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There are lots of reasons to get green-fingered when it comes to herbs: you can save money on your supermarket shop, know that your herbs are free of any pesticide nasties, say goodbye to bland meals, and know that you’re doing good, by boosting your meal’s vitamin value.

If you’re wanting to add a little life to your home or garden but don’t have the space – or inclination! – to nurture flowering plants, herbs can be the perfect remedy. And even better, they’re edible!

 

When and where? 

While there’s a cloak of mystery that befalls the great British weather, herbs can be grown inside or out.

If you’re set on an outdoor herb garden, plant your herbs between March and August, when temperatures are least likely to drop below freezing and you are more likely to get the most sunlight.

Most herbs are sun-worshippers, meaning a sunny spot for 4-6 hours a day will see them more likely to flourish. This can be either outdoors or inside; a windowsill planter can give your herbs their much-needed vitamin sun.

 

Which herbs? 

The humble herb has amazing transformative powers; even a little sprinkle can pack a punch and liven up the blandest of dishes. When choosing which herbs to grow, consider your tastes and what you would use them for. Below is a handy table of some of the most popular herbs and their uses.

 

HERB

USES

TIME TO GROW

Basil

Adds a little oomph to sauces, soups and sandwiches. Can be used to make homemade pesto. A taste sensation when paired with tomatoes.

5-10 days

 

Mint

The perfect garnish to a bevy of dishes, both sweet and savoury: lamb, carrots, peas and ice cream, not to forget home made Mojitos!

10 to 15 days

Rosemary

Use to add aromatic flavour to roast potatoes, lamb, pork and pizza.

10 to 42 days

 

Oregano

A Greek native, sprinkle on top of pizza and salads, or add to chicken dishes for a taste of the Mediterranean.

7-14 days

 

Sage

A mainstay of meat stuffings, sage is the perfect accompaniment to pork, turkey and sausages. A little goes a long way.

10-20 days

 

Coriander

The Marmite of the herb world, chop finely and add to soups, salads, salsas and curries.

10-15 days

 

 

How to grow your herbs 

There’s no magic formula for growing herbs, just some good old-fashioned gardening nous!

What you’ll need:

  •        Large pots with holes for drainage
  •        Compost
  •        Fertiliser
  •        Seeds

Whether you’re growing inside or out, it’s important for herbs to be well fed and watered. Sunlight and good quality compost and fertiliser make for healthy herbs, as does making sure your herbs don’t dry out.

Equally important is for your herbs to be able to drain off excess water as they hate sitting in water for long periods of time. If you’ve potted your plants, a layer of gravel beneath the compost will allow for this - make sure your pot has holes for drainage.

When sowing your seeds, you can create your own greenhouse by putting a clear plastic bag over your pot and place somewhere bright and warm for your seeds to germinate – like a windowsill.

Regular harvesting of your herbs encourages them to grow. Cutting the tops off taller herbs - even halving them in height - can help them to grow bushier with more leaves, which will yield even more herbs.

 

If you’ve got any tips for growing a healthy herb garden or recipes you use your herbs for, let us know on Twitter at @SatsumaLoans!

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