We are all looking for new hobbies to spend our time at home. After all, we have fewer freedoms than we were used to over a year ago. Many people renovate their home or redesign their garden. Whether it is growing plants in pots, starting a vegetable garden or creating an herb garden: we are gardening en masse.
From tasty basil to fragrant lavender, growing your own herbs can really boost your garden and your cooking skills. Of course you can also grow your herbs in a pot and put them on the windowsill as decoration. But, how do you start a herb garden or "herb windowsill"? We’ll tell you how!
Why grow herbs?
First of all, herbs are very easy to grow. You don't have to be an experienced gardener to make the herb garden a success. It is also very good for the environment. When you grow your own herbs, you no longer have to buy the cellophane-wrapped fresh herbs from the supermarket. Often the herbs from the supermarket are spoiled after a few days, herbs that you grow yourself stay fresh longer.
You don't need much space to grow herbs. You can easily put herbs in a sunny spot on the windowsill or on the balcony. Finally, fresh herbs are also very tasty. And nothing is more satisfying than cooking with the herbs you have grown yourself!
When can I start planting?
Do you want to create a herb garden? Then you still have to be patient. It is smart to wait until the last spring frost. Wait until after Ice Saints (May 11-14), it is assumed that these are the last days in spring when there is sometimes still night frost. There are some herbs which you could plant a little earlier, but if you start the herb garden after Ice Saints, nothing can go wrong.
Most herbs can be grown indoors. The herbs that thrive better indoors than outdoors are basil, chives, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme. How nice is it to brighten up your windowsill with these beautiful green herbs? We recommend to start growing your indoor herbs early in March.
How long will the herbs stay fresh?
Most herbs only take two weeks to grow. So, you can enjoy your own herbs in no time. It is best to harvest the herbs in the morning when oils are sufficiently available. Do not try to only pick all the large tasty leaves from your herb, these are the power source of the plant. Take a mixture of small, new leaves and large, older leaves.
As long as you take good care of the herbs, many of your herbs will continue to grow for months. You can also make new plants by creating new cuttings of your old plants. You then cut a few stems from your herb plant. Make sure these are long enough, we recommend taking a stem of at least 10 cm. Put this stem in the water. Make sure that no leaves touch the water. It is better to cut the leaf off than to let it touch the water. Roots grow on this cutting. When the roots are clearly visible, you can put the plant in a pot with potting soil.
Which herbs cannot be missed in the herb garden?
In our opinion, there are a number of herbs that should certainly not be missing in your herb garden or herb windowsill: mint, parsley and basil. Why should these herbs not be missing?
Mint is a hardy herb. It can survive year round if you treat it right. There are different types of mint. But the most common are peppermint and spearmint. Peppermint has a strong, cooling aftertaste due to the high concentration of menthol. Spearmint is lighter and a bit sweeter.
How to use?
Fresh mint goes very well with fruit. Try it in combination with a fresh fruit salad or drizzle the mint over grilled pineapple. You can of course also make a delicious fresh mint tea with these mint leaves. Mint also takes your homemade Mojito to the next level.
In French and Italian cuisine, stock, stew and soup are often flavored with parsley. In general, the flat parsley has a slightly peppery bite, while the curly parsley has a slightly bland taste. Flat parsley is often used to boost the flavor of dishes and curly parsley is used as a garnish.
How to use?
Parsley is often used in vegetable salads because it gives a somewhat spicy flavor to the vegetables. In addition, parsley is a real seasoning for, as mentioned before, broths, stews and soups. Parsley also tastes good and completes a yogurt dressing.
Peppery basil is a widely used spice around the world. Basil is often linked to the Italian cuisine. You can find it in many Italian dishes, such as basil pesto. This herb is not only very popular in Italy, you can also find basil in many Southeast Asian dishes, such as in green curry.
How to use?
Basil is good friends with tomato, mozzarella, garlic, eggplants, artichokes, balsamic vinegar, seafood, and even strawberries. Basil is best known as the central ingredient of pesto, so we would definitely recommend making a delicious pasta pesto with this tasty herb.