All You Need To Know About Growing Organic Herbs At HomeAnn
Growing herbs is not as hard as you think. You can do it either when you live in a big house with a big backyard or in a small apartment. It is very convenient to have herbs whenever you need them. Not to mention that you can ensure the quality of the herbs. All it takes is a little bit of patience and knowledge to make sure you can do the job right.
1) Benefits Of Eating Fresh Herbs
They add flavours to your dish
Different herbs have different tastes and flavours. While chives taste like mild onion flavour, thyme has clove-like flavour. If you want something sweet, cool and refreshing, you can try mint. And basil is great when you need something sweet and spicy
Basil is a common ingredient in many sauces and dressings as it helps to increase the depth of the flavour thanks to its hint of anise note.
Mint can be added to food as well as desserts and drinks. A cup of water with mint and cucumber can provide you with enough vitamins and nutrients for the morning.
Fresh herbs contain a lot of health benefits
All of the herbs are good for your health. Most of them are anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, which helps you to kill harmful molecules in the body, reduce high blood pressure and increase the functions of all of the organs.
2) Why You Should Grow Organic Herbs At Home
They Are Available All The Time
When you go shopping with a long list of what to buy, it is very easy to forget one or 2 things. In most of the cases, they are just small things like herbs or seasonings. You can still cook your dinner without herbs, but surely having them will add more flavours and tastes. Herbs are surely a finishing touch every dish should have.
And imagine how bad it is when you prepare your dish for a long time and just cannot make it perfect.
When you plant your organic herbs, you can easily find one that you need, cut them and use them without rushing to the market.
They Are Fresh And Healthier
Not to mention that the herbs you have at home are much fresher than the herbs you buy from the supermarket. With the herbs you grow at home, you only cut them when you need them. On the other hand, the herbs in the supermarket are cut and displayed for a few days before they come to you.
One thing that also annoys me a great deal when I buy herbs at the supermarket is that I have to buy them in a large amount when I only need one or two leaves for garnishing. The other just goes to waste or when I use them again, they are not as fresh. When you grow your own organic herbs, you can cut the herbs as much as you need.
Moreover, you are in control about what you put in growing your herbs- the soil, the water and the fertilisers- all of them are safe and of high quality. If you buy herbs from the store, you would never be sure about these things. Therefore, it is safe to say that organic herbs at home are healthier.
They are great decors at home
Not to mention that these pots of green herbs add an extra hint of nature and greenness to your house.
They repel mosquitoes and other insects
Some specific types of herbs such as basil, sage and rosemary contain natural ingredients which are toxic to mosquito larvae. Therefore, growing herbs around water sources can help reduce the rate of eggs being laid, hence, reduce the growth of mosquitoes around your house.
Mint and peppermint also help to repel insects. The plant or the concentrated essential oil from mint can work as an insect repellent to repel these annoying insects and kill the larvae of these insects and bugs.
3) What You Need To Grow Herbs At Home
There are a wide variety of pots you can use to plant your herbs inside it. They include:
- Kids’ Old Gumboot Shoes: This is a great way to recycle your kids’ old gumboot shoes. They are great pots to put outside since they are quite resistant to harsh weather.
- Metal Tins: These tins are quite cheap to buy or you can reuse them from formula tins. They are not easily breakable but they will show damage over time on the surface if you put them in the outdoor area.
- Clay Pots: Clay pots are quite adorable and available in a wide range of colours as well as shapes. They also provide great aeration and insulation for your herbs. However, they can break if you are not careful when handling them.
- Mason Jars: Mason jars make herb pots great décor for your house. Since there are no drainage holes on the bottom, you can add a layer of pebbles underneath the soil.
It is very important to choose which type of pots you are going to use depending on the look you want to get and how much you are willing to spend on them. Luckily, there is a wide range of pots for you to choose from. Especially, you can easily reuse old items like Mason jars and kids’ old gumboot shoes.
Other equipment you might need to plant and cut these herbs are shear scissors and snips. If you live in an area with not much natural light, you can consider purchasing a grow light- which is helpful for indoor all year round planting.
4) How To Grow The Most Popular Herbs
Green shallot: Once you buy them from the supermarket, cut the roots and stem them in the pots.
Parsley: If you can, you should buy a parsley pot from the supermarket. Alternatively, seek for a place where they sell parsley with roots. Take them home and plant them immediately into a pot.
Sage: You can cut a tip from a sage that you buy from the supermarket and plant it into a pot. Place it in a south facing window. Although it needs a lot of sun lights, it needs a decent amount of water so put it in a dry place.
Rosemary: You can cut a tip off rosemary you buy from the supermarket and then keep in inside a box of the moist soilless mix until you see the root coming out. Plant that into a pot and place it in a south-facing window. Water it frequently.
Thyme: You can buy a baby pot from the market and grow it from that. In addition, you can root a soft tip that you cut from an outdoor thyme plant. You can place the pot in an east or west facing the window.
Chive: You can dig up a clump of chives from the garden or plant the bulb into a pot with moist soil. Place the plant in an east or west facing the window. It will need occasional watering and a few hours of light.
Mint: You can either cut a tip from an outdoor mint or one you buy from the supermarket and plant it into a pot. Mint grows fast and you would need to have a wide surface container to plant mint. Keep it in a bright warm place and water it frequently.
Here are 3 most popular ways of planting any type of herb:
- From seed: basil, parsley, coriander and dill. Make sure if you buy seeds from a package, read the instructions carefully.
- From division: oregano, chives and thyme.
- From cutting: mint, thyme, oregano and sage.
5) Top Tips To Successfully Grow Organic Herbs At Home
Make sure these herbs get a lot of lights
In order for your herbs to stay healthy, they need to be exposed to 6 hours of natural light. In case you use artificial light, they need to be exposed to 14 hours of such light.
Nevertheless, different types of herbs require a different amount of sunlight. Basil, oregano and sage are the types of herbs that need sunlight the most. Chives and mints, on the other hands, prefer to live in a much shadier place.
If you cannot place your herbs in a place full of sun lights, you can use artificial glow lights instead.
Keep them in a mildly cold to warm place
It is important that your herbs are kept at a not so cold, not so hot place. The ideal temperature for your herbs to thrive best is about 15 to 16 degrees Celsius at night and about 20 to 21 degree Celsius in the morning.
The best places for you to keep these herbs are the kitchen and bathroom. These places are naturally warm and humid.
Avoid putting your herbs by the windows at night, especially in the winter.
Just like the need for light, the need for ideal temperature is different among these herbs. Some herbs like cilantro and parsley would prefer cooler temperature and less light.
Take Care Of Your Soil
Fresh herbs love moist soil but try not to over water. After watering your herbs, make sure they don’t sit in standing water. It is a sign to show that the water cannot penetrate into the soil anymore.
To avoid standing water, you can grow your herbs in a clay pot with holes. These holes are responsible for draining excessive water.
If you want your herbs to grow healthily, don’t just use normal soil. You should use soil which is made specifically for the job.
How To Get Rid Of Insects
When your herbs are infested with insects, you can use this method to get rid of them totally. You need to prepare a large bowl of water and mix it with a natural insecticidal soap.
After that, you can hold your plants upside down and tip the head of the herbs into the water. Swish them around for a few rounds so that all of the insects are thrown away.
If you are afraid that you cannot hold the plants securely enough, you can pour the diluted soapy water into a spray bottle and spray it onto the herbs, paying extra attention to the affected areas.
Avoid The Chemicals
In order to grow organic herbs, you need to avoid chemical fertilisers at all costs. Instead, you can use both organic liquid fertilisers and organic fertiliser granules and apply it every four weeks.
I hope that with all of the tips above, you would be able to grow your own organic herbs. This task is not hard at all as long as you prepare yourself with the right information and equipment. I am sure that you will soon realise all of your efforts is worthy when you can have fresh herbs anytime you want and don’t have to worry about any side effects of fertilisers.
Have fun gardening and if you have any comment or question, don’t hesitate to ask me!!