Category Archives: gardening

Drying Herbs

The standing, self-watering garden that my sister sent me is fantastic. Not only do I not have to break my neck to plant anything – there’s no grubs or critters digging through the soil. This one pictured just has one tomato plant and herbs. So far everything is thriving and necessitated a session of drying herbs way earlier than I usually do in the summertime. (I have the same plants in the ground, too, but they’re doing so poorly it would be embarrassing to photograph and include them here. I may never go back to regular gardening after this.)

Tamdoll's Standing Garden @GardenersSupply. I may never go back to regular gardening after this.

Drying herbs is easy; I just take a few snips, and place them in a cool, dry place in a paper bag until they’re crumbly (6 second video below, if you don’t see it, please let me know!).

Faster Way to Drying Herbs on a Sunny Day

I thought I was being clever and quick until I dug up my old how-to from 2009, which was much simpler & would have been quicker on a sunny day!

Drying Herbs with the Sun. Simply cut, lay out on one layer, cover with a screen and put out until dry. via

  • Cut herbs and lay out on cooling rack in a sunny spot.
  • Turn a screened window frame over the rack, so delicate herbs don’t blow away.
  • Bottle, label and pack them up. (Makes a nice gift!)

So easy, will definitely use this method on the next sunny day.

Drying your own herbs, or have summer gardening tricks to share?

Garden Composting

Every summer I plant a tiny vegetable garden, maintain my perennial herbs and flowers, and plant a few annuals for pops of color around my house. Over the years I’ve worked to keep things chemical-free and easy to maintain. This year, I’m testing out a new composter (that I received for review), replacing the make-shift chicken-wire contraption I’ve been using until now. Composting is a great way to amend my garden soil, giving a second life to my kitchen scraps instead of filling up garbage bags.

New Bin for Composting

You can see from the pictures below that my new composter was ready to go right out of the delivery box. It’s not conspicuous alongside the trash and recycling bins that we have outside already (actually, this is a much more attractive bin than the others that are black & bright blue.) I’m counting on the latch on the outside to keep critters away. The turning mechanism & lower door look super-simple to operate, and my first impressions are really positive that this should all be uncomplicated and straightforward.

The little container that came with it is sitting on a shelf in my refrigerator now, holding my kitchen scraps until it’s ready to go into the big bin. It’s been a week & there’s no leakage or odors – happy about that!

Garden Composting with Tamdoll

Keeping it Simple

It’s super important for me to keep my gardening simplified since I have limited time to spend out there, and have trouble bending for long periods of time. I don’t fight with the weeds too much and try to work with native plants that will thrive in the areas around my house. I know if I keep the plants I have healthy, then they’ll thrive and keep unwanted ones at bay on their own (that’s what I keep saying at least.. there’s still those pesky viney things that insinuate themselves everywhere no matter what I do.) You’d think I’d quit by now, not wanting to put much effort into it all – but really, with such a short growing season in New Hampshire, it’s worth the time I can spend out there in the yard to have fresh tomatoes, and some herbs that get dried for the wintertime. If I can compost enough to feed the soil, that should help things along.

Will fill up my container with materials for composting & return here in 4-6 weeks with a gardening update.

Disclaimer: I received the Toter Composter for review, and a have not received any other compensation. All opinions are my own and not influenced by any product or company.