The benefits of having your own kitchen herb garden are numerous, from providing fresh, clean air in your home to inspiring various flavours in your cooking. They assist in deterring insects and then manage to stand out as an eye-catching decor statement, there‘s simply no reason not to have one in your kitchen. But which herbs should you grow? What are their best companions? And how should you maintain your kitchen herb garden? Read on to discover the answers to all these questions.
What herbs should you have?
There are hundreds of herbs to choose from and deciding what should be added to your windowsill garden can be tricky, particularly if space is limited. Here is a list of 10 herbs you should consider first and why:
● Parsely: Fresh parsley gives food a balanced flavour while aiding in digestion and enhancing smell and flavour.
● Mint: The perfect herb for desserts and drinks, mint is a fast-growing plant that can help calm an upset stomach and give a fresh fragrance to many of your dishes.
● Basil: Basil is one of the most popular herbs for kitchen herb gardens for its flavour and fragrance to almost any cuisine style.
● Rosemary: There‘s nothing rosemary can‘t do and is used for many meats, poultry, and vegetable dishes.
● Thyme: Thyme is used to accentuate a variety of dishes and is a beautiful addition to any kitchen herb garden with its delicate leaves and delightful smell.
● Coriander: a favourite herb for any meat dish with earthy seeds and spicy leaves, coriander is ideal for Asian and Mexican inspired dishes.
● Chives: Considered a fine herb in French cuisine, chives are the ideal companion for cheese and cream based dishes.
● Bay Leaves: Bay leaves are often used for adding flavour to hearty stews and delicious curries and is a must-have in any herb garden.
● Lemongrass: Lemongrass is a fantastic source of antioxidants, perfect to deter pests, and adds a delicate citrus flavour to many dishes.
● Oregano: A staple in Italian cooking, oregano is perfect for pastas, pizzas, and casseroles.
What are their best companions?
Growing specific plants together aid in growing healthier plants and also chase insects and pests away with the power of their fragrance. It should come as no surprise that many of the herbs listed above are ideal companions to each other and will promote a healthy kitchen herb garden. Whether you are growing your herbs inside your kitchen or outdoors, ensure that you have the following plants in your herb garden.
● Chives: Chives help to chase away aphids with their strong smell and have been shown to reduce black spot.
● Rosemary: Another herb to help ward off pests, rosemary also helps to nourish the soil and is a water-wise herb.
● Basil: Preferably grown next to tomatoes, basil and tomatoes help to enhance the flavour of each other while they grow together.
● Mint: Mint loves to grow near vegetables and fruits and will ward off a large variety of pests. Trim regularly to avoid it overgrowing throughout your vegetable garden.
● Catnip: Catnip is not just attractive to cats, but will also encourage bees to visit your garden while scaring off unwanted pests such as aphids and beetles.
What is the best way to maintain them?
Each herb will have specific maintenance requirements to grow into healthy and abundant plants. Familiarising yourself with their specific needs is the key to a successful herb garden, and companion plants will often have similar needs. However, by ensuring regular watering, annual fertiliser inputs, and trimming flowering heads to promote growth, you can rest assured that your kitchen herb garden will remain healthy and happy for many meals to come.
With the right herbs to your favourite dishes within arms reach and the right companions to keep them healthy and happy, your kitchen herb garden will become a blossoming success.
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