How to keep your herbs fresh for longer
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Growing herbs can be done so all year round, and Britons don’t need a lot of space to do so. Resilient gardening expert, Kim Stoddart, told Express.co.uk: “If you are going to grow just one thing this winter, I recommend herbs. There’s a fantastic range that can be nurtured indoors easily for regular pickings. Nothing jazzes up a meal like some fresh parsley, coriander, mint or chive and it can be very expensive to buy otherwise.
“As well as helping you to save money this winter, transforming a windowsill or two into a lovely impromptu herb garden can help provide a welcome relief from all the horrible things happening outside and provide a taste of summer no matter the weather.”
Kim, who has just launched a new online indoor edibles course, said the likes of sage and rosemary can be grown outside, but many herbs can be grown comfortably indoors.
To grow herbs indoors, it is recommended to have a sunny windowsill and gardeners can improvise with pots and containers they may already have lying around, such as fruit punnets.
The expert, editor of The Organic Way magazine and co-author of The Climate Change Garden book, explained: “This lovely flavoursome herb is best grown in a small container of its own.
“There are a number of ways to get started. A supermarket herb pot planted out into fresh multipurpose compost can work well and get you started quickly.
“Also, if you know where mint was growing in your garden then you could dig down and take some root cuttings then plant these out into fresh compost near the surface to encourage fresh growth with the warmth of a sunny windowsill inside.
“Another technique that is nice and quick (and fun to do) is to place mint stems (about a hand in length with the lower leaves removed) in a glass of water to encourage them to root.
“You could use cuttings from your supermarket herb pot or herb packets from the supermarket to get started.
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“Maybe try all of the above to see what works best for you. Otherwise, growing from seed is also an option, although that’s likely to take longer to germinate at this time of year.”
Fennel, which has a very mild anise flavour, can be grown as a micro herb indoors.
The gardening expert added: “It is best sown from seed and can be mixed in with other herbs for lots of luscious flavoured (and scented) pickings to spice up dinnertime.”
According to Kim, this “beauty” of a herb is actually rather hardy and so grows very well indoors during the winter months.
The expert noted: “Also, it is unlikely to bolt during the colder months of the year so can stick around for longer and multiple picking opportunities. It is best grown on from seed inside.”
Parsley is a delicious herb often used a lot when cooking pasta and fish dishes. By growing this herb inside, gardeners can encourage lots of new growth for continuous pickings.
The gardening pro added: “All herbs have lots of great medicinal properties and in the case of parsley, the vitamin C content is also very high indeed so it’s a brilliant (and delicious) ally over the colder months of the year.”
Gardeners could also try growing dill, tarragon, oregano, chives and thyme on their windowsills this winter.
Kim has been writing about climate change and resilience since 2013. She has just launched a new online course on undercover edibles over winter via www.greenrocketcourses.com.
According to the team at Baby Bio®, basil, chives, mint, parsley, and thyme are great to grow for beginner gardeners.
The experts said: “If you’re growing your herbs from seed, try the toilet roll tube trick to make transferring seedlings easy.
“Simply snip toilet roll tubes in half, line them up in a tray filled with compost and sow your seeds.
“We recommend sprinkling two to five seeds per tube to ensure they have plenty of space to grow.”
Once the seedlings are ready to be moved into their own pots, the entire toilet roll tube can be transferred without disturbing the seedings.
According to the experts, it “will decompose” eventually, making it eco-friendly too.
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