Healthy herb for October
Promise in a pot: Herb pots for the window sill, or patio
Spring sweetness. When the days reach further into the evenings, spilling stars and the sunset’s streaks of gold and red across the same heavens.
Sitting on the veranda in good company can only be improved if you are among beautiful flowers and thriving plants. Who could say no to flavourful sprigs of thyme and rosemary greeting them at the window? Let’s have a closer look at some of the healthy herbs to keep on hand this summer.
Healthy herb: How to bring your veranda to life with beautiful pots, planters, and healthy herbs
- Different planters and pots can add a homely feel. Copper planters for each herb can be mounted to a simple wooden base, and installed against a vertical wall.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle old plastic cooldrink bottles by cutting them to make a unique planter face. Another great way to incorporate herbs and try your hand at vertical gardening (up against a wall).
- Wooden planters are ideal for the herbs that grow into larger bushes, like rosemary and lavender. Have you tried to use a potato planter? These handy pots simply require a twist and the roots of the plant are exposed, making a potato harvest as easy as, well, potato pie.
- A veranda with a simple multilevel ensemble of pots and plant adds visual depth to a pot plant arrangement.
With the perfect arrangement of pots, planters, and mounts, you need to add some life. Herbs are the ideal plants as they’re resistant to pests, easy to grow, and essential flavour contributors in the kitchen.
Healthy herb 1: Beautiful basil
Basil forms the flavour base of many dishes, particularly pestos, pasta dishes, and pizzas. Growing basil indoors is easy, provided you give them the correct conditions. They require well draining, nutrient-rich soil with a PH level between 6.0 and 7.5. The soil should be kept slightly moist, but well drained to prevent the root rot to which they are susceptible.
Be sure to give your basil enough sunlight, they require around 6 hours per day. Alternatively, a fluorescent light will provide the needed light with around 10 hours of exposure per day.
Ready, steady…Rocket! our healthy herb number 2
Another delicious healthy herb with a deliciously forthcoming flavour. It’s got a peppery taste and smell which adds a great new dynamic to salads and sandwiches.
Just like basil, rocket enjoys moist soil without sogginess. Rocket is known for being a rather rampant grower, so be sure to harvest often when your bush starts outgrowing its pot. When selecting the perfect pot, it should be around 20cm deep and 15cm in diameter for a single plant.
Successful rocket does not receive too much full sun, especially in the afternoons. Be sure to keep it shaded when the heat is most intense.
Healthy herb 3: Thyme is of the essence
Thyme, with its small dark leaves, seems miniature but only in shape. Its flavour is strong and wholesome. Thyme can also be grown indoors, provided it gets 6 hours of gentle sunlight per day. Like the aforementioned herbs, thyme needs well-draining soil. A mixture of potting mix and perlite or sand will give it the perfect consistency.
You can harvest sprigs of thyme as soon as the plant has enough foliage. Simply cut a twig or two and remove the leaves. Thyme for a healthy herb!
Healthy herb 4: Soulful sage
Sage is one of those healthy herbs that goes such a long way, one plant would happily sustain a family’s flavour requirements across many dishes. As most herbs do, they like well-draining soil. For the tastiest leaves, they require lots of direct sunlight. Sage plants enjoy sandy or loamy soils with a PH level of 6.0 to 7.5. Don’t use too much fertiliser – it will help the plant to grow faster but the flavour will diminish.
To prevent the flavour from becoming woody after 4 or 5 years, trim back woody stems to allow fresh newer shoots to dominate the bush.
Healthy herb 5: Pretty parsley, please
Parsley offers the same value to our dishes that salt does (albeit in a different way) – it ties foods with different flavours together. Think of a vegetable omelette or a grilled steak with a chimichurri sauce. It’s that magical flavour that brings it all together. Parsley is a biennial, offering flavoursome leaves in its first and going to seed in its second. During its second year, most people don’t realise but its taproot is incredibly aromatic, offering a richer flavour than the leaves.
Parsley needs full sun or part sun conditions, with a rich, moist and well-composted soil. Parsley loves moisture, but survives in dry conditions just fine too, making it a novice grower’s delight.
Spring, a time of resplendence in the garden
It’s the season of growth, abundance, and celebration. It’s also the time of year that invites more opportunity for entertaining guests with flavourful meals and refreshing beverages which revive the body after the heat of the day. What could be lovelier than great company and the beautiful colours of summer creeping from the garden onto your veranda?
For more information on bringing Life to your Garden, visit our website www.lifeisagarden.co.za or join the conversation on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lifeisagardensa.
Healthy herb article edited by Estate Life Publishers