If you are a food lover, it’s difficult to fathom that you haven’t tasted any herbs yet. There are strong chances of you for having the love of herbs. You might also have thought about having some of your favorite herbs in your home garden. Besides their fresh flavor, they add many other factors which include green beauty and fragrance to your backyard. You can also grow them indoor; all they need is adequate light, watering, and nutrients.
You don’t need lots of effort for these herb plants. Homegrown herbs will also save your money as some of these herbs are expensive when you buy them from the grocery store. Some benefits of these herbs are that they enhance the flavor and nutritional value of your food, they are very easy to grow, most of them are perennial types, they can also attract butterflies, bees, etc.
You might be having a few questions into your mind regarding what to grow, where to grow, what are the basic requirements and needs, what are the uses and benefits, etc. This article will help you to get the answers to all such questions.
SEEDS OR SEEDLINGS?
For the beginners, you can start your herb garden from seeds, but if you have no previous gardening experience I would recommend you start with cell packs that are easily available at any garden store or online store. This method is the easiest one as you don’t have to wait for the seed germination period and you can start directly with your plant caring.
Most of the herbs require sunlight at least six hours a day. So when you are planning to grow them in your backyard. Keep this factor in mind. If you are growing them indoors, grow lights could be very helpful or try to put your plant near a window where you can easily get 6 hours of sunlight. Also, they need proper water for healthy growth, especially in summer when temperatures are high, you have to take good care of their watering needs.
The next question which is common to almost every new gardener is how many plants will meet your family requirements. Well, every plant or herb yields a different amount of harvest. For example, for an average family, only one plant of herbs like rosemary or bay could be sufficient. While other herbs like cilantro, parsley, basil, etc. need a couple or more plants for meeting the culinary needs of an average family.
WHAT TO START WITH
When it comes to the question of what to grow, start with tasting a few herbs, those which are delicious for you would be the best ones, to begin with. Those herbs which you have already cooked before are also a good pick. Pick three to four of your favorite ones and let the fun begin.
Don’t overburden yourself, by planting lots of herbs at once, this might exhaust you and you may end up leaving everything in the middle.
Here are some of the herbs for your home garden. Choose the best and your favorite ones form them and have good green food.
Parsley adds flavor to your food and it is also a good decorative garnish. It is also a vitamin-rich herb. You can grow it in a container, their seeds need up to three or more weeks because of the slow germination rate. So don’t panic if you don’t see your herbs germinating. It takes a while. The ideal time for planting its seedlings is in spring.
Basil is commonly known as the king of herbs and it is very commonly used in pizzas, salads, sauces, etc. It can be easily grown inside containers, place them at the place where sunlight is sufficient. Very cold temperatures might kill your basil plant so plant these seeds after the cold season have passed.
Oregano is an easy-growing herb and it can be planted indoors and outdoors. Seed germination rate is slower in them so I would suggest you get some seedlings and start with them. Once established, they don’t need much care. Direct sunlight and occasional watering would be enough and you can use it in tomato sauce, soups, and pizza.
Rosemary is an evergreen shrub used in seasonal dishes and also as an ornamental plant. They grow well in warm places and are sensitive to cold. It needs 6 to 8 hours of sunlight and they are easy to grow as they don’t need much care.
Tarragon is also very easy to grow herb, requires less care. Once the plant is established, you don’t need to water it frequently. A must-have herb for your kitchen garden and is used to flavor many dishes. Tarragon can be grown from using seeds but growing it from seedlings, divisions, or cuttings is recommended. If you start with seeds, sow them before April.
Chervil is a sweet herb, used to flavor many dishes including fish, vegetables, salads, etc. It can be used in drinks or desserts because of its sweet taste. It is an annual herb and it grows best when placed in a shady place and moist soil. This herb does not need direct sunlight, rather it may die in hot weather. To avoid this, it must not be placed under direct sunlight.
Thyme is often used in potatoes, chowders, soups, stews, and pasta dishes. It is also used for decorative purposes. Growing it from seeds will require a longer time to germinate that’s why it is preferred by most of the gardeners to start with seedlings. It eliminates all the waiting period of a seed sprouting.
If you are worried about your poor soil quality, this herb will wipe your worries out as thyme grows better in poor soil. Its watering requirement is also very low.
Marjoram adds flavor to most of the dishes and it also makes your garden pleasant as it has a nice fragrance. It also attracts butterflies and other pollinating insects to your home garden.
It is an easy to grow herb and can be grown inside containers. Normally this herb has three commonly grown varieties: sweet marjoram, wild marjoram, and pot marjoram. This plant requires warm climates and it is very sensitive to cold. It will die immediately in frost, so colder regions are not suitable for its growth.
Sandy soil is preferred while growing. You can start it seeding during early spring or late winter.
Cilantro is also known as coriander. It is a pungent herb and it is used to add intense flavor to many dishes. This herb can be grown well in containers and it doesn’t like hot weather. You can also grow it indoors under grow lights.
You can start growing it from seeds as it grows quicker from seeds. It is a short-lived herb and it is preferred to grow it under shady or crowded conditions which will help this plant to remain alive in extremely hot weather and direct sunlight.
Lemongrass has a strong lemon-like flavor and is used as a source of antioxidants. It can provide a good defense mechanism against cancer. It is widely used around the world as lemongrass tea.
You can grow it very easily by planting a root of lemongrass into your garden soil. It needs a warm place and direct sunlight with regular watering.
Chamomile is mostly known as herbal tea around the world. But it also has plenty of medicinal uses. Also used to calm nerves, reduce inflammation, and treats fever. It is also used as a cure for stomach problems.
It is also a very easy growing herb and needs little care. Shady and cool places best suits the plant and dry soil is preferred for better growth. An established plant needs little care and it only needs its little water. It can also bear drought seasons but if the drought is prolonged, it will require little water.
Peppermint helps to digest food quicker and is also used as a breath freshener. It is used for flavoring and is a good source of potassium, calcium, and vitamin. It acts as a natural pesticide.
Besides its benefits, there are some serious health concerns in using peppermint oil and extracts. Large doses of its oil can be fatal and if it is used on infants it may cause spasm which can lead even to death.
This herb needs rich soil and shady places to grow. Its water requirements are also very high as it needs lots of water. It cannot survive dry conditions and needs a good drainage system for its growth. Partial sunlight will prove to be good for the healthy growth of plants.
Chives is the easiest herb to grow and is widely used for flavoring purpose. It has a taste like onion and can be used to flavor eggs, soups, pasta, and many other dishes. Both its leaves and flowers are edible. Cut it off from the top and use it in any recipe you want.
Chives can grow anywhere but to get better results you should place it under direct sunlight. Rich soil will also add to its growth rate. If you start with seeds, it might take longer to germinate as it has a slow germination rate. Try to keep it in intermediate conditions where it is neither too dry nor too wet.
Dill is a very easy to grow herb which helps to aid the digestive process and can be used a breath freshener. It can be grown better directly from seeds. All you need to do is to scatter your dill seeds over the soil and cover them slightly with soil. After that just keep an eye on its watering needs. That’s it.
It has a pleasant and distinctive smell and it is widely used to season vegetables, meats, etc. A small quantity of this herb can add flavor to your meal, but you have to be careful in using this because its flavor can overpower the taste of your meal. This herb is also used for medicinal purposes as it helps to recover memory issues and heal cuts and wounds.
This is an easy-care herb to grow and it requires bright sunlight. One thing that should be kept in mind is that it must be planted in soil which does not always remain wet. It needs dry surfaces and hot areas to grow better.