NOTE: This Years Theme is Herbalism!
I shall be concentrating a bit more on growing herbs during the 2011 growing season to support the herbalism hobby I have recently taken up. The herbal section of this website could become quite interesting over the coming months. See my additional notes towards the bottom of this page, or my new herbalism guide.
Herbs are great plants to have around – they look and smell wonderful, they provide you with nutrition and even healing. Herbs are usually fairly tough, hardy plants and will absolutely thrive if given the opportunity to grow in a good soil-based compost with good light.
Growing herbs will also extend the garden season by planting herbs indoors from seed.
Kitchen window sills and Window boxes are particularly useful as they can provide you with instant access to fresh herbs for your cooking needs, and a basic herb garden need not be difficult to set up.
Ideal growing herbs would include Basil, Parsley, Chives, Rosemary, Sage, French Tarragon and Thyme. You could also add mint (very underrated) to the selection. If grown in its own container, mint will not take over a plot as they do if left unchecked. Don’t forget there are different types of mint, not just for your lamb! There’s apple mint, peppermint & spearmint for starters.
Sun or shade?
Some herbs prefer full sun, while others appreciate partial shade, so grouping them in the right types will aid your growing success. French tarragon, sage, rosemary and thyme are all sun worshipers, while parsley, rocket and chervil prefer shade in the heat of midday.
Growing herbs in containers
Growing them in containers is very straight forward. You can use virtually any type of container you like, as long as it has some drainage holes in the bottom, and can hold enough soil to support the plants.
1. Line the bottom of the container with stones or gravel to assist with the drainage, and the aeration of the roots.
2. Add a good soil-based compost – John Inness potting compost is a particularly good one. Try to avoid peat based soil. Soil-based compost is also much better at retaining moisture thus more efficient at preventing your containers from drying out.
3. Plant your seeds or plants putting the bigger plants to the middle of the container and the smaller ones towards the edges. Make sure you do not overcrowd them. Overfilling with too many plants will put stress on them and impair the growth of your growing herbs.
It’s better to water them in the morning to help prevent the
drying out through the day, but do keep an eye on your moisture levels. herbs do not like being allowed to dry out. Feed your herbs once a week during the entire growing season, and you will enjoy an abundance of fantastic herbs whenever you need them.
All Year Round?
Some herbs will continue growing throughout the year. You can maintain them by removing any long stems or flowers during the winter months. If they start to go straggly, try dividing them up and re potting them to make additional plants.
Raised bed gardening is also another particularly good way to grow herbs
Growing Herbs and Herbalism will feature on this site during 2011
Herbs are not just good for cooking, but also for healing, and this year I have decided to take up herbalism in a major way. I have already created and stocked an apothecary with dried herbs to get me started, but during the coming growing season, much of my garden will be dedicated to growing my own herbs so that I can use them for remedies.
I hope to be bringing regular updates to the website in the form of a herbalism guide as well as publishing pages on herbalism, so watch this space!