Learn more about herbs

From the Mitchelton & Districts Garden Club

Debbie Aitcheson is the guest speaker at the Mitchelton and Districts Garden Club when it meets on 2nd June at the Enoggera Memorial Hall. She will talk about herbs.  Debbie is from The Chilli Patch at Minden where she and her husband grow potted culinary herbs, salad greens and chillies to make a living.  As well, they package over a hundred varieties of spices, such as ground ginger.

From the time history has been recorded, and even before that, herbs have played an important role in the well-being of mankind because they provide food, health needs, medicinal  remedies, heating, dyes and fibres, etc.  Their strong flavours reduce the need for the use of big amounts of salt and sugar in our diet, and most of the world’s population relies on herbs to keep healthy.

The main varieties of herbs are perennials and they are easily grown in pots which may be kept close to the kitchen for quick and easy access.  It is far better to use freshly picked herbs than dried ones. Herbs grown in a garden with other plants, deter insects and attract bees and butterflies.  Apart from mint which prefers damp conditions, herbs like a rich well drained potting medium.  Are you aware that all herb flowers are edible?  These days they are very popular to use as garnishes.

Debbie has been guest speaker at this garden club in past years. She usually has potted herbs to sell and a surprise for the audience. such as sample gifts of spices or seeds or a cooking demonstration using herbs with a tasty sample being available.  

The rain received in March and April has revived the lawn and plants in the garden.  Citrus trees are blossoming and the citrus leaf miner is attacking  the young leaves.  Any affected leaves should be pruned off and discarded in a plastic bag in the garbage bin. Azaleas should be coming into bud to flower in spring. If these buds are turning brown or drop, suspect petal blight fungus which may be controlled with a fungicide.  Geraniums should be pruned this month.   Let the cuttings dry out for a day or two, then use them for propagation to ensure you do not lose any variety.

This club meets on the first Thursday of the calendar month except January.  Morning tea is served at 9.45 a.m. and visitors and new members are most welcome.  The hall, in Trundle Street, Enoggera, is close to public transport and accessible by wheel chair.

For more information please phone Pat, the president, on 3356 1256.

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