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As the days get warmer it’s time to get onto your herb garden. Fragrant herbs add flavour to any meal and are at their best flavour when they are freshly picked from the garden.

 

Although it can take time and patience to grow your own, you can snip off just what you need when you need it, instead of buying a packet of fresh herbs and only using a few leaves plus it can save you money and reduces food and packaging waste.

Basil 

Needs as much warmth as it can get and won’t do well if the temperature falls under 10 degrees so wait until the nights aren’t so cold then plant away. Most herbs in pots can be grown indoors as well so if you can’t wait plant basil in pots and keep them inside before transporting into your garden.

 

Mint

If you are planting mint it’s a good idea to plant in its own pot rather than a bed as mint tends to overtake gardens.

Keep in mind that both basil and mint need more water than other herbs so try to keep the soil damp.

 

Coriander 

Coriander can be tricky to grow as it is known to go to seed quickly so keep a close eye on it. As soon as the weather gets too hot your plant will begin to die off quickly so make sure you give the plant plenty of water.

 

Best Herbs for Asian Dishes

If you love cooking Asian style dishes, try planting Vietnamese mint, Thai basil and lemongrass; they are widely used in Asian cuisine and add unique punchy flavour to your dishes. These herbs can be trickier to find in supermarkets so why not have a go at growing your own?

 

Other Herb Tips:

  • Most herbs enjoy plenty of sun however they can grow very quickly so it’s best to plant in spring.
  • During the warmer summer months’ herbs can go to seed quickly particularly parsley, basil and coriander.
  • To keep on top of things, water your herbs daily and remove stems and leaves that die off regularly.
  • Continuing to clip your herb plants can help encourage new leaves, even if you aren’t going to use them (you can freeze for later).
  • If your herbs begin to produce flowers, although pretty, it’s best to remove the flowers so that the leaves continue to grow.
  • Removing outside leaves will encourage the centre of the plant to grow.
  • There is no such thing as too many herbs; if you have extras you can freeze them in ice trays, just be sure to chop the herbs first. You can use them later in drinks or melt them down and use the herbs in your meals.
  • If you want to add some colour to salads, Mexican marigold is an excellent herb with beautiful golden edible flowers.

 

Read more about edible flowers in our article here.

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