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Do you like to cook? Then you probably need herbs on a regular basis. You can buy them - or grow them yourself in the garden or on the balcony. This is easier than you might think if you know what to look out for. We have put together the best tips and tricks for you.
Most herbs feel at home in the sun or in partial shade. Especially Mediterranean herbs like basil, rosemary or thyme need a lot of sun from spring to autumn. Spring herbs such as wild garlic, lovage or sorrel, however, would burn. Look at the plants carefully before you plant them. If the leaves are large and green, the herbs prefer it shady or semi-shady and moist. If they are small, often greyish and partly hairy, they prefer it hot and dry. Herbs should be planted in spring or autumn. Perennial herbs such as savory, sage or thyme, which have to grow in first, are better in spring, while frost-sensitive herbs such as basil are better after the Ice Saints. If you are unsure which variety your kitchen herb belongs to and what care it needs, you can use the Houzy Plant Guide to easily identify the plant by photo and get care tips.
Herbs need little space. That is why they are well suited for cultivation in pots on the windowsill, balcony or terrace. Use pots with drainage holes and fill them in three layers: A layer of expanded clay at the bottom as drainage, a garden fleece in between, and soil up to the watering rim at the top. Over time the soil will settle, then you should fill up the pots so that the herbs form new roots and more leaves or flowers. Basil, dill, cress, oregano, parsley, peppermint, chives and thyme are best suited for cultivation in pots.
There are herbs that you can plant in the same bed or pot without any problems. They prefer the same location and promote each other. For example
But not all herbs get along well. It is better not to plant these herbs next to each other because they have different requirements for the location and inhibit each other:
You should never plant basil alone in a bed or pot. Rosemary, for example, promotes the growth of basil. Besides, the two herbs are used together in many Mediterranean dishes.
More and more people are cooking with fresh herbs. On the one hand, because they can use them to season their dishes in a refined way, they need less salt and the food tastes better. On the other hand, because herbs contain many minerals and vitamins and are good for your health. Cooks distinguish between cold and warm herbs:
Do you want to grow herbs in the garden, on the terrace, on the balcony or on the windowsill? You need these six herbs for many recipes:
Of course, fresh herbs are more aromatic. But you must use them immediately after harvesting. If you harvest a lot of herbs or are away for a long time, you can dry them. This way they last longer and do not spoil but lose their aroma and essential oils over time. Drying herbs is easy: you can hang the bundles upside down in a dry and well-ventilated room or dry the herbs at a low temperature in the oven and then store the herbs in an airtight, well-sealed jar. It is important that the herbs in the middle of the bundle also dry quickly, otherwise they will mould.
You can also chop the dried herbs into small pieces and mix them with salt, then they will last for a year - and you have an herbal salt with which you can season many dishes. Or you can put fresh herbs in oil, preferably olive oil, sunflower oil or rapeseed oil, and let the herb oil mature for four to six weeks. You can use herb oil to fry meat, fish or potatoes, for example, or to mix wonderful salad dressings.