Monday, April 11, 2011

How to Start a Gardening Herb Collection for Your Kitchen

Cooking your own fresh herbs grown in your backyard or your own pot are more satisfying  for your culinary needs.  Whether you live in a house with a backyard or in a flat, planting your own herbs is possible.  If there is no available space but the windowsill, herbs can grow in pots instead.  This can  also beneficial to make the windows attractive and accessible to the kitchen.

Garlic chives herb plant.

GETTING STARTED
As a starter, you may choose six different herbs which you likely to use in cooking such as for pasta, dishes, and  drinks that can be mixed with herbs like mint herb.  It is also advisable to choose the herbs which are not difficult to grow, you may just add later if you want to.

COMMON HERBS  FOR YOUR KITCHEN
Garlic Chive (Perennial, Herbaceous) - Great for adding to salads and for baked potatoes.
Mint (Perennial, Herbaceous) -  Good for ice creams, chocolate mousse, mixed with juice drinks, and tea.
Thyme (Perennial, Evergreen) - This spicy herb is use for salad dressings, marinades, fish, and chicken dishes.
Basil (Annual) - This is common for pasta, bread spreads and  pizza.

WHAT YOU NEED
Seeds
Canvass for good garden stores for seeds with variety of types to choose from.  Check the use-by or sell-by date to make sure that the seeds are fresh.
Plug Tray
This is also called “modular tray” where there are individual cells to give enough space for each plant.  The plug tray help  the plant to grow faster with less stress when transferred to a garden or pot.
Seed Compost
Compost is an important aspect for the plants growth.  Having an incorrect compost will make the plant weak and prone to disease. 
Perlite
A white volcanic waste sold in bags for covering seeds to prevent from dying due to over-wet from water and likewise prevent the plant from drying out because of heat.
Labels
Always put labels to plug tray or pot for the name of the seed and date when you planted.
Water
After sowing the seeds, water the seeds only when required. Use water spray instead of milk spray.

BASIC GUIDE TO SOWING SEEDS
1.  Fill each plug tray hole with seed compost and shake the tray lightly to remove excess. 
2.  Press the compost with an empty plug tray, water the compost but do not overdo to avoid them being drown.
3.  Sow thinly about 5-8 seeds per cel, avoid overcrowding seeds each other.
4.  Cover the seeds with perlite to protect the seeds.  Put the tray in  a warm sunny position on a windowsill or garden.
5.  Label your tray properly.

GARDENING TERMS
Annual is a plant that lasts for just for one growing season
Perennial  is a plant that will grow for more than one  year
Herbaceous is a perennial that dies back in winter and reappears the following spring
Evergreen  has leaves all year round