Fresh herbs will scent your kitchen and garden beautifully and give every meal an unmistakable taste and freshest. Don’t rely on supermarkets and grow your herbs at home and in the garden. Better, tastier, and cheaper. We will show you practical tips on how to grow herbs in original ways. Fresh herbs – How to grow them
Table of Contents
Why grow fresh herbs: Benefits
Why grow fresh herbs at home and just don’t go shopping or shopping at the market?
- You have a perfect overview of the seeds and fertilizers used
- You can grow more species than you can get in the store
- Fresh herbs in a stylish pot are beautiful decorations
- Pluck fresh herbs as needed
- Most herbs also have health benefits
- You get better quality at a lower price
- Home cultivation is more organic
A manual on how to grow the most common herbs. Even in the apartment or outside the window
To keep fragrant plants happy as long as possible, place them in a sunny place. Water them sparingly, mist in the dry air, and don’t be afraid to prune them, because that’s the only way to keep the plants in a nice compact shape. By occasionally turning the flowerpot, you will support regular growth. Perennial species can be grown in pots as annual plants.
You can sow parsley, chives, and basil over and over again, so you always have fresh species for salads and soups on hand. The spicy aromas of rosemary, sage, and thyme are used in cooking, but their essential oils also smell the room, even if you just wipe the leaves.
There is room for fresh herbs in every kitchen. You can place them on a window sill, kitchen countertop, or shelf. To save space, place them in hanging pots or fasten them to the wall in containers. Remember that herbs grow faster the more light and alive they are. It is ideal to grow them outdoors in the air – on the balcony or terrace. If you own a garden, you can plant the whole herb corner right away.
Tips on the 11 best herbs for growing at home and in the garden
Wondering what herbs to start growing at home? These eleven are great for the herb garden and the window sill. Choose for yourself which you like, smells and maybe in the kitchen or for skincare.
Grow fragrant chives at home and chop them into fresh bread with butter or eggs in a glass. She thrives on the kitchen sill and in every garden, she even manages colder foothills without any problems.
Demands and reproduction: chives are an undemanding and very adaptable plant. It thrives best in calcareous, humus-rich, and moist soils, in sunny to semi-shady places. It is propagated either by sowing in boxes from February to March, or on outdoor flower beds from April to May. Please note that the seeds are only germinating for one year. You can divide three to four-year-old bunches.
- Care: water the frequently cut chives or fertilize the hardened plant with liquid fertilizer. Spread ripe compost in spring and autumn.
- Harvesting and processing: you can harvest tubular leaves approximately six times during the growing season. Always cut only half of the bunch. The delicate aroma and green color are preserved only by freezing. It loses a substantial part of essential oils by drying.
- Use: chive scent suitably complements cottage cheese, eggs, soups, potato dishes, salads, and vegetables. The leaves contain vitamin C and many minerals.
Mint is suitable for colds and in the summer for a refreshing drink. Especially in fruit or vegetable salads and in combination with cinnamon and other herbs. The advantage is that it retains its distinctive taste even after drying.
Demands and reproduction: mint thrives best in light shade and on moist, humus-rich soil. If the soil is not too dry, it grows in the sun. Propagate peppermint by separating the underground protrusions or dividing the plant in the spring, as it does not produce any seeds.
- Care: Plants should be planted in pots to reduce lush growth, or planted in open spaces between shrubs. In the summer, prune the mint deep to encourage the formation of new juicy shoots in the kitchen. We knit regularly and carefully. In harsh positions, it requires a light cover of leaves or twigs in winter.
- Harvesting and processing: you can harvest fresh leaves continuously. For drying, cut the shoots shortly before flowering to a height of 20 to 30 cm. Dry them either quickly in a shady place in a draft or in a dryer at 40 ° C.
- Use: the leaves are added to refreshing drinks, ice cream, and chocolate puddings, in Europe and in soups and sauces.
Rosemary has a long season, you can use it from May to October. When grilling, you can use it for every type of meat, including fish, baked potatoes, and vegetables. You can also add a few sprigs to the herb butter or homemade pastry dough and prepare a great flavored olive oil or tea for colds.
Demands and reproduction: require permeable, sandy soil and a protected, sunny and hot place.
- Care: in warm parts of Europe, rosemary is a winter-hardy plant. In Central Europe, where there is a risk of severe frosts, transfer rosemary to a cool, frost-free, bright room in late autumn. Cut older plants in the spring (maximum by a third).
- Harvest and processing: the leaves are harvested during flowering from June to August. Dry in the shade or in a dryer at 40 ° C. Store them in dark, airtight, cool containers. You can pick up the ends of the shoots throughout the summer, dry them or load them into oil or vinegar.
- Use: boil the sprigs of rosemary with the dish and at the end of cooking to level them out of the dish. Use finely beaten them in smaller quantities. It is a typical spice for lamb, roast fish, pasta, sauces, pizza, and other Italian and Spanish cuisines. It is part of Provencal spices. The flowers are used to decorate dishes.
People have been using fragrant as well as medicinal sage (Salvia officinalis) for thousands of years – either for flavoring food or for its health benefits. In addition, sage grows year-round and you can use it fresh, dried, whole, and in crushed form. This herbaceous herb is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and also contains a number of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances.
Demands and reproduction: require permeable, sandy soil and a protected, sunny and warm place.
You can also plant it in sloping places, from which the water drains faster. The herb lasts in one habitat for up to ten years, so choose your habitat to grow carefully.
- Care: cut the sage deeply in the spring (by a third at most), then form a bushy shrub with many juicy annual shoots. In the second half of the summer, after flowering, pinch it once more and cover it in the winter.
- Harvesting and processing: in the second year after planting, the plants have the highest aromatic content. You can pick fresh leaves all year round, but the best time is May to June before flowering and at noon. Only collect perfectly dry leaves for drying. Dry them in the shade in a thin layer or in a dryer at 35 ° C. The dry leaves must be green and silvery in color without black spots!
- Use: in the kitchen, sage leaves are added to stuffing and fish or inserted into poultry.
You can use Oregano to season sauces and pastries. When he takes his eyes off, be sure not to give up. Oregano falls over the winter to save energy, but in the spring the leaves re-grow on bare twigs.
Demands and reproduction: require habitat in full sun with dry, permeable soil. At the turn of March and April, sow the seeds directly on the outdoor bed on the soil surface. From February, it is also possible to pre-grow them on the window shelf.
- Care: prune older plants deeply in the spring so that they grow densely in the summer. He hates getting wet. In harsh positions for the winter, lightly cover with twigs.
- Harvest and processing: the leaves and ends of the shoots contain the most fragrant essential oils at flowering time, just before noon. Trim the flowering stem with the leafy part. By cutting a few shots close to the ground, you get new ones with juicy leaves. It is dried suspended or in a thin layer on thin sieves in the shade or in a dryer at a temperature of 35 ° C. It is stored in dark airtight cans. The flowering stem can either be frozen in a bag or loaded into the oil.
- Usage: Oregano is a typical spice for pizza. It also lends a spicy note to meat, pasta, and baked potatoes.
You can get thyme in many varieties. From the classic one, which is great for roasting rabbit meat or for flavoring French onion soup, through lemon-thyme seafood to cumin thyme, suitable for preparing cream sauces.
Demands and reproduction: thyme requires a place in full sun and dry, permeable soil. It is propagated either by direct sowing in April or by planting pre-grown seedlings from sowing in August or February. Plant the clips 20 x 20 cm either by the end of September or in the spring. Because the recumbent twigs of older plants can be easily seasoned, many new seedlings can be obtained by pruning rooted branches.
- Care: After flowering, shorten the shrub by a third, then richly grow new shoots. Although it tolerates drought well, protect the plant from cold winds and frosts.
- Harvest and processing: harvest the leafy leaves before flowering from May to September. A later cut usually causes the entire shrub to freeze. The leaves have the highest content of fragrant substances at noon. The stems dry quickly even in a higher layer in the air dryer. Dry in a dryer at 40 ° C. You can also load the twigs in oil.
- Use: in the kitchen, it belongs to pizza, to stuffings, to poultry.
Parsley is one of the most classic herbs, without which our grandmothers’ kitchen cannot do without. Chopped parsley belongs to butter potatoes, broths, and cream soups or sauces. Also, add it to homemade mayonnaise or grilled marinade.
Demands and propagation: parsley grows best in permeable, nutritious soil that is not freshly fertilized. It feeds on acidic and wet soils. Half shade tolerates better than full sun. Only add poor compost to poor soils. It is sown at the turn of February and March in rows at a distance of 20 to 30 cm and after emergence, it is unified at a distance of 10 to 15 cm.
- Care: mow in time and loosen the soil in rows. In the autumn, the engraved roots are planted in pots to speed up.
- Harvesting and processing: harvest the leaves for immediate consumption or for freezing. The leaves are dried in the shade or in a dryer up to 40 ° C.
- Use: parsley is a popular culinary spice for soups and many other dishes due to its aroma and valuable ingredients. Cooking parsley roots with other ingredients and herbs enhances their taste. Add the green parsley to the dishes shortly before finishing and let it boil briefly. Curly parsley is indispensable when decorating dishes.
Marjoram is another perennial. Potato pancakes, goulash, potato soup, pâtés, pulses… And that’s just the narrowest selection. You can also prepare fresh marjoram infusions to stimulate digestion and relieve headaches, coughs, or colds.
Demands and reproduction: requires full sun and dry, sandy soil with a little lime. Seed very fine seed in pinches in a bowl from March. It has been planted since mid-May.
- Care: As soon as the shoots exceed a length of 10 cm, shorten the plant so that it branches abundantly. Always prune the shoots in time before flowering, otherwise, they will have a bitter taste and the plants will quickly end their vegetation in our climatic conditions. With lighting and in a warm room, it can survive the winter in a pot.
- Harvesting and processing: shoots can be pruned throughout the summer at the beginning and during flowering, preferably in the early morning hours. You can freeze the leaves in bags or in ice cubes. Dry it in bundles or on thin sieves in a shady, airy, warm place or in a dryer at 40 ° C.
- Use: fresh, dried, or frozen leaves, ends of deciduous shoots, and flowers are used for seasoning. Marjoram is a popular spice for meat, legumes, tomatoes, and also in soups, pizzas, and potato dishes. Replaces salt.
Basil has been one of the most popular herbs for many years. With fresh basil, you will create a great Caprese salad, homemade pesto, taste sauces, and fine-tune pizza, risotto, and pasta.
Demands and reproduction: basil loves nutritious, humus-rich soil and a sheltered place in full sun. The seeds germinate only in a warm room or on a warm hotbed. However, young plants rot too easily in too dense sowings. It is best to sow in pinches in small pots. Plant large enough plants in the second half of May in an outdoor flowerbed or better in a spacious container.
- Care: cut the young basil in time about 10 cm above the ground, it will create a more bushy bunch. Fertilize regularly. The soil must always be moist. The pinching then prevents unwanted flowering (the plant then dies and has no choice but to plant a new one).
- Harvesting and processing: fresh young shoots and leaves are harvested into the kitchen. The aroma partially evaporates during drying. It retains more when loaded with oil or vinegar. To pickle or freeze, collect the leaves and leaves before flowering or dry them in the shade or at 40 ° C in a dryer.
- Use: basil has an intense taste and aroma, which intensifies even more with short cooking. Add it to the dishes just like green parsley just before the end of boiling. Fresh leaves are excellent in a salad of tomatoes, garlic, and mozzarella or white sheep cheese. Seasoning sauces, salads, butter, as well as pasta and rice dishes.
The fresh scent of lavender bushes caresses the soul and body of everyone around it.
The unmissable herb is popular for its unmistakable long-lasting scent, pleasant decorative appearance, healing, and soothing effects, and for its ability to repel unpleasant insects.
Lavender is inextricably linked to France, especially to the Provence region, where it is still grown on a large scale.
Demands and propagation: lavender requires dry, loose soil and full sun. It multiplies well by sowing in boxes in February and cuttings in July.
- Care: in the spring, keep the formation of new shoots. The deep pinching after flowering is important for the formation of flowers next year and the shape of the shrub. Winter protection is necessary for cold areas.
- Harvesting and processing: to dry and freeze, prune the inflorescences or shoots of the shoots just before the flowers develop. Dry in the shade or in a dryer at 40 ° C. For kitchen use, you can tear the leaves all year round.
- Uses: leaves pleasantly seasoned with fish and lamb dishes. The flowers are suitable for flavoring spicy jellies, vinegar, honey, and biscuits. Load the shoots in oil (for kitchen use and massage).
Lemon balm is one of the perennial herbs and deserves a place in every garden without debate. It is not difficult at all to grow it, on the contrary, many gardeners complain about its excess. It helps with headaches, insomnia, digestion relieves menstrual pain and relieves many other health problems.
Demands and reproduction: lemon balm is best suited to loamy to loamy-sandy soil, sun to mild partial shade. It is propagated either by direct sowing at the turn of June and July, or by pre-grown seedlings. The seedlings must be watered and lightly covered with needles for the winter. You can also divide bunches of lemon balm in the spring. Water them regularly before the plants take off.
- Care: in the summer, after flowering, the lemon balm should be cut deep so that it does not spread too much by self-seeding. At temperatures below -6 ° C, cover it with twigs. Fertilize plants that have been pruned occasionally and water them dry.
- Harvesting and processing: fresh leaves have the highest content of active substances. You can harvest young shoots and leaves all summer long, but you have to prune some shoots or part of the plant close to the ground in time. To dry, pluck the leaves shortly before the flowers open (June, July), preferably in the afternoon in colder and dry weather. Dry quickly in the shade or in the dryer first at 30 ° C, then gradually increase the temperature to 40 ° C.
- Use: young, juicy leaves are decorated with cakes, roulades, puddings, ice cream. Young shoots and leaves are added to refreshing cold drinks and bowls.
Winter resistant herbs
Many of the herbs we grow at home are annuals. They will last us one season and we have to plant them again the next year. But there are also herbs that you can grow at home all year round, or that you just have to winterize and come to life again in the spring.
Take home herbs that prefer a warmer climate, such as basil, lemongrass, or rosemary. Leave them at home in a cooler place and water them regularly.
Herbs that you leave outside must be covered, and covered with needles or at least covered with soil and mulch bark before the winter. This is how you take care of lavender, thyme, oregano, mint, and lemon balm.
When you harvest the last crop during winter, preserve the herbs, they will be useful to you in the kitchen. Each herb has a different way – some herbs just need to be dried, others are better frozen or even loaded.
How to dry herbs
Drying herbs is the easiest way to preserve them, but you do not always retain all the original flavors. When drying, it mainly depends on the amount. You can dry smaller quantities hanging in a bundle, in an oven, or on a tray in the sun. An herbal dryer will be useful for larger quantities.
How to freeze fresh herbs
To preserve the taste of some herbs, it is better to choose to freeze. Parsley, lovage, coriander, or basil will taste almost fresh after thawing. Before stacking them, freeze them gradually, spread them out in one layer.
What are the most common problems and pests of herbs?
The advantage of herbs is that their aroma repels most pests. But problems can be caused by aphids and mites. Special preparations from gardening will help you, but often also coffee grounds or natural extracts of chamomile and nettle.
Seedlings can die or thrive less for other reasons. Always watch for plenty of fluids, nutrients, light, and healthy, mold-free soil.
Beware of mold
If the humidity in the room or even in the outdoor area is too high for a long time, this leads to the growth of mold on plants.
You can also bring the mold home with the purchased herb in the pot. What with this? Prevention is important. There are special products on the market that protect plants from mold or prevent mold from spreading.
Choose a product that is safe for humans and animals, which is 100% natural, and can also be composted immediately after use.
“All the hills, the mountains, all the meadows and forests are natural
5 tips: practical use of fresh herbs not only in the kitchen
Herbs have many uses in the home. Some are obvious at first glance, but others may surprise you! Fresh herbs
Herbs in the kitchen
In some recipes, herbs are as irreplaceable as salt. Try to make the recipes special in them, in which you do not normally use them. Add fragrant herbs to pastries, biscuits, or tasty salads.
You do not have to use expensive essential oils for aromatherapy, you will often be satisfied with herbs grown at home. Rosemary, mint, lavender, lemon balm, and even basil can be added to your own flavor diffuser filling.
Contribute to your aromatherapy and amazing meditation music from our youtube playlist, which we have prepared for you HERE.
Natural herbal cosmetics
Herbs have many benefits for our health. We can use these benefits both internally, with the help of infusions or food, and externally. Make your own natural cosmetics with the help of herbs.
Cocktails decorated with herbs
You can also enhance summer cocktails with herbs. We all know mojito laughter. For example, fresh basil goes well with strawberries, thyme, and rosemary with special citrus drinks.
Why buy tea blends of unclear origin when you can make extracts of special herbs? Simply pour fresh or dried herbs over hot water and create an herbal infusion or prepare your own tea mixture in advance.
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