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If you fancy yourself a bit of an at-home chef, you’ve probably dropped some serious coin on expensive supermarket herbs.
If you have a recipe that calls for a combination of flavours it’s easy to clock $10 at the checkout on herbs alone, which isn’t the most financially sustainable way to cook.
The good news is that it’s pretty cheap and easy to grow your own herbs at home – you just need to know which ones are the best, where to put them and how to take care of them.
Basil is a leafy and fragrant herb that grows beautifully in full sunlight. Basil loves moist but well drained soil and requires lots of pruning when it’s in full season.
When a branch of your basil has seven or eight leaves, it’s time to give it a prune to allow for new growth.
Basil works well in Italian dishes and can be made into pesto pasta sauces or added to salads.
Summer is not ideal for coriander to grow but spring, winter and autumn should see your coriander plant in full bloom.
Coriander plants like sunny spots in the garden, well drained soil, regular watering and fertilising.
It grows well in the ground and in pots and makes an excellent container mate for other plants and herbs. Coriander is a pungent herb that complements Indian and Asian dishes.
Rosemary is arguably the easiest herb to grow. If you plant it in a good spot, it will provide you with more rosemary than you’ll ever be able to cook with.
Rosemary plants can grow quite tall and wide but can still live happily in large pots and containers. It can survive well in hot and dry climates so be careful not to over water or over fertilise it.
Rosemary is a hearty herb that works well with winter foods like soups, stews and baked potatoes.
Not unlike other herbs, parsley flourishes in sunny areas, but it’s a hardy, versatile herb and can handle some shade. There are two basic varieties of parsley – flat leaf and curly. Both are excellent for cooking, particularly in Italian dishes, and both will grow well in most gardens or containers.
Parsley likes to be planted in spring and needs a moderate to low amount of water and fertilisation.
While Lavender isn’t technically a herb, it’s still a wonderful plant to grow as a part of an edible garden. You can use it for baking, making your drawers smell sweet and for adding fragrance to bathroom products.
Lavender loves full sun so make sure you can accommodate its needs before you plant it. Lavender likes a well-drained pot, but give it lots of water at least once a week.
If your lavender is growing well it will need pruning regularly to keep it under control – lavender thrives under the right conditions so make sure you keep an eye on it.
Chives like the cold weather so winter is when you’ll get the best out of your chive plants.
If you plant chives under the right conditions they can overwhelm your garden so make sure you keep an eye on any neighbouring plants. Chives love full sun, cool weather and moist soil that’s fertile and well-drained.
Chives are a delicious addition to winter soups and are also fantastic when stirred into dips and sauces.
Fragrant and fast growing, mint is an easy-to-grow and very useful addition to an at-home herb garden.
Mint likes a nice mixture of sun and shade and thrives well in gardens, pots and containers. Make sure you place mint plants about 40cm apart to allow for rapid growth and to discourage the roots from over crowding.
Mint can be used in a variety of different dishes including salads, stirfrys and even drinks.