Basic tips on herbs

Garden Life
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No matter whether in a salad, sauce or dip – herbs can add a sunny, tasty and intensive flavour to nearly every meal. We reveal six tips on how to plant, care and harvest herbs.

1. Cultivation

You can cultivate herbs almost anywhere: in pots on the window-sill, in flower-boxes on the balcony or just outside in the garden. A herbal spiral can also be an eye catcher in your garden. It not only looks good, but also provides optimal conditions for various herbs within a small place. You can sow herbs like parsley, dill, chive or basil. Just spread a thin layer of the seeds on some soil and keep this area moist so that the seeds are able to germinate.

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2. Repotting

A more convenient way to have herbs at home is to buy them in the supermarket. Nearly every supermarket offers herbs in pots. If you decide to buy such a herb pot, it is important to repot the plant in a bigger pot at home. This way, you make sure that the plant has enough space to spread out.

3. Watering

In order for the herbs to grow and thrive, you have to water them regularly. If you prefer Mediterranean herbs like thyme, marjoram, oregano and rosemary you don´t have to water them as much because they are accustomed to poor and dry soil. In contrast, chive, melissa, parsley and tarragon are very thirsty and need a lot of water.
In both cases waterlogging should be avoided.

4. Fertilizing

In general, fertilizer should be used very economically. If you fertilize too frequently, changes in flavour might occur. Should you want to fertilize your herbs, you should do this once a month.

5. Harvest

Harvesting herbs is easy. For most herbs you only pick the leaves. This applies, to basil and wild garlic. You can remove and use entire twigs on melissa, peppermint and tarragon. This works best when using a sharp knife or herb scissors. Keep in mind to harvest only the amount of herbs which you need to use.

6. Storage

You can store herbs in two easy ways: Either you dry them or you freeze them. If you decide to dry the herbs, just place them in a warm and shady place for two weeks. After this you should store the herbs in glasses with lids. If you want to freeze them, you need to clean the herbs first. Afterwards, chop the herbs very fine and put them in freezing boxes. Make sure that you use a single glass or box for every herbs species.
Both storage options ensure that herbs keep valuable aromas and ethereal oil.