Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Used to add flavor and scent to different cuisines, herbs are best prepared fresh. What better way to do this than by plucking them right out of your own herb garden? Start with these five easy-to-grow herbs that are favorite ingredients for several dishes.
Usually used in Italian dishes, oregano is a member of the mint family. The plant requires full sun and rich and fertile soil. Spacing between each plant should be around eight to ten inches apart. To promote better growth, trim the plant before it flowers. The ideal time is around five to six weeks after it has been planted.
Best known as the primary ingredient in pesto, basil comes in different species and varieties. Plant it in fertile and well-drained soil in an area that is exposed to direct sunlight for at least six hours everyday. Moisture and warm soil temperature are important factors to keep your plant healthy, so add mulch over the soil surface as needed. At six weeks, pinch the tip of the basil plant to promote side growth and bushiness. Bacterial rot, which often grows on the stem and leaves of the plant, may occur. Avoid this by spacing your basil plants about ten inches apart, making it easier to dry after watering.
A shrub that comes in all shapes and sizes, rosemary may be planted in small containers or used as a hedge in gardens. The rosemary plant needs full sun and well-drained soil. Trim back two to three inches of the plant during the growing season, to promote growth and bushiness.
Thyme is another herb commonly used in cooking, particularly for red meat, poultry and fish. Plant thyme in an area with full exposure to sun and well-drained soil. You may use seedlings or plant cuttings for planting thyme. Spacing between plants should be nine inches. And remember, don’t overwater your plant, as this may cause the plant to rot if it’s in wet soil for too long. - Aislinn Kee