Tips for Growing and Harvesting Your Herb Garden

Parsley

Parsley is a common herb, used for its flavor, ability to fight bad breath, as well as a decorative garnish to your dishes. Parsley leaves are also high in nutrients and has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes. This herb can be grown in containers or outdoors directly in your garden. Parsley plants are easy to care for and do not require a lot of maintenance.  It is important that they are positioned in full sunlight, and water it often enough that the soil does not dry out. In spring, it is important cut the flower stems off as they appear so the leaves can grow in. When the leaves on your plant start to curl, the parsley is ready to be harvested.  To harvest parsley, simply cut the leaves and stem as needed. For the best results and optimal flavor, use parsley when it is fresh. If you are not using it right away, save your parsley by freezing it.

Dill

Dukat dill is an excellent herb when used fresh or dried and on a variety of foods due to its distinct aroma and culinary qualities. Dill is a flavorful addition to many recipes and growing dill is very easy, making it a good addition to your herb garden. Dill plants have both edible seeds and leaves. It can be harvested anytime after the leaves have begun to grow. To harvest the leaves, simply cut the leaves at the stem, taking only what you need off the plant. To harvest dill seeds, you must not trim your plant and allow it to bloom. The dill flowers will eventually grow seed pods. When the pods dry and turn brown, your dill is ready to harvest. Cut off the flower from the stem, and you can remove the seeds from the pod by hand. Another method is to place the flowers and pods in a paper bag, letting the seed pods dry out and then removing the seeds by hand. Now you’re dill seeds are ready! The seeds are commonly used in pickling spices. You can preserve your dill by either drying or freezing what you harvest, however fresh dill has the most flavor.

Cilantro

Cilantro is a flavorful addition to many dishes, which is why it is the perfect herb for the Home Farmer Salsa Kit! The most difficult aspect of growing cilantro is that is does not like hot weather. Shading the cilantro in your garden during the hottest part of the day can help protect it and give you a more successful plant. Also, cilantro often self sows because seeds fall to the ground, so new plants may start to grow. Cilantro has a shorter lifespan than other herbs, and you may need to sow seeds every 4-6 weeks to have cilantro throughout the season. Cilantro seeds are called coriander, and they can be sprinkled atop many dishes to give it extra flavor. When the cilantro plant has white flowers and seeds, it is time to harvest the coriander. To harvest the seeds, cut a few stems off and hang them upside down in a paper bag. Once the plant dries, the seeds will fall and collect in the bottom of the bag. It is also possible to harvest the seeds fresh by pulling the pod apart and picking the seeds out by hand. Cilantro leaves are what is used in salsa, and to harvest these, simply cut the leaves at the stem at ground level as you need. Avoiding cutting too much off or you risk the entire plant’s survival. Cilantro leaves are best used fresh, but to preserve it the best method is to dry the leaves.

Basil

Basil is one of the most well-known and used herbs. It is a classic that is perfect in Italian dishes and fresh salads. It’s fragrance alone will win you over. Home Farmer has made growing basil simple with easy-to-follow directions, so you can have this delicious herb in your garden! Before you begin, it is important to find a spot in your garden with good sunlight for your basil. It is also important to make sure the frost has passed because basil is very sensitive to cold temperatures. Once your basil plant has started growing, it is important to harvest often because the plants can grow very large and harvesting helps the plant grow even larger. When the plant starts to flower, it is important to remove the flowers because they can take away from the flavor of basil.

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