How to Grow Your Own Herbs

The nutritional rewards and sense of achievement in growing your own herb just cannot be compared. Even if you are short on space and do not even have a garden, it is not impossible. The thrill of harvesting your own herb is incomparable. Of course, it is going to take work and you do need some essential items initially. But it is nowhere near as difficult as you would imagine.

How to Grow Your Own Herbs How to Grow Your Own Herbs

Growing your own herbs provides you not only with delicious ingredients for recipes and tasty surprises for your salads, but also wonderful colors and aromas that you can enjoy all year round. There is no comparison with freshly picked herbs that you have grown for yourself; dried herbs come nowhere near. Most of the herbs love warm, sunny spots, so windowsills and window boxes are ideal. This helps them develop their distinctive aromas and it makes your kitchen smell fresh too.

Ideal Herbs

There is a wonderful variety of herbs that you can grow; the first three in this list are the most hardy and useful. You can either buy them as tiny plants or you can grow them from seed:

Basil: A wonderful, sweet aniseed flavor, great with baked tomatoes or buttered carrots.

Chives: These have a fantastic onion flavor and they have got pretty, lilac pink flowers.

Mint: This will grow and grow, so make sure you do not let it get too big. It is fantastic with potatoes and you can make your own mint sauce. Try freezing it in ice cube trays so you have always got some.

Parsley: Cut off any flowers that form and you can harvest all year round. Each plant should last for at least two years.

Rosemary: This is an evergreen plant that gives you a warm, savoury flavor and is fantastic in stuffings and with lamb.

Sage: An aromatic evergreen bush. It has pretty leaves and you can buy a purple variety. Both types are great with meat.

Thyme: Delicious savoury, aromatic leaves. Can be gathered all year round. Try lemon thyme for a really strong flavor.

Drying and Freezing Your Herbs

Herbs have maximum flavor just before they flower. So cut and dry them, put the shoots in a brown paper bag and store them. Crush them when they are dry and put them in airtight containers. This will retain their flavor. Some herbs lose their flavor when they are dried, but you can freeze these. Put sprigs of mint and parsley into an ice cube tray, or put sprigs of herbs into plastic bags, and freeze them. They will not keep their shape, but they will keep most of their flavor.

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