If you’ve never grown herbs, by all means, set aside a section of your garden, or borders along a path, or a little area not too far from your kitchen door for this useful, happy kind of gardening.
Scent Of Spicy Herbs In Your Garden
You’ll enjoy the scent of spicy herbs as you walk and work in your garden. And you will be delighted by the sight of colorful herb plants in your home.
A year-round supply, freshly picked in summer and dried for winter, can be harvested from amazingly few herbs planted in amazingly little space.
Most herbs are easy to grow, and as you pick, they multiply rapidly. The more flavorful leaves you pick, the more flavor the plants seem to want to give you.
What Is Important In Planting A Herb?
Sun is important, soil unimportant. Most herbs don’t require too rich or too specialized soil.
Set the plants in moist soil that has been spayed and raked. Water plentifully.
Great Growth Booster: Water-Soluble Plant Food
A good water-soluble plant food is a great growth booster, giving your herb plants extra vitality with a resultant superior flavor.
Herbs may be grown from seed, except tarragon (it doesn’t set seeds).
However, it takes so much longer for seeds to amount to anything that it is often quicker to buy small plants or obtain cuttings.
With young plants, shade them a bit for the first week, until they become established—if planted during hot weather.
Although herbs are at their peak of flavor when picked fresh from the garden, they’re also excellent when dried, providing seasoning throughout the year.
Here’s what you need to do when harvesting herbs:
- Choose a hot, dry day to pick the leaves just before the plant’s bloom.
- Leave the leaves out in the full sun until they wilt.
- Then take them indoors and spread them on an old-fashioned half-window screen in a dry, fairly cool place.
If none is available, make your own screen from wire or cheesecloth.
- Ensure the air can circulate under and over the leaves or seeds.
- Drying on a screen will be quicker than tying in bunches and hanging on a line.
- Remove leaves from stems and spread them out on the screen.
Stir daily, removing bruised, decayed leaves and bits of the stem until no moisture remains in any leaf.
Packing The Dried Leaves
Hand rub or work the dried leaves through a sieve before packing them in small, airtight wide-necked labeled bottles. They keep better this way, look neater, and are handier for the cook.
Here’s what to do:
- With seeded herbs such as caraway and anise, gather the seeds just when the pods seem at the bursting point.
- Cut them off to drop in a cloth-lined basket.
- Spread the seed heads out to dry on the screens used earlier in summer for the leaves.
- Dry them thoroughly, for about 3 or 4 days.
- Put the seeds through a coarse screen or sieve to remove the chaff. Then pack in bottles.
Planting In Apartment
If you live in an apartment prepare a box for your kitchen window sill and plant the following:
- Sweet basil
- Sweet marjoram
- Any low-growing herb
Planted boxes used at entrances or on terraces will have room for taller plants and a more garden-like arrangement.
A thriving herb garden will enrich your table and enable you to enjoy the beauty of interesting plants.
44659 by Mildred F. Bush