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Grow, Harvest & Keep Herbs

Grow, Harvest & Keep Herbs

Growing herbs is fun! They’re easy. You can plant them almost anywhere. The fresh taste they infuse into your foodie creations is incomparable. They’ve even gained great respect for their medicinal properties. They’re not just fun, they’re rewarding!

Here’s helpful tips to start you growing great herbs:

Which herbs fit you best? Check out these Annual, Perennial, Biennial & Ornamental Herb options

How to Grow Herbs

Herbs prefer sun and well-drained soil.

• You can start them from seed in late March inside your home in propagation trays or sow the seed directly into the ground in May.

• You can also buy plants that are already started at our Garden Centre.

• Once planted, don’t be concerned with a lot of fertilizing. One or two applications of All-Purpose 20-20-20 diluted in water are sufficient for the growing season. Herbs that are over fertilized grow too quickly and their flavour isn’t as strong. If insects become a problem, spray with Insecticidal Soap. It’s non-toxic and becomes totally inert.

• Mist foliage with water a couple of days after application. Since herbs are fairly heat and drought-tolerant, don’t overwater them. Let them dry out completely between watering. You’ll know if you’ve given them too much if you have spindly, leggy growth and yellow leaves.

Also grow your own veggies

Harvesting Herbs

• For the best concentration of taste, pick leaves just as the herb begins to bloom. This is when the oil content in the leaves is greatest.

• Harvest in the morning after the dew has evaporated and before the heat of the sun dissipates fragrance.

• Herbs can be dried by tying stems together in bunches and hanging them upside down in a dry, warm spot out of direct sunlight where air circulates freely.

• Dry them for a few weeks until the leaves are brittle. Pick off the leaves, put in airtight bags or jars, and store them in a dark, dry place.herbs on table

• Don’t crumble the leaves until you’re ready to cook with them. Remember, dried herbs have more concentrated flavour than fresh.

• Herbs that are better frozen than dried include Basil, lemon Balm, Parsley, Tarragon, Chives, and Lemon Verbena.

• Pick them the same way as for drying, rinse them quickly in cold water, and shake dry. Chop the leaves coarsely, place them in Ziploc bags, and store in the freezer. They last 4-6 months before they dry out and lose their essence.

• Herbs can also be used to flavour oil as well as vinegar which make wonderful and original gifts.

Herbs Indoors

For those who really love cooking with fresh herbs all year, you can grow Bush Basil, Chives, Oregano, Marjoram, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary indoors.

• Choose the sunniest window to grow them in or augment existing light with an incandescent “grow” bulb in any fixture.

• Herbs can also be grown under fluorescent lights. Inside your home, herbs don’t like to be too hot and they prefer a cooler temperature at night.

• Mist them a couple of times a week.

• Watch for Spider Mite webs that can easily be treated with Insecticidal Soap.