Dandelion: The Unappreciated Medicinal Warrior

Sinfonía de cristal (Taraxacum officinale) - Dandelion by Arbego

With the dawn of a new year and the approach of spring this is the perfect time to do some internal spring cleaning. Clearing out the buildup of winter feasts is a great way to jump start your system and ensure optimal health.

Dandelion - All Things must pass by Batikart

TheGardenLady has invited people with horticultural interests and expertise to contribute posts to this blog.  The following post  was submitted by Christy Baker, a certified Family Herbalist and Consulting Herbalist.   Christy is currently pursuing a certificate in Horticulture Therapy and a second Master’s in Landscape Architecture.

With a 30 million year history originating in Eurasia, Dandelion, Taraxacum Officinale, was once revered for its healing properties. Today however, most people think of it as a brightly colored nuisance, especially gardeners; the self fertilizing herbaceous plant does a very good job evading eviction. Instead of relentlessly fighting the Dandelion, try embracing its presence, for as many herbalists and naturalists know this small unassuming plant is a nutritious wonder.

Continue reading “Dandelion: The Unappreciated Medicinal Warrior”

Growing Food Plants in the Dorm Room

Indoor tomatoes, 2nd part by tillwe
Indoor tomatoes, 2nd part by tillwe

TheGardenLady received this question from Daniel:

I would like to grow a food plant of some sort in my dorm room. I was wondering what kind of plant you would suggest. I don’t have a lot of time or gardening skill, so an easy to care for plant would be ideal. Also, our room has a window, but does not get direct sunlight. It stays around room temperature year round. Finally, it would be nice to be able to harvest something before the year is over. I don’t know if anything fits the bill, but suggestions would be great!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could grow our own food in our home or dorm room? I think most of us would convert a floor to a garden just to have fresh produce year round. I know that I would create a garden in my lower level which has lots of windows that are on the West and North sides of the building so they get no sunshine. And to have harvest fresh vegetables at the end of the year, for Christmas dinner, would be a gourmet’s delight. But alas, this dream has not quite been realized in my lifetime. Many of the Dick Tracy comic book inventions have come true (Dick Tracy, a popular comic strip in the 1940’s and 1950’s) and I imagine that some day growing vegetables or food easily in a dorm room will also come true. But today one really needs a green house to have success. Food plants want lots of SUN to produce food- usually at least 6 hours of sun. That is how nature created them. People who have a glass or plastic greenhouse can attempt to raise food indoors. But without that sunlight indoors, you are asking for difficulties.

I am not sure what temperature you say your dorm room is when you say “it stays around room temperature year round.” People regulate the amount of heat in their rooms and it can usually be from approximately 68 degrees to 78 degrees in the rooms. Some plants like it warmer that is why they grow in the hot summer though plants like lettuce prefer a cooler environment. And also, because a plant is in a pot, you will have to be sure that you water the plants enough. Some plants might even need humidity around them as well as to be watered. To get added humidity, put the pot in a tray with water and stones. Site the pot above the water, on the stones not in the water. In many cases the plants will need a pollinator to produce fruit. People do help pollinate when insects aren’t available to do it.

Continue reading “Growing Food Plants in the Dorm Room”