Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good Housekeeping: Potted Herbs for Your Kitchen

Potted Herbs for Your Kitchen

Potted Herbs

Potted Herbs
 
       Do you love to cook Italian food? Do you love to cook with fresh herbs like oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary and thyme? Well, I do. I love the smell of fresh basil on tomatoes on bruschetta and coriander in Asian green salads and fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. So I buy my herbs in the supermarket. Sometimes they are cheap; parsley and coriander are sometimes P10 a bunch only. Sometimes I can find cheap styro pack of basil for only P20 but since I only use few leaves, I tend to throw the rest after a few days because they wilt fast. Rosemary doesn't wilt fast but some packages contain too much and are very expensive. Other expensive herbs are dill, marjoram, thyme, and mint. 

 
This is my potted rosemary which is 3 years old already.
    
     But I found out, one day, that I could buy the herb-plants, themselves, in black plastic bags from plant shops for only P50-80 in the malls like in Festival or Market Market, or in regular herb plant shops. I bought basil and rosemary for starters and transferred them to pots. Somebody taught me that for rosemary, I must put pebbles or gravel at the bottom of a big pot first then put compost or fertilized soil on top before transferring the rosemary plant in the pot so that the plant will not be soaked in wet soil. when you water it. I've seen a lot of foodie shows on t.v. with potted herbs on their counter or on the window sill of their kitchen. When the chef needs herbs, they just pick from the potted herbs and 'voila', perfect and aromatic food. So whenever I need rosemary or basil, I just pick from the plant.

     Here are some tips on growing herbs indoors from http://oldfashionedliving.com :

    Basil  - requires sunniest position and tolerates dry air.
    Mint  - enjoys some sun but not hot midday sun. Put in moist, cool soil.
    Rosemary -- large pots; likes bright situation so reflected light can be used. Be sure, 
              however, that the room is cool, about 60 degrees.
    
         Make sure all containers can adequately drain. Be sure not to over-water indoor 
    herbs. Water in mornings so excess moisture evaporates. Air is important for potted 
    herbs and over-watering can cause root fungus to thrive. If necessary, place a small fan 
    beside your indoor herbs. Place potted herbs where there is enough light like a good 
    window sill.

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