If you don’t have a lot of time or space to cultivate a huge garden, growing your own fresh herbs is the next best thing. Add them to your cooking to boost the flavour, and enjoy the health benefits that many of them have such as relaxation and invigoration. They also add a wonderful scent to your house, and thrive in warm kitchen environments or on balconies. Having living greenery in your house improves mental wellbeing, and growing herbs is a practical way to infuse nature into your daily life.
The most important thing to prepare is the location for your herb garden. Herbs need lots of sunshine and warmth, and though you can grow them indoors through winter, they’ll need a lot of sun. Put them next to a window so that they get as much natural light as possible. If you’re planting them on a balcony or outside, pick somewhere with as much sun as possible. There are nifty plant hangers that can be suspended from railings to elevate the plants and save on space.
Herbs don’t require a lot of room, though their growth will be limited by small containers. Choose pots with good drainage, and purchase a special herb potting mix if you plan to only grow in pots. Due to the limited space, they need as many nutrients as they can get. If you’re using a planter or sowing outdoors, you can just add an inch or so thick layer of herb potting mix to the top of your garden for an added boost.
If you’re planting indoors, you can begin growing herbs at any time of year. If you’re outdoors, waiting until after the frosts have cleared is usually a good idea, as most herbs are frost-tender. If it’s your first time, starting with seedlings might be more satisfying and produces a guaranteed result. However, with lots of sun and cover from the wind and chill, seeds will take sprout in no time. It’s best to plant in the afternoon or early morning, so that the new plants aren’t shocked by the midday sun, and remember to water both before and after.
As for which herbs to plant, the choice is yours! Parsley is one of the easiest to get started with, but most herbs will flourish when planted indoors. Think about which ones you use the most often, and consider how nice a fresh supply would be.
Growing herbs is a great way to invigorate your cooking, as well as bring some nature into your day to day life.
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