Kitchen gardens are a delight. And keeping a kitchen is an essential part of good housekeeping. You can grow all types of vegetables and herbs that heal. But how to have one when you have no space. Now, this is easy. If space crunch is a problem, keep few small pots and fill them with organic herbs. They are useful as they have many health benefits. They are also easy to grow and do not require much space. Pluck them just before use in your cooking or salad to enjoy their fresh flavour and health benefits.
Herbs you can plant in your kitchen garden:
Indian green chilli plant: Green chilli is an easy to grow and sturdy plant that needs almost no effort on your part. They are used in almost every Indian recipe. Sow the seeds of dry chillies in a pot with five millimetre of compost soil. Sowing three seeds together increases the chances of germination. Set those seeds five to 10 centimetre apart and water them properly. They will germinate within one to three weeks. When seedlings have two pair of leaves, shift them to a medium or large container. The container should have adequate drainage. Keep the container weed-free and water it early morning and late in the evening. Green chilli is a warm weather plant. They need plenty of sunlight. When seeds grow into a mature plant, tie it to a stake to avoid bending. When the chillies are fully developed, just cut at the stem or pluck them carefully. Wash hands thoroughly afterwards.
Mint: Growing mint in your kitchen garden is easy. Take a pot with adequate drainage. Pot your mint plant with a good potting mix (equal amounts of sand, peat and perlite mixed in well). Plant the mint herb. Water them well after planting. Keep the pot in an area that receives indirect sunlight. Keep it moist but not overly wet. Water it only when the upper soil becomes dry. You can fertilize it occasionally with all-purpose water soluble fertilizer. Over fertilisation may make it to lose its flavour. It grows and spreads rapidly. So, it needs enough space to grow. For usage purpose, cut the top half of the plant with sharp scissors.
Coriander: Coriander loves sunlight. So, sow the seeds and keep the plant outside so that it can enjoy the sun to the fullest. Till the soil well and remove the weeds. Put well-rotted manure or compost in it. Rake the soil. Sow the seeds four centimetre apart in drills one centimetre deep. The seeds start germinating after three weeks. Allow them to grow to their full size. Water them regularly so that the soil does dries out. If flowers develop, remove them immediately, otherwise the focus of the plant will divert from leaves to flowers. Re-sow coriander every three weeks to ensure continual supply of the herb in your kitchen. Pluck each fully developed leaf off the stem gently. It’s a versatile herb most popular in Indian, Chinese and Thai cuisine.
Fenugreek: This herb smells like maple. It can be easily grown in your kitchen garden. Take a pot and fill three-fourth of it with compost. Sow a handful of fenugreek seeds spreading them evenly. Water little just to make compost moist. Cover the seeds with compost and water again. Water daily but don’t over-water. After two weeks seeds will bloom to leaves. Fully grown leaves should be harvested by cutting the stems with a sharp scissors. For best result sow the seeds in well-drained loamy and slightly acidic soil (pH 6.5). It should be grown in full sun to part shade or filtered sunlight.
Spinach: Spinach is super-fast growing herb. It takes only two months from the sow to harvest. Quick to grow. We all love to eat it. It is best grown in trays six inches deep. Fill it with coco peat. Sow couple of seeds in rows giving a gap of three to four inches. Seedlings will start emerging slowly. Harvest them when fully grown. Just cut the mature leaves using a sharp scissors and leave the tender growing plant for the next harvest. Sow spinach seeds every ten days to get it throughout the year.
Apart from the many health benefits of the herbs, the joy of having a kitchen garden is healing. You can start with a pot or two and then have more.