Herbs are used as medicines, for providing flavor to food, and for fragrance. The use of herbs can be traced back to ancient Egypt, China, and India.
Culture – how to raise herbs the correct way
Most herbs grow best in sunny locations. A soil that is almost neutral – pH value between 6.5 and 7 – is best for the growth of herbs. There has to be proper drainage in the area where you decide to create your herb garden because most herbs do not grow in wet soil. Herbs are not generally attacked by insects. Aphids and grasshoppers sometimes attack certain types of herbs.
You can grow several herbs by means of seeds and some others, by means of cutting, division, and layering (propagating asexually).
When you grow herbs from seeds, make sure you start in late winter by sowing them in pots indoors. Later move them outdoors once the winter is over so that there is no threat of frost. Another possibility is to directly sow seeds outdoors, in spring after there is absolutely no danger of frost.
The process of propagating flowers asexually by means of cutting, division, and layering, one needs to give special attention to each of these procedures. Cut just below a node to obtain a section that is 3 to 5 inches long. Once the roots are formed after two or three weeks, keep them indoors by a window for the rest of the winter. Once spring has started in full swing, one could move them outside. The idea of division is that each part of a healthy plant that is 2 to 4 years old has the potential to grow into a full plant. Layering is effected by making roots on a stem even when it is a part of the bigger plant.
Harvesting – which part of the plant do you pick?
In some cases, you harvest leaves. In some others, you pick flowers, seeds, and roots. Just as in culture, you have to be careful in harvesting too.
The harvesting time varies from flower to flower and it is some knowledge acquired by experience. The best time of the day to cut herbs is in the morning soon after the dew has evaporated from the leaves. Pay attention while removing the leaves from the stem and while drying the leaves.
Grow herbs indoors
Just as when they are grown outdoors, growing herbs indoors need good sunlight and appropriate drainage. Apply light amount of fertilizers and trim moderately for use and for attractive appearance.
Some popular herbs
Given below are some herbs that add a special flavor to your cooking.
- Bay Leaves
- Fiddlehead Fern
- Lemon Grass
- Horseradish Root