Having a home herb garden can be incredibly beneficial for a variety of reasons. Herbs can be used to flavor food, used for a refreshing tea, they can be used for medicinal purposes and even planted alongside other plants for pest control. Growing herbs is certainly nothing new as it’s known that the Egyptians and ancient Chinese made good use of them. Not only that, they are referred to in the Bible and, according to medieval writings herbs were very commonplace in kitchens. The diversity of growing them is wonderful, let alone what you can actually do with them once they are ready for harvesting.
Herbs can be planted as a hedge, in amongst other plants, have its own garden or even in pots indoors or out. Did you know that a small area of four feet by six feet would be ample to sustain a small family? When we think of her herbs we generally think of adding them to foods however, they are also popular for their aroma, their medicinal benefits as well as their beautiful flowers. You can use them either fresh or dry and in the culinary art they can be used to garnish or jazz up the flavor of the food your presenting.
You can find herbs growing as shrubs or trees, as annuals or perennials – much the same as other plant life. The main thing to have when planting is well-draining soil and the more organic it is the better, so if you find your soil is heavy then add some organic matter to it. You really don’t have to fertilize if you follow this rule. Except for a few herbs which prefer full shade, most like a sunny spot with shade in the afternoon. One of the main advantages is that they really do have very few diseases nor do insects plague them. In saying that, sometimes you may find red spider mites on the low-growing plants, usually when the weather is dry and hot. Dill, anise, caraway and fennel can get aphids and mint can be subject to rust.
You can begin your home herb garden from small seedlings that you buy at your garden shop, however, growing from actual seeds is the most wonderful experience. To watch your herb literally “blossom” into maturity gives such joy and satisfaction. So let’s look at how you go about starting from seeds. You should start late winter and begin by placing your seeds in a shallow box or container making sure you use a good organic, well-drained, light soil. Don’t cover the seeds too much as herbs don’t have a deep root base, so keep them closer to the top rather than the bottom of the box. A good rule of thumb is: the finer the seed the closer to the top it’s to be planted. Once Spring comes, the plants can then be transplanted outdoors. There are exceptions to where you should plant the seeds. Dill, fennel, anise and coriander seeds should be planted directly into the final place e.g. garden or pot, as they do not transplant well.
It really is extremely easy to have a home herb garden and it’s certainly rewarding, in saying that, there is a lot more information you should now before embarking on herb growing. This article, hopefully, is just a wee taste and enough to get you motivated. If you’re serious then you can find out plenty more right here!
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