Growing herbs for cooking

Herbs can make all the difference to a meal. There’s nothing more satisfying than adding herbs into the pot of food you are cooking, instantly smelling the beautiful aromas and knowing you have handpicked and grown your own herbs. Whether you have a small or big garden, or no garden, even if you live in a flat, you can grow herbs in your kitchen or on your patio in pots. There really are plenty of options for having a herb garden in your home. And, BONUS, monkeys tend to avoid a vegetable garden that features a lot of herbs.

Let’s take a look at what you can do and what you should know to get started 🌱.

Indoor herb gardens:

  • Firstly, you need to find some little pots (terra-cotta pots are a nice option), to plant your herbs in, you should be able to find these at your local hardware store (Mica) or nursery. If you have a large enough area, wooden planter boxes are also a great choice. Plant your herbs in separate pots and make sure they are not “overcrowded” and have enough air around them. Check that your pots or containers have good drainage in them, you don’t want them sitting in water. Remember to use a liner or drainage pan underneath the pot to catch the water so it does not ruin the surface it is on.
  • Then you will need to purchase some organic potting soil. You want to make sure that the soil will offer sufficient drainage so the roots can maintain moisture but not sit in water. Our Living Earth organic potting soil, which is available online or from one of our many stockists is great for growing herbs.
  • Here are a few great indoor herb options: rosemary, thyme, basil, chives, parsley, mint, bay leaf, dill, and sage. You can either plant your herbs from seeds, seedlings or bulbs/or sprouts. Growing herbs from seeds does take a lot longer.
  • Place the pots near a window that allows natural light in☀️, as your herbs need a decent amount of sunlight to grow. The benefits of having the herbs in pots or a planter box, is they can easily be moved around depending on the season and amount of sunlight.
  • The nice thing about keeping them in the kitchen is they will be easily accessible when you are cooking.
  • Water herbs about three times a week. If the soil feels a little dry then that’s okay for indoor herbs, you don’t want to overwater them. Check the guidelines for herbs when you purchase them.
  • Snip your herbs often, this normally encourages growth. Wait for the leaves to grow and then cut, (don’t over snip and leave them bare, you don’t want your plant to die), and enjoy them in your different dishes.

Outdoor herb garden:

  • If you are lucky enough to have the space in your garden for a herb garden, then lucky you! Choose an area that has enough sunlight. Make sure the area chosen is pretty level and can drain well. You also want to have them slightly sheltered. Plan your garden and get your pots ready if you would prefer to plant them into pots or planters, or if you live on an Estate and there are rules around planting.
  • Remember to keep your herb garden close to your kitchen so it’s convenient to pop out and grab a few herbs from the garden while you are cooking in the kitchen.
  • Make sure you have the correct soil. As mentioned above, our Living Earth organic potting soil is a great choice for planters and pots. If you are planting into the ground then mix a weed-free nutrient-rich compost with your current soil.
  • Choose the herbs you would like and cook with most often. Here are some herb options to plant: thyme, garden mint, oregano, sage, parsley, rosemary, lavender, and basil.
  • Once you have chosen your herbs, get your garden space ready. Prepare the ground, make any paving or pathways and any structural walls you want. Once soil and compost are mixed up, rake it, and get it ready for planting your herbs. Using the actual herbs, plan out what you would like your herb garden to look like before you start planting them. Sort them out according to size.
  • Planting time, get ready to get dirty! Loosen the herb bulb from the soil it is currently in, and water the herbs before planting into the ground. Plant them so the tops of the roots are just below the soil level. Pat the soil gently around the plant and then water well.

Take care of your herbs and pick and enjoy them often when you cook. Rosemary, lavender, thyme, basil and mint are also lovely to infuse drinks too