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Margaret's Blog

 

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The Guide to Herbs

Gardening and cooking with herbs is becoming more popular every day. There's nothing like the taste of herbs picked fresh from your own garden! They're so easy to grow, whether in beds, borders, containers or on windowsills and with our full range of herb plants at Griffins growing your own herbs has never been easier. Many herbs can also be grown all the year round and will save you buying expensive supermarket produce. Follow Margaret s easy guide to learn how to grow your own herbs.

Herbs in Containers: Growing herbs in pots and containers is a great way to grow fresh produce if space is limited. Place them outside your back door for easy harvesting when cooking! Choose relatively deep pots and make sure the container has drainage holes and is raised up on bricks or 'pot feet' to prevent water logging in the winter. The best compost to grow herbs in is Westland Multipurpose John Innes. Feed your pot-grown herbs regularly with a tomato feed throughout the growing season, following the manufacturer's instructions. Over-feeding can cause the leaves to lose their pungent flavour so don't be too generous. One of my favourite house warming Gifts is a beautiful pot filled with Herbs.

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Growing Herb in your garden and raised beds : Growing herbs outdoors in a dedicated herb garden makes harvesting easier and will create a rich scent on hot sunny days! You could make a herb garden quite ornamental by combining the silver-grey foliage of lavender  or sage with the blue flowers of borage and the movement of dill and fennel There are also great variations in foliage colour with herbs such as thyme , Mint.Herbs also make a great addition to flower beds and borders if you don't have the space for a dedicated herb garden. Try using low-growing herbs such as Chives and thyme as an informal edge to a path. Herbs such as thyme and Corsican mint can also be planted in the gaps in paving and patios and will withstand light foot traffic; releasing their delicious scent when walked on. The tall, feathery foliage of fennel looks good in a herbaceous border and the yellow flowers are attractive to bees and butterflies. Always ensure your herbs are grown in a well drained and sunny position

herb bed

Growing herbs indoors is convenient for harvesting and great for those without gardens. It also extends the season for annual herbs so you will have fresh produce all year round! Suitable herbs to grow indoors on the windowsill include chives, parsley, Basil, Coriander, Dill and Mint. Grow on a sunny window. Water well when dry and enjoy your culinary delights basil is best grown indoors in a sunny position. The plant is a tender so treat it with a little extra love and it will reward you with a fresh floavour all summer long.

General care

Herbs are relatively low maintenance unless they are growing in containers where they will require routine watering and feeding. Good Drainage and a sunny position are the two keys to a good herb bed. Trimming herbs in the spring will encourage a flush of new healthy leaves. It's also best to dead-head your herbs as the flowers start to fade to channel their energy into leaf growth. You can trim shrubby herbs such as lavender and thyme .

 

My favourite herbs to grow are Parsley ,Thyme, rosemary, Coriander, Mint, ,Spearmint, Sweet Bay, Lemon Balm, French Tarragon. With this selection you will have most recipes covered

Harvesting and storing herbs is quite easy, Herbs are best harvested in the morning before any essential oils evaporate.Harvest no more than one-third of the plants at a time

Air drying herbs is not only the easiest and least expensive way to dry fresh herbs, but this slow drying process also doesn't deplete the herbs of their oils. Cut a bundle of healthy herb, hang upside down in a warm dry room. Keep an eye on it, after tow weeks the herbs should be starting to dry out. When full dry store in an airtight container Herbs are excellent for freezing enabling you to enjoy their flavours all year round. You can either freeze whole sprigs in a freezer bag or freeze chopped herbs with water in ice cube trays.

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