The idea of walking out into a fruitful garden and harvesting your own fruits and vegetables is the goal for many people. However, due to factors pertaining to space, money, ability and time, this dream seldom becomes a reality.
A good alternative is to grow herbs. Able to be harvested during the course of the entire year, herbs make a valuable addition to any home. They can be used to flavour soups or spruce up a salad.
Better still, herbs are relatively easy to grow. This ensures that everyone from green thumbs to novices has access to nutritious and delicious fresh produce. Grown right in the heart of their very own garden.
Herbs: an easy to grow nature
While planting an entire veggie or fruit patch might strike fear in some gardeners, there is something inherently easy about growing herbs. Their tough and versatile nature means that they can grow outdoors on a thriving lawn or indoors on a windowsill.
Additionally, they can handle everything from the full rays of the sun to only minimal exposure. As such, this hardy nature means that you can always be growing a variety of different herbs to elevate meals or create flavourful new ingredient combinations.
Herbs to plant in your garden
When it comes to planting herbs, there are so many different varieties that can be enjoyed. While the variety can feel overwhelming, many different types can be planted at once in order to give you a versatile offering to choose from come mealtime.
Sage, whether the common or garden variety, is a great herb to plant in your home garden. However, when planting sage it’s important to note that it is one herb that requires plentiful sunlight. At least six to eight hours to be exact. Additionally, water sparingly.
When growing sage, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to plant an abundance. This is largely because this herb comes complete with strong flavour. This means that you won’t have to harvest an abundance in order to craft flavoursome dishes.
With ideal growing conditions being full sun, part shade and wet ground, parsley is a relatively easy to grow herb. However, the growing process is known to take some time. If you need access to fresh parsley quickly, soak the seeds in water overnight before planting.
Growing indoors or when sown directly into the grown, it’s important to note which part of the parsley to harvest. Depending on the intended use, the curly leaf will provide subtle notes of flavour, meanwhile, the flat leaf is synonymous with flavour.
Coming back every spring, oregano thrives best when being frequently harvested. Sprouting lovely pink flowers as it grows, oregano makes a lovely addition to both an indoor and outdoor garden. A good tip is to harvest the leaves before the plants bloom to maximise flavour potential.
Great as a garnish in drinks or on hot foods, mint is known for its rapidly spreading nature. Mint is also known for being particularly hard to kill. With this in mind, to prevent it from taking over the garden, it’s advised to plant this herb in pots or containers and place them in partial shade.
Extremely flavourful, the key to growing delightful thyme is to monitor the soil. Thyme cannot cope in soggy conditions. Therefore, it’s important to plant in clay pots and to let the soil completely dry out before watering again. Additionally, thyme likes room to move when growing.
Dill is a great herb to have growing in the garden. For one, this plant is tasty. Additionally, it actually has the power to attract beneficial insects. As in, the kind of insects who will pollinate but also drive away insects with one thing on their mind- feasting on your plants. When growing dill, keep in mind that they don’t like root disturbance so sow them and let them grow.
Chives are prolific growers in terms of height. In fact, they are known to grow 12 inches tall and 12 inches across. This is great news for those that love the subtle, mild onion like flavour of chives.
Growing quickly from seeds or small bulbs, chives can grow effectively directly in the ground or in containers. To prevent this herb from self-seeding, it’s advised to deadhead any visibly faded flowers.
Thriving in full sun conditions, growing lemongrass can be a really rewarding process. Used in a multitude of different dishes from main courses to desserts, lemongrass is both versatile and tasty.
While fast growing, it’s important to make hay while the sun shines as cilantro is a short-lived plant. Growing best in cool weather conditions, when growing cilantro, it’s best to water thoroughly and let the soil dry out before hydrating again.
When planted in the late spring, either indoors or outdoors, basil can yield an abundance of leaves. The sheer volume is beneficial as basil leaves can be preserved in oil or in the freezer. It’s also worth noting that any cuttings can be placed in water to start new plants.
A herb that can be harvested as required, fennel comes complete with specific growing conditions. For example, full sun or partial shade is preferred. Sheltered exposure and moist but well drained soil also bodes well. To prevent spreading, deadhead fennel’s flowers.
With the ability to be picked year round, no herb garden is complete without rosemary. Whether growing in containers or shaped as a hedge, rosemary loves the full sun and moist but also well drained soil.
Growing your own herb garden
For those with aspirations to grow their own produce, a herb garden is a great first step. As herbs are versatile, they can thrive in a variety of different conditions. This will give everyone from green thumbs to gardening novices the confidence to get planting.
Importantly, herbs are also packed with flavour. This means that a meal complete with different flavours and textures is the rule rather than the exception. All the chef has to do is potter out into the garden and take a few cuttings.