Common Herbs To Grow At Home
If you are looking for a fun, indulging, and money saving hobby that’s also great for your health, growing herbs is what you’re looking for. In addition to being filled with essential nutrients that one doesn’t get a chance to consume every day, herbs also add an exquisite flavor to your favorite dishes. According to Brian Hetrich, a gardening expert as well as a naturopathic doctor at Hippocrates Health institute in Palm Beach, more than half of the herbs’ nutritional value is lost after 30 minutes of harvesting. Thus, if one grows their own herbs, they can harvest small amounts as needed from the fresh herbs that are growing on your kitchen windowsill.
A Few Growing Tips
Before you rush to the market to get your herb growing equipment, heed the following guidelines to gauge the nature of this hobby, as well as to avoid a few rookie mistakes. First of all, when buying herbs to grow indoors; avoid getting plants that have already been grown outside. Plants that are used to the outdoors face certain trauma when brought into an indoor environment and this can negatively impact their growth as well as their further healthy production. The first mistake, that most newbie herb growers make; is planting different herbs in the same container. Not only does it inhibit their growth, but in the case of an invasive herb, you’ll also witness an herbal blitzkrieg in the container. Note this warning and aim to plant each type of herb in a separate container. Another aspect of an herb growing container that a lot of people miss; is that it should provide ample drainage holes at the bottom. Most herbs are susceptible to fungus, so use terracotta pots to allow them to breathe easily. The diameter of the pots should be no smaller than 6 inches. You can further improve ventilation by placing all pots in a pebble-filled container. When selecting the soil for your herbs, opt for a high-quality organic potting soil. It contains perlite or vermiculite for optimal drainage. Soil from your garden or the park is to be avoided at all costs if you wish to grow healthy herbs. Outdoor soil contains organisms that are specifically controlled by that particular environment. When watering on the other hand, aim for the base, where the soil meets the stem – do not water the leaves. Water once, wait for it to drain completely, and then repeat. The frequency with which your herbs need to be watered is a hands-on learning process; you will learn how often to water when you learn to understand the needs of each plant individually.
The Herbs you can grow easily Indoors
Maintaining a small herb garden is perhaps one of the most useful hobbies you can have. Provided you have given the herbs perfect condition to grow and thrive, they require little maintenance. With a small space, you can grow a surprisingly generous supply. Your first herb garden is more likely to be successful if you start simple. Fill the vacancies up with some of the true and tried favorites in our list. Take baby steps and start small, as although herbs may not require much maintenance, however they do need to be planted precisely and responsibly. And soon, you will surely be rewarded with your progress. Here are 5 of the healthiest herbs you can grow, alongside the recipes you can use, as well as growing tips specific to each herb.
Growing it Plant the seeds of basil, ideally in a warm season usually after the final frost in a warm spell. When the first flowering top appears; cut it and use it up; as this will encourage the growth of new leaves. In early summers, you can plant another batch of seeds. Having a pot of basil indoors is an effective fly repellant too. Eating it Best eaten when fresh, always use basil right in the end, when cooking is almost complete. This is because heat curbs basil’s flavor. If you manage to grow a substantial amount, you can preserve it for further use by preparing an infused oil or if you wish, you can use freezable pesto. Recommended Varieties Genovese basil is best with cooking; ask your local nursery regarding specific variations to add a spicy flavor.
Growing it Chives is a somewhat mild, onion flavored perennial that produces edible flowers in early summer and spring. They are grown from seeds, so plant them as soon as the final frost passes. To prolong healthy production, trim it regularly. Eating it Chives can be used with almost every savory dish. It’s recommended that chives are added in the final moments of preparing the dish, as prolonged exposure to heat makes it quite bitter. You can harvest chives, fresh at the time of use or you can preserve them if you happen to grow an excess of it. Recommended Varieties The most recommended variation of chives is perhaps the Compact Grolau, as it’s great for growing in pots; Grande on the other hand, features large broad leaves; or if you prefer a bold flavor, you can opt for garlic chives.
Growing it Mint is a perennial plant that is grown in most areas of the world. The seeds are ideally planted in spring. This particular herb happens to be an aggressive spreader, so it’s best grown in containers. Clip off the growing tips in order to encourage new growth. Eating it Mint is quite versatile; crush it with either vinegar or sugar to create an exquisite mint sauce. Recommended Varieties If you are growing mint herbs for cooking; spearmint and peppermint should be your first choice.
Growing it Superior rosemary is cultivated with utmost care. A woody perennial herb, rosemary is potted up, pruned back, and kept indoors through cold climates. It grows well with an abundance of sunshine, and frequent watering. Eating it Rosemary complements many types of foods, like roasted vegetables, meats, and especially, baked goods. Recommended Varieties The Hill Hardy and Arp variety has the ability to tolerate more cold than other varieties. As a good start, opt for the Blue Boy variation.
Growing it Parsley can directly be grown from sown seeds, but they happen to be slow sprouters so don’t get impatient and flood it with water. Plant them in the spring, and allow it at least ambient sunlight in order to make it grow healthily and thrive. Eating it Best consumed when fresh, use parsley when the cooking is almost complete to enliven its flavor. To preserve parsley, freeze the leaves, or a condiment of lemon, garlic, or even olive oil. Recommended Varieties Most cooks opt for flat leafed versions known as Italian parsley.
To conclude our short guide, we have only discussed a few herbs that are most popularly used. However, if you wish, you can choose herbs that are more in line with your lifestyle. If you suffer from some medical condition that a specific herb can curb the symptoms of, opt for that. Just follow the guidelines specific to each herb in order provide it with the ideal environment to grow and thrive.