If you love to cook, there is a high chance you are open to finding the best herbs to grow instead of spending a considerable amount of money on fresh herbs every other week.
Whether you want to start gardening or you’re trying to save some money on groceries, growing your own herbs is a great place to start.
You may not have a green thumb, but with some guidance and knowledge of the best herbs to grow, you will turn into a gardening savant in no time.
Herbs make a great difference to meals, and there is such a glaring distinction between the fresh herbs you pick from your garden and the dried, worn-out version that has been sitting in your pantry for weeks.
When choosing herbs to grow, you have to consider the Australian climate, choose the ones that thrive in this weather and learn how to grow herbs. You don’t want to spend time and money catering to herbs that are not naturally inclined to our climate.
This post will explore six of the easiest and best herbs to grow at home.
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What is a herb?
Simply put, a herb is a plant with seeds, flowers or leaves that can be used for seasoning in food, perfume or even medicine. People usually have different reasons for planting herbs, with the most common ones being for food and herbal mixtures.
Some of the most common herbs are sage, mint, cilantro, basil, chives and parsley.
Six easy herbs to grow at home
Basil is a delicious and leafy herb that will take the taste and flavour of your Italian sauce or pesto to a whole new level. This herb thrives in the sun and will grow very quickly in the summer.
This herb is very easy to grow, and all you have to do is water the soil when it appears dry and harvest the leaves often, preferably before the flowers come in.
This is to enable the plant to focus on producing new leaves instead of blooming. You can pick the basil leaves as you need them; however, be sure to leave some of them behind so they can keep growing healthily.
Basil is perfect for the Australian weather. It’s low maintenance and will thrive in any garden. Be on the lookout for rot and fungus on your basil in the late summer months, as they are quite prone to these diseases.
A staple herb in many Asian and Indian meals, coriander or cilantro (as it is commonly known) is one of the best herbs to grow in your home garden. Coriander loves tropical weather with a lot of warmth and humidity. However, it does not do well in extreme heat.
This means it may not thrive in the summer but will love the spring and autumn. So this would be a great time to plant some coriander in your garden. Coriander is quite easy to maintain as long as you water it frequently and harvest the leaves as the plant grows.
Some people also like to grow the stalk for seeds.
You will hit the jackpot with coriander if you want to start your gardening journey by growing herbs in pots. This herb thrives in pots, and you can plant it with other herbs without any issues.
Chives love the sun but will also do well in the winter. They are very easy to grow, whether they are in herb garden pots, a window sill or your backyard herb garden. They will continue to thrive as long as you prune them often because they can get a little wild.
Also, when figuring out what herbs grow well together with chives, you have to pay attention to the others because chives can overwhelm a garden pretty quickly under favourable conditions.
Chives die back every year, but don’t be tempted to pull them out as they will return and bloom again in the next season. Chives add a subtle onion flavour to soups and sauces and taste amazing when added to dips.
Mint is commonly added to teas, salads, and even soups. Peppermint tea makes the perfect drink for a cold, gloomy day and can also calm your nerves before bed. Unlike other herbs that usually prefer the sun over the cold and vice versa, mint prefers a mixture of both, and they thrive in pots and gardens.
Mint is by far the easiest herb to grow. This is because you don’t need to water it often or fertilise it, and it thrives in any type of soil. One factor to note is that mint can be incredibly invasive.
It grows fast and will spread rapidly in your garden, threatening any other plant in its path. You have to be vigilant of how your mint grows and harvest it quickly to ensure other herbs are not being affected by its roots.
If you are looking for a herb you can grow inside, then parsley is your best option. Parsley loves the sun; however, it is a very versatile herb and will thrive almost anywhere you put it. The herb comes in two varieties; the flat-leaf and the curly leaf. You can choose one variety or plant both of them.
This herb is biennial, which means you will be able to harvest leaves in the first year and seeds in the second year. This makes the harvesting process a bit unique. During spring, in the first year, you can harvest the leaves that grow farther away from the stalk. In the second year, the root will be ready for harvesting during the autumn.
Parsley can be added to just about any meal and is an excellent garnish for many Italian dishes. It can also be combined with chives, coriander and lemon for the perfect salsa verde.
Fun fact: the root is the most flavoursome part of the parsley plant.
Do you love a good roast chicken, salmon or pork? Then you need to grow sage. Sage will thrive anywhere, but they love the sun, so it’s better they’re planted in your garden.
Also, this plant repels mosquitoes and other insects while attracting bees, so it will protect other herbs in your garden.
You only have to water sage when the soil is dry, and you can harvest the leaves on an as-needed basis. It thrives in well-drained soil, and it tastes amazing in pumpkin soup. It also adds a strong, amazing flavour to your stuffing.
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