Randy Miller

Broker Of Record

Urban Avenue Realty Ltd., Brokerage

Whitby & Brooklin Real Estate

Office 905-430-1800

Direct 905-430-9444

Email: randy@randymiller.ca

Categories

Herbs indoor

Do you love fresh herbs in your spaghetti sauce or pesto? If you like to cook, you’ll love having fresh herbs right at your fingertips.  So, what if you grow your own herbs in a little indoor garden, all year round? 

Here are some useful tips on herb gardening:

  • Start with some easy herbs to grow inside, like basil, chives, parsley, oregano, thyme or bay. The herb plants need sun so put them in a sunny place. Six to eight hours of sunlight a day would be perfect! Remember -  to a plant, light is food!
     
  • For rooms with limited light, parsley, chives and mint are quite forgiving. If light is a challenge, fluorescent light is full-spectrum, works well on plants and is much cheaper than plant lights.
     
  • To help indoor gardens thrive in winter make sure all pots are large enough. Herbs almost always need to be repotted in containers two to three times the size they came in. The more space they have to grow, the better.
     
  • Don’t overwater or overfertilize your indoor plants.  Excess water is harmful to the roots and causes rotting. Don’t water  them until the soil just below the surface is dry. If you give too much fertilizer, they  will lose their scent and taste. Once you start to see new growth, you can begin to use your herbs for cooking.
     
  • Make sure your pots have drainage holes in the bottom so your herbs don’t rot. Keep a saucer underneath to catch the excess water as it runs through. Plants should be rotated periodically to ensure all sides are exposed to sunlight, and they do best when planted in a combination of potting soil mix and compost.
     
  • Take care when selecting the type of soil for your herbs, as plants are very vulnerable to soil-born diseases. It’s a good idea to go with a store-bought potting mix. Your local gardening center can help you select the right one for your needs. Be sure the mix is lightweight and will drain well. Pour a two or three-inch layer of potting soil into the bottom of your container and place your plant gently in the container. Finish filling it with potting mix, pressing it firmly around the plants. Leave about an inch of space at the top to make room for watering.
     
  • Cut the herbs back from time to time.
     

Best herbs for indoors

Basil
Basil likes lots of sun and warm temperatures. It is simple to grow from seed.

Bay
A perennial that grows well in containers all year long. Place the pot in an east- or west-facing window, but be sure it does not get crowded—bay needs air circulation to remain healthy.

Chervil
Start chervil seeds in late summer. It grows well in low light but needs temperatures between 65°F and 70°F  to thrive.

Chives
Best used fresh! Chives like bright light and cool temperatures. Dig up a clump of chives from your garden at the end of the growing season and pot it up. Leave the pot outside until the leaves die back. In early winter, move the pot to your coolest indoor spot for a few days, then finally to your brightest window.

Oregano
Your best bet is to start with a tip cutting from an outdoor oregano plant. Place the pot in a south-facing window. They can be grown from seed too.

Parsley
You can start this herb from seeds or dig up a clump from your garden at the end of the season. Parsley likes full sun, but will grow slowly in an east- or west-facing window.

Rosemary
Rosemary can do okay, but needs time to adjust to lower indoor light and should be given two weeks to transition first. Rosemary doesn’t always germinate well from seed; grow it from cuttings or as a complete plant from the nursery. The soil needs to be well drained, but don’t let it dry out completely. It grows best in a south-facing window.

Sage
Take a tip cutting from an outdoor plant to start an indoor sage. It tolerates dry, indoor air well, but it needs the strong sun it will get in a south-facing window.

Tarragon
A dormant period in late fall or early winter is essential for tarragon to grow indoors. Pot up a mature plant from your outdoor garden and leave it outside until the leaves die back. Bring it to your coolest indoor spot for a few days, then place it in a south-facing window for as much sun as possible. Feed well with an organic liquid fertilizer.

Thyme
You can start thyme indoors either by rooting a soft tip cutting or by digging up and potting an outdoor plant. Thyme likes full sun but will grow in an east- or west-facing window.

Randy Miller
Broker of Record
Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby
905-430-1800  

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low mortgage rates

Nearly half of Canadians are planning to buy a home in the next five years, survey says. More than 15 per cent are saying cheaper mortgage rates will allow them to make the purchase sooner than expected.


On 1 February 2015 The Globe and Mail reported: Younger Canadians, who are struggling with far more debt than their parents did at the same age, are the most likely to respond to falling rates. More than a fifth of millennials told a Bank of Montreal home buyers survey that they have shortened their time-frame for buying a home because of lower rates and 75 per cent said they were planning on making a purchase within the next five years.

Regionally, the demand among buyers is strongest in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, where the combination of low interest rates and cheaper oil prices are poised to put more money in the pockets of consumers. Nearly a fifth of residents told pollsters that they would speed up their home purchase because of low interest rates.

In contrast, just 13 per cent of residents in Quebec and 12 per cent in Alberta said lower rates were having an impact on their buying decisions. Plunging oil prices have made Alberta consumers more cautious about jumping into the housing market this year, while a high vacancy rates and a glut of newly built condos in Quebec is pushing more potential first-time buyers into the rental market, according to Desjardins Group.

Mortgage rates have been falling since last week, when the Bank of Canada shocked markets by cutting interest rates by 25 basis points ( a basis point is a hundredth of 1 per cent.) Lenders soon followed, with major banks dropping five-year fixed rates mortgages to as low as 2.84 per cent and this week cutting their prime rates by 15 basis points, which quickly pushed variable-rate mortgages among the Big Six banks as low as 2.25 per cent.

Many analysts had predicted that interest rates would rise this year, so the central bank’s unexpected decision to slash rates is widely expected to reignite the country’s cooling housing market. “Given the negative impact of lower oil prices on the Canadian economy, interest rates are likely to remain low for some time, supporting home sales, especially in Vancouver and Toronto where affordability is an issue”, said BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri.

But with mortgage rates falling only slightly and more Canadians telling the BMO survey they were planning to use lower rates to pay down their debt rather than load up on new ones, cheaper rates are expected to have a modest impact on the housing market.

Shortly before the Bank of Canada cut its target overnight lending rate, more than half of Canadians told an earlier BMO poll that cheaper rates would make them more likely to buy a home, though most said the drop would need to be 10 per cent or more to have a significant impact on their buying plans.

Source: Tamsin McMahon, The Globe and Mail

If a move is in your future, let’s sit down and talk about your plans. Contact me today!

Randy Miller
Broker of Record
Royal Heritage Realty Ltd.
Offices in Pickering and in Whitby
905-430-1800


Visit my blog: https://whitbybrooklinhomes.wordpress.com/

Whitby Brooklin Homes

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