13 July 2018

Your Herb-filled Summer - 5 key steps to growing amazing herbs

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Sunny days are here, and our agricultural roots have inspired us to write a series of four simple and practical articles on herbs. After our first article on 5 Herbs No Kitchen Should Be Without, we’re ready to provide some handy tips for amateur gardeners. So grab your tools and let’s get growing!

Planting your own herbs is one thing—tending to them so you can enjoy them longer is another. Here are some basic tips to help you—and them—thrive.

Watering

  • Water generously immediately after planting
  • Water each morning in moderation
  • Water if the first inch of soil is dry
  • Mix some natural fertilizer with your water once a month
  • Think about soil drainage (put a hole or layer of rocks at the bottom of the pot)

Maintenance

  • Avoid chemical fertilizers. Use compost or a rich soil with natural fertilizer
  • Mist your herbs regularly with a natural insecticidal soap
  • Cut off flowers for richer leaves
  • Cover soil with mulch to preserve moisture
  • Expose your herbs to the sun for as long as possible

Harvesting

  • Harvest only when the plants have a lot of leaves on them
  • Harvest herbs when the soil is dry (after a day or two without rain)
  • Harvest in the morning before the midday heat
  • Wait until mid to late summer (August) to get maximum aroma and taste from your herbs

Cleaning

  • Always remember to rinse your herbs well before eating them—they may still have product residue on them
  • Rinse them just before cooking so they don’t brown
  • Spin or shake them dry, then hang them upside down in a bunch
  • Use a food dehydrator if you have one to dry them faster

Drying

  • Store dried herbs in a dark place to limit loss of aroma and flavour
  • Choose a well-ventilated location to prevent mould
  • Cover them with something to protect them from dust
  • To freeze, cut the stems and place the leaves (whole or chopped) in an airtight container
  • Do not freeze them for more than three months to preserve as much flavour as possible

There you have it—our key tips and tricks for growing herbs. Feel free to share this article and help your friends and family get the most out of their herb gardens.

Our next article is about unique home herb garden ideas. These household gardens are as beautiful as they are practical, and are sure to give you some great ideas for your own plot. Watch for it! :)