How to Grow Runner Beans

How to Grow Runner Beans

Actually, runner beans are very easy to grow. Summer is incomplete without the runner beans for many people. Many people love to garden as a favorite pastime.  

Runner beans are very nutritious and healthy. Runner beans are good to eat and can be used and preserved in all the ways you can use string beans. If you wish to use runner beans as green or string beans the younger you pick them the more tender they will be.

The seeds from the older pods can be harvested and eaten or dried stored for later use. This is an opportunity most American gardeners miss, but will to the store and by Cannellini beans.  Cannellini beans, as it happens, are variety runner beans.

I once had a friend (knowing that I would not mind) who would come over and raid my runner beans when it looked like I was too busy with the day job to keep up with the harvest.  Both our families cook and use runner beans like lima (Butter Beans). 

 It does not need a proper place to grow up. It can grow among flowers and all. It can reduce the risk of heart disease. It can also prevent the chance of colon cancer. It can control diabetes. It can boost your immunity. For the good eye health, runner beans are very good. It can also help you to improve the bone health of your body. This vegetable helps you to keep your stomach working properly.

Runner beans can grow in a container. The container can dry out easily. So, you need to water them frequently. According to the size of the container, a very small amount of runner beans can grow in a single container. Pots can also restrict the growth of the plant.

Direct Sowing:

  • Direct sowing is an easy process. It can be done at any time of the whole year. This process means to plant the seeds directly into the soil of the garden. There are actually three main parts of direct sowing such as preparation, sowing the seeds and taking care of it.

Soil Preparation:

  • It is important to set the bed for the seed. It should be done before a couple of weeks of sowing.
  • Amend the soil means to add valuable and vital nutrients to the soil. The soil analysis is very much needed in this stage.
  • After the amending part, you will have to wait for a few days for the weeds to sprout and after that remove them with the use of a small hoe.
  • Then layout your bed.

Sowing the seeds:

  • Before doing the direct sowing, you will have to decide how the vegetables will grow and use for. You should have to give water to the soil before the day of planting. After the sowing procedure, you will have to provide the seeds with enough water to drink. Seeds basically need three valuable things to germinate such as moisture, light, and temperature.

Care:

  • Caring for runner beans after sowing consists of weeding the bed, re-sowing and weather protection for the crops and plants.

Growing seedlings:

  • Seedlings need more micro-climate to grow than older plants. If you are planning to grow seedlings of runner beans, then you will have to take some special care.

Transplanting seedling:

  • To transplant seedlings, you will have to fill each new container with the moist planting mix. You will have to loosen the soil around the seedlings by using a kitchen fork. You will have to take special care of handling the seedlings by their leaves to avoid the damage.

Succession Planting:

  • Succession planting is a very efficient way to grow runner beans and other vegetables. The methods of succession planting increase the availability of crops.
  • Insect and Pest Control: For any kinds of sowing, it is essential to do insect and pest control. By controlling the pest, you can ensure the growth of the crops. You can use many DIY methods to control the pest and insects. You can also hire pest control to remove and kill them.
  • Controlling Diseases and Problems: By using proper medicines, you can control diseases and other problems related to this. Fungi used to take their energy from the growing plant. These fungi are mainly responsible for the damage of the crops and plants. You will have to identify the problem that causes hamper to your plant and solve it accordingly.

When are bush beans ready to harvest ripe?

  • Generally, bush beans should be ready in 50-55 days. The maturity time depends on the variety of its growing.
  • Green beans: Green beans are tender and tasty. Your plants provide a continual production all the seasons.
  • Dry beans:
  • These beans are ready for harvest in 70-120 days. Dry beans are actually growing to full maturity.

Harvesting:

  • Weeding, watering, and mulching are essential until the runner beans are harvested. You will have to apply an occasional liquid to fertilizer feed them. This procedure will begin in the mid-summer and continue to the first frosts. Runner beans actually crop just after the French beans. It is a very productive, beautiful and delicious vegetable to grow. You will have to pick the beans regularly to encourage future production.

Storing Runner Beans:

  • Runner beans are actually prolific. You can store it for a long time depending on the method used.
    • Blanching, then freezing the runner beans as green beans is an easy option. Once frozen runner beans can be safely stored up to nine months in an ordinary freezer, and fourteen months in a deep freeze in a vacuum-packed bag. 
    • You can keep fresh runner beans in the salad drawer of the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. You will have to use the oldest beans at first.
    • It takes a week actually to dry runner bean seeds at home, but once dry and stored the dry beans in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot, runner beans can be safely kept for up to five years, then cook much like dry lima beans.
    • Young Runner beans can also be dried as leather breeches beans (dry green beans) a heritage method, which is nearly forgotten, then rehydrated and eaten for up to two years.

Related references

Growing Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard (Beta Vulgaris) , also known as, Beet Swiss Chard, or Seakale beet, is a leaf vegetable which will crop from mid summer to late fall. In areas with mild winters Swiss Chard will re-emerge to produce an early spring crops and in some areas can be grown as a fall/winter garden crop. Swiss Chard produces huge, multicolored leaves, with a mild flavor. Generally eaten as a cooked green, but can be eaten fresh.

Maturity

  • 45 or more days after planting

Frost Tolerance

  • Swiss Chard will tolerate light frosts

Heat Tolerance

  • Swiss Chard will tolerate some summer heat especially in northern areas

Substitutions

  • Swiss Chard may be substituted in recipes for spinach or seakale.

Preparing The Soil

Swiss chard is not finicky about the soil or position in which it is grown. It will grow in light sandy soil, as well as, in heavy clay. Similar to other beets, although this is one grown for its leaves, Swiss chard needs lyme and a soil pH 6.5 to 6.8. Swiss chard can be sown in partial shade or in the sun, but any late sewing under close cloches, to get a winter crop, should be in a sunny warm part of the garden.

Sow outdoors

Plant Swiss chard outdoor as soon the ground can be worked. Place one seed every 3 inches and cover firmly with about half to three quarters of an inch of soil. when plants get about 3 inches tall, thin Swiss chard plant to about 6 inches apart. The Fed Swiss chard plants can be eaten as fresh greens. Swiss chard plan should be He plans well mulched and the soil kept moist.

Approximate outdoor planting ranges

  • Garden hardiness zone three and four – May through June
  • Garden hardiness zone five and six – April through July
  • Garden hardiness zone seven and eight – spring: March through May and fall: August
  • Garden hardiness zone nine, ten, and eleven– spring: February through May and fall: August through september

Days to germination

  • 7 to 10 days

Days to harvest

  • 50 to 60 days

Planting depth

  • 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch

Spacing

  • Rows approximately 20 inches apart with approximately 6 inches between plants in each row.

Harvesting

While twisting leaves off is usually recommended, I personally choose to use a good sharp knife to make a controlled clean cut. Either way swiss chard harvested
from the outside edges of the plant working inward regularly once several leaves are large enough to use. Swiss chard plants will regrow when cut back to no lower than 3 inches and a few leaves are remain to help the plant generate energy.

How to Grow Bush Beans

Bush beans are grown in gardens, commercial as well as domestic, since a long time as long as humans have started gardening. The main reason for growing bush beans in domestic gardens is that this wonderful food can be used as a good source of protein as well as green vegetable. The information provided in this write-up will help you to know how to grow bush beans in your garden.

Advantages and disadvantages of growing

Growing bush beans in your garden may have some advantages and disadvantages like:

Advantages

  • Generally, bush beans are easier to grow as they require less maintenance
  • Bush beans are self-supporting and space saving as they rarely grow more than exceed 24” in height
  • Bush beans will provide crop in bulk after a period of three to four weeks
  • Bush beans are popular more among those who can or freeze their beans
  • Bush beans can be grown as green manure

Disadvantages

  • They do not grow well if planted at the same location every year
  • You will have to change its location every time you grow them
  • Continuous picking can increase its yield to some extent but less than other varieties including pole beans

Planting Bush Beans

Normally beans including bush beans can be sown directly in the garden as well as indoor. Small bean plants sown indoor can be transplanted to the garden later on. The seeds of bush beans can be sown indoors from 10-24 days before planting them in the garden. They should be sowed in moderately hot weather temperature. If you want to sow their seeds directly in the garden, then they should be sowed in 3 feet apart rows and nearly one inch deep in the soil.

Growing Seedlings

When the seeds are sown indoor then well, grown-up seedlings can be planted in the garden in single or multiple wide rows. The distance between plants should be almost 4 to 6 inches. Densely sown seeds can also be thinned by transplanting them in the garden at a distance of nearly 4-6 inches away from each other. If you do not have space in the garden, then you can also cut some of the seedlings with scissors, without disturbing their roots, to thin the plantation of bush beans.

Transplanting Seedlings

The grown-up seedlings of bush beans can be transplanted into the garden when the temperature of the soil is sufficiently warm to encourage their growth at an outside location. The late spring can be the right time to transplant seedlings of bush beans.

Succession Planting

If you want to harvest the crop of bush beans for a longer time, then you should grow them in succession. Usually, bush beans start producing all at once. So to get them for a longer time you should plant them after every 2 weeks. It is known as Succession Planting of bush beans.

Insect and Pest Control

After planting bush beans, the first few weeks are very crucial to ensure the productivity and survival of their plants. Some time seeds of bush beans do not germinate due to various reasons including the coldness of soil, too deep sowing of seeds, seeds are old or damaged by pests, etc. In such condition you will have to observe the plants frequently, at least 2-3 times in a week, to find the signs of pests and insects as well as diseases.

The problem of insects and pests can be controlled without affecting the quality of the crop by rotting their plants if you grow these plants every year. Insects are more attracted to weak plants whereas healthy plants can tolerate the damage caused by the pests. You can also control the infestation of the insects and pests in your bush bean plants by inspecting them regularly and focusing on the damages caused by them like leaves damaged by insect-eating, discoloration of leaves, markings on fruit surface or dying-back tips of plants. You can easily prevent any damage to the quality of the fruit as well as the health of the plant by controlling the problem of pests and insect before they harm your plants or fruits.

Controlling Diseases and Problems

The yield of your bush bean plants can also be affected by various types of plant diseases. You can easily control the problems caused by diseases by:

  • Sowing certified and free-from-disease seeds, Planting the seedlings in well-drained soil in enough light.
  • Avoid splashing water on the foliage and
  • avoid overhead watering
  • Avoiding overcrowding plantation
  • Digging out dying or diseased plants and cleaning up the debris
  • Investigating the problems experienced by weak plants 
  • Avoiding planting or transplanting bush bean seedlings in infected areas

When Are Bush Beans Ready To Harvest Ripe?

As green beans:

Green beans of bush beans can be ready to harvest within 50 – 55 days of planting them. The time of maturity of the beans can depend upon the variety of seeds you have sown.

As dry beans

Dry beans or bush beans can be harvested when they grow up to full maturity. Normally, the pods of beans are considered to be fully matured when the leaves of the plants dry up and start falling. The size of the pod by the time of their full maturity can vary from 3-4 inch to 12-14 inch depending upon the season you have grown them or the variety of seeds used while sowing.

Harvesting

Green bush beans can be harvested nearly 50-80 days after planting them. The size of the beans at the time of harvesting them can vary according to their use. If you want to eat them as a green vegetable, then you should not allow them to become yellowish in color as it can reduce the yield of the plant along with affecting their taste. Green beans should be picked up frequently to maximize their output as well as quality.

Storing

If you want to store bush beans, then you remove their pods nearly ¼ inch above the fruit while harvesting them. While removing pods, you should be careful to damage the plant. They should not be crushed if you want to harvest the crop for a longer time. These pods can be dried to store for future use. You can also freeze or can bush bean t use them in the near future.

Related References

How To Grow Sweet And Hot Chili Peppers

The chili pepper was developed in the Assam region of northeastern India. People around the world love the intense pleasure that this novelty pepper brings, and many Chile heads want to know how to grow the chili peppers in their own homes or gardens. With your homegrown peppers, you can enjoy them in recipes, or try your hand at making the next world’s hottest hot sauce or even brag to your friends that you grow one of the peppers on Earth. Learn more about how to grow chili peppers and General Growing Culture or requirements for chili peppers

Seedling of pepper plants in pots on a window sill
Seedling of pepper plants in pots on a window sill

Growing Seedlings

It’s great to grow your own chilies, but for many, the struggle is with germination – getting all those wholesome crops to shoot in the first place!

Luckily the answer is a simple one.

For the majority of seed varieties, you will require two main ingredients, which are warmth and moisture. Let’s take chili seeds; for example, The main reason for unsuccessful or poor germination rates of chili seeds is down to the warmth factor. You see, although you may sow your chili seeds in good soil, and keep that soil moist (but not soggy), the seed trays may be left on a windowsill or in the kitchen, where the temperature is warm during the day, but fresh at night time.

Chilli seeds need a relatively warm and consistent temperature range to germinate properly (between 27-32 degrees C), and the low nighttime temperatures caused by the heating going off means that the average temperature is low, sending mixed signals to your germinating chili seeds!

The answer is, therefore, to use a heated propagator for propagating your seeds for best results, ideally with a thermostat to allow you to control the temperature more accurately. If you don’t have a heated propagator, then the next best thing is to use your airing cupboard where the average temperature is much higher, and once seedlings start to emerge, then you can transfer your seedlings to a sunny window sill so that they get lots of light, which is essential to growing healthy and robust plants.

If you can get a heated propagator with a lid that is ideal, as many seed varieties also like a bit of humidity to germinate successfully, this means you can also water your seed trays less often as more moisture is retained.

So, now all you have to do is to follow these simple tips to start getting better results germinating your chili seeds and solve any poor germination problems you may be getting.

And if you want a headstart and are looking for an easy and consistent way to germinate your seeds, then a propagation kit can also be ideal as they contain special growing media that optimizes the moisture/air ratio, which is another factor that can affect germination, thus eliminating guesswork.

Grasshopper
Grasshopper

Insect And Pest Control

Using insecticides and pesticides does work on the chili garden, but it’s not the only way to do it. Natural garden pest control is another option to be considered. One of the main benefits is that once set up; there is a system there that can take of pest problems.

The first step is prevention. Don’t have conditions in the garden that will attract pests in the first place. You don’t want wet leaves and plants. It’s better to water the soil for most plants than the actual plant itself. Get rid of plants that already are sick or insect prone. Leaving this only cause more problems for the other plants around them.

Don’t have conditions like piles of wood next to your garden as it can attract more pests. Use beneficial insects. Beneficial insects are insects that are good for the garden. They prey on the pests that ruin your plants. These would include praying mantis, lacewings, ladybugs, and others.

Each of these beneficial insects is attracted to the garden because of individual plants. Even if it’s purely a chili garden, flowers can be planted as well to have a full system of beneficial insects.

There are chili plants that can get rid of certain pests. Mint, for example, is not something most pests enjoy. If you have a pest problem, see if that specific pest doesn’t like a particular crop and use those in the garden as well.

Transplanting Pepper Seedling
Transplanting Pepper Seedling

Transplanting

You should do chili peppers transplanting as soon as the seedlings are big enough to handle, from the small pots into bigger pots in which they will remain until they can be transplanted into the garden again.

Although the chili transplanting process is a good option f, it has a more significant effect on other plants. Some seedlings fail to undergo transplantation process, as the process tends to break or bend or their small roots,

Several types of chill peppers do not transplant well from the seed-bed to the garden plot. In some cases, you can use planting pots that can be directly placed in the garden, offering an opportunity to start the plants indoors, without having to transplant them later. Quart berry boxes, Peat pots or pint work well for this use.

Another way is to cut the sod into six” square pieces about two inches thick. Put them, root side up, and plant the chili plant, in hills directly on the loam soil, supported by the grassroots.

Wait for the weather to warms, and “transplant” these seedlings, merely place the berry boxes, sod squares or peat pots into the prepared hole. You can trim the bottom of the tables if so desired.

Controlling Diseases and Problems

You may be faced with many chili gardening problems on your way to set up your own chili garden. These problems may vary from chili diseases and pest attacks to the failure of the plants to bear fruit. We will see some of the common chili gardening problems and its causes.

One of the problems is that after sowing the seedlings don’t come out. This might be because it did not have enough time for germination and you will have to wait for some time for the sprout to emerge. Very cold temperatures, too dry or wet soil may also prevent the seedlings from coming out. The seeds have to be sown at the right temperature, and sufficient water has to be provided to avoid drying or waterlogged. If the birds ate the seeds, you would have to replant and protect the bed with the net. Another reason for the seedling not coming out may be that the seed is too old. Then the only option is replanting.

Dry soil and over-watering may cause most of the chili gardening problems. Seedlings may wilt, and the young plants die because of this. It causes the rotting of stem and roots. The solution is proper and adequate watering. Fertilizer burns, root maggots, and cut-worms may also cause the young plant to die. Fertilizer burns could be avoided by adhering to fertilizer instructions. Cutworms could be avoided by keeping the garden clean. The laying of eggs by flies and moths has to be prevented by using covers.

Plants may wilt because of fungal diseases. The best way to avoid wilt is by using disease-resistant seeds. Too much fertilizer is also not good for plants. This will make plants weak and spindly. Plants won’t grow properly if there is not enough light and if the plants are too crowded. Sometimes the plants may grow slowly, and the leaves will have a light green color. This is because of improper photosynthesis. This is caused by the absence of adequate sunlight or crowding of plants; cool weather, deficiency of fertilizers or over-watering.

Mineral deficiency and improper sunlight will make the leaves yellow, but they won’t wilt. Sometimes the leaves will have yellow and green patches in a mosaic pattern, and the plants get stunted. This is a virus disease, and the infected plants have to be destroyed. Sometimes fertilizer burns may cause symptoms similar to viral diseases. Before destroying the plants make sure that the stunted growth and patches have not resulted from fertilizer burn. Sometimes the leaves will have holes. This can be caused by winds and insects. If it is insects, use organic insecticides, and for wind, barriers have to be provided.

At the end of the plants won’t bear fruit all your efforts will be wasted. Plants won’t bear fruit because of the extreme hot and cold climates; or excess of nitrogen. The seedlings have to be planted in such a way that it bears fruit before the extreme climates.

When are chilies ripe?

Usually, a lot depends on the type of chili. As a general rule chilies turn from green to red while they ripen. Most of the chilies are edible in the green stage and the taste and heat increase as they become redder.

Chopped peppers ready for use
Chopped peppers ready for use


Harvesting


Mature chili peppers are easily plucked from the parent plant, when your peppers are not coming with ease, wait for a little. Harvesting increase the yield because after that the pepper is replaced by month new chili


When collecting the seeds, cut or break the pod, leaving the stem and core intact. Hold the stem; scrape out the seeds with a blunt knife.

Frozen pepper in a plastic bag
Frozen pepper in a plastic bag

Storing

To preserve or store the peppers, keep them in the refrigerator, they can stay for a week. Roast, peel, store in your freezer for not less than six months of use. Finally, ca or pickle your chili to use up to 2 years.

Related References

Growing Epazote

I want to thank you for buying this book, ‘Growing Epazote – A Home Gardener’s Guide’ and I hope you will find it informative and useful.

Gardening is a pleasurable and enjoyable hobby. It is also one of those hobbies that require a lot of patience. However, the results are exquisite. It is one of the rare hobbies in which you need to deal with real living things and take care of them. Gardeners love their plants and consider them to be their friends.

Nowadays many gardeners, old and new, are looking out for certain plants and shrubs that were once considered to be weeds. While these plants held special places in various cultures, due to commercialization, their invasive nature and lack of information regarding them had deemed them as weeds. However, most of these plants and shrubs are not only beautiful, but they have various beneficial properties as well. Such a plant, which is often considered to be a weed, is epazote.

Epazote is an ancient plant that holds a significant place in Latin American culture. Nowadays, more and more people want to grow epazote thanks to its pungent but exciting flavor and its anti-flatulence properties. If you are one of these people, this book will help you grow epazote in no time. 

Epazote is quite easy to grow which is why even new and amateur gardeners won’t have any problems growing it. Read on to find out how to introduce this delicious herb into your garden right away!

I hope you will use the information provided in this book to make your home and garden greener and your food tastier.

Epazote – Understanding The Herb

Before moving on to growth and care tips regarding epazote, it is first necessary to understand the plant itself. This chapter will briefly explain the various properties, qualities and certain warnings regarding growing, using and consuming epazote.

Epazote is a commonly grown herb crop in the Yuma area. However, the percentage of growers who grow this crop is quite small. Not many people are aware of Epazote ‘s popularity and importance. Epazote is a leafy vegetable that is often used as an herb for its pungent flavor. It is either used raw or is often cooked along with various other ingredients. It is extremely pungent and resinous. It tastes a bit like fennel, anise or tarragon. However, the taste is much stronger. The fragrance is strong too and it is difficult to describe, as it does not match any other scent.

Epazote sounds like rather an exotic name. However, it is still better than various other names that this herb has. Some people call it goosefoot, pigweed, skunkweed or wormseed. These names are not random, as epazote comes from the Aztec words ‘epatl’ and ‘tzol.’ These two words taken together roughly translate to smelly animal. Other, far better names include Mexican. People rarely refer to it as Chenopodium ambrosioides either. As mentioned earlier, epazote holds a dear and special place in the Central American and Latin American culture. It is commonly used in Guatemalan and Central American cuisines.

As mentioned in the section above, epazote is extremely strong and pungent which is why people often consider it to be an acquired taste. Some people complain of it being too bitter with slight hints of lemon. Certain people tend to replace epazote with Mexican oregano, which is often found to be more palatable for fussy eaters. However, no herb or ingredient can replace epazote and its pungent but appetizing taste.

Different parts of the epazote have different flavors. However, only the leaves of the plant are fit for human consumption. Other parts can prove to be toxic and must be avoided. Young leaves of the plant are richer yet milder in flavor as compared to the older leaves. The flavor becomes more and more intense with age.

Epazote is suitable for tropical as well as sub-tropical climatic conditions. If grown properly it can grow over 3 feet. It is often discarded as a weed in places like Mexico and the USA. It is invasive and a rapid grower and it is possible that you may already have some in your garden, or a local park, though if you plan to consume epazote, it is recommended to plant a new one only for consumption. Do not use leaves from your park or any other public place.

Commercially Available Packets Of Herbs
Commercially Available Packets Of Herbs

Where to Find Epazote

While the main concern of this book is to help you grow epazote, it is always better to try some out before choosing to grow it. Epazote is commonly available in many Hispanic and Latin Markets. It is available in dry as well as fresh forms. If fresh epazote is not available, dry epazote can be used and is every bit as tasty. Dry epazote is available on various e-commerce sites.

Epazote in Mason Jar Filled With Water
Epazote in Mason Jar Filled With Water

Storing Epazote

Epazote is a hardy plant and thus storing it is easy. However, as it is an herb, it is perishable, and thus care must be taken to keep Epazote fresh. Whether you grow epazote or whether you buy fresh Epazote from the market, always take care of the leaves to make them last longer. You should store the fresh stems in a tumbler of fresh water. If you do not want to keep it out in the open, you can keep it wrapped in some moist paper towels and then keep them in the refrigerator. One stem of fresh epazote is about one teaspoon of dried epazote.  

Squash/Pumpkin Blossom Quesadillas
Squash/Pumpkin Blossom Quesadillas

Uses

Epazote has various uses, and thus many people want to grow it nowadays.

Traditionally, epazote has been used to flavor beans and for the carminative properties of epazote. It is often used to flavor other Mexican dishes, such as squash flower quesadillas, as well. For instance, epazote can be used to season soups, quesadillas, eggs, and potatoes, mole de olla and enchiladas.

You will be surprised to know that epazote has been used for thousands of years. The ancient Aztecs used it to flavor their cooking and for its various medicinal benefits.

Epazote can be used to treat hookworms, roundworms, amebic dysentery, small tapeworms, excess mucus, and asthma as well.

Externally, it can be used to treat insect bites and athlete’s foot. It also has insecticidal properties and can be used against mosquitoes and insect larvae.

Epazote is a strong laxative and has various laxative properties. With the help of these properties, it can stop the functioning of parasites and can halt their advancement in the intestines. It has been used as an essential oil since the nineteenth century in diluted and concentrated forms. In the 20th century, pharmaceutical companies started isolating and using it too.

People also use fresh epazote leaves to create wall hangings, floral decorations, etc. You can create wreaths, dried floral decorations, etc. Always be careful while using and handling dried leaves and seeds of epazote as they may irritate the skin. The seeds are known to cause various reactions including dermatitis etc. to people who are sensitive to spicy foods and spices.

Problems

Epazote, while delicious, is a risky condiment just like cinnamon. The risk can be minimized if you know how to use it. Some people believe that epazote’s taste is addictive. However, it is recommended to avoid epazote in large quantities. Only add a couple of leaves to your food to bring out its flavors. If you want to add dried leaves, then add according to the recipe. If you are not sure how to use epazote, you may need to talk to your Latin American friends.

Now you must be wondering where to find epazote, or you must be excited about growing it in your garden. Find out more about how to grow epazote in your garden, home or even in water in the following chapters.

Epazote In Raised Bed With Cilantro In The Background
Epazote In Raised Bed With Cilantro In The Background

Growing Epazote

Epazote is delicious as well as a beautiful plant that can make your garden look fresh and green and your foods are tastier. If you love the taste of epazote, it is best to grow it in your garden to ensure a steady supply.

Growing your epazote is simple. Epazote has large serrated leaves, and it also gives out flowers with tiny green balls. It is recommended to consume only the leaves of the plant. The plant is an annual, and its leaves can be used as an insecticide as well. If you crush the leaves and spread it on paths, it can make ants go away. Dry epazote can be used to get rid of ants as well. While only leaves are fit for human consumption, some people also like to add thin stems of leaves to their food. If you do decide to use the stems, pulverize them and let them cook for a long time.

All about Growing Epazote

Epazote grows well in all seasons if you live in a tropical or sub-tropical region. However, if you live in any other region then it is best to plant epazote in spring after the ‘dangerous’ frosts are long gone. Epazote needs slightly high temperature throughout the day. The temperature should reach at least 50 degrees. Any less and the growth will not be satisfactory. Always grow epazote in well-drained soil and full sunlight.

Seed Sowing Depth

Epazote seeds are small and thus should not be sown too deep. It is recommended to sow them at the surface of the soil. If you live in a windy zone, sow them at 1/16-inch depth. Always keep the soil warm and moist as it helps germination. As said in the last section, the temperature should be around 50 degrees. Epazote grows quickly and can be invasive and it is therefore recommended to allow the area some growing space. If you are not comfortable with the plant taking over your garden, only plant it in containers. This way you will be able to keep it under control.

When to Sow

For subtropical and tropical regions, you can sow epazote seeds throughout the year. For people who live in moderate zones, seeds can be sown in mid-spring when the temperatures are moderately high. Seeds germinate and grow in about 2-4 weeks. Some plants may even grow fully and be ready for harvest in a month or two. If you sow seeds over a stretched period, you will be able to ensure a long harvest. Sow the seeds throughout the spring.

As epazote is native to tropical regions, it grows the best in zones 2-7. It may even grow up to 2 to 4 feet. If you live in colder regions, it is recommended to grow it in containers so that you can bring it in if the temperature drops out of the blue.

Do not plant seeds in loamy soil. Always sow them where the roots will not be submerged in water for long. Sun is crucial for good flavor.

Seedlings Herbs In Starter Pots
Seedlings Herbs In Starter Pots

Sowing Indoors/Outdoors

Epazote grows the best outside, as it requires high temperature and direct sunlight. However, it can also be grown indoors in soil as well as water.

If you want to sow epazote indoors, do it in a place that receives ample sunlight. Windowsills and balconies are the best places for growing epazote. Seeds can be either started in growing medium, tissues or soil as well. Once the seedlings are ready, you can transfer them to containers containing growing media or soil. You can also transfer them to containers containing water. Epazote can grow well in water that is replenished with nutrients sparingly.

It is recommended to grow epazote for at least 4-6 weeks before moving them outside (if you want to). If you do not want to grow them outside at all, you may continue to grow them on windowsills.

While epazote can grow in water, their growth will not be as satisfactory as epazote grown outside in the soil.

Plant Height & Width

Epazote plants are medium length shrubs and can grow up to 4 feet. They have reddish stems with dark green, serrated leaves. They are about 9-10 inches wide.

Epazote Herb Plant Closeup
Epazote Herb Plant Closeup

Leaf Color/Description

Epazote leaves are bright, dark green and come out of the reddish stem of the mature plant. They have serrated edges, i.e., edges that look like teeth. They can also produce tiny flowers that grow right with the stems. These flowers then grow into seedpods.

Growth Habits

Epazotes are rapid growers and quickly gain their standard height of about 4ft. If you continuously harvest the tip of the plant after every couple of weeks, the plant will continue to grow and get more and bushy as well. This will also allow you to harvest the herb throughout the growing season.

Epazotes do the best in warm weather where the temperature does not drop below 50 very often. Do not water the plants too much and a dense watering thrice a week is sufficient. If it does not rain, you may increase the watering. Do not use a forceful stream or pressurized water to water the plant, as its stem is often quite delicate. Do not over water or it will lead to root-rot.

Pests & Diseases of Epazote

Epazote naturally has almost no pests as the texture of the plant and the scent of the leaves act as a deterrent to parasites and pests all over. Epazote can also help you to get rid of pests from other plants, as pests will leave any area where epazote grows.

Crushing and spreading leaves of epazote plant can help you get rid of annoying pests like ants etc. from your house.

How to store Epazote

The beauty of Epazote is that it can be used and stored in a variety of ways. To store your Epazote, you have essentially three options:

  • For short-term storage, you can either store it fresh in the refrigerator,
  • For long-term storage you can:
    • freeze the fresh herbs for later use, which can be accomplished in more than one way,
    • or dry the herbs and store in your cupboard, pantry or root cellar.

Drying Epazote

Some people say that it’s not worth drying Epazote because it loses its flavor when dried, but I disagree. While the flavor may not be as intense as a fresh bunch from the garden, there is still plenty of culinary use for dried Epazote in everyday cooking.

There are several ways of drying Epazote which include

  • Air dry/brown paper bag/solar
  • Food dehydrator
  • Oven Drying

Oven Drying

To oven dry your Epazote, preheat oven to 250-300 degrees F. Lightly coat a cookie sheet with baking spray to help with sticking. Strip the leaves off the stems of the Epazote and spread the leaves in one layer on the cookie sheet. Let, the leaves dry out in the oven for 20-30 minutes, check once. You just want the leaves to lose the fresh green look. Take them out of the oven and cool on the cookie sheet. Use a spatula to scrape off the cookie sheet, and slightly crumble the leaves. Put in an airtight jar and store with spices, use when needed! These will last as long as any other dried herb.

Hanging Air dried herbs
Hanging Air Dried Herbs

Air drying

To air dry your Epazote herbs,

  • Wash, the Epazote under cool, running water and dry it thoroughly, but gently, with a paper towel.
  • Gather the Epazote together and tie the stem ends together with a string for them to be used immediately.
  • Hang the Epazote bunch in a dry area until all the water evaporates from the leaves of the herb.
  • Place the bunch upside down in a paper bag. Tie the paper bag closed and poke several holes in the bag with the tip of a knife to allow for ventilation.
  • Hang the bag in a warm, dry area that is not in direct sunlight.

Open the bag and check the herbs every few days to see if the Epazote is sufficiently dry. The herb should feel crisp and crumble easily in your hand, with no areas of moisture. It should take about one to two weeks to properly dry your Epazote.

Tips:

  • Keeping the Epazote in a bag while it dries allows the leaves to drop into the bag rather than onto the floor or counter.
  • Store the dried Epazote in a sealed, airtight container.
  • Dried Epazote tastes best when added to cooked dishes as opposed to salsas or salads.
  • Select Epazote for drying that has fresh, healthy leaves; avoid Epazote with wilted leaves.
  • Store fresh Epazote until you are able to dry it by placing the stems in 1 inch of water and covering the plant with a plastic bag. Fresh Epazote should keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Herbs On Dehydrator Shelves
Herbs On Dehydrator Shelves

Drying with dehydrator

Soak your Epazote herbs in a bowl of water. After they have soaked for a few minutes, put the leaves in a salad spinner or large dish towel and give it a twirl. This helps to make the leaves as dry as possible.

Next, remove the stems of the herbs. Some people prefer to dry their herbs without removing the stems; it is a matter of personal preference. Once the leaves are completely dry, the stems will be minimal, so you decide what’s best. If you plan to grind the dried leaves into powder, the stems will not make a difference.

Once you’ve cleaned and dried the Epazote leaves, lay them on dehydrator trays in a single layer. It is okay to have the leaves touch. They will not stick together when they are dried.

You should process these in your favorite dehydrator at 110° for approximately 1 to 3 hours. They dry fairly quickly so keep an eye out. You’ll know they are done when the leaves are crisp and crumble between your fingers.

Open Storage Jar of Home Dried Epazote
Open Storage Jar of Home Dried Epazote

How to store dehydrated Epazote

To store dehydrated Epazote, place the dried Epazote in an airtight container and keep in a cool, dark, dry place for the best flavor and color.

Use the leaves within a year. Keep the leaves whole; they have a longer shelf life than ground herbs. For the best flavor crush or grind the leaves just before using.

Dried Epazote lasts as long as two years, and you don’t have to worry about freezer burn or other problems that occur when freezing food.

Freezing Epazote

If you have the freezer space or happen to have a second freezer as we did for many years, freezing is a good way to preserve Epazote, which, also, has the benefit of retaining more of the original flavor of Epazote then drying does.

There are three basic methods for freezing Epazote:

  • The Ice Cube Method
  • The Vacuum Sealer Method, and
  • The Cookie Sheet Method
Frozen cubes of herbs

Ice Cube Method

One way of freezing Epazote is to add the leaves or parts of leaves to ice cube trays in water or broth before freezing. This method is useful for adding small quantities to recipes, especially soup, stews, and casseroles.

Equipment Required: 

  • Salad Spinner or two clean spongy kitchen towels 
  • Kitchen shears or sharp knife and cutting board 
  • Ice Cube Trays
  • measuring spoons

Ingredients

  • Entire leaf or hacked Epazote 
  • Fresh faucet water 
  • Pick through the fresh Epazote and dispose of damaged leaves. Spin drying or pat dry between two kitchen towels to remove as much moisture as possible. 
  • Strip off the leaves from the stem.
  • Dice the Epazote and add to ice cube trays.
  • Fill every compartment with leaves. 
  • Top off with filtered water or broth and place in the freezer. 
  • When the ice cubes have frozen, remove the Epazote cubes.
  • Store in water and air-proof freezer bag or container in your freezer. 

How to use cubes:

Vacuum Sealer Method

This method preserves more color and flavor by keeping the leaves sealed.

Equipment Required:

  • Vacuum sealer with proper bag material 
  • Salad Spinner or clean spongy kitchen towels 
  • Kitchen shears or sharp knife 

Method: 

  • Wash and gently spin dry or gently pat dry with kitchen towels to remove excess moisture. 
  • Cut or remove the stems
  • Make a bag large enough to hold the Epazote leaves and allow some headspace between the herb and the seal. 
  • Label bag with herb name and date it. 
  • Place herbs into the bag. 
  • Vacuum seal the bag. 
  • Place flat in the freezer. After the bags have frozen solid, they can be put away upright or stacked to save space.

The Cookie Sheet Method

This method is in common use as most homes still do not have vacuum sealers in their kitchens. The cookie sheet method, also, preserves more color and flavor than drying Epazote.

Equipment Required:

  • Air tight freezer bag or plastic freezer containers
  • A cookie sheet or sheet pan which will fit on your freezer shelves
  • Salad Spinner or clean spongy kitchen towels 
  • Kitchen shears or sharp knife

Method: 

  • Wash and gently spin dry or gently pat dry with kitchen towels to remove excess moisture. 
  • Cut or remove the stems
  • Label bag with herb name and date it. 
  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper
  • Spread the Epazote leaves on top of the parchment paper
  • Spread the leaves on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (not touching one another) in successive layers of parament paper and Epazote. For best results, at most three to five layers are recommended.
  • You can place a final layer of parchment paper and top with a second cookie sheet to gently press the leaves flat.
  • Let the leaves freeze a few hours or overnight.
  • Once the leaves are thoroughly frozen, quickly remove the leaves from the cookie sheet, and parchment paper, and pack the Epazote leaves loosely inside small freezer bags or freezer containers for long-term storage. 

How long can Epazote stored in the freezer?

If properly stored, it will maintain the best quality for about 4 to 6 months but will remain safe beyond that time.

Conclusion

Thank you for buying this book, and I hope you found it useful and interesting.

Gardening is a fun way to relax and enjoy the beautiful and often tasty results of your hard work. Epazote is a brilliant starter plant for everyone who is interested in growing herbs and is an amateur gardener. It is easy to grow and care for the plant and can be grown anywhere.

Epazote is quite potent, and only a small amount is needed to make your dish pop! This means you can grow a couple of plants, and they will last you throughout the season. If you are new to the taste of epazote, use it in various quantities to find one that suits and soothes your taste buds. Remember, it is always better to add less spice than more as it is possible to make up for less but removing more is almost impossible.

Once again thank you and good luck!

Lawn Care Basics

If you want to keep a beautiful, tidy looking garden, you need to pay close attention to the lawn with proper lawn care. Most Americans take great pride in their yards and so lawn care is important to them. You will notice when you see the results of a properly cared for lawn, it will give you a sense of pride. Of course, you could always pay a gardener to do it, but then you would get no real satisfaction as you would not have done it yourself.

Knowing Lawn Care Basics

Lawn care can be simple just as long as you at least know the basics. Firstly, the tidiness of the garden needs to be addressed. Is it clean? Is there anything on the lawn which shouldn’t be there? Leaves and rubbish spoil the garden, so you need to get rid of them by raking and picking up all litter before you start. You will notice that once you have removed the rubbish and leaves, your garden will already look so much nicer.

If you have bumps within the garden, they can be removed with a spade and you can either replace the sod or plant new grass seed. As well as boosting the appearance of the garden, by leveling it out, you are also ensuring that it is easier to mow and to keep in pristine condition.

Overall keeping the lawn looking good and keeping it trimmed is all part of primary lawn care. It is something which must be done if you are to have a garden of which can be proud.  A green and healthy lawn is very easy to achieve as long as you know Lawn Care Basics techniques and how to apply them correctly. Read the guidelines below so you can handle your turf properly and get incredible results in no time.

Lawn Mowing

• Find out the recommended cutting height for your grass type and follow it. If you’re unaware or unsure of how much grass to mow, cut only one-third of the total grass length as a general rule.

• Make sure you set your mower high enough. Cutting at a low setting will only damage your grass and prevent its roots from growing deeper.

• Use the appropriate mower for your lawn type. It must be well-tuned, sharpened and in good working condition at all times so you’ll be more efficient at mowing the lawn.

• Never mow over wet grass. Always cut when the turf is dry so you can discourage the presence of weeds and diseases.

• To prevent sunburn, mow your lawn during the coldest part of the day, usually, in the morning after any dew has lifted.

When deciding which lawn mowers is right for you, you need to consider the size of the lawn you are going to be cutting and the type of finish you wish to achieve. If your yard is large, then you will want to look at the petrol lawn mowers are not limited by a power cable and tend to have larger grass collection bins meaning less stopping to empty the bin.  If you have a small area of lawn, you might only need a small electric mower.

Lawn Watering

  • Where lawns are concerned watering more frequently in short durations is better than long soaking, which may cause water to run off and wasted.
  • You don’t have to water your lawn all the time. Feed it only when it’s necessary, or you think it’s a bit dry
  • Be sure to your local communities water restrictions and permissible schedules.  Your local communities water restrictions should be checked regularly as they can change throughout the growing season.
  • Water early in the morning-never late in the afternoon or evening because this promotes pests and diseases to develop.
  • Avoid overwatering your lawn. The advisable amount is around 1-2 inches of water per week, but you may have to adjust depending on the season and the required water supply for your particular grass type.
  • Be sure to spread and sprinkle the water throughout the entire lot. You don’t want one area to be soaked and other parts to become dry due to lack of supply.

It is a known fact that grass will not grow and will die without water which will cause some brown patches to show on the lawn. It is essential to understand what type of soil and grass you have to supply it with only the appropriate amount of water. It is also important not to over-saturate the soil with water as this could cause the grass to die. The ideal time of watering the lawn is during the early morning or at sunset because it is during these times that the water is more likely to soak into the soil than just evaporating.

Weed & Pest Control

  • Weed the turf especially during the fall and spring seasons.
  • Choose organic weed and pest control agents, as a last resort, to get rid of unwanted elements without causing damage to your lawn.  If you must apply chemicals, please use them as directed and apply them only where truly necessary.
  • Take out crabgrass as soon as you see it so you can prevent it from developing roots and spreading throughout the lot.

So, those are the basic techniques that you need to apply if you want to make your lawn more beautiful. Be sure to use them the right way so you can see improvement in your lawn’s overall health and appearance.

The best way to achieve that perfect garden is to start carefully and make small but steady improvements over time. A few basic lawn care tools are necessary, but you can buy lawn care tools at any number of places.

fertilizing your lawn

Fertilizing the soil is also essential. However, you will need to know what type of soil you have before proceeding. Knowing your soil type is important because it will allow you to get the correct fertilizer for your lawn, whether organic or chemical. It is essential to understand that using too much fertilizer can harmful to your yard, to the environment, and your family and pets.

Overfertiliation can leave lawns vunerable to Insect attact.

Most people hardly realize that the roots of the grass need air to This is why people who are in the know aerate their lawn to make it healthier. One good way of checking if your soil needs aerating is by pouring a small amount of water to the soil and see if it soaks down through quickly. If it does not, then it is required for you to aerate your lawn.

If you can stay away from the herbicides and weed killers, Consider interplanting perennial clover or Alfalfa. If you can get an established mix of 30 to 50 percent of clover or alfalfa, your lawn will be healthier and require little or no additional fertilizers, as the grass will get its nitrogen from the clover and alfalfa. Additionally, during hotter weather when your lawn grasses my stall or go dormant, assuming adequate rainfall or irrigation has been applied, the clover and alfalfa will continue to be lively and green. If you live in a location where you can let the clover and alfalfa go to flower, you will be attracting and help the local native and honey bee population.

Related References

Perennial – How To Grow Garlic (Chinese) Chives

Garlic (Chinese) Chive flowers
Garlic (Chinese) Chive flowers

Garlic Chives or Chinese Chives (Allium tuberosum) are a quick growing, hardy, plant which needs very little maintenance or care. They are a prolific grower, and 1-2 plants are generally enough for a home garden. They are a good choice for a beginner garden and, also, add value to established gardens. They look especially beautiful as a border around a garden with their bountiful blooms. The garlic chive is similar to regular chives, yet, is distinctive for its garlic flavor as opposed to regular chives, which taste like onions. They are also called Chinese chives, Chinese leeks, or allium chives.

Garlic Chives Description

  • Chive plants grow 10-20″ tall. The plant sports tall grass-like foliage that is flat and narrow. As it grows, the leaves curve downward with their tips pointing to the ground. This creates a fountain of green foliage that remains orderly and pretty all through the growing season. At the base of each leaf, the stem is a small white bulb which is edible, as are all parts of the plant.
  • In the fall or late summer, they produce beautiful white flowers that bees and insects adore. The flower stalks emerge from the base of the plant and stand tall above the green leaves. A round bulb-like ball forms with dozens of tiny star-shaped flowers. Flower heads should be removed before going to seed since they self-seed easily and can quickly spread and become an invasive if not monitored.

Are Chives Perennial?

  • Yes! Garlic chives grow in USDA hardiness zones 3-9. They have a long growing season and will grow all year-round in climates where the ground doesn’t freeze. In climates where the ground freezes, they will die back during cold weather and reemerge in the spring.

Growing Chives

Location

  • To begin, choose a space in your garden which will be a good permanent place for them. Since they are perennial, they will need a designated spot. They need between 6-8 hours of sunlight a day. They like rich, well-drained, soil yet are adaptable to growing in a variety of soil types.

Planting

  • Garlic chives can be grown from seed or started from divisions. To start them from seed, plant them 1/4″ deep and 6-8″ apart. Garlic chives grow slowly, just a few inches a year until they reach their mature height of 10-20″.
  • To start growing chives from a division, carefully dig out a mature plant. Divide the plant into sections and plant each section in its own location with plenty of space. When you plant from divisions, hold off harvesting any leaves for the first year as they establish themselves.

Maintenance

  • Once they are established, garlic chives need little care. They are very hardy and tolerant of heat, cold, and drought. Sometimes the center of the plant will die when it gets too large. If this happens, pull up the plant and remove the parts that are still good. These can be replanted as divisions.

Harvesting

  • The leaves can be cut and used as soon as they are 3” tall. Cut down the leaves to the base, leaving just a bit of green showing. Like most greens, the leaves should be cut back on a regular basis to encourage new growth. The flower heads of Garlic chives can be cut off and used in salads. The small bulb roots can be pulled up for use in cooking. They have a strong garlic/onion flavor that can be used for a variety of culinary purposes.

Related References