Friday, 15 April 2011

Growing Herbs

As I had mentioned in my previous post, I am writing a detailed post as to how I planted my herbs this time round.

I used decent sized pots as I didn't want to replant them. I bought basil and mint seeds. For coriander, I used the seeds from my pantry. I soaked them for around 12 hours and crushed them between my palms before planting them.

I bought a big bag of Miracle Grow all purpose compost. It has fertilizer that feeds the plants for 3 months. I also got potting grit. I mixed the compost and grit in the ratio of 1:1 and filled the pots till about an inch from top.

Then I poured water so it sinks in. I planted the seeds – taking care to space them properly. I covered the seeds with some more compost and lightly watered the top. Don’t use a gush of water here as this might displace the seeds.

I then put cling film on top of the pots to maintain the warm temperature needed to propagate. Once I saw quiet a few saplings, I removed the cling film so the plants can breathe and grow. Now they are growing quiet well.

You can use perlite instead of potting grit. The place I went to had potting grit. They didn't have perlite. This is mainly for drainage and aeration for the roots so there's no water clogging. I hadn't done this last time and my mint plant was infested with fungus gnats. I had to completely dry the soil to get rid of them.

Water the plants only when you find the top soil relatively dry. This way, there's no danger of over watering the plant - which will lead to water clogging.

Its been 3 weeks since I planted my herbs. Look at the stage they are in now.

Basil - overcrowded again

Mint - slow as usual

Coriander - doesn't it look beautiful???
As you can see, I think Coriander will be the first herb that I use. When I read on the net, they said to wait till its about 6 inches tall to start using it. I am supposed to cut the top 3 inches to encourage more growth. That seems pretty straight forward.

I also read on how to harvest the Basil. It's a bit confusing. I think I'll see something on you tube regarding this.

I haven't even thought about harvesting mint. Its so slow.

One thing's for sure – from my previous experience, the taste of store bought herbs is no where near the home grown ones.

Good to know
  1. Almost each seed grows into a plant. So its very very important to space them properly. Some seeds are very tiny and difficult to handle, but its very important to space them.
  2. For coriander, each seed sprouted into 2 or more plants.
  3. Coriander has a long tap root. So its important to plant it in a long pot.
  4. The first set of leaves that come out are not of the actual plant. I call them base leaves
  5. Its always good to read up on the plant you want to plant. I hadn't done that the first time round and I realised that much later.
I'll let you know when I start using my herbs.

BTW, I've planted some sunflower seeds last weekend. The weather's supposed to be bad this weekend. If its not too bad, I plan to do some more gardening.

I guess the gardening bug has bitten me... I am not complaining. :-)

This goes to Kirthi's Herbs and Flowers in my Platter - Coriander leaves/Cilantro that was started by PJ of Seduce your Tastebuds.


  1. Nothing will beat the homegrown herbs na..

  2. Absolutely nothing beats them Priya.

  3. Beautiful pots of herbs. I know how confused I was when I planted some coriander and saw the base leaves. Unfortunately I couldn't harvest any of the coriander because just when i got to about 4", the sparrows in the area wiped the pot clean :(

  4. @Trisha: How sad. You should try it again in a different room maybe. :)


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