KEEP GOING, KEEP GROWING: The Botanist's top tips to grow your own garden herbs
Now that many of us are looking to be spending more time at home during these unprecedented times, there is never a better time to learn a new craft, expand your cooking skills and enjoy the simple things in life…
…like growing your own herbs! And the ideal time to start is whilst Spring is in full bloom.
Botanist by name, botany by nature. Our resident botanist (aka Bev), our brilliant Office Manager, shares her green-fingered secrets to growing your own…
First things first
Start by thinking about what you like to eat and grow the herbs you will enjoy cooking with.
If you love Thai food or fragrant curries, then coriander could be your go to. Or basil for Italian dishes. Tarragon is a must in my kitchen, along with flat leaf parsley and dill (pictured above, looking healthy in my garden!)
Or mint for Strawberry and Elderflower Mojitos anyone?
Location, location, location
The best part about growing herbs is that you don’t have to have a garden!
A sunlit windowsill, patio or balcony will do just fine too. The key is to ensure lots of natural light, which encourages growth and ensures your herbs can produce the oils required for flavour.
Ready, steady, pot
If you don’t have any spare pots, get creative with kitchen mugs, watering cans or make your own out of foil.
To make a head start, or for an easier option, select pre-potted herbs from a local garden centre or supermarket to begin with (many offer online delivery to your door).
But if you’re up for the challenge, and a more rewarding one at that, I’d recommend starting with seeds. One packet of seeds could last you all summer and save you in the long run!
You can then plant your seeds, or repot your herb plant, directly into a pot of your own with a small bag of seed compost.
Time for thyme
If you’re planting herbs outdoors, the best time to plant most herbs is in the Spring through to Summer, once the frost has passed.
Bring your pots inside in the winter to protect them and ensure fresher herbs for longer.
If you’re planting indoors, you can grow almost all year round! But ensure the area is not too cold in the winter (windowsills are often cooler than other areas).
Harvest your herbs
Harvesting your herbs regularly is key for ensuring strong growth.
In the right conditions, your herbs may be ready to cut after a few weeks. You can freeze your herbs to cook with at a later date.
Soft herb leaves taste great and add vibrant colour when added in the final stages of cooking. Stalks are best added throughout cooking to soften.
Why not take inspiration from our bartenders and use your herbs to make a botanical cocktail! For more ideas, explore our cocktail menu here
Happy herbs! Share your #PrettyPotProgress with us on Instagram @TheBotanistUK
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