Basil and parsley, rosemary and thyme are popular kitchen herbs that add flavor to a dish. Those who prefer their fresh aroma to dried spices can plant them themselves on the windowsill or on the balcony.
Having your own herb garden has the advantage that you can use fresh ingredients for cooking all year round. So that your green roommates feel comfortable at home and get along with their fellow species (some varieties are literally not green with each other), you should consider a few points before planting. These not only include the right location, but also the right watering intervals and care tips for herbs. In the following we will explain to you what needs to be considered when rearing.
Planting herbs: when, how and where?
Regardless of whether you buy your herbs as seeds and grow them in a seed tray – or as a fully grown plant that you simply repot at home: in both cases the right location is crucial for a good harvest. The same applies to the time of rearing and the watering intervals. There is an explanation for this as follows.
When is the right time? If you want to plant your herbs outside – on the balcony, on the terrace or in the garden – you should only start rearing them after the frost season. Say towards the end of April, beginning of May. This applies to pre-grown seedlings as well as to purchased pots. Heat-loving herbs such as marjoram or tarragon should be put out even later (end of May) when it is still too cold outside. If you want to keep your green ingredients indoors on a windowsill, you can grow them sooner.
How to grow herbs? Poor soil is the best choice for most herbs, for this reason commercial potting soil is not recommended: it contains too many nutrients. Better suited for rearing here is special herbal soil in combination with some herbal fertilizer (use this sparingly). When repotting, proceed as follows: Water the root ball well before placing it in a suitable pot half filled with soil. Fill the container with soil, press it down lightly and water it.
Where is the best location?Like many other plants, herbs usually prefer sunny or partially shaded places. There are also sensitive plants that feel more comfortable in the shade: for example mint and cress, rocket and sorrel. Classic kitchen herbs such as basil and rosemary, oregano and thyme, coriander and lemon balm, on the other hand, prefer a sunny location. Chives and chervil, tarragon and parsley prefer semi-shade, i.e. a mixture of sunny and shady times.
Which herbs are (not) compatible?
In fact, not all herbs get along with each other because they prevent each other from growing – or have different preferences such as dry or moist soil. A tip here is not to plant annual varieties (basil, dill) with perennials (thyme, mint) in the same bed or in the same flower pot. Some herbs, on the other hand, do not get along with others, so they should be kept alone, such as lemon balm, sage or tarragon. Peppermint, tarragon, dill and coriander need a lot of space and therefore prefer to be planted in individual pots. These varieties, on the other hand, get along well with each other: parsley, cress, marjoram and chervil. Or this combination: chives, rosemary, sage and lemon balm.
In this table you will find a detailed overview again:
How to properly water your herbs
Even if some herbs prefer moist soil, they still don’t like wet feet. In other words, you should only water your green flatmates in such a way that no water collects in the bottom of the flowerpot. Sun worshipers, on the other hand, run the risk of drying out too quickly in the warm summer months, as pots made of clay or terracotta can store moisture better than plastic containers. Alternatively, we also offer self-watering herb pots. Ideally, water your herbs no more than twice a week – parsley and chives more often. Incidentally, the best time to water is early in the morning or in the evening. Regular care also includes cutting off dried leaves or stems.
Another tip: If you want to use the leaves for cooking, cut them off in the morning: this is when herbs have their best aroma.
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