Growing herbs in your own homemade garden can be a rewarding experience. It is also a great frugal way to add flavor to your meals. Here are five of the easiest herbs to grow that are low-maintenance, yet versatile in their usages.
Chives can be grown indoors or outdoors. Soil must be moist, yet not wet at the same time. To begin, you can grow them in small pots and then move them outdoors when they become bigger. After a few years, you should divide them into smaller bunches and replant them. When using chives, cut them using scissors to leave the leaves a few inches long.
Arugula can be grown indoors or outdoors. Soil must be moist, but not wet. As the leaves start to mature, snip them off with a pair of scissors. The arugula will sprout flowers, which you should let grow and die in order to reseed the arugula plant. The leaves have much more bitter flavor after the flowers bloom, so you should continue picking the leaves to keep the plant young.
The seeds should be soaked in hot water overnight, then planted in pots indoors. Once the seeds begin to sprout, they can then be moved outdoors or kept indoors. The seeds should be covered with 0.5 inches of well-drained soil and then a small layer of bone meal. Make sure that parsley is grown around 1 foot away from each other when grown outside. The parsley should get around 6-8 hours of sun but also have access to shade for some part of the day as well. Fertilizer should be applied monthly to encourage plant growth. Once again, the soil should be kept moist, but not wet. Parsley is biennial, so it will turn from an herb to a plant once seeds are produced.
If planting from seed, you must do so around March in a warm and sunny area. After the frost is over, you can move the seeds to their final place, 30 centimeters apart. After a few years, dig the thyme up gently and separate the plant up into 3-4 pieces to replant. There is very little care needed to grow this type of plant, unless soil is very dry, in which a bit of water will help. They should be ready for harvest in July.
There are two types of garlic: hardneck (cooler climates) and softneck (warmer climates). Garlic needs to be grown in full sun to ensure large bulbs and fast growth. Make sure the soil is not overly wet, or the bulbs may rot during the winter. Ideally, one should plant garlic in the fall around October. You should dig deep into the soil to avoid waterlogging. A slight amount of bonemeal mixed in can also prevent this. Fertiliser should be added at the end of March and in May. Remember to keep the soil moist by watering more in the drier months. When the foliage is yellow-brown, it is the perfect time to harvest your garlic. When harvesting, do so gently to avoid bruising.
Growing herbs takes time and patience. These herbs, however, are easy to maintain and a great way to get started in gardening due to their hardiness. They're also great to use in every day meals and cooking. Many herbs, including parsley and thyme, can be dried and stored for future use during the winter season. With the basics of herb gardening down, you can then move onto more delicate herbs that require more upkeep.
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