Spaghetti sauce would be lost without oregano. Salsa just wouldn’t be the same without cilantro. Rosemary chicken would just be, well, chicken without rosemary.All these dishes are made possible by herbs that can be grown in home gardens.Herbs “are actually fairly easy to grow in Georgia,” said Paul Thomas, a University of Georgia horticulturalist. “We have the perfect temperature, the perfect sunlight and acceptable humidity. As long as you do the appropriate soil adjustments, herbs can be excellent garden plants to grow.”Many herbs originated in the Mediterranean’s sandy, well-draining soil, not the hard-packed red clay encasing much of Georgia. To make herbs happy here, most gardeners need to add a few soil amendments and plant in pots or spots in their gardens that drain well.Thomas manages well-drained soil in his potted herbs by adding lots of sand and compost to the soil. He also plants herbs that spread easily, like mint and oregano, in containers.Out in the garden, Thomas digs a long trench two feet deep and fills it with thoroughly mixed compost, sand and native soil. In it he plants herbs that need a large root system, like fennel, rosemary and dill.“The goal is to make sure when it rains or I irrigate, the water goes right through the soil and does not accumulate where the roots are,” Thomas said. “South Georgians will actually have to add more compost to the sand.”Thomas’ favorite herbs are mint, basil, chives and rosemary. He adds mint to sweet tea, basil to turkey stuffing, pizza and salads and chives to soups, hamburgers and potatoes au gratin.Although rosemary is one of his favorites, Thomas warns that rosemary shrubs can grow quite large. Even small plants can spread to three or four-feet wide.Perennial herbs include rosemary, chives, oregano, marjoram and mint. Cilantro and parsley are annual herbs. Dill can be biennial.To master herb growing, Thomas says follow these 10 rules:1. Herbs do not like to sit in wet soil. An easy way to keep them happy is to plant them in a raised bed. Because the soil is above ground, it will drain very easily.2. Water herbs thoroughly when they start flagging. They will tolerate drought but their flavors won’t be as strong. Never allow herbs to go more than two weeks without water.3. Always plant herbs in full sun. If either their leaves or the soil doesn’t dry out after a rain, they will become more susceptible to diseases.4. Never crowd an herb garden. Plant herbs a foot apart so air can move between the plants.5. Never apply full strength fertilizers. If the package says 1 pound per 100 square feet, use half. Fertilizer minimally – once at the beginning of the growing season, four weeks later and then again another four weeks later after four weeks (about July). Follow treatments with a thorough watering.6. Always harvest herbs in the morning. The cut surfaces of herbs need to be bone dry by mid afternoon or disease will take over.7. Use a hose, not pesticides. If you find bugs on your herbs at 7 a.m., use a water hose and apply a spray from the side. The sideways water stream will wash the bugs off, and most never get a chance to return.8. Leave the black and green and yellow striped caterpillars on fennel and dill. They are black swallowtail caterpillars. Keeping the larva on fennel will result in butterflies later in the summer.9. Don’t let weeds crowd herbs out. This includes grasses as herbs cannot compete with them.10. Never mulch herbs with leaves or other debris. Winter-mulched herbs do not survive well. Thomas’ herbs survive over winter because he rakes all the leaves out of his herb garden.“You’ll find the more you use herbs, the more you treasure them,” Thomas said.
Their record now stands at 4-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play.The Trojans started the first set with five errors, giving Long Beach State a 4-0 lead. The Trojans rallied with blocks by junior outside hitters Cristian Rivera and Chris Lischke, followed by kills from Lischke, Rivera and sophomore outside hitter Alex Slaught to bring the game within two points.The 49ers, however, met USC’s rally with blocks and kills of their own, widening the team’s lead to 14-8. The Trojans rallied again, with four kills by freshman outside hitter Lucas Yoder thanks to three sets from junior setter Micah Christenson and one from senior libero Henry Cassiday.A kill from Rivera tied the game at 15 apiece and a block by Lischke gave the Trojans a 16-15 lead. Kills from Rivera and Slaught elevated the Trojans’ lead to 21-18. Two more blocks and a kill by Rivera set up Slaught for the game-winning kill, ending the first set in USC’s favor with a 25-19 win.Head coach Bill Ferguson acknowledged his team’s struggles in the opening set.“We weren’t executing our game plan as well as we could’ve,” Ferguson said. “We cleaned things up and we got it together and things went well for us.”The second set began evenly matched, the 49ers matching each point the Trojans scored. Kills by Yoder and Christenson kept Long Beach at bay with the game tied 10-10. Each side committed attacking and setting errors, keeping the score close.Kills from Yoder and Rivera gave the Trojans a three point lead, making the score 17-14. Kills by freshman middle blocker Andy Benesh, Yoder, Lischke and Slaught, as well as an ace from Benesh widened the Trojans’ lead, bringing the score to 23-19. After a kill by Yoder set up game point for the Trojans. USC won 25-22 after a service error by Long Beach State ended the game.Ferguson was proud of his team’s play in the second set.“We continued to stay in our game plan,” the eighth-year coach said. “Our diggers and blockers did a great job of that. We were able to be agressive from the service line and limit their offense to two hitters.”In a must-win set for the 49ers, Long Beach quickly gained a 2-0 lead, though the Trojans were quick to close the gap and eventually gain a 5-4 lead thanks to two kills by Rivera with sets from Christenson.Errors by the Trojans kept the 49ers in the game, but kills by Rivera, Slaught and Benesh prevented Long Beach from ever gaining back its lead, keeping the score tied at eight.Due to errors committed by USC as well as key blocks by the 49ers, Long Beach was able to surge to a 14-13 lead. Despite two kills from Benesh and one from Slaught, Long Beach was able to hold off the Trojans, maintaining a 16-14 lead.Two kills by Yoder were undermined by his teammates’ mistakes, allowing Long Beach to keep its lead. Kills by Yoder and Rivera tied the game at 19, however, and an attack error by Long Beach gave USC a 20-19 lead.A service error by USC allowed Long Beach to tie the critical game at 22, followed by a kill to lift the 49ers over the Trojans, 23-22. Slaught matched a kill from Long Beach, tying the game at 24, which Yoder followed with a kill of his own, giving the Trojans a 25-24 advantage.Long Beach held off a Trojan win with kills of its own, and later tied the game at 31 apiece. Two consecutive kills by Yoder ended the third set, earning the Trojans a 33-31 victory over the 49ers.Ferguson was excited by his team’s strong play with the third set on the line.“We had great confidence and we remained aggressive,” he said. “Once we settled down on serving we were better. Our errors came from being aggressive.”Yoder led the team with 19 kills, followed closely by Rivera with 17. Christenson led the Trojans in assists and digs with 46 and 17, respectively.The pair’s play made an impact on their head coach.“Rivera was great,” Ferguson said. “He was really effective on the right side. Once he attacked well, that allowed Lucas to hit well.”The ability to bounce back from such a tough loss was the most significant part of the win for Ferguson.“We rely on our volleyball IQ and our overall ability,” the coach said. “Instead of creating opportunities to score and not executing, we had digs and converted them to kills to finish the deal.”The Trojans face Cal State Northridge on Friday at 7 p.m. in their second consecutive conference match on the road. Ferguson will make sure his team is prepared for a potential trap-game against the unranked Matadors.“Their style is different than Long Beach,” he said. “We will enjoy victory on the bus home, but back at USC we will focus. It is a great challenge and a great opportunity for us to play two different types of game plans.” Following Thursday’s home loss to Pepperdine, USC’s first loss of the season, the Trojans recovered with a three game sweep of Long Beach State on the road, winning 24-19, 25-22 and 33-31, respectively.Helping hand · Junior setter Micah Christenson had 46 assists and 17 digs in the Trojans’ straight set win over conference rival Long Beach State. – Joseph Chen | Daily Trojan
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “There was no pressure,” Grandal said. “I got traded. I was happy to get traded. You have to know that they wanted you for a reason.”One reason is most teams love trading with San Diego.Trea Turner, Washington’s rookie leadoff man who might be a monstrous problem for the Dodgers in the Divisional Playoff, was a first-round pick of the Padres. He was involved in a convoluted deal that brought Wil Myers to San Diego.Anthony Rizzo, who will be high on NL MVP ballots, went from the Padres to the Cubs in exchange for scattershot right-hander Andrew Cashner, who is now in Miami.Baltimore’s Brad Brach has become one of the top setup men in baseball, since San Diego dealt him for minor leaguer Devin Jones. There are others.Luck is always nearby. One of Grandal’s uncles had escaped Cuba by boat and began setting up the papers for the family to apply for the Special Cuban Migration Program. That was set up to boost Cuban immigration to 20,000. It was a simple lottery, and the Grandals were among the fortunate. It no longer exists.“Without it, I don’t know what would have happened,” he said. “My parents would have tried to come by boat. It wouldn’t have been the first time.”In Miami, Grandal was a housebound kid for a while, fascinated by all the different TV channels, gaining weight. But when a friend found a baseball team for him, Grandal took off. In one of his first youth games, he slid into second and jammed his cleats hard into the shortstop’s knee. That’s the only way he knew.“It was almost shocking to people,” he said. “They almost had to slow me down. In Cuba they teach you how to do every little thing. I remember going a full day just catching fly balls. Then another full day just bunting. You don’t see 8-year-olds bunting over here. Then another day just baserunning.“For homework, you’d throw the ball against the wall if you were an infielder, learn to backhand balls, learn to use two hands. It’s the way they taught you. You had to be good to make the Cuban national team. If you did, then you had a chance to get out.”Baseball people always wondered how Cubans might jolt the major leagues. Now you see the outline: Aroldis Chapman, Yoenis Cespedes, Aledmys Diaz, Jose Abreu, Yasmany Tomas, Yasiel Puig.And Yasmani Grandal.Not that they had a choice.Three facts:1. The Dodgers have a .213 average against left-handed pitching, worst in baseball, as is their .627 OPS against lefties.2. The Dodgers went into Saturday’s game 2 1/2 games behind Washington in the battle to get home-field advantage in the Division Series.3. Yasmani Grandal’s .554 slugging percentage is second to Justin Turner among full-time Dodgers after the All-Star break, and he leads the club with 15 homers in that span. LOS ANGELES — On the fields of Yasmani Grandal’s youth, nobody brought juice boxes. Nobody got participation trophies. “Play ball” was merely an expression.“They taught us how to play hard all the time,” Grandal said. “You had to slide hard. If you didn’t, you get screamed at. When I came over here, I felt I was ahead of the game, pretty much.”“Over here” was Miami. Back there was Cuba. They didn’t play for fun, although fun was not prohibited. They played for their lives.Grandal came to the U.S. when he was 10, went to the U. of Miami and was Player of the Year in the ACC. Cincinnati drafted him 12th overall, traded him and Yonder Alonso to San Diego for Mat Latos, and the Padres sent Grandal to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp at the winter meetings of 2014. It was one of Andrew Friedman’s first trades and far from the most popular. Kemp was a prime-time slugger. Grandal was mainly known for his 50-game suspension for PED use in San Diego. Kemp moved on to Atlanta this summer. He has exceeded 100 RBIs for the fourth time. But the Dodgers have fortified their outfield defense without him, and Grandal hit his 26th and 27th home runs of the year Thursday night against Colorado, the second one a grand slam.That’s six more homers than any other National League catcher has hit, and Grandal’s OPS of .825 is second only to Washington’s Wilson Ramos. These particular bombs dissipated any worries over an elbow problem, which brought flashbacks of a 2015 shoulder problem that bit Grandal deeply on every swing.“He’s usually very good about knowing the strike zone, but recently he’d been swinging at pitches outside it,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He had worked some counts tonight until he got a chance to click one.”Grandal has also muted concerns about trading A.J . Ellis, Clayton Kershaw’s sidekick and a clubhouse stabilizer. Kershaw, now healthy, is putting up zeroes for Grandal as he did for Ellis. The tradeoff is a longer lineup card for the Dodgers, maybe the 1-through-8 offensive presence they’ve lacked.