keep going and the lads have got to be patient like I have been.” Following Steve Clarke’s sacking from West Brom on Saturday evening, Sam Allardyce is the only manager of a club in the bottom five who was in charge at the beginning of the season. He saw his side pass up the opportunity to beat the bottom side at home and put some breathing space between the Hammers and the relegation zone. Press Association Poyet replaced Paolo Di Canio at the Stadium of Light in September but, despite improvements in performance, Sunderland will be bottom of the Barclays Premier League on Christmas Day after failing to find a winning goal despite creating the better chances in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at fellow strugglers West Ham. The former Brighton boss said after the game that it was the first time he had seen his Sunderland side play and Cattermole revealed that Poyet believes similar displays for the remainder of the campaign will see the Black Cats safe. But Allardyce, who is still waiting to unleash club-record signing Andy Carroll as the England striker works his way back from a heel injury, knows where his side needs to improve. “It wouldn’t have mattered how we played – good, bad or indifferent – if we’d got the points, but we couldn’t turn it around and find that bit of quality when needed,” he said. “On the other side of it, our magnificent defence was there again and it’s the backbone of our team. That is eight cleans sheets in 16 matches. We only got 11 all season last year and finished 10th, so nobody needs to tell me what the problem is and always has been – scoring a goal.” Only Cardiff and Sunderland have scored fewer than the 13 goals West Ham have bagged so far this year and Allardyce knows the slim margins of victory can be the difference between survival and relegation. “It’s not happening for us at the minute,” he added. “We got one side of it right and now we need to keep pressing on to get the other side right in terms of scoring goals. If we score and get a clean sheet, then we’ll win games. “We’ve only won three of our eight clean sheets and we only needed to put another two on top of that and we’d be in the top ten and not the bottom four. That’s how close it is. “We’re small margins away from getting up that table. We’d have all loved three points, but in the end I thought it was a fair result.” Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has found the blueprint that can save the Black Cats from relegation this season, according to midfielder Lee Cattermole.last_img read more

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