Herb gardens give many benefits

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NEW YORK — Many people cultivate gardens both inside and outside of their homes, with a focus on adding aesthetic appeal to their property. But a garden that boasts plants that are edible and pleasing to the eye is a possibility as well.

Planting an herb garden is a way to enjoy the sights, smells and tastes of a wide variety of plants. Using fresh-harvested herbs in culinary endeavors imparts a taste that dried spices cannot match.

What’s more, fresh herbs are often easy to cultivate. Herbs are versatile, capable of lending great flavor to foods while also playing different roles in personal health and beauty.

Uses

Herbs can be grown to perfume homes and bodies. There are herbs that are also purported to help with ailments, from upset stomachs to anxiety.

When planting an herb garden, you may want to pay particular attention to the types of flavors and smells you like in your home and cooking. This will help you to narrow down the types of herbs you will plant.

Many would-be herb gardeners tend to start small to see what luck they have when cultivating herbs. Fortunately, herbs can grow well in containers indoors, provided the soil is amenable and there is plenty of sunlight.

Herbs will grow best in well-prepared soil. Make sure it is rich in organic matter and drains well. Also, for plants like parsley, be sure to have deep pots or dig deeply in the garden to establish long taproots.

Until the weather warms up, you may want to begin herb cultivation indoors and then transfer plants outside during the summer.

Example

Basil, for instance, is a tropical plant that does well in warm conditions. Therefore, it will need to be kept away from drafts and get several hours of direct sunshine a day.

Place most herb planters in a south-facing window of a home to ensure they get ample sunlight and to allow the soil to dry adequately between waterings.

With many herbs, leaf production will diminish on any stems that flower. It is essential to pinch off flowers that form to encourage the herb plant to continue producing leaves, which are the parts of the plant most associated with seasoning and aroma.

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