I prefer when things are fresh. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a given but fresh herbs are so much better than dried herbs in a jar. Many times we get discouraged and think that; a) we have to have a green thumb to grow anything, and b) if we live in an urban space we don’t have room to grow anything. The truth is, you can grow things even if your thumb is less than green and your home is cosy with no outdoor space. These beginner tips (in the infographic below) will help you to grow your own herb garden and are bound to make it easy for you to get started!
There’s so much to learn about growing an herb garden but the basics to know all lead back to the types of herbs that you will be growing and how you will use them in your cooking. For example –
Whether you’re making pesto or your famous spaghetti bolognese basil is a popular ingredient in the kitchen. It is best harvested between May and November, giving you a decent amount of time to enjoy your harvest.
Turkey, pork, chicken, or roast lamb – if you’ve made any of these dishes you may have used rosemary to flavour your dish. Sown between February and April and harvested between August and September this herb is a staple in most kitchens. A rosemary bush can withstand droughts and live up to 30 years! Not too sure what the average lifespan would be on your kitchen windowsill but once you get to planting, let me know.
When I think of chives I think of a green stalk with a distinct flavour. Never did I ever think of chives and think of a flower. But sure enough, chives are gorgeous little edible flowers. Whether you decide to eat the flower in a salad or just stick to eating the unopened bud and stalk you’ll be in luck. The allium or flowering plant is native to both the old and new worlds, so you can find it wherever in the world you may be.
Thyme has been a readily used herb throughout history. Ancient Egyptians used it for embalming; whilst in the European Middle Ages women gave warriors and soldiers gifts that included thyme leaves as it was meant to bring them courage.
In food, thyme can be paired beautifully with meat, stews, and soups.
Scandinavian and Eastern European cooking feature dill quite often. The fresh variety can be harvested in August and September but the dry variety is often just as good.
Sage is an aromatic flavour that can withstand long cooking times without losing its flavour. You can find sage recipes online that feature in dishes with duck, beef, pork and chicken recipes.
So, there you have it. If like me, you’re a beginner when it comes to herbs then check out this handy grow your own herbs infographic. It will show you when to plant and when to harvest, and how to care for your herb garden.