Fresh herbs add flavour without sodium or calories

Herbs are a delicious addition to any soup, salad, or entree

Imagine a food that adds colour, flavour and vitamins without any calories.

This food exists, and can be grown cheaply in the convenience of your own garden: fresh herbs. Herbs are a delicious addition to any soup, salad, or entree; in fact, they can define it. What is bruschetta without basil or a mojito without mint?

Garnishing a dish with fresh herbs is like sprinkling a little “wow” on your meal, especially if you have grown them yourself.

Spring is the time to plant your own herb garden. In general, herbs have best flavour before they flower. Furthermore, you should not take more than one-third of the plant at a time if you want re-growth. Here are some herb-specific tips:

Basil: likes warm soil and lots of sun, so start it indoors and move it outside mid-may. To harvest basil, pinch off the growing tip, and it will keep growing back. Fresh basil turns brown below 4 degrees, so store them in the door of your fridge.

Coriander/Cilantro: can be planted after the last frost in a semi-shady spot. Cut leaves when they are 4-6” in length and they will produce a second cutting 2-3 weeks later. Cilantro flowers form clusters of little green seeds, that turn brown when mature. These are the spice coriander. If you let these fall into your garden, they will self-seed and grow back the following year.

Chives: can survive cold temperatures and grow almost anywhere that gets some sun. When harvesting chives, cut the stems close to the base of the plant. This encourages new growth. Chive flowers are also edible and make a lovely garnish on a salad.

Mint: can spread everywhere, so you may want to keep it in a pot or away from your main garden. Mints prefer soil with lots of moisture and a little afternoon shade.

Parsley: seeds have a tough outer shell and do better if you soak them overnight before planting. Parsley is biennial, so it will live for two years.

Dill: grows best putting seeds directly in warm soil (May or later). Dill attracts many beneficial insects. Like cilantro, it will self-seed, so do not be surprised if you see it popping up all over your garden the following year!

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon River upgraded to flood watch, residents warned to protect property

Forecast of high temperatures, rain could lead to rapid rise in waters

Salmon Arm Airport closed to upgrade condition of taxiway

Taxiway Charlie to improve the efficiency, safety and capacity of airport

Shuswap SPCA expands animal food bank service to pet guardians in need

Pet food also available through Second Harvest Food Bank

COVID-19 closes Okanagan College summer camps

Popular Camp OC put on shelf from Salmon Arm to Penticton, and Revelstoke, until 2021

COVID-19: Salmon Arm council to terminate contract for Visitor Information Centre

Chamber to close centre doors at end of August after 25 years, city to welcome digital proposals

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Peachland recovery task force proposes larger patios

Several initiatives proposed by the Peachland COVID-19 recovery task force will go to council tonight

Fatal motorcycle crash on Highway 97 near Summerland

The incident involving a motorcycle happened just before 4 p.m.

Tagging Suicide Hill in Vernon in lieu of grad party?

City councillor pitches idea to revive old tradition amid COVID-19 pandemic

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read