Growing Herbs… it is easier than you think!
I know this is a food blog, but technical it is a saving money on food blog 🙂 so this is going to save you money!
I thought that since woolworths has the promotional offer re growing your own herbs etc… I would give you a few little hints and tips to keep them going as many of you have purchased countless packets of supermarket herbs only to throw them out the next day or the day after because they have wilted and died…
If you are going to buy packet herbs, when you get home TAKE IT OUT OF THE PLASTIC! Take the time to pick all the leaves off what ever herb you have and put paper towel into an airtight container place the herbs on top and place more paper towel over the top. The herbs will last much longer (even over a week) because they must not have moister on them, it is the wet that makes them go mushy, hence the paper towel!
Anyway back to growing herbs… it really isn’t that hard.. They need sun, water, food, and a nice place to live (sound familiar)
NICE PLACE TO LIVE – If you don’t have a garden and need to put herbs in pots, don’t shove them all in the same pot, give them all their own space, this will allow them to grow and get bigger… everyone needs space, so do herbs! Make sure the soil is good quality potting mix, the one with the red ticks on it, don’t buy that cheap crap from the supermarket or even Bunnings… it is garbage and won’t help your herbs to grow well!
SUN – They need it, at least half the day, herbs need sun, either morning or afternoon, but a good 5 -6 hours of it… they are very green and need the sun to keep doing what it is they do to be green 🙂 you know what we learnt in science all those years ago!
WATER – They need this too, if in the ground/garden every 2 days depending on the weather… I water my mint every day… but more about that later. If you have planted in pots, the self watering ones are fantastic as you just need to make sure there is always water in it and the pots do the rest (they might be more expensive, but think how much money you have wasted on herbs over the years) But if your pots are getting enough sun (see above) you should water them every 2 days as well, just always check the pot every two days, if it is dry then water… even if it is only just a little cup.
FOOD – Doesn’t matter if you have the best soil as well as slow release fertiliser, your herbs will still need food! Then best sort of food is an organic seaweed solution. There are so many brand out there, but you can choose. I bought a powdered Eco seaweed pot about 6 months ago and we are still using it… the most recommend brand is Seasole, but I think why pay for water, so I buy the powder and make it myself! So what ever you choose to buy, every 2 – 4 weeks give your herbs a good drink of a liquid seaweed fertiliser and you will be so surprised at the results.
Now there are some exception to the above depending on what herbs you want to grow and you must know that some herbs are seasonal and look like they are dying off, but keep up the water and food and they will come back to life. Dill and Coriander are the exceptions, they go to seed no matter how much you pick them, so I always have a few plants at different stages on the go with coriander and dill.
Mint needs twice as much water as very other herb, so water it every day!
Sage doesn’t like the cold at all, so make sure in winter you put it in the sunniest spot.
Rosemary, takes so long to grow you think you are never going to be able to pick it, so may I suggest that you spend the money on a larger plant, that way you can use to straight away. We have 2 rosemary bushes… an established one and a baby new one growing. Rosemary also doesn’t need a lot of attention, so it is a good one if you are a forgetter of watering and feeding, once established it is very hard to kill!
Basil is so easy to grow, but I find that I often need to plant more basil than I think I will need, because I still end up using them… when the plant starts to die off, you can just plant another, so have different plants at different stages and you will have basil all year round. If you ever have too much you can make pesto and freeze it!
Parsley, I use so much parsley it is ridiculous, I can’t keep up with it! I have an old wheel barrow full of it (pictured above) as well as two other spots in the garden and it still isn’t enough, maybe I should just stop putting it in my salads and on my dinners 🙂
Well I hope that this has been helpful… If you have any questions about gardening or herbs, please ask, I’m not anything close to being an expert, but I love to garden and have been doing it for quiet some time, so I might know a bit, or I can a least source something to help you. 🙂
Thanks for reading, and Happy watering!