Honey, I Killed the Herb Garden!

I have lost count the number of times my housemate has bought potted parsley from the supermarket and let it succumb to a slow and painful death on our kitchen windowsill.

The last time got me thinking – where is the best place to grow and store your own herbs at home? The thought of having your own herb garden right at your fingertips sounds rather lush if not a little ambitious for a household of sleep-deprived health workers, so I’ve done my research to find some of the best tips for growing and storing some of our favourites.

Note that some of these herbs have ‘companion’ herbs that they grow really well with, while some have a tendency to spread like wildfire (I’m looking at you, mint!).

Here’s hoping the next batch survive!

Herb

Growing

Storing (if not using fresh)

Parsley
  • Moist soil
  • Mostly sunny environment but can tolerate a little shade
Upright with stems in water (with a paper towel or plastic around the leaves)
Basil
  • Moist soil
  • Needs LOTS of sun
Upright with stems in water (with a paper towel or plastic around the leaves) but best method is actually freezing in an airtight container
Oregano
  • Only water when soil is dry
  • Needs LOTS of sun
Dried in an airtight container
Thyme
  • Moist soil please
  • Also LOTS of sun
Dried in an airtight container
Mint
  • Moist soil
  • Grow this one in the shade
Upright with stems in water
Sage
  • Lots of water
  • Full sunlight!
Freeze in an airtight bag or in oil in an ice-cube container
Rosemary
  • Lots of water
  • Grow indoors with lots of natural light (it hates the cold outside)
  • Also grows well with sage
Dried in an airtight container
Tarragon
  • Likes well drained soil
  • Needs lots of sun
  • Also grows well with thyme
Dried in an airtight container
Chives
  • Moist soil
  • LOTS of sun
  • When you prune it, cut it short to 1cm away from the base
Freeze in an airtight bag

You’ll note that coriander is missing. That’s because I like ~ 50% of the population have the taste bud phenotype that makes coriander taste like soap. It’s one of the very few foods I cannot stand! If you are genetically blessed otherwise, try growing coriander in the cooler months (it goes bitter in summer), in well-drained soil with lots of sunlight. Store frozen or dried in an airtight container if not using fresh.

Update: HERB GARDEN ALIVE AND WELL!!

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