Nowadays, online shopping has made it easier to have everything on hand but the same can’t be applied to having fresh produce for meals or cooking. And with the ongoing pandemic that requires people to continue practicing quarantine rules, sourcing these ingredients can be tricky.
Having an organic herb-and-spice garden at home not only keeps things fresh but is also cost-efficient considering the add-on charges and efforts of driving to the store to buy herbs and spices.
Candice of mylittlegreengarden.com is a testament to that. According to her, raising her herbs and spices allows her to pick them fresh when she needs them while saving money and not being wasteful.
Not only do they add flavor to every meal but herbs and spices are also good for the body. An article from betterhealth.vic.gov.au states that “consuming herbs may help to prevent and manage heart disease, cancer and diabetes. It may also help to reduce blood clots and provide anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties.”
Herbs and spices often used in a Filipino kitchen include bay leaves, chili, ginger, garlic, peppercorn and lemon grass, to name a few. Others are basil, chives, rosemary, parsley, thyme and mint.
Follow these steps to successfully grow herbs and spices at home.
Lighting is key. Herbs and spices thrive in the sunlight so it’s important to find space in the house that would be able to give the herbs and spices at least six hours of sunlight (depending on what kind).
Signs that you’re are doing something wrong are usually when the plant shows poor growth, unusually long stems between leaf sets, small leaves and abnormally pale or yellow.
Make sure the containers have enough drainage. Do not drown the plant by letting it sit in water. Always remember, underwatering is better than overwatering plants.
Clay pots are recommended but make sure it doesn’t dry out too much. Put a saucer, liner or drain pan under the pot to avoid ruining the table top.
Harvest moderately. Picking off little by little is also beneficial to the herb as it promotes the growth of new leaves. Yield at least a quarter of the plant at a time using kitchen shears or by pinching the leaves off.
Transplant if you must. An indication that the plant needs a new home is when roots are coming out of drainage holes, if growth has stopped or if the plants become floppy. Move the plant to a roomier container.