Herbs at Home

The love of Gardening is a seed that once sown never dies.

 

 

Its a great pleasure growing herbs at home. Even if we are living in the city without a garden, its no problem, herbs can successfully be grown in containers on the window-ledge. Growing your own herbs is a wonderful way to connect with nature giving us healthier air, better quality food and tee and an overall in tune and aligned life.

 

 

Getting Started!  

Whats needed:

  • Small Plant Pots or Yogurt Cartons.
  • Potting Soil preferably organic.
  • Selection of Seeds.
  • Water.
  • Remove a portion of potting compost/soil from the bag & break it down, carefully removing any small twigs or stones that may have found there way in the bag. Hand mix the earth turning it into a good tilth.

 

 

  • Fill some small plant pots/yogurt cartons(with a few holes pierced into the bottom of the carton) with the earth, lightly pressing the earth into the pots. A piece of cardboard can be placed at the bottom of each pot which enables drainage of water but also prevents the earth washing out the pots during watering.

  

 

 

  •  Select some seeds, check the list below for help, go for organic seeds.

 

 

  • Carefully and with good positive intention set the seeds just under the earth. The best way is to simply plant the seed as deep as the seed itself, so if the seed is 2mm, plant it 2mm deep. Sow about 5 - 10 seeds per plant pot.

 

 

  •  Now its time for the watering which is best done with a mist sprayer, thus saturating the earth but because of the extra fine spray the seeds positioning isn't disrupted.

 

  •  If a number of different types of herbs are being grown the pots can be labelled, to keep things in good order. 

 

 

  • Seed germination can be speeded up, by investing in a window ledge greenhouse.

 

  •  Another tried and approved tip, is to secure a plastic food bag over the plant pot with plastic band. Cut a few small holes in the top of the bag, to assist the ventilation, this should produce the correct micro climate enabling seeds to germinate fast.

 

  •  After a week, the first feeder leave should be growing, when the small plants reach about 8cm, transplant the young plants to bigger pots or directly into a suitable site in the garden. Kebab sticks, or small bamboo canes can be used to secure and stabilise the young plants.

 

  •  The growing tips of some plants such as basil can be pinched out after some weeks thus creating a more bushy plant, producing more leaves. Although other plants are not so happy with this method, for more information don't hesitate to send me an email, with any queries.

 

Final thoughts... Rain water, pond water and river water is much better quality than tap water for all indoor and outdoor plants. If anyone is living in the city and its not possible to collect rain water, let the tap water stand in open bottles for a minimum of 24 hours before watering the plants which gives time for the heavy elements such as chlorine, and limestone which blocks plants veins to evaporate. Try to position the herbs in the sun preferably south or west facing. The plants will produce more foliage the more hours of sunlight the plants can obtain.

 

Best five for the window ledge

  • Basil Ocimum basilikum easy to grow from seed, thrives in South or West facing windows.
  • Oregano Oreganum vulgaris can be easily grown from a plant cutting, enjoys a sunny position.
  • Thyme Thymus vulgaris can be grown from seed, enjoys sunny windows.
  • The marvellous Sage, Salvia Officiinalis can be grown from seed, enjoys much sun, can be grown the window ledge but prefers the outdoor garden.
  • Peppermint Menthe piperita very easy to grow, from seed or cuttings rooted in water, enjoys sun and much water. 

Five for the outdoor Garden

  • Lemon Balm Melissa Officinalis Wonderful citrus aroma, makes the best tea and is great in leafy salads, can be grown indoors but doesn't like it, preferring the great outdoors.
  • Chives Allium tuberosum can be grown from seed or by separating a mature large plant into two or three pieces.
  • Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia, This plant creates harmony and relaxation, and planted next to roses it keeps greenfly and other pests at bay.
  • Parsley Petroseminum crispum, wonderful aroma, great taste, many different varieties, seeds can be grown on the window ledge and young plants transplanted outside.
  • Bay Tree, Laurus nobislis, beautiful aromatic tree.

Give it a try, plant your seeds and watch them grow, they bring much enjoyment, great tastes and an overall feeling of success.

 

Peter C. Feb 2017