The first thought of an herb is normally restricted the aromatic leaves or parts of the plants, that are used while cooking to enhance the taste and aroma of the food. The wider context would describe herbs as usually small flowering plants used for medical or spiritual activities too.
There is nothing like having your own collection of fresh herbs ready for harvest, whether it be for medical use or to for your cooking experiments.
As much as it sounds interesting, a lot of care has to be taken to grow, nourish and harvest top quality herbs. Growing conditions to be provided for the herbs depends a lot on the origins and type of plant. Some thrive indoors whereas others are only confined to outdoors, while some love to be in groups whereas others are solitary and damaging if grown in groups.
The below mentioned steps would help to avoid the most commonly made mistakes while planting herbs and thereby giving you a happy harvest!!!!
1.Ensure a steady supply of Sunlight and water
Herbs, depending on their variety would need to be watered and sunlight to be made available. A steady supply of both would ensure a healthy plant and its products.
2. Prepare the pot with the right kind of soil and manure mix
The right kind of manure, soil, pebbles, clay pots etc for the right kind of drainage so that the plant can have a healthy growth.
3.Harvest often and early
A well-harvested herb at the right time has been seen as well rounded off and a healthy plant. This encourages the new branches and leaves to come out as more healthy and dense resulting in a great crop. Harvest should be done in such a way that the leaves at the bottom should be left for the plant to grow healthy.
4. Badge the plant with a name tag
People often see that as an obvious and non-essential part of planting but it is essential if the plants are to be looked after by someone they need to understand the requirements of the plant when watering or applying manure.
Timely weeding is necessary for herbs especially the ones grown outdoor so that the plants are not bothered by parasites and have a healthy crop. In the case of indoor plants the plants are rarely prone to the same but are occasionally affected.
6. Avoid the use of chemicals fertilizers
The most used part of herbs is the leaves and shoots for their aroma, hence the usage of chemicals would cause the biggest problem of chemical poisoning and secondly the original aroma would be lost.
1.Plant different varieties of mint together
Mints, especially the varieties like spearmint and peppermint have a habit of spreading and over-powering their neighbors and hence in this struggle of influence. This would end up dilution of the flavor and quality of the aroma and taste of the herb.
2.Plant perennials and annual plants in the same pot
Plants that are different in their growth and flowering habits like perennials and annual plants are to be planted separately as they have different flowering habits, growth rates, and watering and sunlight requirements. Putting them together in the same pot would manipulate the growth rate of both thus both not yielding the desired results.
3. Make the herb flower
In most cases, the shoots and leaves of the herbs are most desired and making the herb flower would make it reach maturity soon and the quality of leaves would diminish. The flowers are to be pinched in the bund so that the whole energy gets transferred to the bodybuilding of the plant
4. Try to grow a plant from seed
Though this sounds like a great plan, to grow a plant from the seed so that the very initial joy of plants from the first day can be enjoyed, it is a time consuming and unsure act as one might not know the time required for germination of a particular plant and the whole waiting can take a lot of time away.
Growing an already healthy sapling would give you a better understanding of the plants and make the right kind of corrective measures to ensure a healthy crop.
The attack on the plants from worms and insects, especially in the spring and summer is hard to avoid but under no circumstance, chemical pesticides are to be used. This can cause a very bad effect on the people consuming the herb. The use of other precautionary methods like nets, organic pest repellents are to be adapted.
The above steps might seem like a lot but are merely to make your hobby into a healthier and rewarding one. An organized method of growing herbs will guarantee you poison-free and fresh supply throughout the year saving you money, the satisfaction and pride of successfully maintaining a gardening project.