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Garden talk: Scents and Spices


Fun fact about me- I had a thing for herbs and all kind of spices since childhood (Lol)! I was always a little bit a cook, and I still am, love spending time in the kitchen and trying new things with different herbs, they make every dish better. Though dried will work in a pinch, fresh herbs give you the pop of flavour and the freshness and can brighten up just about any dish in no time. Soup that’s sort of flat-tasting? Pasta that could use a little gussying up? All these problems can be solved by the addition of parsley, dill, mint, basil, rosemary. Don't you agree?


We are used to buying herbs at the grocery store, but they usually are quite expensive and somehow doesn't stay fresh for too long (of course not the dried ones) and then you don't get to use them all. So what can we do? Yes that's right- lets grow it our selves! Whether you have a space for a formal herb garden, some space on the patio or any sunny space indoors- growing herbs is not that difficult and really rewarding! That way, you have them within easy reach whenever you want to whip up a pesto or sprinkle them into a salad. Plus, you can trim just the amount that you need—no more tossing out old rotten herbs that had gotten lost in the depths of the refrigerator or you had no idea what to do with.


Okay, so we've decided- herb garden it is. Now you need to know where to start. There are so many different things to consider, from the amount of space you have, to how you want to grow your garden. Here’s what you need to know:


Growing Herbs Inside


Where to start?


First of all and most importantly you need to find a sunny space in your room and of course make sure that it would be warm enough for the plants all the time. Then pick out the right pots and tools, the right soil and seed or plants, if you are thinking about your interior as well then you might want to pick a beautiful planter as well.


What to grow?


Basically stick to what you like to eat! If this is all new to you, stick to heartier herbs that aren’t quite so fussy, like rosemary, oregano, thyme, and mint. That way, you can get a feel for taking care of herbs and branch out from there as you start to feel more confident. By the way, chives, parsley, oregano and mint can be grown inside in winter on south-facing windowsills, if you wish to have some fresh herbs all year around!

Also download my check list with herb choices 👇


Herb Choices Checklist
.pdf
Download PDF • 45KB

Yes, the type of soil matters.


If you’re creating an indoor garden, making sure that you’re using the right soil is even more key. Potting mix, rather than the kind of soil that you’d use if planting outside, is a better choice because it allows for better drainage in the pot.

Also, whatever you do, make sure you’re not fertilising your indoor herbs too often. Fertilising more than once every two weeks or so can negatively impact herbs’ flavour, which is definitely not what you want right before you toss a handful of basil into your pasta sauce.


Watering


There’s also a careful balance needed when it comes to watering. You’ll likely need to water your herbs daily—if the soil dries out, the herbs may not do well (though some, like thyme and sage, should be allowed to dry out a bit)—but you also want to ensure that you’re not flooding your plants or you could end up with root rot.



Growing Herbs Outside


Where to start?


Growing herbs outside is much like growing them inside, you can easily grow them in the pots as well just outdoors.


Growing conditions


Herbs flourish in most soils. They require full sun - although some, such as parsley, mint and chervil, will tolerate light shade in the summer - and good drainage, with the exception of mint, which will survive in damp soil.

Most annual herbs prefer enriched soil and feeding with additional nitrogen fertiliser for good foliage production. Annuals can be grown from seed or seedlings: successional planting will give a longer supply. Shrubby herbs, such as rosemary and sage, prefer soil that isn't that acidic; it is also advisable to mulch them to suppress weeds and retain some moisture in summer.

Herb gardens tend to drought resistant but in hot, dry spells a deep watering will help to keep the plants healthy. Harvest the foliage of annual herbs as required, and pinch back the flower heads to encourage more foliage growth and prevent them from going spindly. Perennial and shrubby herbs that die back can be harvested in bunches and dried for use through winter. Pick in the morning, lie them out in a dry, well-ventilated place for a few days, then put into bunches and hang to completely dry out before storing in glass jars.


Planting and care tips


  • If planted in small pots, herbs can then be moved around to suit the season, covered with cloche, popped in cold frame or brought indoors in winter.

  • The more you pick the herbs, the bushier and healthier they will grow and stop bolting, but don't remove more than half the plant at any one time.

  • Prune hardy herbs that stay outside in spring - rosemary, lavender, thyme, mint, sage, bay.

  • Potted herbs, such as chives, parsley, oregano and mint, can be grown inside in winter on south facing windowsills.

  • Some herbs do best grow from seeds, including basil, chives, parsley and thyme.

  • One square meter will give enough room for planting 10 herb plants.

  • Start sowing herbs in spring under cover, and then plant up when the soil warms up.

  • Recommended companion planting: plant basil near tomatoes and asparagus; chamomile with onions and cabbage; chives with carrots and apple trees; mint with cabbages and tomatoes; parsley near roses, beans and carrots; and rosemary near beans, cabbages and carrots.

So I think we talked about all basics of growing herbs, doesn't sound that difficult right? For me this all growing process is really exciting! So what herbs will you grow? Download my herb checklist and see what you like! 👇



Herb Choices Checklist
.pdf
Download PDF • 45KB


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