Posted: 27 Mar 2017
#New Home Create a herb garden in your urban space
If you live in a city and don’t have space to garden, then herbs are the perfect place to start. You can house them anywhere, they’re easy-to-grow and are low maintenance. Plus, you’ll have delicious herbs to hand for all your culinary needs.
1. Selecting your herbs – Growing your own herbs is a fantastic way to eat organically, as well as having a variety of fresh, home grown ingredients on available to use when the recipe requires. It may sound obvious, but it’s worth growing what you enjoying eating. Once you’ve drawn up your shortlist, you can then go and buy your plants/seeds. 2. Start with Basil – Basil is a great herb to start with. It’s easy-to-grow and difficult to kill. Plus, it grows pretty quickly, so it allows you to observe the effects of your care more easily. For instance, basil leaves wilt visibly when not watered enough, but recover well when you water the wilted plant. It allows you to work out how much water is exactly enough. 3. Grow from seedling/plant – If you’re a gardening novice, then make life easy for yourself and leave the seeds to the experts. Growing a seed to seedling is a more complicated process with greater room for error. We’d recommend buying a seedling/plant from your supermarket to kick-start your herb garden. 4. Analyse your environment – It’s also important to understand the space you’re working with, so you can select the herbs most suited for your environment. For instance, if you have a spot with direct sunlight, then basil and dill will work well. If you have a shadier area, then chives, parsley, mint, coriander, tarragon and oregano are better suited. 5. Utilise space – If you’re creating an urban herb garden, then the likelihood is that you’ve got minimal space to play with. If this is the case, then consider vertical planting to create more space. You can construct shelves to house smaller pots or hang planters from your walls or ceilings. 6. The importance of shade – Plants love sunshine. However, too much can lead to a herb-shaped disaster. If your plants receive excessive sunshine in summer, then provide them with a little shade. Too much sun can dry, or even kill, herbs. Coriander is a prime example of this. 7. Watering your herbs – Herbs require a moderate amount of water daily, unlike some houseplants that survive well on one heavy watering per week. This is particularly true in summer. 8. Prune early and often – It may sound counter-intuitive to cut your miniscule plant before it’s developed a larger form, however this will really help with the speed and quality of growth. Cut the herb just above a set of growing leaves, making sure to leave a few sturdy leaves on the plant. As it continues to grow, aim to cut it every 3-4” for a nice solid plant. 9. Picking your leaves – A common mistake is to start picking the larger leaves at the bottom of the plant. This is in fact, the opposite of what you should do, as these leaves are paramount to the plants growth. Aim to pick the smaller leaves at the top instead. Plus, there’s the added bonus that these leaves are even more delicious in your dinner party creations. 10. Soil matters – Using tired soil with no nutrients just ain’t going to cut it. What you need is the good stuff. Your plants will thank you for it. You can even try adding coffee grounds to your soil, as well as organic compost, to encourage growth.
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