Every spring the question comes up, how to grow spring herbs? Fresh herbs are in abundance during the spring season, and the new leaves along with the tender stems are used for culinary purposes. It not only adds flavor to the food but also increases its nutritional value.
Earlier, the use of herbs to cure ailments was frowned upon as they were mainly associated with witchcraft. Over the years, they have been used for their medicinal and aesthetic value.
The right time
The overwhelming majority of herbal plants are hardy. When choosing the best date for planting, the importance of late ground frosts should nevertheless be considered. The young plants that are brought forward by hand or bought ready for planting are therefore not planted before the end of April/beginning of May in the bed or the tub. Until after the sheep cold, the sensitive varieties or the entire bed are covered with fleece overnight.
The non-plus-ultra substrate for herbs does not exist. Rather, the precise composition depends on the quite different requirements. For example, Mediterranean herbs such as lavender, basil or oregano thrive particularly well in sandy, dry soil, while tarragon prefers to grow its roots in a fresh, moist substrate.
However, the fact that they develop a much more intensive aroma in poor soil applies equally to all species. It follows that commercial, pre-fertilized potting soil is unsuitable in the tub, because the plants shoot into the herb without any sense or purpose. The following potting soils meet the basic requirements of all herbs:
- In the pot, a mixture of clay, sand and compost in equal parts
- Alternatively special organic herbal soil from the specialist trade
- In the bed humusy, well-drained garden soil with normal nutrient content
- Adapted to the type of herb, enriched with sand, lime gravel, compost or horn shavings
Mineral-chemical additives have no place in the flawless substrate for kitchen herbs. Even if the plants are planted on a long fallow bed, organic soil additives, such as compost, algal lime or primary rock flour, serve to improve the soil.
Tip: In order for the positive characteristics of the substrate to develop their full potential, the location should be as sunny as possible. Ideally, a hedge should serve as a border around the bed to protect it from strong winds.
What are the varieties and usage?
The modern kitchen also appreciates the use of herbs in dishes to enhance the color and taste of otherwise humble dishes. Always use a sharp knife or scissor when cutting herbs and add them to your dishes at last to get more color. You may also dry some herbs to preserve them for later use.
Home herbs, such as parsley, tarragon and mint, can be dried to preserve them. Hang small bunches of herbs upside down in a warm, dry, well-ventilated place, or in a paper bag with ventilation holes in the sides. Chopped chives can be preserved simply by freezing them. Chervil and dill are not suitable for drying as they will lose their flavour.
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