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Grow your own herbal soap scents in the garden

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Do you have any idea how easy it is to grow your own herbal soap scents in the garden? Well, let me tell you. It's so simple, you'll wonder why you've never done it before. It's much easier than making the soap itself. If you're a soap-maker, for fun or profit, making herbal scents is one of those things you must try. Anyone can do it. It's not hard to make your own extracts.Then, just add them to your soap batch for a lovely natural scent.

Perennial herbs are quite easy to grow.

Just one tiny herb plant can grow into a big patch in a single season. They tolerate a lot of different climates. They're not fussy about soil as long as there's good drainage. They do prefer sun to shade in most cases. Still, it's best to check the label when planting herbs you're unfamiliar with in the garden. Trim them back at the end of the season. Next year, they'll pop right back to life.

Scent combinations: Perennial herbs like thyme, rosemary and sage give homemade soap an old fashioned twist. Combine them with florals to make your own unique soap scent combinations. Rosemary lavender is a classic.

Basil and cilantro are popular soap scent choices.

These herbs grow best indoors, but can be grown outdoors in partial shade. They like a lot of water. Still, you'll want to make sure they drain well. You will have to plant them yearly, if grown outdoors. Indoors, with proper care, the same plant can last several seasons.

Insider tip: I have my basil growing under my outdoor faucet. That way, my leaky hose connection does the watering for me every time I turn the water on.

Scent combinations: Basil and cilantro mix well with citrus scents for soap-making. Try cilantro lime, lemon basil and more.

How about growing some minty garden soap scents?

Growing mint requires little or no work. The challenge is getting it to stop growing. Mint likes sun and good drainage. Other than that, you just plant it and watch it prosper.

Insider tip: Like most seasoned gardeners, I grow my mint in pots. Doing otherwise might jeopardize other herbs. Mint likes to take over and does so rapidly.

Scent combinations: Mint goes well with food scents like vanilla, almond or fruit.

Note: Aloe Vera is no herb, but you can save a lot of money by growing your own to add to homemade soap.

How to make herbal extracts:

*Fill a pint jar with your choice of washed, crushed herb.

*Fill the jar with clear vodka and cover loosely.

*Place the jar in the sun.

*Let it "brew" for a couple weeks.

*Strain.

*The liquid is your extract.

Yes, it's that simple to make herbal soap scents from your garden. Wrong season? That's OK. Herbs grow well in your kitchen window too. There's just no stopping them. Why not plant some herbs for soap-making today? Even if you don't sell your soaps, your friends and family will love them as gifts or for everyday use.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

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