Herb Your Enthusiasm

Starting to grow your own vegetables can be overwhelming, especially when you are starting from scratch and aren’t equipped with tools or disposable garden space. I think a great first endeavour for a new gardener, especially as we are coming in to some cooler weather, is a herb garden. Herbs are hardy, many can grow all year round and they are delicious. You can grow them inside or outside, buy the plants or grow from seed and you can chuck them in a pot/window box or plant them outside as part of a larger garden space. Gardening can be a lot of trial and error and because I want you to feel the soaring heights of garden success first up, here is, in my opinion, the easiest way to get started with maximum reward for you.

1.Pick about 3-5 herbs that you like eating. If you can’t decide then pick from my faves; basil, thyme, rosemary, chives and mint. Also many of these herbs have different breeds, don’t feel you have to stick to the classics. Pizza thyme is delicious.

2.With said herbs decided the next thing to ponder is location. For best results around this time of year I would plant into pots or a window box so you can have them inside through frosts, etc.

3.Get yo’ butt to the garden shop. You’ll want a garden shop that you look forward to going to. Oderings has never let me down. You’ll need potting mix and to buy the herbs you want as plants, not seeds. Seeds are cheap and tempting but starting out with seed is a bit of an ask and I don’t know you but you’ll probably fail. Generally speaking.

4.While you’re there, you are going to need pots/planting vessels with good drainage potential, a trowel, gloves and potting mix to do this in full. Potting mix can be very dangerous to handle so you must have a trowel and gloves as an absolute minimum level of protection.

5.Get home, get out your playlist and pump the Herbs. ‘Slice of Heaven’ is unbeatable. No arguing.

6.Make sure you are in an environment that can be easily cleaned down i.e. outside, and get everything you are going to need close at hand. Outside is ideal as potting mix should not be breathed in as it can cause Legionnaire’s disease. Wear a mask if you can or a tie a scarf around your face.

7.Half fill your pots with potting mix using your gloves and your trowel. Pat the soil down gently so that it is even without being too solid. If you are planting all of your herbs into one pot then dig fist sized holes where your herbs are going to go. Consider spacing and the potential for overgrowth, which can shadow other herbs and limit their growth.

8.Take each plant out of their current pots and loosen their roots. Be careful not to rip too many roots away from the plant but ensure the roots are going to be able to spread out in the soil.

9.One at a time, place your herb in its pot holding it at the level you want it to sit, and holding the base of the plant as you fill in the pot with potting mix around it. Try to keep the roots as loose and free as you can instead of compacting them down in the soil, and remember to not over fill your pot. Each pot will need at least 1cm of space at the top so it can hold water when you first pour it in.

10.Press down on the plant and soil in the pot so it is secure. Fill a bottle or a glass with water and gently wet the base of the plant until you can see that water is making its way to the bottom of the pot and coming out the other end. Without proper drainage these plants will rot and die pretty quick.

11.You are good to go! Place them somewhere where they will get as much sunlight as possible but are safe from harsher weather conditions. Keep watering them and start cutting and using them whenever you want. I’d suggest Googling the best way to take cuttings from the particular plant you have before you do it to keep your plant healthy. Also, many herbs love coffee grinds so if your herbs will be based in a kitchen area don’t be afraid to put a bit of water in the tail end of your plunger after your morning coffee and give it to your plant.

Bam. Done. Herb garden successfully nailed. I’ll chime in here occasionally with recipes for rampant herbs so that we are always giving our crop a good, delicious home. Any questions or requests for things you’d like me to have a look into then email me, I would love to hear from you. Also if you are feeling like bragging about your work on social media then please do! I’d especially love it if you used the hashtags #usegoodstuff and #gardenswag as these two things make me very happy.

E Cus out.


header image via http://naminhapanela.com

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