FAQ about Herbs

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10 Frequently Asked Questions about Herbs

Q1   Do herbs require a lot of water?

With the exception of some mint varieties, most herbs don’t like wet feet, so it is best to plant the herbs in raised beds & tubs or in well-draining soil. If grown on a window sill, only water when top inch of mix is dry (then water thoroughly).

Q2   Are herbs better used fresh or dried?

Herbs are best used when fresh as some nutritional minerals, vitamins, essential oils and other medicinal and health properties are lost when dried.

Q3   How much light do herbs require?

Herbs require a minimum of 4-6 hours of sunlight a day, so locate on a window sill with direct light, or under a fluorescent light if direct light cannot be achieved.

Q4   Do I fertilise my herbs?

Herbs don’t require a lot of nutrition, and in addition, our Hidden Valley Herbs are grown with a slow release fertilizer in the mix. So be frugal with fertilising in order to produce a healthier and tastier herb.

Q5   How do I harvest my herbs?

Inside herbs will reach for light and become leggy, therefore a delicate and selective pinch at the new growing tips is all that is required for pruning. This forces a bushier, attractive growth habit and encourages new growth periodically. Select sprigs of about 2.5-5cm at the growing branch tips for cutting.

Q6   Why are herbs grown in a soil-less mix?

This is purely for the drainage factor alone. With many different varieties, all with differing moisture, nutrition, aeration, and vigor requirements, it is essential that the correct properties are provided in the pot media. Soils may drain well in the garden but in a pot the walls restrict movement of the water through the soil column.

Q7   What do I do if pests & diseases become a problem?

The main problems you may encounter with indoors herbs are whiteflies, spider mites and possibly aphids. If this occurs, use an insecticidal soap to drench plants with a spray to ensure every surface of the plant is covered. These soap sprays are harmless to humans and are ideal for edible crops.

If you have the misfortune of mealy bug or scales in your herbs, it is recommended discarding your plants and starting with some fresh, new stock

Q8   Are the essential oils stronger in herbs which are grown outdoors, as opposed to those grown indoors?

Herbs are aromatic because they have essential oils that vaporise in the air, and for unknown reasons these concentrations are in greater quantity when grown in full sun. In the lesser light, aroma and flavour may not be as strong, but many find that their indoor herbs are sufficient in providing great flavour and aroma as desired in everyday cooking.

Q9   What are some herbs which are especially easy to grow on a window sill?

Most of the flavoured mints, curry plant, rosemary and oregano, are some of the easier varieties, plus various basils and the scented thymes.

Q10   What are some ways to use herbs in everyday cooking?

Herbs can be used to marinate meat or flavour roast, used fresh in salads or an omelette, and some can be used to flavour a pot of tea. The combinations are endless depending on your tastes and desires.