Thursday, 2 March 2017

Perennial herbs you should grow in your garden

I've been growing herbs for years. One of the easiest, cheapest and healthiest ways to give flavour to recipes is through adding fresh herbs to the dish. Parsley and basil are two herbs that I've done particularly well by growing them at home. In the summer months basil is a must for any tomato based recipes whether it be cooked sauces or freshly picked tomatoes to be used in a salad. Parsley meanwhile is fantastic for using as a quick garnish either as whole bunches or chopped up finely. What's also great about growing your own herbs is that you don't need any garden space just a sunny windowsill to get them started off. If you would like some ideas about other perennial herbs to grow at home have a look at today's guest post.

"Whether you choose to house them in beds, borders, containers in your garden or windowsill pots, herbs are very simple to grow and taste especially delicious when picked fresh. Therefore, join award-winning seed stockist Dobies as they guide you through some of the most appetising perennial herbs that you can produce in the months to come:

Chives

Also known as?
Allium schoenoprasum

Where should I grow the herb?
Chives should ideally be grown in rich, well-drained soil that is subjected to plenty of sun during the day. However, they are also tolerant to wet conditions and heavy soil.

When should I harvest the herb?
Begin harvesting chives around six weeks after planting the seeds.

How should I store the herb?
If not used fresh, chives should be frozen as they do not retain their flavour well once dried.

Which meals can I use the herb on?
- Baked cod with an herby crust.
- Tomato and herb salad complete with fresh chive cheese.
- Beef fillet complete with chicory, served with blue cheese salad and celeriac chips.
- Lemon-dill potato salad.
- Quiche Lorraine complete with Gruyère and chive flowers.

Mint

Also known as?
Mentha spp.

Where should I grow the herb?
Mint should be grown in rich and moist soil that either receives plenty of sun during the day or partial shade. Be aware that mint can become invasive, so we recommend growing it in a container or regularly dividing the mint.

When should I harvest the herb?
Harvest the young or mature leaves of mint plants once they are growing vigorously.

How should I store the herb?
Mint leaves can be dried on trays or by hanging bunched branches upside down within a warm, dark and well-ventilated area. It is also easy to freeze fresh mint leaves.

Which meals should I use the herb on?
- Thai steamed salmon.
- Pearl couscous salad complete with mint and pecans.
- Gigantes complete with tomatoes and green vegetables.
- Lemon-braised chicken and beans complete with mint pesto.
- Roast leg of lamb complete with rosemary and garlic.

Thyme

Also known as?
Thymus vulgaris

Where should I grow the herb?
Thyme should be grown in well-drained or even stony poor soil that is subjected to plenty of sun. Take note though that most varieties of thyme prefer neutral to alkaline soil.

When should I harvest the herb?
The leaves and sprigs of thyme can be harvested all summer long.

How should I store the herb?
First dry the thyme by tying them together and hanging them upside down within a shady, warm and well-ventilated area. Once dried, store the leaves within a tightly lidded container.

Which meals should I use the herb on?
- Ras-el-hanout baked chicken.
- Thyme-scented white bean cassoulet.
- Extra-lean burger and salad.
- Gemelli salad complete with green beans, pistachios and lemon-theme vinaigrette.
- Fried flat fish served with a bean stew.”

Do you grow herbs? Which fresh herbs do you use in recipes?

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