Feast of herbs to last a season

By Rachel Vogan

Bang for buck, fresh herbs can't be beaten for flavour. Every home, no matter how big or small, is duty bound to have a herb or six of some sort. They are perfect to grow in pots, baskets, window boxes and at the back door.

Proactive businesses and councils around the country now have herb and salad gardens for staff at the office. Staff say being able to enjoy fresh herbs in sandwiches and salads for lunch has a positive impact on wellbeing. It seems growing something at work is a neat way to share gardening tips and tricks.

SUMMER HERB GUIDE: Keep planting mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary and sage. Blend SaturAid into the soil to help maintain good moisture levels in the ground. Soft annual herbs are not very forgiving if the soil totally dries out.

Sow coriander, dill, chervil, rocket and borage into trays of Tui Seed Raising Mix.

Moveable feast - grow herbs in pots and containers and take them on holiday with you. No need to miss out on the joys of fresh herbs just because you are away. Plant into Tui Herb Mix for optimum results.

Don't neglect their roots. Herbs, like veges, prefer a moist, fertile soil. Tui Eco-Fert provides a welcome boost to bolster herb production.

Save for a rainy day - freeze, dry or preserve excess herbs. Soft herbs such as basil, coriander, dill and chervil freeze well in snap lock bags. Drying herbs is a fabulous way to store them for use at a later date.

Mix it up - plant edible flowers and pretty annuals alongside herbs, or plant herbs among vege crops or blend them into the ornamental garden.

Visit www.tuigarden.co.nz and view the herb-growing guide for more tips.

HERB CULINARY GROUPINGS: Seafood herbs: dill, fennel, coriander, chives.

Herbal teas: lemon balm, lemon verbena, peppermint, chamomile.

Pesto: basil, coriander, parsley and rocket.

Indonesian, Thai, Indian and Chinese: Coriander, chives, Vietnamese mint.

- Stratford Press

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