Growing Herbs

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Showing how to make tinctures
list of herbs to attract bees on a daisy background

Growing herbs - well, if you're like me, you often set off with good intentions, which fall by the wayside - prey to other interests or responsibilites that take priority in your life.

The links below take you to individual pages for growing each herb - growing instructions and guidelines - rescue remedies for 'sick plants' and more besides.

After the individual growing herbs links, you will find some general information, different herb garden designs and tips.

Something that a lot of people say is 'Why Do Supermarket Herbs Die? I've made a short video which you will find interesting - the script and the video are linked by the photo below.

Herbalist Courses for all levels

You can try a sample lesson to help you decide if the Herbal Academy of New England is the right choice for you - click the link below.

Preview Lesson from the Introductory Herbal Course
spiral herb garden feature

Herb Garden Design - a dozen different ideas to inspire you to design your own herb garden. 

Indoor Herb Garden

Fabulous Aerogrow - the ultimate in indoor gardening - controlled heat, light and water - just harvest what grows!

Growing Herbs - things to consider

Container gardening which is perfect for herb growing - each can have its own little 'microclimate' BUT...

OK - you set up your lovely container, with 6 varieties of kitchen herbs. You have a few busy days and the weather turns hot and sunny... You haven't had time to water your plants - you're left with a shrivelled mess - too damaged even to put in jars and claim you've dried them!

Or say you're very good at watering your plants on a daily basis, but you go on holiday and the neighbours are away or forget or whatever and you come back to the same scene - shrivelled container of herb plants.

When I have the space, I prefer growing herbs in my garden - in the soil - that way, they stand the best chance of getting their share of water.

If I grow herbs in pots, then they're indoors - best place is near the kitchen so that you see them and it's not too big a job to remember to water them. I keep a plastic bottle handy topped up with water, that way, it's not too cold for the plants and it doesn't spill all over the place.

selection of flowering herbs

If I go on holiday, then I put them in a bath of water with my other pot plants - hopefully, they'll survive until I get home.

There's a link at the top of this page about growing herbs indoors.

You have to balance practicality with your ideal world.

In an ideal world you might see yourself as the earth mother - all things to all people - as near to self sufficient as you can be - but that's not practical in our modern society.

Earth Mother may have to go out to work - may have constant demands on her time - family, friends, social commitments - all these things cut into your time.

If gardening is your hobby, then it's very likely your herb section will get the attention it needs.

If it's not, then your herb garden could suffer from neglect and that's a terrible waste of money if your plants die.

Gardening is one of my hobbies - but I have many interests and currently, my garden is too small to make growing herbs worthwhile. I have made it virtually maintenance free but grow a few culinary herbs indoors.

In recent years I've found, that my houseplants don't do as well as they used to - I think it's to do with central heating and so I have just a few plants that are not very demanding.

selection of green leaved herbs

I'm not telling you not to bother growing herbs - that would be a bit like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving and Christmas - but I am saying, choose the best method of providing herbs for your own use, giving thought to your commitments.

It may be that you will opt to buy dried herbs - don't be put off by the snobs that claim dried herbs are inferior - they're not - but follow my guidelines on buying and storing.

You may decide to buy an occasional plant from the supermarket - a bought basil plant will provide exactly the same leaves to make the pesto sauce recipe here as one you've grown from seed yourself.

Nothing can replace herbs as a condiment - they are an essential part of enhancing the flavour of your food - you can't have parsley sauce without the parsley - you can't make pesto without basil - mint adds a delicate flavouring to new potatoes and peas - mint sauce without mint? None of this is possible.

Herbs also have wide and varied medicinal and cosmetic uses - use this Herb Guide to find the best way for YOU - not your neighbour who has a gardener, your mother in law who doesn't work or your friend who doesn't care either way.

Growing herbs is not the only way to get them is what I'm trying to say - you will find other ways

Rosemary Christmas Tree

Instructions on how to make a Rosemary Christmas Tree - makes a great centerpiece for your table and smells divine.

Window Herb Garden

A few ideas as to which herbs to grow when space is limited or if you just want to grow a few indoors.

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