Growing Herbs From Seeds
If, like me, you enjoy eating as much as gardening then you’ll probably be a keen grower of herbs. They’re easy enough to grow and they can transform your meals into something truly special. In fact there’s a herb for every cuisine. Like their own unique flavours, each herb has an individual growing requirement and by following their personal needs you can create wonderful things within the garden as well as in the kitchen.
A Taste Of Italy
Think of Italian cuisine and Basil and Oregano will probably spring to mind; perfectly combined with Tomatoes they create outstanding pasta sauces or give an extra dimension to your pizzas. Oregano, with its warm, bittersweet flavour, gives a tomato sauce a rich, deep flavour whereas the aromatic and slightly peppery taste of Sweet Basil cuts through the tangy sweet flavour of the Tomato and when combined with the creaminess of mozzarella, culminates in one of the most unique delicious flavour combinations in the culinary world. Growing these two indispensible Mediterranean herbs couldn’t be easier.
How To Grow Basil From Seed
Basil seeds are best started off indoors about four to six weeks before the last frost, You can, of course, can sow them all the way through the year if you are growing them in a pot inside. Mix up a medium that comprises of equal parts vermiculite and peat then fill up pots eliminating any air pockets as you go. Water the pots and sow one to two seeds per container, covering lightly with soil followed by cling film to keep the growing environment moist. Place them in a warm sunny spot and water twice weekly. Once the shoots appear, remove the plastic and continue to water. Wait until the plant is about 6 inches tall before you start taking the leaves.
How To Grow Oregano From Seed
Oregano seeds are best sown in situ after the risk of frost has passed and the weather starts to warm up. Find a well draining site in full sun and create a fine tilth, removing any large stones and weeds as you go. Sow the seed thinly, about 15cm apart, don’t worry if you spread the seed too thickly as they can be thinned out latter. Cover with a fine layer of soil and water well. When the shoots appear thin out accordingly and water only when the soil is dry.
There’s nothing more satisfying than a home cooked roast dinner and the perfect herbs to accompany it are Rosemary and Thyme. Both these herbs work really well with many types of meat such as lamb and chicken as well as roasted vegetables and potatoes just wouldn’t be the same without them. Another great use is to infuse oils; really simple and effective and tastes great when splashed over a summer salad with balsamic vinegar. Not strictly British cooking but delicious nonetheless.
How To Grow Rosemary From Seed
Although Rosemary plants are best propagated from cuttings they can be sown from seed. The key to getting the best results is to sow them early under protection; they take a long time to germinate so by sowing early you can illuminate chances of crop failure. However they are large plants when fully established so unless you have a huge garden you only need a couple of plants. To give your seeds the best chance, soak them in water for a few hours first. Add the seeds into a shallow dish and pour in enough water to just cover the seeds. Fill cell trays full of well draining seed compost and sow a few seeds per compartment. Lightly sprinkle with compost then spray with water and leave in a warm spot, covered with clear plastic. Once 3 inches tall, transplant into individual pots and place in a spot with plenty of light.
How To Grow Thyme From Seed
Much like Oregano, Thyme can be sown in situ after the risk of frost has passed and the weather starts to warm up. Sow the seeds in a well prepared, well draining site in full sun by creating a fine tilth, removing weeds and stones. The seeds should be sown thinly and covered with a fine layer of soil. Water them well and when the shoots appear thin out accordingly.
The world of herbs is huge and varied. Many species have many cultivars and it’s just a case of finding the ones which suit your cooking style as well as the way you garden. But when you do you’ll be rewarded with a taste sensation in the kitchen and a delight in your garden.