By Lanie Espiritu
Is growing culinary herbs relatively easy? Is it easy? For me it is not easy, but since I love cooking, I chose to grow culinary herbs in my garden. A culinary herb is a plant without a woody stem that dies back at the end of each growing season. Herbs were once considered a gift of the gods. Today, herbs are popular in many home gardens where the leaves are used for flavoring or the entire part.
An herb garden can be grown outside or inside, depending on your needs, climate, and space. An indoor garden is very accessible and no weeding is required. Also, growing season is year-round. On the other hand, growing herbs outside has its own advantages. One can produce higher yields because there is more space. Usually, herbs grown outdoors are more flavorful.
Herbs need plenty of sunlight whether you choose to grow inside or outside. They need moderate temperatures and a soil or potting mix that drains well. Most herbs are native to the Mediterranean region so you need to provide them with conditions similar to that to make them flourish. You can grow herbs in containers in both indoor and outdoor garden. Location is most important if you choose to set up an indoor herb garden. The herbs need at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight every day.
Use an organic growing medium that is loose and drains well.
Soil Mix – Use equal parts of compost, sterile top soil and organic fertilizer like vermicast, rabbit manure, or over-the counter organic fertilizer.
Soilless Mix – This includes a combination of 2 parts peat moss, 1 part vermiculite/perlite, and coarse sand.
Culinary herbs grown in kitchen
Basil, coriander, dill, rosemary, and oregano can be started indoors and can be grown year-round. They can be placed in a sunny kitchen window so they can be readily available when needed. Perennial herbs like chives, parsley, sage, and thyme can be started from seeds.
Planting and propagation
Many herbs can be started from seed, but there are a few varieties (rosemary, oregano, mint, and basil) that are better propagated by means of cuttings or transplanting. Select healthy shoots that are not too thick or too thin. By using a sharp knife or pruning shears, cut a 2-10 inch section of a stem at least 1 inch below the leaf node and include 2 or 3 pairs of leaves. Make a diagonal cut; the larger the cut, the more surface area will be available for roots to develop.
The original article was first published in Agriculture Online.