With the current situation we are facing, we tend to spend more time at home than ever. We might even exhaust ourselves with all the activities that we tried to keep the boredom away. One thing that you might be looking to try is gardening. After all, growing your own fresh herbs is way more satisfying compared to buying cellophane-wrapped herbs from the grocery store.
Growing herbs is relatively easy and the results are fantastic. Watching something grow from nothing to something alive and useful is really magical. In the fast-paced world we are living in, growing herbs will make you realize that everything has its own time and that it takes patience to grow something wonderful.
Which herbs can I grow?
For starters, perennial herbs are recommended such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, and chives as they are the easiest to grow. You can easily buy them at the local garden center. However, you can also try cuttings for herbs such as basil and mint. Take cuttings from the top growth of your mint plant, about 8cm. Place the stem in a glass of water. Leave in a light, airy place until the stems have taken root. It will root after a few weeks and then you can transfer it to a pot.
Things to remember when buying plants:
When taking plants home from the local garden center, make sure to check for aphids, spider mites and scale, these are most commonly found on herbs. If you find these pests, make sure to wash them with tepid, soapy water. To avoid these problems, avoid crowding your plants and make sure they each have sufficient airflow.
Where can I grow herbs?
There are two places you can grow your herbs. One is under direct sunlight, and if you don’t have a backyard or window for direct sunlight, you can use artificial or grow lights.
- In natural light - Windows facing South have the brightest light and most hours of sun. The best herbs to grow here are plants that come from tropical climates such as oregano, rosemary, bay laurel and thyme. For windows facing East and West, they only receive bright sunlight for about 6 hours a day. Good choices for these spots are mint, parsley, and chives since these herbs can live with less intense light and cooler temperatures.
- Under artificial lights - For places without direct sunlight, artificial or grow lights are available. Place the herbs within a foot away from the bulbs. For starters, have the lights on for 12 to 16 hours a day and adjust as necessary.
How to water herbs?
All herbs need to have the same treatment regardless of their size - which means moderate and regular watering. Saturating the soil is bad for the plants. Make sure that the topsoil is dry before watering them again.
What soil do they need?
Most herbs must have loose, fast-draining soil. Having a soggy soil can be fatal to the plants. Let the soil dry a bit before watering. Keep the soil slightly moist but not soggy. Make sure to fertilize once or twice a month.
Here are some products to help you get started on your own herb garden: