Nothing adds flavour to your favourite dishes quite like fresh herbs. So, why settle for the dried variety when you can easily grow delicious herbs right in your own kitchen? Here are some tips to get you started:
SET THE SCENE
Herbs require plenty of sunlight to grow well – usually about 5 to 6 hours of sunlight a day. Make sure to place the pots near a window, or near skylights or artificial lights if lighting is an issue. When selecting pots for your herbs, ensure they have adequate drainage holes and enough space for growing root systems. Herbs don’t like to be saturated with water, as it will cause them to rot. Only water when the soil is dry, and don’t water the leaves!
Check out our handy kitchen tips infographic below, which features all things herbs, and scroll down for more information on how to use your home-grown plants!
TYPES OF HERBS
1. Basil – loves the sun and hates the cold! Unlike many herbs, basil prefers a slightly moist soil. Prune regularly to encourage growth, and harvest when the plant is in bud.
2. Parsley – likes the sun, but can handle shady periods. Regular picking or pruning is good, as it encourages dense growth. A must-have herb for winter soups and stews.
3. Coriander – the stems, leaves and roots of coriander can all be used in cooking. Ensure your plant enjoys plenty of sun and good drainage, plus fertilise regularly.
4. Oregano – loves the sun and hates to be over-watered, so only water when the soil feels dry. This hardy herb adds delicious flavour to Italian and Greek dishes.
5. Thyme – grows best in full sunlight with slightly drier soils. Harvest thyme while it’s in bud, just before the flowers start to bloom.
6. Rosemary – this herb prefers a drier soil, so don’t overwater! It also grows quite tall, so make sure to prune regularly. Adds a delicious flavour to meat and vegetable dishes.
7. Chives – a member of the onion family, chives love full sun and moist soil.
8. Mint – this herb is extremely easy to grow, and will even spread to other areas if you don’t keep an eye on it! They like moist soils, can tolerate some shade, and add plenty of flavour to desserts and cocktails.