Adding fresh herbs to your dishes can spell the difference between bland and flavourful meals. But more than making food more delicious, herbs also add that comforting aroma when you grow them in your home.
If you’ve been planning to start your own herb garden but don’t know where to begin, here are 6 tips to help you get started.
1. Do some research first
Before picking out the herbs to plant in your garden, let’s make sure that you have the right growing conditions for them. Choosing the right herbs will depend highly on the climate in your area.
Most herbs need at least 8 hours of sun every day, so it’s best to make sure that you have the right spot prepared for them. If you don’t have a backyard, you can actually put pots on your windowsill so your herbs will have enough sunlight every day.
It’s also highly important to learn about different herbs, how much water they need and how much time it takes to maintain them. Here is a quick guide on some of the most popular herbs and their optimal growing conditions.
2. Find the best pots and potting mix
When it comes to planting herbs, you have the option to place them in raised beds, garden boxes, window boxes and pots. If you have a small space, you can choose to grow your herbs in pots that are inexpensive, easy to use and convenient to move indoors during the cooler months.
You also need to find the right potting mix to make sure that your herbs grow fast and healthy. In general, herbs love soil that’s slightly acidic and has organic matter such as compost mixed into it.
3. Choose based on cooking needs
Choosing herbs for your own garden will depend on what you use often for cooking. Some of the most popular options include rosemary, mint, thyme, cilantro, parsley and basil.
If you’re just starting out with herb gardening, it’s best to choose two types of herbs first so you won’t be overwhelmed with taking care of them. Then, you can grow your variety of herbs as you become more familiar with gardening.
4. Follow a watering schedule
Of course, it’s very important to make sure that your herbs are getting enough water every day to help them grow. To make sure that you’re not leaving them out to dry, it’s best to follow a daily watering schedule. Learn more about how often you should water certain herbs here.
5. Show your herbs some love
Just like any other plants, you should show your herbs some love by checking on them regularly, making sure that they’re not infested with any insects that might kill them and that they’re nurtured properly so they can grow to their full potential. If you do find insects on your herbs, follow this handy guide to getting rid of them.
6. Harvest your herbs
Once you have your herbs in full bloom, you can start using them to prepare different dishes. Fresh herbs harvested straight from the garden and used in cooking offer the best aroma and flavour than those bought from the supermarket.
Whatever dishes you choose to cook, make sure that you harvest your herbs properly to prevent them from getting damaged. From cutting at the stem, to how often in a year, this guide gives advice on how and when to properly harvest a wide range of herbs.
Try out these recipes that use herbs:
- Beef Curry recipe that includes curry leaves that you can grow at home.
- Are you growing coriander? Try out this Light Mutton Stew!
- Add some bay leaves to this Bringhe dish for an enriching taste.
So, are you ready to get started?