Showing posts with label herb gardens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label herb gardens. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Growing, Harvesting, and Using Herbs

Even when it’s cold and wintery outside and the growing season for gardens is long gone, you can always have fresh herbs to cook with year round by growing them yourself.

What are the benefits of growing herbs?

It’s easy to do, allows constant availability to herbs, and can cut grocery expenses.
The whole family can get involved. (Check out this post.)
Even when your garden is dormant, you can benefit from growing and using herbs.

How can herbs be used?

Herbs have a variety of uses, some include:

1. Add to soups, salads, and stews for additional flavor.
2. The aromatic qualities of herbs make them great for decorative purposes in the home (wreaths and topiaries, for instance) or to adorn a gift.
3. Make great additions to personal care products. Example: Lavender is very fragrant and is known for its soothing and relaxing qualities. It makes a nice addition to soaps, lotions, and bath products.

Where can herbs be grown?

Herbs can be grown both inside and outside. For those living in an area that experiences seasons, potted herbs can be brought indoors during the colder months.  Check the specific recommendations for any herb you are interested in growing. Some herbs need plenty of sunlight and good drainage, so you’ll need to pick an appropriate spot for them to grow based on their individual needs.

How do you harvest herbs?

In some cases, as with rosemary for instance, you simply snip as needed, remove the needles from the stems, chop finely and add to dishes. For aromatic purposes, bundle the stems together, tie the bunch, and hang.  Check out more ideas at this site.

Why grow your own herbs?

According to experts, half the nutritional value of plants is lost within 30 minutes of harvesting. When you grown your own herbs, you can reap the most nutritional value.

Where should you start?

Here are a few considerations for starting your own herb garden:

1. Consider thyme, an herb that offers antiseptic properties and is often used to treat respiratory ailments. It’s practically calorie-free and provides a great flavor boosts to a variety of dishes. Thyme is a great option for indoor growing, as the plant is attractive and stays small.

2. Chives, dill, and mint are all easy to care for and may be grown indoors or outside. These greens may be added to a variety of dishes for extra flavor.

3. Basil is another great choice for those growing their own herbs. Used in a variety of dishes, especially salads and Italian meals, basil helps to detox the liver and is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. In fact, basil oil is often recommended for clear skin.

Where can you learn more?

Check out this site for valuable information on beginning herb gardeners, both indoor and outdoor herb gardens, and details on specific herbs. In addition, this source offers information, too.

Remember: whether you’re growing herbs from seeds, beginning with starter plants, or if your preference is growing indoors or outside, herbs are a great way to continue your love of gardening throughout the year.

Live Healthy. Live Smart