Easy to grow with beneficial properties, herbs can be cultivated in your backyard garden throughout the year. Having your own herb garden will save you a few bucks and trips to the market. Different herbs have beneficial
health properties and add flavour to your cuisines. Depending on the climatic condition, the soil type and herbs you need, the garden should be planned accordingly. The following are some exotic and commonly used herbs which can be easily grown in a backyard garden.
• Lemon balm
It belongs to the mint family and is noted for its flavour and health benefits. It naturally eases nerve and muscle tension. Fresh lemon balm is used for reducing inflammation and to prevent infections. It is an excellent addition to salads and other dishes with its mild citrus flavour. This plant has anti-viral properties and relieves gas, stomach upset and cramping. They can be sown and grown indoors and then transplanted outdoors during spring or fall. They take 7-14 days to germinate in moist and pH balanced soil.
Parsley can strengthen your immune system and good for indigestion and detoxification. It is a common spice to add extra flavour in soups, salad dressings, tabbouleh and pesto. It is a perfect garnish for dishes containing meat, fish or onions. However, pregnant women are advised to steer clear of the herb due to its urine contraction properties which can lead to miscarriage. They can be grown from seeds by germinating them indoors and transplanting them outdoors during early spring. It can be germinated in 14-30 days in moist slightly acidic soil (pH-5.5-6.5).
It is an excellent deterrent for rodents, ants and spiders. This plant can keep harmful critters away from your garden. Peppermint tea helps to clear sinus congestion, soothe headaches, and improves digestion. It also soothes menstrual cramps. Peppermint goes well with different beverages and desserts. You can germinate them from seeds in 10-15 days indoors and then transplant them outdoors two weeks prior to the first frost. Damp and well-mulched soil is ideal for this herbal plant.
Rosemary has a strong pungent smell that can repel garden pests and even cats. It neutralises bad breath and soothes indigestion. Rosemary oil is beneficial to clear dandruff and promote hair growth. Water infused with this herb can relieve skin irritation. Fresh or dried rosemary is a good seasoning for fish, lamb, or chicken dishes. The germination period of rosemary plants is 14-21 days. They grow best in light and well-drained soil. This plant too can be germinated indoors and then transplanted outdoors during spring.
This herb can reduce fever, reverse greying hair and calm anxiety. Dried and fresh sage pairs well with sauces, sausages and poultry recipes. The plant also has edible flowers suitable for salads and desserts. It is an excellent addition to different herbal tea recipes. It can be directly sown outdoors during spring or germinated indoors and then transplanted. They can be grown from seeds and need 7-21 days to germinate. It grows best in slight sandy and well-drained soil.
These are some of the best herbs commonly used for various culinary purposes and herbal infusions. They are easy to grow with minimum maintenance which makes them ideal for a herb garden when you have a hectic schedule.