It can be difficult to stretch our green thumb when more and more of us are living in apartments or town houses these days. But you can still experience the joy of getting your hands dirty and growing something from scratch by making your own herb garden!
Gardening can be very therapeutic and is a great way to keep us connected to nature. Getting the kids involved will help them develop a greater appreciation of flora and responsibility by watching their own plants come to life and grow.
Herbs are easy to grow, resilient and will make your cooking recipes extra delicious with a fresh touch. They can be kept indoors or outdoors as long as the get some sunlight every day.
- Pick your herbs: Some popular ones are Basil, Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary, Mint and Chives.
You can buy them from seeds to watch the full growing process or jump start your herbs from seedlings.
- Pots: Herbs can thrive in small pots that can be easily kept on a window sill, hanging from a balcony or you may prefer to plant them in the ground. Put a thin layer of coarse gravel at the bottom of each pot to aid drainage.
- Planting: Top up pots with good soil and fertiliser. Place your seeds near the top of the pot and cover with ½ inch of soil. If starting from seedlings make sure to move them into a new pot and add some fresh soil. If you've got a compost heap this creates amazing fertiliser for your herbs!
Loving your herbs:
- Water at the base of plant at least once a week or as needed if they look a little dry.
- Avoid harmful pesticides by making your own natural repellent to protect your herbs. Just combine some plant-based soap, garlic, onion and chilli and cook it up in a pot to disintegrate to a liquid. Add to a spray bottle with a nozzle and apply as needed.
- Trim off dead leaves and pull out any weeds to keep your plant healthy.
- Pull off the sprigs gently or cut with a kitchen knife. As long as you don't strip the entire plant it should keep regrowing leaves easily.
- Add to pastas, roasts meats and veggies and dressings for amazing flavour or add a little sprig for garnish.