How to Grow Kitchen Herbs
In theory, it’s possible to try and cook a meal without using aromatic herbs. It’s possible—but there’s a very good chance that no one will eat your meal or complement you for your cooking skills. Right next to salt, kitchen herbs are probably the most essential ingredient to any well cooked meal. They add different shades to the taste of meal making an average stew suddenly taste fantastic. It is why every cook worth his salt (pun intended) relies on the use of herbs—especially fresh herbs.
There are two ways of getting fresh herbs for your kitchen. You can either buy them from the local store or grow them. If you have a garden connected to your home, the second is the more preferable option. It’s hard to make a list of the different herbs used today because there are so many of them. There are however some herbs that are universally admired for their unique flavors. These are Thyme, Basil, Mint and Oregano. If you’re looking for the right start to your garden then these would be a good option to consider.
The good news is that you don’t need to be a seasoned gardener to grow seasonings. You just need to be dedicated and follow the right instructions. The information below will serve as a useful guide.
Growing the Herbs
You can either choose to grow basil from seeds or from young seedlings. Starting off with a small plant is easier if you’ve never had any gardening practice. You can then use the seeds from your plant to grow new plants the next season.
If you prefer the option of starting with basil seeds; plant one or two seeds in a container and keep them protected from the sunlight. Water the seeds lightly daily. Once the seeds have germinated and formed two sets of laves, you’ll be able to transfer them to a more permanent location where they’ll receive enough sunlight.
Basil should be planted after the winter seasons because the young seedlings will not be able to survive the temperature change. When planting Basil, choose a corner of your garden that is exposed to a lot of sunlight. If you’re growing your plant in a pot, make sure that it is kept where it will receive a lot of sunlight. Basil can be planted in regular Do not plant your seeds in soil that is water logged or drenched. Basil grows best in soul that is well drained so if you’re going to use a pot, ensure that it drains easily.
The easiest way to grow thyme is by using its seeds. Thyme seeds are really tiny, with close to 100, 000 seeds per ounce. Thyme can be grown in a flower pot but it is usually better to grow the in a nursery bed. To sow your thyme, press some of the seeds lightly into the soil. Alternatively, you can sow the seeds and the spray a fine layer of soil over them.
Thyme tends to grow in most soil types and does not overly rely on fertilizer. However, for optimal results, plant your seeds in soil that is loamy or slightly sandy. Be sure to choose a location where it will be exposed to a lot of sunlight. When planting thyme, keep the seeds 4-7 inches apart. If you’re using plants, keep each plant at least 8 inches from the next. The best time to cultivate thyme is during the wet months, when it will receive a lot of water.
Unlike other herbs, thyme does not mature evenly with each plant. A good tip to use is to harvest any pant that has just come into flower. You can harvest the seeds by shaking the ripened tops into a cloth or paper bag.
Like other plants, you have the option of growing oregano with the use of seeds or younger plants. Growing oregano with seeds is a little more challenging that starting with young plants. However, it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to find oregano seeds than it is to find plants.
The best time to plant Oregano is during the spring where they will receive sufficient sunlight and rainfall. Your seeds should be planted about 0.5 inch beneath the surface with a minimum spacing of 6 inches. Be sure to plant your seeds in soil that drains well. Remove any rocks that may be around in the soil.
Oregano does not thrive in muddy or wet soil. Only water your plants when the soil around them is dry. This will reduce the risk of you overwatering them. Once your plant is at least 6 inches tall, it’ll be okay for you harvest it. The best time to harvest oregano is in the early hours of the morning before the sun comes up.
Some plants are difficult to grow but Mint is definitely not one of those. If you don’t control the growth of this plant, it can quickly spread and take over your garden. Because of this, it is advisable that you plant your mint in a location where they can spread freely without affecting other plants. Mint is not overly reliant on sunlight and should be planted in locations where they’ll be partially protected from the sun. It is best to grow mint in slightly acidic soil but that doesn’t mean that they won’t grow anywhere else.
The best time to plant mint is in the early periods of spring. It’s really difficult to grow mints from seed, especially if you have no experience so you may want to begin with young plants. When planting, keep a distance of at least 15 inches between each plant. Ensure that the soil is always well watered—although not drenched. The soil should feel moist when you touch it but not have muddy clumps. As your plants grow you’ll gradually be able to reduce the amount of water that you give them. You can encourage the growth of your mint bush by pruning it occasionally.
There are certain other things that you can do to improve the growth of your herbs. Fertilizer is a good option. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are primary nutrients that every plant needs. However, avoid using too much fertilizer or you may end up killing your plants.
Always water your plants in the early hours of the day before the sun comes up. This will prevent a situation where the heated water ends up ‘cooking’ the roots. To prevent the rapid loss of moisture from the soil, consider adding mulch around your plants.
Finally, be careful of how you use pesticides around your herbs. If you plan on using the herbs directly from your garden avoid using chemical pesticides since these may harm you. Instead, consider the option of using organic pesticides. Adding plants like chrysanthemum, onion and garlic can help in keeping certain pests away.
To become truly immortal, a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and common sense will only interfere. But once these barriers are broken, it will enter the realms of childhood visions and dreams. Giorgio de Chirico