Now that a good chunk of us are stuck at home most of the time and probably will be for several months to come, we’re all looking for hobbies and various other ways to keep our minds occupied.
I would never suggest that a global pandemic which has caused so much death, misery and financial disarray for people could be a positive thing, but if any silver lining can be gleaned from this whole mess, it’s that many people are exploring new and interesting experiences.
One of things that many people have decided to take up in this time is gardening. We aren’t really supposed to go outside for the most part, so our only access to fresh air and sunlight comes from our own gardens.
Gardening gives you a good reason to head out there more often and it also allows you to explore creativity and do something productive which can benefit you in a number of different ways.
The great thing about gardening too is that your age and level of fitness aren’t going to prohibit you from giving a try. Pretty much anyone can take up gardening if they want to. And another great thing is that you can turn it into something very functional.
It’s an opportunity to just have a very aesthetically pleasing garden, but you can also grow your own herbs if you want to. That’s a fun project to have and it’s great to be growing your own food because you always know it’s fresh and you know where it’s coming from.
Here’s some useful tips and tricks if you want to grow your own herbs at home:
Decide if You Prefer Indoors or Outdoors
I know that we’ve discussed the fact that people can use gardening in these times of lockdown to make sure that they spend some time outdoors, but in terms of getting the best out of your herb garden, it would be worth considering growing indoors.
First of all, it might allow you easier access to keep and eye on them and if the weather outside isn’t exactly favourable you wouldn’t have to go out into the rain to do any maintenance and make sure that your herbs are prospering as much as you’d like them to.
Speaking of the weather, growing herbs inside also means that you can probably do it all year round. Not every herb can be grown inside in every season but there are certain ones which definitely can’t grow outdoors in fall and winter.
Having an indoor herb garden allows for you to work around these seasonal limitations. You also will have to worry less about the possibility of pests. So indoors is definitely an option that has a lot of benefits, but at the same time, growing herbs outside is the ideal environment.
It also gives you the added benefit of sunlight and fresh air which you may not otherwise be getting so the choice is yours.
Choose Your Herbs
You have a whole world of different herbs to choose from. This all heavily depends on your personal taste so here’s a couple of the more popular options:
One of the most popular herbs out there. Parsley is great because it adds a great flavour to so many different dishes. It works well in various soups and sauces it can be used to garnish fish and chicken and it’s straightforward enough to grow.
The great thing about oregano is that it thrives just as well indoors as it does outside. It also has a ton of health benefits, being chock full of antioxidants, decreases your risk of cancer and fights inflammation.
If you’re making anything Italian, basil is your best friend. You can also use it to make pesto and anything that involves tomatoes is well-complemented by basil. It doesn’t last forever, you will have to replant instead of constantly relying on the same one but it can survive the winter indoors.
Rosemary is one of those herbs that actually thrives better in the winter months. It can still survive the summer of course but it will grow most efficiently when it’s colder. A great one to add to your white meat dishes such as chicken and pork.
Now once you’ve got your herbs selected, it’s time to start growing. You’ll need to get the right containers. You can grow them in pots but you have to make sure that they hold soil and they have drainage holds.
If you’re growing outside make sure that you plant them in a way that doesn’t inhibit them from sunlight. It shouldn’t be hard to find a sunny spot in your garden but just plant strategically because you could inadvertently sabotage some plants with others.
As for maintenance, you’ll need to water regularly enough especially during the summer when there is less rain. Don’t overdo it though. The soil just needs to be moist, it doesn’t have to be completely drenched.
You’ll also need to do a little bit of pest control. You might be dealing with caterpillars, slugs and other insects so this is highly necessary. Try to go for homemade, natural insecticides so that you’re not constantly spraying your plants with chemicals.
And then just know when the right time to harvest is. You’ll be able to see when it’s ready but try to harvest a little at a time because cuts encourage regrowth.
Like anything else, progressing in gardening takes time, effort and practice but it’s well worth it for all of the benefits as well as having your own personal source of herbs to enhance your cooking.