Widely used in cooking, herbs are a great and easy way to elevate your home cooking to the next level.
If you have ever bought herbs from the supermarket you know they can be pretty pricey and if you are anything like me, you often only get one use out of the bunch before they wilt and become inedible.
The solution? Grow your own!
Herbs are so easy to grow and freshly picked herbs from the garden are packed with so much more flavour than store bought.
An endless supply of fresh flavour at your doorstep, no more wilted herbs forgotten in the fridge.
There are so many different types of herbs available, all with different uses ranging from eating, to healing, to drinking (teas etc), to repellent.
To get you started I’m going to look at a few of the best kitchen herbs:
Nothing beats the smell of fresh basil.
It’s a staple in pasta and Mediterranean dishes and takes tomatoes to the next level of tastiness.
Grow basil outside in an open sunny position in pots or the ground.
Basil is a seasonal herb grown over the warmer months (hates the cold).
Liquid feed regularly and nip off flowers to encourage new growth.
A little herb that has people divided.
You either love it or hate it.
Perfect with Asian and Mexican dishes and widely used as a garnish.
All parts of the plant are edible (roots, stems, leaves and seeds).
Coriander prefers cooler temperatures.
If you plant it in summer be sure to give it a part shade or cooler position and pick leaves regularly otherwise it can go to seed quickly.
Mint has such a fresh flavour and is great in salads, with fruit, smoothies and juices.
There are many different types of mint available e.g. common mint, chocolate mint, apple mint, Vietnamese mint, spearmint peppermint, etc.
With all mints make sure you always plant in a seperate pot on its own.
Mint has the tendency to run and take over if put in the garden or in a pot with other herbs.
Mint grows year round and does best in a part shade position.
Being a woody herb rather than a leafy herb, rosemary lends itself to dishes with a longer cooking time, think roasts, stews and soups. Rosemary is very hardy and can be planted in pots or the ground. It also makes a wonderful and fragrant hedge.
The ultimate garnish and great in an array of dishes, it also boasts a lot of health properties.
Grow parsley in pots or the ground.
Parsley enjoys a nice rich soil.
I find it does better in a part shade position over the summer months, but will tolerate full sun for the rest of the year.
Parsley is available in both flat leaf (Italian type) and curly leaf varieties.
With its bold flavour, it’s the perfect accompaniment to many Italian meat and pasta dishes.
Grow oregano in pots or the ground in a well drained soil.
It tolerates full sun but prefers part shade in the heat of summer.
Oregano is a hardy and easy to grow herb.
Chives are a member of the onion family.
They have a similar but more delicate flavour.
They taste great in any French dish, egg, potato or cheese recipes and who doesn’t love cheese and chive muffins?
Chives are a perennial herb, meaning they die down a bit over the winter months before shooting back in spring.
Choose a sunny position in a pot or the ground.
As with most plants, to get the best results, be sure to always use a premium potting mix in pots or to mix plenty of soil improver into the ground at planting time.
Regular feeding with a liquid or good pellet fertiliser will help maintain plant health and encourage plenty of new, tasty leaves.
Water your herbs well over the hot months and you will be rewarded with tasty, fresh herbs at your fingertips, anytime you need.
It’s so easy and rewarding!
If you have any good gardening old wive’s tales, feel free to share them by leaving a comment online on the Barossa Mag’s website.
I do love hearing a good tale!
In the meantime, happy gardening!