There is nothing better than the delectable scent of fresh herbs wafting through the garden on a summer’s day. Even if there is not enough room for a jam packed herb patch, a few pots of herbs will do the job to add aroma, freshness and flavour to your cooking.
Growing your own vegetable patch or herb garden is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment and to keep your carbon footprint in check. This is due to the fact that you don’t have to rely on transport such as ships or trucks thus drastically cutting down the carbon emissions of the vehicles used to transport your produce across the country. This may seem like a miniature act, but it is positively a step in the right direction. Imagine if we all had the same idea!
The golden rule is – you don’t need a lot of space, but you do need sunlight. In fact, any space will do, as long as there is sunlight. They will grow well in pots or in randomly in the garden alike. They can be positioned on a balcony, on a windowsill offering plenty of light. They can even be grown on a raised veggie patch. The choices are diverse. It is important to note that the more accessible the herbs to the kitchen, the more likely you are going to use them.
When choosing your seedlings, choose organically grown ones. If you would prefer to grow them from scratch, try and find organic seeds, this way you are avoiding synthetic chemicals from the word go.
Almost all herbs do well in sunlight as opposed to shade. However mint, parsley and coriander are able to grow in part shade.
Before planting in a raised veggie patch, it is central to the longevity of the herbs that you condition the soil with the appropriate organic matter, compost as well as manure.
Plant your herbs in free draining soil. If they are in plant pots, make sure there are plenty of drainage holes. You can even drill a few holes into the bottom of the pot. As well as this, use premium potting mix.
Most herbs grow well without being fertilized, especially if the soil has been improved prior to planting. However rocket, coriander and parsley will do well with some liquid fertilizer, but not essential. There are plenty of organic fertilisers in today's market. However, if you would prefer the completely natural way, a worm farm can turn organic waste into a rich fertiliser.
When the herbs have just been planted, it is important to maintain moist soil. After a couple of weeks, once the herbs have been established, water them 1-2 times per week. If the herbs are in a pot, it is important to water them more regularly as the soil tends to dry out more in a pot.
Basil, dill, garlic, mint, oregano, parsley, rocket, chives and thyme are the easiest herbs to cultivate and perfect for beginner growers as they are quite resilient.
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