Mint is an incredibly versatile herb bursting with flavor and smelling absolutely delectable.
Whether you want to grow mint indoors or sprinkle it around your garden, mint is a cinch to cultivate pretty much year-round.
Confusion often crops up between spearmint and peppermint, though. Today we will make things easy for you when it comes to spearmint vs peppermint by looking at eight key ways in which these herbs differ from each other.
Never confuse the two types of mint again!
Peppermint is actually a hybrid of spearmint and water mint. These two mints rolled into one mean that peppermint has an extremely high content of menthol.
Due to the vitamins and nutrients it contains, peppermint has long been used for medicinal purposes. From runny noses and sore throats through to strained muscles, this handy herb has many uses. It can also be used as part of aromatherapy to reduce stress and tension.
Aside from the ubiquitous chewing gum, peppermint crops up in tea, ice cream and after-dinner mints. You’ll also find peppermint oil in a number of liqueurs where the subtle taste works wonders.
A combination of the appetizing scent and its cooling properties mean that peppermint is also a firm favorite for soaps, shampoos or body washes. It’s a staple for toothpaste and mouthwash too.
Peppermint is often called the oldest medicine in the world and it has a wide array of proven medicinal benefits.
Spearmint is a highly aromatic herb that appears naturally.
The chief use for peppermint is culinary. As with peppermint, it’s also a common ingredient in chewing gum and toothpaste.
With a sweet and mild taste, spearmint is used widely in many medicines. Due to its relaxing effect, spearmint can also help you to relax and enjoy a good night’s sleep.
As well as sharing the ability to help with digestion and respiratory issues, spearmint has several other key health benefits including the following…
Both mints are from different species. Spearmint is from the species Spicata while peppermint is Piperita.
Their specific botanical names reflect this, Metha Spicata (spearmint) and Mentha x piperita (peppermint).
As mentioned, spearmint is a plant that occurs naturally whereas peppermint is a cross between species of spearmint and water mint.
The low and creeping peppermint is a real contrast with the straight and upright spearmint.
The way in which the herbs grow is also a point of difference. Spearmint will shoot up to around 3 feet in height. It will spread its way profusely and completely around the surrounding vegetation. Peppermint grows anywhere from 1 to 3 feet high. It does not spread widely, though.
While spearmint plants have pink or blue flowers, peppermint plants are crowned with purple blooms.
Spearmint plants have small leaves that grow on the branches themselves. The little leaves are slightly wrinkled.
The peppermint boasts slightly larger leaves. These grow on the stems rather than the branches. These leaves are jagged in appearance.
It might surprise some people to know that spearmint does not contain menthol at all. It gets its cooling ability from carvone.
Peppermint, on the other hand, has plenty of menthol. This is where it derives its cooling properties from.
Spearmint has a far more delicate smell and taste than peppermint. It’s mild and somewhat sweet.
Peppermint tastes sharp and cooling while the aroma is much more intense.
The ways in which spearmint and peppermint are used is another area where they are quite different.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this examination of spearmint vs peppermint and are now clear on the differences between these two distinct types of mint.
Please drop us a line if you’d like any further information on this or any other aspect of gardening.
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Parsley, as our previous article outlined, is a special herb with many culinary and medical uses. Perhaps you are growing plenty and want to know how to dry parsley…
We will look here at the principal ways to dry fresh parsley and offer you some handy hints on storing this wonderful herb so you always have access to it. Once you have done the groundwork by growing it, maintaining stock levels is the easy part.
As well as being used as a diuretic and a treatment for upset stomachs, parsley can be pressed into action in a wide range of recipes.
You should be aware that parsley will lose a little of its flavor when it’s dried. Drying herbs can be a surprisingly tricky task so we are here to strip it down to basics and make things simple for you.
We’ll show you how to dry fresh parsley using the following basic methods:
In general, if you choose to dry with heat then more of the flavor will be removed. Any strong heat damages the essential oils contained within the herb.
The conventional approach to drying is not without its drawbacks either, though. Our ancestors would leave herbs hanging to dry for weeks but there are two things to note. Firstly, their homes were very different with much more space suited for this kind of task available. Also, the results can be mixed… By the time you realize something has gone amiss, the herbs could be unusable.
We’ll look now at the four main ways in which you can get your parsley dried out nicely.
It’s perfectly possible to dry all herbs naturally in the air. You need to locate a warm and dry area first of all. The garage or attic are standard choices. You could opt for the kitchen pantry or even the kitchen itself (although make certain there is not too much moisture).
Bundle up your parsley and use some string or twine to hold it together in bunches. Rubber bands are another possibility. Use whatever you have to hand just secure it adequately.
Hammer a nail into the wall and hang your herbs up to dry out.
You can put the sprigs of parsley inside brown paper bags if you want. Cut slits in the bags if you choose this option. This allows plenty of air to circulate. The benefit of paper bags is keeping dust off the parsley and also preventing too much color being lost as the sunlight otherwise bleaches the herbs. The downside is that if left unattended, mold can set in. Make your decision and if you do use bags pay close attention to them to prevent this mildew and fungus spoiling your parsley.
After about 2 weeks, gather the bundles and place the dried herbs on some wax paper. Crumble up the leaves and get rid of the stems.
Pop the dry mix into an airtight container and you’re good to go!
Taking advantage of the sun’s rays is a straightforward and economical way to achieve your goal of drying parsley effectively.
Wait until the weather is smiling on you. Avoid too much humidity and ensure that no rain is in the post. You want a window of opportunity with no moisture for several days so consult the weather forecast and be patient.
Pick some sprigs of fresh parsley from the garden. Wash off any dirt from the surface.
Get a sheet and spread it across a large table. You can use stones or bricks on the edges to prevent it from blowing away. A window screen is a great solar drying rack as these screens promote ventilation. Another alternative is a roasting pan.
Whatever your selected drying tool, place the parsley in a single layer. Pop it in the direct sunlight and leave the sun to do its work.
Turn the herbs on a daily basis and bring them inside overnight to eliminate the chance of moisture undoing your efforts.
When the parsley is crispy you are all set to store it for future use.
A food dehydrator is a highly versatile piece of kitchen equipment you can harness nicely for drying herbs.
They make use of hot air which slowly and gently gets rid of the moisture present in food. You will need a good few hours for best effects with parsley.
Whether rounded or box-shaped, dehydrators are a kind of stacking system and the mini perforations in the trays allow air to circulate ideally among your herbs.
They are not particularly cheap so analyze how much use you will get from a dehydrator and decide whether it’s the smart choice for you.
It really is a seamless procedure. Simply pop a single layer of parsley onto each tray. Refer to the instructions for time and temperature. Dehydrators are all different, much like microwaves, so make sure you get this step right.
A few hours later and the moisture will be removed, your parsley lovely and dry for your store cupboard.
Taking into account what’s been mentioned about a certain loss of flavor, you can nevertheless dry parsley without too much fuss in the microwave or conventional oven.
Now that you have a few different approaches for drying your herbs, the next logical stage is storing them appropriately.
Get yourself some airtight containers. There is no need to spend a great deal of money. You can easily re-use old coffee jars or any plastic pots you have to hand.
Make sure your hands are clean and dry then cover a table with newspaper.
Scrunch up the dried herbs with your hands discarding any of the stems. Pour the mixture into your container.
Label them up accordingly remembering to include the date they were prepared.
If you want to freeze dry your parsley or other herbs – the tips in this article work equally well for other varieties – then place the dried mix into Ziploc plastic bags, squeeze the air out and put them in the freezer. Bingo!
There is no substitute for fresh herbs which is why we suggest keeping a stock of your favorites growing at all times.
It’s not an ideal world, though, and often supplies run down or things get overlooked. By drying and storing your parsley correctly, you can always enjoy pepping up your cookery or availing yourself of its medicinal properties even if you have none left growing.
Although it’s arguably the quickest method, avoid using a source of heat like the oven if at all possible so as to maximize the beneficial effects and lessen the loss of flavor in the drying process.
We are what we eat as the famous saying goes. A number of people want to know how many calories are in celery just like many other foods seen as miracle workers for weight loss.
Today we will examine the myth that this crispy and crunchy vegetable is a negative calorie food along with a look at its nutritional value and other health-related facts.
We are often asked about the best vegetables to grow organically at home. In an ideal
The two principal types of celery are trench and self-blanching.
Blanching is when you block the sunlight so that the stalks whiten.
With the self-blanching kind there are two varieties, the Standard (which have naturally creamy or golden stems) and the American green sort which truly needs no blanching at all.
Trench celery requires more commitment and is more problematic to grow but repays the effort with a superior taste.
When is celery in season then? Well, it is tricky to bring on as mentioned but the great news is that it can be grown from September to April so you can enjoy it for a substantial part of the year.
Most people think of celery as being extremely good for dieting but how many calories are in celery?
You might well have heard people claim that this incredibly healthy veg has negative calories. Put simply, this would mean that the act of eating it burns off more calories than are absorbed by the body after eating it.
There is no escaping the fact that celery is an extremely low-calorie option if you are watching your waistline, but this assertion of it having negative calories is simply untrue.
Each medium-sized stalk has around 6 calories. To put that into perspective, an adult male requires 2500 calories a day. Each stalk has about 1 gram of carbohydrates in total, 0.6 grams of which are fiber. Fiber is not properly digested or absorbed by the body.
The very slender number of calories in the form of fat, sugar and protein are made use of by the body, though. To give you an indication of how much sugar is in celery, it’s only 0.7 g in that same medium stalk.
The body uses about 1 calorie eating and digesting the stalk so, clearly, it’s ideal if you are on a diet but the urban myth about negative calories is just that: a myth.
Calories are only one part of a healthy eating plan. The nutrients are also important.
How much potassium is in celery, for instance?
Potassium is responsible for several crucial functions in the body. It works along with minerals like calcium and sodium to stabilize the fluid levels. This helps with everything from muscle contraction to keeping your heart thumping properly.
You’ll get over 100 mg of potassium in a single stalk which is wonderful news for your system.
Celery is also rich in antioxidants and vitamin K.
Juicing is growing in popularity. So what are the health benefits of celery juice in particular?
Blitzing up some celery in your juicer can lower your risk of cancer, protect your cardiovascular system, help to enhance your skin and prevent inflammation or disease. It can be beneficial if you are stressed and can even aid sleep.
What are some other ways in which we can make use of this superfood?
A few recipes, coleslaw in particular, call for celery seeds. We all understand that celery comes from seeds but what is celery seed itself?
Most of the seed which is commercially available to be used as a spice does not actually come from the celery that we eat but from a very close relative.
The miniature oblong seeds are light brown and can really pack quite a punch. The taste is like a highly concentrated celery in its regular form. It’s grassy and earthy with a somewhat bitter edge to it.
Celery seed is often chosen because you can enjoy all the flavor of celery itself without needing to chop up mounds of it for your dish.
With a wonderful texture rather like poppy seeds, it makes a fine addition to salad dressings as well as coleslaw.
You should be aware that from the outset celery needs treating with care. It’s an extremely tender plant which cannot just be sown straight into the soil.
When the seeds are sown it’s a smart idea to germinate them on a heated mat. They should be thinly broadcast into seed trays and transplanted into 2 inch plugs once germinated.
They ought to be grown under cover until the weather is warmer and then hardened off outside for a week or two.
Celery is a very hungry crop so the ability of the ground to hold water will affect the success of your harvest. With all plants, some knowledge of its native habitat helps to determine how you should most suitably grow it. Celery occurs in Asia and Europe in boggy, marshy ground. Use any organic material to replicate these conditions and it should flourish.
One particular nuisance when cultivating celery is the slug. Pay close attention to your crop! Others pests such as carrot fly and celery leaf miner can also be a menace. Celery leaf spot is the other common health issue faced.
Set aside the fallacy that celery is a negative calorie food and focus on the fact that it’s extremely nutritious and very low in calories.
Take your time to research the best type to grow – we still say stick with the trench celery – and you can enjoy all the health benefits with that fantastic, distinctive taste alongside the added bonus of picking it fresh from your very own garden.
Originally native to the Mediterranean region, parsley (Umbelliferae) is now cultivated in many varieties.
We will first examine some background facts about this versatile herb then look at how to grow it fuss-free.
Parsley is a biennial. This classification is slightly less common than the usual annuals or perennials. Parsley will only come back after two gardening seasons.
It grows up to 60cm on a very stout root.
The leaves are triangular with 3 lobes. They curl up at the end and have a slightly ruffled appearance.
Yellow flowers will bloom in the second year followed by oval seed pods which contain sickle-shaped seeds.
Parsley calls for rich and moist but well-drained soil. It likes a mixture of sun and shade. If you lack the requisite soil then try growing it in a pot.
This miraculous herb is propagated from seed sown in the late spring.
The flat-leaved French parsley is incredibly aromatic.
The leaves and seeds are both put to use so you get maximum bang for your buck with parsley.
In the final year, even the taproot is edible. In fact, it’s the most potent and pungent part of the plant.
The seeds are most powerful in terms of medicinal properties. They contain up to 7% essential oil, flavonoids and glycosides.
What vitamins are in parsley? As well as vitamins A and C, this herb also contains many minerals. The leaves are very rich in iron and vitamin C.
Parsley has powerful diuretic and stomach-tonic uses. The 16th century botanist John Gerard said of garden parsley that, “It is delightful to the taste and agreeable to the stomach.” He added that it could neutralize poison, perhaps because of its strong aroma.
Take care if you are pregnant and avoid using the seeds medicinally. Watch out, too, if you have a history of kidney disease.
Using fresh leaves in cookery is perfectly safe.
Parsley is extensively used as a flavoring in many different dishes. From soups and sauces to meat and fish recipes, egg and cheese or salad dressings, parsley can infuse your meal with a burst of aroma and tantalize the taste buds.
In the same way that salt seasons a dish, parsley helps to tie flavors together.
A standard infusion of parsley leaves works wonders for indigestion. This is particularly useful if you’ve eaten a glut of rich food.
You can also call upon this herb if you are suffering from fluid retention or gout.
Parsley can help to stimulate the appetite and also aids the absorption and assimilation of nutrients.
Seeds are also used in herbalism but this is best left to the professionals. The seeds are not recommended to be used in this way at home.
You might have asked yourself what is parsley good for and now you have the answers. Whether in the kitchen or for medical use, it’s a very flexible herb with myriad uses.
We will take you through some basic steps now so that you can grow parsley at home and enjoy these benefits for yourself.
First of all, decide which type of parsley you’d like to grow.
Flat-leaf parsley (Neapolitanum) is the choice of cooks due to its tremendous flavor and ease of chopping.
Curly leaf parsley (P. Crispum) is also extremely tasty and offers you a very striking display in the garden as an extra kicker.
Parsley is straightforward to start from seed. Germination can take a little longer than with some herbs, though.
Sow the seeds straight into soil. Wait until about a month before the final frost of the year. If you want to speed things up, consider soaking the seeds overnight before you sow them.
If you prefer, start the parsley seeds indoors up to three months before the last frost to get off to a flying start.
How long does it take parsley to grow? Well, although it’s a slow starter – perhaps 2-5 weeks for the seeds to sprout – the good news is that harvest time comes around quickly.
Grow your parsley indoors or out in the garden with equal confidence.
If you have an indoor garden then put your pot near a window which gets ample sunlight.
For outdoor growers, one smart idea is to plant your parsley near rose bushes for added fragrance. Parsley is also the perfect companion for tomatoes if planted in containers.
There are 4 main pointers to think about here:
Parsley can cope with either part-sun or full-sun environments. Indoors, you need to target sunny windows for best effects
Choose loamy and moist soil and take care to turn it well. Use some rich compost early on, ideally just as you are sowing your parsley
Parsley is extremely adaptable. It prefers moist soil but is also quite able to tolerate a drought
Thin out your parsley to about 10 inches apart if you are starting it off from seed. This same distance holds true if you are transplanting small plants or seedlings
As mentioned, parsley is a biennial. This means that its cycle of harvesting is slightly different.
In year one, harvest your parsley for its leaves. Pick the stalks which are farthest away from the center. If you leave both the inner stalks and the leaves, the plant will continue to grow nicely.
During the second year, you will notice the leaves become sparse and you’ll see the flavor drop in intensity. You can still use the leaves but let your parsley bloom.
Collect up the seeds so you can sow them in spring.
In the fall of that same year, it’s time to harvest the root. Shave this over salads for a penetrating burst of flavor and a delectable crunch.
The cultivation of parsley dates back at least as far as the ancient Greeks. They used it in many different ways, even to crown their athletes with.
Although it has a reputation as a fickle herb, parsley really isn’t tough to grow. If you ensure that the soil is of the correct quality and avoid overcrowding, you could very rapidly have some delicious fresh parsley to put to good use.
Be patient and press all parts (including the stem) into action.
Dried herbs are a poor substitute for the real thing. It does not take much effort to start a small herb garden. Choose the ones that you use most often when cooking. Save money and enjoy the benefits of an abundance of fresh herbs to set off any dish.
We want to outline some tasty and practical recipes to show you just how much taking the time to start a herb garden can pay dividends.
Cooking meats with herbs
We will look today at 6 great herb recipes using some fantastic herb and meat combinations.
Bolognese sauce is an Italian classic sometimes called ragu.
Adding some strong and aromatic fresh herbs like oregano, basil and bay really
An added advantage of Bolognese is that it works best being simmered for a long time at a low temperature so it’s ideal if your dinner guests are slightly late!
Tip: Although this dish is almost always made with spaghetti, try using tagliatelle instead. This type of pasta is slightly thicker than spaghetti and works very well with the Bolognese sauce.
A poussin is a delicate baby chicken.
The fragrance of fresh lemon and tarragon will set these tender birds off perfectly!
With strong-tasting meats like beef and pork, pungent herbs like sage are an excellent choice.
Fresh sage leaves have a peppery taste and bay leaves bring out the taste of the meat perfectly.
Sage adds a fresh and spicy undertone to this tried and tested combination.
Do you ever fancy something special when you are home alone?
If so, consider this succulent lamb dish with the ingredients here for just one person. Scale them up if you are cooking for more and want to share!
Tarragon has a very potent taste with an almost minty flavor.
Chicken tends to be rather bland so pep it up with your fresh tarragon. Choose free-range organic meat if you can find some and it’s within budget.
This is a basic dish which can benefit strongly from the contrasting flavors of fennel and juniper.
Once again, you can really get some mileage out the herbs that you grow and transform even ordinary meals into something more special.
Whether it’s a complex and tricky meal or something simple like Bolognese, pretty much anything tastes better when infused with fresh herbs.
We hope you found something you’d like to try here and our following article will give you 6 more great ideas for cooking with fish.
If you want to use herbs in the kitchen then start growing some today!
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For fish lovers, we have 5 more fantastic ideas today to help you really get the most out of your herb garden.
Fish can quickly and easily deliver you a meal rich in protein.
Grilling and frying are among the best methods for bringing out the most flavor.
It’s crucial that you use fresh salmon for this recipe. The salt and sugar will draw the moisture out from the fish and leave it raw but cured and packed with flavor.
This recipe takes some time but is very well worth the effort.
Fresh salmon fillet (900g, skinned)
Rice vinegar (200ml)
Fresh basil (5 tbsp, chopped)
Sugar (5 tsp)
Lime rind (1, finely grated)
Sea salt (50g)
English mustard (1/ tsp)
Lime rind (2, finely grated)
Fresh basil (3 tbsp, finely chopped)
White peppercorns (1 tsp, lightly crushed)
Japanese pickled ginger (1 tbsp, shredded)
Mixed salad leaves (150g)
A lovely salsa adds a controlled kick to the haddock.
Either make your own or buy the best quality pre-prepared one you can find.
For the pesto sauce, check out our previous article here for the recipe.
Lemon goes nicely with most fish. Trout is sweet and mild so the lemon offsets this perfectly.
Parsley adds the finishing touch and shows once again just how valuable it is to grow your own herbs.
This herb recipe is extremely easy to bake in the oven.
The tomato in this dish goes hand-in-hand with the aroma of thyme and marjoram.
Your mouth will water while this is cooking and when you taste it you’ll once more understand why growing herbs at home is such a sensible thing to do.
If you enjoy herrings, why not try these on the BBQ?
Wrap them in foil and revel in the way the orange and tarragon complement the taste to give you something truly special. Dishes like this make growing herbs at home well worth the time and trouble.
We hope that you have found some inspiration with these delightful fish dishes.
Whether you get your fish from the market or the store, look out for bright and shiny scales to indicate the quality.
Remember: If you opt for frozen fish, thaw it completely before cooking.
Enjoy the freedom and check for updates here with more herb recipes.
We will take a look today at how to grow herbs from seeds.
The focus here will be on growing herbs indoors.
Here is a simplified, step-by-step guide to bringing your herb garden indoors.
As you can see, there is no science or technical stuff involved.
Growing herbs from seeds is extremely straightforward and rewarding.
We looked here at 7 commonplace herbs which do very well inside. Basil, chives, oregano and parsley cope perfectly and are real kitchen staples. Rosemary, sage and thyme are also a breeze to grow.
Here are 5 more classic herbs that you should consider adding to your arsenal…
This delectable and versatile herb barely even need growing in the conventional sense. You don’t need to plant it in soil. Visit your local market and pick up some stalks. Be certain that their bases are intact and that there are ample stems. To prepare, trim the top off a stalk nicely. Pop it into a few inches of water. Roots will go down and new shoots will form in abundance. It smells as good as it tastes!
Whether it’s peppermint or spearmint, both types of mint grow profusely and without much fuss. Watch
Coriander comes from the cilantro herb. If you opt for the Vietnamese version, you’ll find it much simpler to grow than the regular variety. It’s highly reliable and extremely hearty. Coriander can be used in a wide range of dishes so it’s well worth considering giving this a try.
Chervil is often known as French parsley. This annual herb has a slight taste of anise. It’s easy to harvest and is a wonderful and subtle flavor to add to your favorite dishes. Just snip off the leaves back to the level of the soil at harvest time and it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
This native of the Mediterranean is from the oregano family. It’s got a more delicate and sweeter flavor to it, though.
Sweet marjoram flourishes indoors.
Opt for Italian marjoram – O. x majoricum – which is very similar but also spicy.
For their smell and use in so many staple recipes, treat yourself to a healthy range of fresh herbs.
Not having a garden is no excuse to compromise.
Look in forthcoming articles for some great recipes with fresh herbs.
Many people today want to know how to grow an indoor herb garden.
Growing indoor plants is a challenging task especially since plants need enough sunlight to make them grow. It is, though, much more fun to have them inside the house!
Damaging weather conditions, whether it’s the harsher seasons such as winter or natural disasters like typhoons, makes it harder to maintain them outdoors. The soil used in indoor plants does not harden during winter. The leaves will also be more protected from possible frost. Animals and pests can add to the hazards of growing them outside.
Herbs in particular need thorough maintenance since some of them cannot easily adjust to indoor atmospheres. A proper source of sufficient sunlight is often an issue with planting herbs indoors. Leaving the pots beside the windows sometimes does not compensate enough and give an adequate amount of sunlight needed for each plant.
Watering the herbs is not much of a problem indoors as long as you have a decent supply of water and you know the proper way of watering them.
There is a great deal to learn about growing herbs indoors so let us tackle the things any plant growers need to know if they plan to grow their herbs inside the house…
First, you have to pick those that are already growing. Do not start from seedlings as they require more sun and rainwater.
It is essential to know which herbs you can grow indoors.
Certain herbs simply need too much caring and might not be able to survive even with ample attention. We will discuss these herbs later in this article.
One very important thing to note is the place in the house where you wish to put the pots. There should be enough space that is specially reserved for the plants. Beside the window is the best part since the sunlight can get through it. Be sure, though, that there is nothing that is blocking the sun's rays like a wall or another house.
If there is no adequate space then you may put up a cold frame or vine house. Vine houses are mini structures built to fit into limited spaces inside the house where you can place your pots. Or you may just simply place the pots
Every living thing needs sunshine to grow and live. Therefore, it is important to ensure good sunlight exposure. If this is not available, buy a growing light or fluorescent light to help sustain the amount of light needed by the herbs. This can work out a little expensive though and uses large amounts of electricity.
You will need to let the light get to the plants for 14 hours as that is the equivalent of a 6 hour sunlight. The south, east and west portions of the house are the best areas to obtain proper sunlight as the sun stays for longer in those directions.
Extra tip, though: you need to turn the pot a few times while the sun is touching the herb as it has a tendency to grow where the sunlight reaches it and thus will make the other parts smaller if it’s not turned.
As mentioned above, there is not so much of a water issue if you have a good supply of it. All you need is proper regulation when watering the herbs.
Do it in the morning and afternoon only and do not put introduce too much water. Some herbs enjoy dry soil.
When it rains, if you have time, try taking them outside for a little natural shower or perhaps fill a bucket with raindrops. Your herbs will surely enjoy the rainwater a great deal as some of them tend to be sensitive to tap water due to its chlorine or fluoride content.
As the herbs won't benefit from the outdoor climate, it is necessary to feed them with liquid fish fertilizer weekly as they grow, monthly when they are fully-grown. Stop during winter as there really is not much growing activity at that time of year.
Probably the most famous among herbs that grow indoors. This type of herb loves the sun and humid weather. It is a bit tasky maintaining basil during the winter as it prefers hot temperatures. It's best to place it to the east in the morning and west in the afternoon for the optimum sunlight source.
Chives smell like onions. They need 6 hours of sunlight everyday. If you have no sufficient source of the sun's rays indoors you need the help of a growing light. This type needs constant watering (though not too much so as to drown the plant).
This herb is a remedy for coughs and is one of the most used herbs in pizza. Oregano is an easy herb to plant indoors as it only needs watering once weekly because it prefers its soil to be a bit dry and it's not too particular about the sun's light.
As with basil, parsley also loves to enjoy full sunlight so it's best to place it at the east and west windows. It also needs 6 hours of sunlight but it can grow at average room temperature. Watering takes place every two weeks.
Rosemary gives out a long lasting, sweet aroma. It does not smell minty like other herbs. Just like parsley, it can handle room temperature. And as with the other herbs mentioned, the soil needs to dry up before it has to be watered again.
One of the easiest herbs to plant indoors. It can also tolerate room temperature and this herb will not die even if you forget to water it for a full month and the leaves start to wilt. With a mere sprinkling of water, the plant will immediately recover from dryness. Place it at a south-facing window.
This herb that is used along with meat and bread also loves a full 6 hours of sunlight but can survive too at average room temperature. Place it at the east and west-facing windows. Thyme (as well as sage) is resistant to drought. Its light pink to lavender colored flowers can be used as tea: just dry them naturally.
You have seen here just how easy it is to plant herbs indoors and have a good choice of different plants to try.
Continue checking out our site for all your gardening and planting needs!
When summer comes around, many people want to know how to use basil in cooking.
With over 60 types of basil to choose from, it truly is a versatile garnish. The king of herbs goes well with just about anything. Whether it’s a sauce or salad, dessert or the classic pesto, a dose of fresh basil leaves can enhance your dish sublimely.
The most common kinds used are sweet basil (for Italian flavor), Thai basil (prevalent throughout Asia) and Purple Opal (superb for cocktails).
To enjoy the best, fullest flavor, you generally add your fresh basil right at the end of cooking. Of course, this varies with some recipes but as a
How is basil used?
Read on. Get some food for thought and 6 fantastic recipes!
But before you start, a quick handy hint: Instead of cutting up the basil leaves, simply rip them roughly for the optimum effect.
Pesto is a highly flexible recipe that can be made with just about any kind of herbs. Basil, though, is the herb which we immediately associate with this Italian staple.
No selection of basil recipes would be complete without including this bona fide classic.
It’s straightforward to make. Do yourself and your meal justice. Sidestep the pre-prepared version and make your own.
This tried and tested tricolore salad has a base of pesto.
A salad like this is the ideal way to kick off a three-course Italian meal. It works well at any time of year but is particularly refreshing in the summer.
Simplicity is the way forward with most fish, especially one as delectable as salmon.
A light, lemon-infused sauce with fresh basil is a wonderful way to accompany salmon without overpowering it.
Freshly cooked food does not need to be complex or time-consuming.
Many people rely on fast-food claiming that they are too busy to cook. This is not a valid excuse.
This dish can be given entirely different flavors by using sweet basil or Thai basil. Why not try it both ways?
Get this delicious and nutritious stir-fry on your plate in just 10 minutes.
With two contrasting sauces, this dish appears complicated but is actually deceptively simple.
One of these sauces is a simple mix with basil. The tomato sauce is achieved with a rapid sautée.
Impress your guests with a sophisticated meal prepared quickly and easily. Show them how to use basil in cooking. The proof of the pudding is in the crust…
Pasta and basil go together hand-in-glove.
This is an extremely rapid and mouth-watering main dish that will impress your guest and demonstrates yet another great way to use basil in cooking.
The pesto sauce would go very well with this dish. Enjoy!
If you are stuck for time or ideas and want to know how to use basil in cooking then take advantage of these recipes. All of them are quick and basic.
Remember to use your hands instead of a knife when preparing basil. Get a rustic look along with optimum flavor.
Whether it’s Italian cookery or Asian dishes that you are looking for, this herb adds a nice kick of flavor. It’s well worth the time to grow some fresh basil at home. Check out here just how easy it is!
We will look here at just how easy it is to get up and running…
Herbs have for centuries been valued for their culinary and medicinal properties. Grow a selection of wonderful, fresh plants and enhance your cooking while saving money into the bargain. A true win-win.
The definition of an herb is a plant with no woody stem which dies away as the growing season ends. Herbs were previously thought of as a gift from the gods.
As well as being a chef’s dream and helping with health issues, herb gardening is really pretty straightforward. All you need is a little sunshine, some soil that drains nicely, fertilizer or compost and a decent dose of water. Herbs are not often menaced by insects or other pests.
Herbs can readily be grown in pots but the plants generally prefer to be able to spread. Some herbs can reach heights of 4-6 feet. If they are housed in pots then sometimes they become stressed and stunted.
We will look here, though, at growing in soil and also in pots. Many people have space limitations and for various reasons need to grow indoors.
Everyone has different needs, space and climate factors to consider.
All herbs need the same things whether grown indoors or outside. Lots of sunlight, mild
Some people want to use a combination of the two methods and grow outside but in containers. That way, when the growing season ends they can be easily moved back indoors.
A quick look at the pros of each method…
Very easy access
Much higher yields
No need to weed
Can grow year-round
More space available
If you have wondered when to plant herbs, with an indoor garden the answer is simple: any time!
There are several key elements to think about, notably location, growing medium and water.
Location is arguably the most critical factor to your indoor grow.
Herbs demand a minimum of 6 daily hours of sunlight. This can be awkward to achieve in the winter.
There are 3 great options to maximize this:
When growing indoors, growing medium works better than garden soil. Your best bet is an organic growing medium. Opt for one that drains efficiently and is loose enough.
With this stage, either buy a mix or make up your own. If you choose to make one up then here are two easy options:
Combine equal parts sterile topsoil, builder’s sand and compost. You can add an organic fertilizer if you choose. An all-purpose one would be ideal
Mix up 4-6 parts peat moss with 1 part vermiculite and 1 part perlite. If you want to add nutrients then go for ½ cup of oystershell lime – great for raising pH, canola meal and bone meal for every 8 gallons of your potting mix
Watering is always a fine balance. Water your plants so that the soil is adequately moist. Take care not to overwater, though, or the roots will rot. Between waterings, allow the top area of the growing medium or soil to dry out totally. Check the levels of moisture on a regular basis.
Soil moisture meters measure the moisture at root level and are very handy accessories.
You should also plant herbs in different containers. At minimum, group together plants with similar watering requirements.
Note: annual herbs (dill, oregano, basil, coriander) can be kicked off indoors then grown all year round. Perennial herbs (thyme, chives, parsley, sage) can easily be started from seed but it’s often simpler to buy young plants instead. Perennials will continue to grow longer than a season. Keeping them in pots outside is fine in the summer. Just take care to bring the herbs inside before the frosts begin.
If you are growing outdoors, location is also critical.
Think first about the number of plants you want to grow along with how much room each of them will require. Calculating space is straightforward.
Look for somewhere in the garden which gets sufficient sunlight. By ensuring at least 6 hours (and up to 8 hours) of daily sunlight, the essential oils which give herbs their delicious taste and smell will develop optimally.
This varies but there are some constants…
Look for a site with loam soil that’s very well drained. If necessary you can enhance the quality of the existing soil. Use compost, manure or peat moss.
A kit for testing the quality of soil is a sound investment. You want soil which will drain but also keep both nutrients and moisture in.
The majority of herbs enjoy a soil which borders acidic and neutral. Look for a pH value somewhere between 6 and 7.
To get your planting beds ready, dig into the soil 10-12 inches. Turn it over nicely. Remove all large stones from the area. Chuck in lots of organic matter. Rake over and level off when you’re done.
Again, strike that equilibrium between enough water but not so much that the soil becomes soggy.
Tip: sometimes it pays to give your herbs a quick soaking from time to time rather than constantly watering them. Don’t go over the top, though!
We have looked here at the basics of starting your herb garden, whether indoors or outdoors.
Next week we will look in more detail at seeding and propagation, maintenance and storage.
If you want to know how to care for herbs then come back soon and find out more!