Are you an avid foodie, or perhaps looking to enter the world of gardening? Check out our tips on five easy herbs to grow at home.
By growing your own herbs at home, you will not only get a chance to spend time in the great outdoors – but you’ll also save money, as you (ideally) won’t need to buy them from the supermarket anymore. They will also attract butterflies and bees into your garden, otherwise known as nature’s best pollinators.
Even if you previously haven’t been too bothered about using fresh herbs in your cooking, there’s something special about using your own produce. While dried and bottle herbs are a great substitute, the unique flavours that come fresh off the vine are something else entirely.
What Are The Easiest Herbs To Grow?
Keeping your leafy friends happy is generally quite simple. Apart from regular watering, the only other essentials are good drainage and access to sunlight. The more you trim your herbs, the more new growth you can expect. Don’t be afraid to sample the goods!
The great thing about growing herbs at home is that you don’t need much space – in fact, they are a popular choice for apartment dwellers, as they can be stacked “up” into a vertical garden. Other popular methods include pots, window planters, garden beds or even indoors can work for some plants.
While your choices may be vast, some herbs are easier to grow than others. When opting for seedlings, make sure you select herbs that you or your family will actually use. After all, there’s not much point in growing coriander if your household thinks that it tastes like soap.
One of the most popular garnishes on the market, parsley can also be used as an alternative to salt. Available in a curly or flat-leaf form, most people also don’t realise that parsley is rich in iron. Providing you grow it in an area that has access to partial shade, it’s known as one of the hardiest herbs around. Although considered to be a “slow starter” in terms of germination, parsley can also tolerate cooler weather.
Look, we’re just going to say it – basil is everyone’s favourite herb. Popular uses vary far and wide, including pizza toppers, salad enhancers, pasta sauces, and is, of course, the base ingredient for pesto. When growing basil at home, it does extremely well when areas that receive around four to six hours of direct sunlight a day. Be careful to protect it from the elements though, as it doesn’t tolerate cold or windy conditions.
If you need a herb that you can almost leave to its own devices, it’s rosemary. This shrub can actually grow to be quite large, with some people even using it as an edible hedge. Once established, rosemary prefers it’s soil to be a little drier than other herbs and does well in direct sunlight. While other herbs can die after just one season, rosemary can live for years at a time when in the right conditions. Prune regularly for new growth, and add to your next roast lamb.
A cousin of the onion, chives do very well in cooler climates with rich, moist soil. Compact in nature, some people even use them as a border plant in their gardens. While relatively low maintenance, you’ll need to harvest with a sharp pair of scissors to avoid tearing their roots or stems. Chives are available in two varieties (onion or garlic), and make a popular addition to many forms of pastas, stir frys, fish and salads.
This herb is so easy to grow, you will need to take care to ensure it doesn’t take over your whole garden! In saying that, avoid smaller pots as it will quickly become root-bound. Requiring little water, mint plants do well in a variety of conditions with exposure to both sun and shade. By pinching out any flower buds, you’ll also encourage further leaf growth. With a variety of flavours available, mint has a cool and refreshing flavour that matches anything from pork to smoothies.
Our Tips On Growing Herbs At Home
While it’s relatively easy to get your herb garden started, there are a few things you can do to give your plants their best possible chance.
- Opt for an established starter plant over seeds. There are fewer chances of things “going wrong” with a plant that’s already growing well, as opposed to starting from scratch with a packet of seeds.
- Make sure your soil is in tip-top condition. Tired of spent soil won’t have any nutrients left to give to your plant babies, so ensure it has all the right microbes and minerals. Consider using organic plant food like our Biotic Booster or probiotics to optimise success.
- Trim, trim, trim! Regularly harvest or prune your herbs to ensure continual growth. Contrary to belief, flowers are also not good for herb cultivation, as your plants enter a different stage of growth with the leaves generally not tasting the same.
For more options on improving the quality of your soil, weed control, plants or garden, Bioweed offers natural solutions on keeping the nasties out of your garden. As a chemical-free alternative, it’s also a safe measure for you and your family when growing your own edibles in the garden.