How To Plant Herbs

All About Herbs

Fresh herbs are easy to grow indoors or outdoors. A few pots in your kitchen window sill will always be close at hand to add gourmet flavour to your cuisine. Outdoors, herbs can be planted within easy reach at the kitchen doorstep, or in the vegetable garden. Even the patio, balcony, or deck can be adorned with herbs growing in attractive containers.

Home grown herbs are very economical and can easily be preserved by drying or freezing. After cooking with your own herbs you will never again settle for the pre-packaged versions.

Growing Herbs Indoors

When you grow an indoor herb garden, you can enjoy fresh herbs at your fingertips all year round. Basil, chives, dill, mint, oregano, rosemary and thyme all grow well indoors. Most herbs need at least four to five hours of direct sunlight each day, so any south, west, or east window should be fine. Turn the plant regularly so all sides get even exposure to light.

It is important to check herbs frequently to determine if they need water. Be careful not to overwater, causing the soil to stay soggy, especially during winter months.

Growing Herbs Outdoors

Herbs grow best outdoors if they are in the sun for at least half of the day. They prefer well-drained soil. Enrich the soil by adding peat moss, composted manure or top soil.

Herb gardens are very easy to take care of because they require very little water. The more slowly herbs grow, the more aromatic and flavourful they become. Water herbs only when the soil is dry, but then water thoroughly. Use fertilizer sparingly.

Tender perennial herbs can be brought indoors for the winter months. Herbs brought indoors will sometimes lose their lower leaves while adjusting to the new environment. Do not worry because new growth will soon appear.

Harvesting and Preserving

Collect leaves from the top of the plant so the plant continues to grow bushy and compact. Flavour is best before the plant flowers.

Herbs can be preserved by freezing. Simply wash, shake off excess water and place leaves in freezer bags to use as needed.

Dry herbs by hanging small bunches or spreading leaves out on a screen in a cool, dark, well ventilated area. To remove any remaining moisture, finish the drying process in the oven at the lowest temperature setting for 10 to 20 minutes. Keep dried herbs whole until just prior to use.