Top 5 Best Herbs: Garden Herbs You Can Grow In Home Herb Gardens.
In addition to adding delicious flavour to your cooking at home, the best herbs smell fantastic, add colour and can also provide many health benefits. Plucked straight from home herb gardens, fresh garden herbs can be ground up using a mortar and pestle to create zesty salad dressings or marinades and can be used in cooking to add interest, colour and flavour to the meal.
Whether you have a green thumb or not, garden herbs are relatively easy to plant and take minimal effort to maintain. You might like to consider what herbs you use frequently in your kitchen when deciding what herbs to plant in your garden. Five of the most commonly used and easy to grow herbs are parsley, basil, mint, chives and coriander (also known as cilantro). Using the five best herbs that are commonly used for cooking as the core of your herb garden will help you to build a strong base for your edible garden, allowing you to add your other favourite herbs as you choose.
Parsley is a green leafy herb that can have either flat or curly leaves. It is used to add flavour, aroma and colour to many recipes. It also contains vitamin B, vitamin C and vitamin K. Parsley is generally a biennial herb, which means it will last for about two years and will then need to be replaced. It enjoys part to full sun and moderately moist soil that is well drained.
Basil has broad, soft leaves and a beautiful aroma. Basil is perfect flavour compliment for tomato based dishes and is often used for adding flavour to many in many Italian dishes, including pesto sauce. Basil is an annual plant that can be easily grown from seed or seedlings. It can be planted in the ground or in pots and will thrive best in well drained and sunny soil.
Mint leaves add a beautiful scent to your garden and are also used in cooking or as garnish. Mint is well known for it’s antiseptic qualities and can be used as a mouth freshener. Mint will grow in almost any conditions but it can be very invasive. To stop it from taking over your garden it is ideal to plant mint in a pot or a bucket (the pot can be buried into the ground so it can’t be seen if you like).
Chives belong to the onion family and have a very delicate flavour. Due to the chive’s soft hints of garlic and onion, it is often used to flavour foods, especially bland foods such as potatoes. Chives are best harvested from an existing plant or as seedlings. They are a perennial plant that will regrow after you take cuttings. Every three years or so the chives can be divided into smaller clumps and replanted.
The lace-like green leaves of the coriander plant have a strong scent that is often used in dishes to add flavour and prolong the life of the dish. While dried coriander seeds are also used in cooking, the leaves are thought to have the highest levels of anti-oxidant and antibacterial properties. Coriander grows best in well drained, slightly moist, sunny patches of soil in the ground or in pots.
Herb gardens are relatively easy to set up and care for; making an ideal outdoor activity for entertaining children with too. When planting from seeds or seedlings, be sure to read and adhere to the planting and care instructions for each individual herb. In general, most herbs need sunlight, good drainage and require daily watering during dry weather. While a little bit of potting mix offers a great start for your herbs, be careful not to add too much compost or manure as this will sacrifice flavour for rapid growth.
Not only do herb gardens provide instant access to your favourite fresh garden herbs at all times, they can also save you money! With low start-up costs and low maintenance requirements, taking herbs from your own garden can reduce your need to buy expensive herbs, dried or fresh, from the supermarket. Having a herb garden can also be a great way to relax, get some sunshine and even get children involved in the gardening process. As well enjoying the fun of digging, planting and watering they will be sure to get a kick out of picking and eating the freshest, best herbs they have ever tasted. In addition to being readily available whenever you need them and saving you money, you will also be likely to enjoy the aroma and appearance that the parsley, basil, mint, chives and coriander provide to your garden.