How to Grow Kitchen Herbs Easily
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 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.
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.
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:)
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.
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.