Few things are as rewarding as having fresh herbs to hand while cooking. Access to essential herbs when they are at their seasonal best will add another dimension of flavour to your dishes. Herbs are a beginner gardener’s dream as they do not demand green fingers to grow and can thrive on neglect. Build you own indoor herb garden with easy herbs to grow. Besides uplifting your meals, these plants add the aesthetic beauty of nature to your interiors and provide instant aromatherapy with their appetizing fragrance.
There are several options when growing your own herbs – pots, windows, poxes, grow bags, etc. The most important thing to consider while picking an option is the drainage. The easiest and most convenient way is to grow them in boxes or pots with drainage holes that can be accommodated on your kitchen window sill. This will ensure that your plants always within your sight which can serve as a reminder for their regular watering and care. Given that herbs require good amount of sunlight to grow healthy, windowsill is an ideal spot.
Growing your own herbs is also economical and kinder to the environment as compared to store-bought
alternatives. You can avoid the wastage, the need for packaging and benefit from the organic therapy of
watching something grow from nothing.
Here are 3 easy suggestions with all the tips and tricks you need to grow your own kitchen garden.
easy herbs to grow
How to grow coriander?
Soft herbs like coriander, basil, chives, etc are delicate and require care and attention to flourish. Coriander is a relatively trouble-free herb to grow. An ideal time to sow your coriander seeds is spring or early summer. It is best grown by sowing seed directly into well-drained soil as it is a sensitive plant and does not react well to transplants. It is advised to crush the coriander seeds gently before sowing as it can be slow to germinate (7-12 days). Coriander has long tap roots so deep containers provide enough room for it to grow. Plant the coriander seeds 1 cm deep and 4 cm apart.
Coriander enjoys a sunny position but will appreciate some shade during the height of summer. If you are growing coriander for seeds then, highly stressful conditions of full sun will facilitate flowering. However, if you are growing it for the leaves, then protect it from direct sun and remove any flowers that develop to direct its energy on growing new leaves. Water the plant regularly to ensure the soil does not dry up.
Enliven your meals with freshly picked coriander leaves. Coriander flowers can be added to salads to introduce vibrancy and texture. If you want to harvest coriander seeds then allow the plant to reach its full maturity. When it is in the peak of bloom with numerous flowers that are beginning to wither away, pull it out of the soil. Place the bunch in a paper bag with its stems tied together and sticking out. Hang the plant upside down in a cool, dry place for 3 weeks to allow drying. Harvest the seeds by shaking the bag which will allow the tried seeds to collect in the bag. Use these seeds to spice up your dish or store them in a dry place to replant.
How to grow basil?
Who can resist a sprig of fresh basil on top of your favourite bowl of pasta? Basil is an easy-to-grow plant. It can germinate relatively quickly from seeds. Sow basil seeds in its cropping season of spring to summer. In addition to seeds, basil can be easily grown from a sampling. Pick a section that has not flowered and place it in water. Roots will start developing within a week. You can then transplant it to a container or your garden.
Basil is a tropical plant and does not take kindly to cold. However, direct exposure to mid-day sun may kill the plant or hamper its growth. Basil requires well-drained fertile soil in warm and sheltered conditions. Always water basil plants with care, ensuring to pour water directly on the soil avoiding the leaves when possible. Be sure not to over water your plant as basil hates wet soil. Let the soil virtually dry out between watering sessions. Pinch basil plants frequently to encourage bushy well-rounded growth, and pick off flower heads regularly so plants put their energy into foliage production.
Basil is a pick as you go kind of herb. You may harvest what you need, when you need. Basil harvest is similar to that of mint – snip at the branch just above the bifurcation of stem. Use it to enliven your favourite dishes instantly. You can also air-dry basil or freeze it for future use.
How to grow fenugreek?
Looking for a unique versatile crop to grow? Why not try growing fenugreek – with its appealing medicinal value, enticing flavour and distinct aroma, add baby fenugreek leaves to dishes at the end of the cooking process, or simply fold them through salads. This will enrich your dish with favour and nutritional goodness while preserving their structure and subtle flavours. Both the seeds and leaves of this tender plant are edible. Exotically aromatic, fenugreek is easy to grow legume. Fenugreek is a shallow rooted plant so it does not require a deep container. Sow fenugreek seeds directly into the soil as it does not propagate well. Scatter the seeds into the soil ½ inch deep and 2 inch apart.
Fenugreek requires well-drained soil. It can grow well in average quality of soil. In fact, given its properties as a legume, it enriches the soil with nitrogen and increases the soil quality for future crops. Fenugreek requires warmer conditions to grow and its optimal growing season is late spring to late summer. The plant does particularly well in warmer climates and ideally requires a few hours of direct sunlight. Water the plant regularly to keep the solid moist but ensure there is no water logging. Snip off a few inches from the top of the stems periodically to escalate growth. If you are planning to solely use the leaves (not the seeds) then prune about 6 inches of stems from the top of the stems to encourage growth and delay seeding.
Gently trim the leaves to incorporate a few sprigs of fresh homegrown fenugreek leaves in a lovingly prepared dish. To harvest fenugreek seeds, wait until the plant reaches its full maturity and begins to die off. At this stage, collect all the bean pods and thresh them to extract all the seeds. Leave them to dry in the sun before use. Store in an air-tight container to maintain fragrance and flavour.
The golden rules to growing your herbs successfully are:
- Water them regularly.
- Provide a good drainage solution.
- Give them space to breathe. Do not overcrowd the pots.
- Prune them regularly to encourage healthy growth and prevent bolting.
- Regularly provide organic compost for robust growth.
Follow this link to discover exciting seeds that you can grow at your home.