The first few months of the year are always full of New Year’s resolutions to eat better, and there’s even religious motivation in the form of Lent, but there are also temptations everywhere. Leftover or cheap Christmas chocolate, eating your body weight in pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, and then doing that again with Easter Eggs … it can be very difficult to eat healthily! One of the problems with switching to a healthier diet is making food taste good without adding extra salt, sugar or fat. Willpower will only get you so far: you’ll be much more likely to “cheat” or give up if you aren’t enjoying what you’re eating.
Make it on your own
There’s an easy solution: add herbs! You can buy dried and ground herbs in the supermarket, but if you want to eat more fresh food or to save money, then why don’t you try and grow your own herbs? Its easy!
Which herbs to grow?
When deciding which herbs to grow, it’s worth considering whether your choice(s) are annual (a one year life cycle), biannual (two years) or perennial (more than two years). Perennial herbs like mint, horseradish, sage, rosemary, and thyme will need you to put some thought into where they are put, because they will hopefully be around for a while!
To quote the garden website Thomas Morgan,
“Ideally herbs should be grown in a sunny, sheltered location with well-drained soil”.
Do not worry about the weather!
If you are now panicking about the persistent rain and claggy soil where you live, worry not! We sell a variety of timber greenhouses, which will remove all the fluctuations of British weather from your concerns. At this time of year (early/mid March) you can sow basil, chives and parsley under the protection of glass. It is important to ventilate your greenhouse to lessen problems with fungal diseases. Our greenhouses all have options for automatically opening skylights or side windows, so we solve that problem for you.
If you don’t have big enough space for a greenhouse, or don’t want to disturb your careful design, then many garden centres will provide you with young plants which require less micro-managing. These may need to be cosseted indoors until the roots have filled their containers. Failing that, you can sow coriander or dill seeds straight into the soil outside.
Tend your herbs every day!
Harvest your herbs first thing in the morning, before any healthy oils in them evaporate in the sun. Try not to take more than a third of the plant’s leaves at once, as it may not be able to grow that many back. Pull the outer leaves off, leaving the inner ones to grow again. If you get an unexpected bumper crop, you can freeze them! Either put them in bags fresh out of the ground, or chop them to your desired texture and put them with water in an ice-cube tray. This is fantastically convenient when cooking, as you can just plop them straight into your pot.
If you want any information about our range of greenhouses, please check out our website or call 01234 272 445 to chat to us in person. Alternatively, if you would prefer we call you, fill in our ‘Contact us’ page and we will get back to you.
As always, feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.