Who does not love enhancing their meals with the delicious and exotic flavors of herbs? We have to be careful of the fat content of our diets, and many people find that herbs often take the place of fats and sugary sauces. Making a habit of cooking with healthful organic herbs is a great way to better health through flavorful, vitamin-rich meals that pack a lot of punch without all the unhealthy ingredients.
If you plan to use lots of herbs, you may want to grow your own herb garden. The money savings can be significant, as many herbs are expensive when bought at the store. Additionally, when you grow herbs yourself, you can be sure that you are getting food that is wholesome and free of pesticides.
You CAN choose to purchase herb plants from a nursery. But why do that when starting your own garden is so easy? You will get a great amount of fulfillment from communing with nature and caring for your own lovingly tended plants.
Starting herb from seed is easy. After selecting your seed, be careful to note the information on the packet. Some herbs are sensitive to temperature and other weather conditions. Be sure that you are planting in the right season and under the right circumstances as indicated on the seed pack.
You may want to start out with herbs that are virtually no-brainers when started from seed. The best are warm weather herbs that grow easily when simply broadcast over fertile soil. Good examples are Basil, Dill, and Coriander. As long as the risk of freeze is past, these three are very easy to grow. Just make sure that your bed or flower pot is well prepared, as soil preparation is the most important part of a successful herb harvest. The soil should be rich in organic material. It should be rich, dark and moist. Your bed should be in full sun (at least for these three herbs) and should be kept evenly moist with daily watering until your seeds sprout.
In the case of Basil, Dill and Coriander, no fancy planting need occur. Just scatter! Toss seed right on top of the soil. Honestly, you do not even need to worry about spacing or depth; as long as these seeds are placed near the surface, they will not be too fussy. Just scatter and give it a good watering. The gentle force of the water will push the seeds down enough that they have a light covering of soil to protect them and keep them moist until they germinate. Now you need only water, watch, and wait.
In no time you will see sprouts. Once your plants have several sets of leaves, carefully snip off extra plants so that there are several inches of soil between each plant. This will allow them to get the light, air and nutrients that they need.
The best part of growing from seed is that with many herbs, you’ll only need to plant one time! Herbs such as Coriander and Dill will readily re-seed themselves season after season. In late fall when your herbs set seed, do not harvest them all; allow some to remain on the plant and drop into the soil as the plant dries up. Without you doing anything at all, when it warms up the following spring you will see your beloved herbs popping up around the garden when they are ready to show their lovely green leaves once again. If you consider planting perennial herbs, you’ll find that starting your herb garden from seed may actually be a one-time project.
Even if you’ve never considered yourself to have a green thumb, you can still do well with herbs. You can grow herbs such as Chamomile and Mint for teas, or herbs such as Tarragon, Rosemary, and Oregano for cooking your favorite savory dishes. Give it a try. You have very little to lose by growing from seed, and you have a tremendous amount to gain.