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How to Grow Kitchen Herbs Easily

Updated on April 11, 2013
Cilantro Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds 200 Seeds
Cilantro Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds 200 Seeds

Sow these seeds where they will remain as cilantro resents transplanting and will bolt, go to seed much faster than it needs to. The fabulous taste of Cilantro leaves then turns into Coriander seeds. This is an easy seed for beginners and so tasty.

 

Thinking of buying herb seeds online for the kitchen garden? Growing herb seeds for use in your kitchen is a great idea. Not only do you save money, but you will always have dried herbs to hand for all your needs.

Herbs are an essential for the kitchen garden. They have so many uses for flavouring stews, soups, stocks, adding colour and for adding interest to salads or for flavouring continental cuisine.

Herbs aren't used only in cuisine, they have much wider uses, from medicinal to decorative to companion planting in the garden.

They are easy to grow, attractive to look at, fantastic to smell, and no garden should be without them.

They range from the annuals, like coriander, basil and marjoram, to the perennials like mint, fennel and thyme, to the bulbs like chives.

The annuals only grow for one season, but depending on the climate you live in, this period can be extended, but generally speaking, a plant that is classed as an annual will only grow until such time as it flowers and produces seed.

If you continually crop your herb, it will continue to send out new shoots in it's effort to flower and until such times that is actually allowed to flower, it will continue to grow.

Perennials don't die over winter, or die when they flower, they continue growing. If they are happy where they are - i.e. have all the right conditions they like - they will also have a tendency to spread.

Sometimes it is better to plant perennial herbs in a container in the ground to dissuade this habit.

Bulbous herbs are good to grow because the bulbs will produce offsets and not only can they grow (and spread around a little) but they don't tend to take over the way mint would if given the opportunity.

Bulbous herbs can be lifted during their dormant period (winter) and planted elsewhere in the garden, or given on to friends.

kitchen herbs
kitchen herbs | Source

Which kitchen herbs to grow?

So now you want to grow herbs! Which herbs? And for what use?

Well, parsley is my all-time favourite. It tastes so much better when you grow your own - none of that dried stuff from the supermarket or tasteless stuff that the wholeseller grows.

I use parsley in soups ( a must have!), sauces, and on various meat dishes.

Sage, well I haven't used it so much in cooking. It's good for sage in onion stuffing which I don't make or like. This herb however, is attractive in the garden and has loads of medicinal uses.

Coriander makes great curries! Wow! Bring it on! And the nice thing about coriander is that you can dry the seeds for use throughout the year.

Chives - great for salads, egg mayonnaise type thingies, its sort of oniony, gives a nice flavour. Has pretty flowers too.

Oregano! Now how do I make a bolognese sauce taste nice without it?

Same goes for basil, especially 'sweet basil'. Love it:)

Arugula Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds 200 Seeds
Arugula Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds 200 Seeds

When you need a green to add some interest to your salads, arugula fills the plate. Plant this early as it likes cool weather.

 

Herbs are easy to grow

Herbs are easy to grow no matter where you live.

You buy the seeds, throw them on the ground, and you are sure to have some herbs that year.

They are attractive plants too, all they want is a little water, a little sun, a little heat.

They don't ask for much and yet they give so much in return.

Don't let your garden be without them this year!

Despite what it may say on the seed packet, I tend to start my herbs off in pots.

I'd take a large wide pot and scater the all the seeds in the packet, or perhaps less if I don't think I'll need that many plants, and prick them all out indivually into a seed tray when they start to develop their 'true' leaves (the second set of leaves).

Depending on the size of the seed tray, I can generally plant on 12 to 16 in a seed tray, which is then placed either in the greenhouse, a sunny windowshelf, or a frost-free patio.

When they grow big enough to touch each other, they are ready for potting on, which means taking each small plant out, with the soil they are growing in, and planting into an individual pot, one a bit bigger than the area they are used to.

When they start to outgrow that pot, they are ready for planting in the garden.

The advantages of doing this is that their roots can develop well, before you plant them in the garden.

Even plants in pots outside get quite a shock when they are planted into the earth where, possibly for the first time in their lives, they meet soil pests, insects, slugs and other things that live in the soil.

I have found that planting directly into the soil means the loss of many seedlings before they get the chance to gain enough strength to fight off predators.

bunches of herbs drying
bunches of herbs drying

Cropping and drying Herbs

Once your herb plants are growing well, crop them as often as you can.

For the summer flowering ones like coriander, remove the stalks with seed-heads as soon as they have dried on the plant, for further drying in the house before placing in jars for use as and when you need them.

Parsley, oregano, basil etc should have leaf stalks removed and dried.

You can tie little bunches of them together and dry on a washing line on good days, else wash and prepare them (remove all the stalks,bad bits and browned leaves, if you have any) and lay them on a baking tray.

Place in a very low oven with the door slightly ajar and they should be completely dried inside the hour.

Then crush and jar them for future use.

Comments

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    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR

      IzzyM 

      7 years ago from UK

      cut the plants down soon, because come the winter they will not have enough light to continue growing. Warmth is not enough...they are triggered by light, as in natural daylight. Cut them, wash them, chop them and dry them, they still taste the same. :)

    • wavegirl22 profile image

      Shari 

      7 years ago from New York, NY

      I have some of the large leaf basil growing now., , so delicious. . nothing as good as your own herbs growing! Good thing for window sills, for come winter that is where my herbs will be! Thumbs up Izzy :)

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR

      IzzyM 

      8 years ago from UK

      Here in Spain July and August are the hottest months so right now is truly horrendous. The poor plants are struggling in this heat. Roll on September when it finally starts to cool down a bit. So everything is upside down where you are? In September the days lengthen and it gets warmer. Just like our March/April.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Spring starts in September so I'm waiting till then, planning to get the the flower nursery in the next few weeks to buy seeds and some new plants. Bring on the sunshine!!

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR

      IzzyM 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi right back from the opposite side of the world! So what months are your spring?

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I love to cook so I love my herbs, especially parsley and basil. I need to put more seeds in again soon, its still winter down here. Hi from Australia.

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR

      IzzyM 

      8 years ago from UK

      LOL well get busy then we are half way through June already!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 

      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Izzy, I love to grow my own herbs, and loved reading your hub here! I also love parsley, and there is nothing like the fresh stuff. You are an inspiration, I want to grow more things now :)

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR

      IzzyM 

      8 years ago from UK

      I haven't personally grown Rosemary because it grows wild where I live. And yes you can collect the seeds and keep them for next year and they grow true to their parent. Collect the seeds when they have dried on the plant and store in a cool dry place (bottom of fridge in perfect).

      I don't know if the seeds we buy in herbs and spices containers at supermarkets are GMO or not. I suspect not. And yes the shop bought ones will also grow as I have tried many. Not black pepper seeds as they are pre-treated and will not grow.

    • Needaname profile image

      Needaname 

      8 years ago from Northern Michigan

      Have you grown rosemary? Im not sure when to collect seeds.Ive never grown herbs before so im trying it this year. And I was also wondering if you can collect seeds and replant them every year from seeds I buy at walmart and big box stores? Also are any herb seeds GMO or is that just for veggies?

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR

      IzzyM 

      8 years ago from UK

      Thankyou:)

      I collect seed too, but most people don't and will have to buy them in if they want to grow.

    • bearclawmedia profile image

      bearclawmedia 

      8 years ago from Mining Planet Earth

      Nice one. I grow many herbs, I always collect my seeds. This was a nice article for the new year

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