People have been growing herbs for centuries. Herbalists treasure the healing qualities of flowers, leaves, and roots. Herbal crafters preserve the beauty and fragrance of flowers and leaves. And gardeners value herbs for all their excellent qualities. Nothing beats cooking with home-grown herbs. Adding a pinch of fresh organic herbs to your meal gives you an amazing texture and fresh aromatic flavors to excite the palate. Herbs are easy plants to grow, most thrive in typical garden soil, as long as it has good drainage. Good things are that you can grow herbs in pots outdoor through the summer or at the kitchen windowsill it gives you a nice vibrant feature for the kitchen and you will enjoy harvest all year round. In this article, we will share the top 5 herbs to grow in your household.
A key ingredient in many recipes, most popular in Italian cooking with strongly flavoured leaves that can be used to garnish tomato dishes, salads, and pesto.
How to grow
Basil is an annual plant that loves heat and is easy to grow. Best to start growing basils are from the seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last spring frost. Prepare your pots or containers of moist compost and place it on a sunny windowsill. The seeds germinate quickly and the small basil plants rarely suffer from transplant shock — they simply take off and start growing when you set them out in warm soil in a sunny garden. Basil thrives in moist soil, so check moisture levels often and water deeply once the top inch becomes dry.
Parsley is certainly one of the most versatile and useful herbs. Very popular in British cooking, parsley is an absolute must to grow in your garden. This flavorful herb is widely used in sauces, salad dressings, soups, and stuffing. It’s also an integral ingredient in classic herb blends such as bouquet garni, fines herbes, poultry, and Italian seasonings, and in an herb crust for fish and meat.
How to grow
Seeds can be planted outdoors in March or April, and again in late summer for early growth the next spring. Parsley prefers soil enriched with plenty of organic material, such as compost and well-rotted manure. Seeds can be started indoors or out. Direct sow outdoors in early spring, or once the soil has warmed up. The best time to plant seeds is to sow them indoors about 8-12 weeks before the last frost, as parsley is slow to germinate, often taking up to four weeks, my tip is before sowing soak the seeds for 24 hours in water it will help to hasten sprouting. Parsley grows best in cool soil and will tolerate some shade. You can also grow it in pots on the patio or close to the kitchen door. It can even be grown indoors if you don’t have a garden, on a sunny windowsill, or a balcony. You can begin harvesting parsley once the leaves start to curl. For optimal flavor, pick parsley early in the day (morning hours) when the plant’s oil is strongest. Parsley is best used while fresh however, it can be frozen until ready for use.
Dill is a delicious, fragrant and versatile herb that can be used fresh in a number of different recipes. You can snip ferny leaves to use as a garnish or let it flower and set seed heads to pick for flavoring. Dill goes really well in creamy dips and sauces; try it in potato salad dressing or mixed with greek yoghurt. Pair it with lemon on your favourite fish.
How to grow
Dill is easy to grow. You can sow dill outdoors quite early. Get the seeds in the ground after the heavy freezes have passed. Best to direct sow it in April where the plants are to grow. Dill grows well in garden beds and vegetable patches. Growing dill in pots and indoors is also possible. Sow the seeds in a sunny well-drained spot. Barely cover them with soil. The little seedlings should appear in about 3 weeks. You should make sure to water regularly and not let the soil dry out entirely, but it is also important not to overwater. They can grow to be about 3 feet tall. The plants will bloom and go to seed as the days lengthen and heat up. Dill seeds are also harvested. Harvest the seeds when they begin to turn brown and ripen in the late summer or early autumn. Cut the stalks and put them in or on paper to dry fully. Dill can be used fresh or frozen, and if you want you can dry them for use over winter.
Chives are a relative of the onion family and have spiky leaves. They also produce lovely fuzzy globe flowers in pink or purple colour. The flowers are cheerful in the spring, taste yummy – and the bees love them too. Chives are useful in many dishes in the kitchen where you want to impart a subtle onion flavour. Brilliant in salads, snipped up over soups or added as a garnish to many dishes
How to grow
You can start the plants off early by sowing seeds indoors during March and April, ready to plant out at the end of May, Sow the seeds lightly onto a tray or pot of damp compost and cover with 1cm of fine sifted compost. Germination will require a temperature of 15-21C (60-70 F). Ensure the seed compost does not dry out. Seedlings should be ready for planting out after about 4-6 weeks. If you want to grow chives in pots, ensure they are planted into fertile soil and placed in a warm sunny position. Keep the plants well-watered during dry spells. To harvest, simply cut with a pair of sharp scissors to avoid tearing the stems. Chives should be harvested from the outside in. Never take more than around a third of the plant at a time, and give plants time to establish before harvesting.
With unique flavours, these classic herbs are excellent for soups, stocks, meats, pasta, and more. The needled leaves are among the must-add herbs to olive oil and also goes well in tomato and cream sauces.
How to grow
Prepare your trays, ensure that the soil you use has good drainage. Add the rosemary seeds, sprinkle three to four seeds on top of your soil, and cover the seeds with a small amount of soil, but not too much. Lightly water, then cover the container with the plastic wrap. Place the tray somewhere that receives plenty of direct sunlight. The germination process typically takes two to four weeks. When the rosemary seedlings emerge from the soil, remove the plastic cover. Once seedlings are three to six inches tall, transplant them outdoors. Plant rosemary seedlings in compost-rich soil with good drainage, in the sunlight spot. If you want to bring the plants inside during cold winters, I suggest growing in pots outside in the sunny place.