Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Growing herbs

My last post talked about the benefits of creating an edible garden and how herbs are a great place to start. I personally love herbs - whether it be thyme, parsley or sage. I also get a huge confidence boost when my herbs thrive without me putting much effort in! Herbs are easy to grow, make wonderful additions to your cooking and add brilliant colour, texture and fragrance to a garden.

So if you are looking into starting a herb garden here are some things to consider:

Herbs for the garden
A herb garden can serve a number of purposes. Herbs with coloured foilage such as thymes or golden marjoram can enhance your garden. Use herbs around paved areas, as edging or as a border plant for a path for a unique look. Their fresh scent will also add a wonderful aroma to your garden (and cooking!)

Where to grow your herbs?
The great thing about herbs is that many of them are drought tolerant, especially those from the Mediterranean. This makes growing herbs a water wise choice. Many herbs prefer well drained and relatively dry soil and do well in the sun. Most annual and perennial herbs can be easily planted as seeds or can be grown in pots and troughs. For example, thyme, parsley, bay, chives and basil all thrive in pots. Keeping potted herbs near the kitchen on the windowsill makes it easy for you to grab a handful of leaves when you need it. Otherwise, a more comprehensive herb garden can be grown at side of a vegetable patch.

If you aren't really sure where to start, some easy herbs to grow include parsley, coriander, oregano, basil and sage.

Maintaining your herb garden
You herb garden will need maintenance in the form of trimming and pruning to keep them in shape and ensure they remain confined to their designated space. Your herbs may also need regular applications of liquid fertiliser in the growing season.

Picking herbs
When harvesting your herbs, pick only a small amount at a time. Sufficient time must be allowed for the plant to regrow. Remember to very gently pick the leaves to avoid uprooting.

And lastly, enjoy! Use your fresh herbs in your cooking and enjoy their fresh smell in the garden. You

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