Lately, we’ve been sharing some great remedies you can make at home using fresh herbs. For us, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing others experience the incredible benefits of herbs and utilising all that Mother Nature has provided. And so today, we’re going to give you some tips on growing your own herbs at home.
You don’t need to have green thumbs, just a willingness to give it a go
The beauty about growing herbs is that they are some of the easiest plants to grow at home! They’re also pretty forgiving and you don’t need a large outdoor space; they are just as happy living in pots on your windowsill or balcony as they are in the ground. And quite aside from the benefits you’ll receive from the plants themselves, there is something so therapeutic and soothing about the process of potting, tending to, and nurturing plants you’ve grown yourself.
So, don’t worry if you don’t know the first thing about growing herbs – we’ve got you!
Step one: Get the things you need
Pretty straightforward really:
Herbs: Head to a garden centre where you can buy either the seeds, or seedlings (baby plants). Most garden centres will have a good selection.
Pots: If you’re not using a garden, then you’ll need some pots. They don’t need to be fancy, herbs aren’t precious! You could go for individual pots (one for each plant), or a long trough-style pot that can fit multiple plants in a row. If you’re really stuck, you could even use an old ice cream container! Just make sure that any pot you use has a drainage hole in the bottom and a tray to sit on so the water doesn’t leak out all over your bench or windowsill.
Soil: If you have a garden, you may already have soil that you can use. Go for a light, crumbly soil and remove any weeds, clumps, and clay. Otherwise, grab some potting mix while you’re at the garden centre – there are lots of different varieties so choose one that is best for growing vegetables and herbs.
Step two: Plant
Get your green on!
If you have a large/deep, outdoor pot, it helps to place some gravel or stones in the bottom under the soil to help with water drainage. If you have small pots, don’t worry about this step.
Fill your pot or trough with your soil.
FOR SEEDLINGS: Best time to plant is either early in the morning or later in the day so the plants are not exposed to the hot sun. Dig a hole in your pot about twice the depth and the width of the root ball of your plant. Gently loosen the plant out of the pot you bought it in, and position in the centre of the hole in the new pot. Fill in with soil and gently press around the base of the plant. Water your plant well. If you are using a trough, you can place the herbs fairly close to each other – they don’t require a huge amount of room and in fact, prefer having close neighbours.
FOR SEEDS: Check the back of the packet as this will have instructions on how deep to place the seed in the soil, and how to space them out. If using a small pot, place 2-3 seeds per pot. Gently pat down the soil – you want the seed to have good contact with the moist soil as this tells the seed to start growing. Water well but don’t saturate. Cover the top of your pot with plastic wrap to keep moisture in and leave it covered until you see the first seed break through the soil. Then uncover and discard the plastic wrap.
Step Three: Nurture
Nurture your herbs and they’ll nurture you in return.
For the most part (and unless the instructions on the packet say otherwise), herbs need the same treatment – moderate, regular watering. Don’t saturate the soil – the top of the soil should be slightly dry before you water again. Check which of your herbs prefer sunlight – most like some sun but some prefer less than others.
Herbs that are well watered (and nourished) will have a better chance of warding off insects.
We would love to hear your stories about the herbs you have nurtured at home – send us some pictures, or post them on The Herb Farm community page!
Nurture yourself with nature
So there you have it. With a little bit of patience and care, you can grow your own natural pharmacy, packed with luscious herbs to turn into home remedies to support your health and wellbeing.When harvesting your herbs, early morning is best as this is when the essential oils are at their most abundant. Select a mixture of the large and small leaves – it is important to leave some of the large leaves on the plant as these provide fuel and soak up the sunlight. Your plant will stay healthy and leafier for longer if you do!