Taking care of your herbs
Herbs are perfect for first time growers and children. Most herbs are low maintenance so are ideal for a busy family! This is also why they are good to grow with children. Chives are probably one of the easiest herbs to grow and are also useful on a wide variety of foods that children enjoy eating.
- Chives are hardy perennial plants and can be dug up and divided as they get bigger.
- You can grow chives from seed in the spring to plant in the garden or buy pots from your local garden centre.
- You will need to prune in late summer or autumn to encourage new growth in the spring.
- Chives need cutting back after they flower.
- Young plants need watering in but once established, chive plants need minimal care.
- Chive flowers scatter their seeds so chive seedlings grow each spring.
- They can be grown in any flower border or in pots in your garden.
- Chives look great in any kind of container.
- They can also be successfully grown on your kitchen windowsill.
- Snip with scissors instead of chopping them, and do not subject them to much cooking as they are delicate.
Herbs can be easily grown in the garden or in pots but are also perfect on the kitchen windowsill. Of course, having them to hand enables children to watch them grow more easily and to help take care of them. They are then readily available to use in family meals. If it is sunny outside your kitchen door this is also an ideal place to grow them.
Herbs thrive in sunlight so it is useful to choose a sunny spot.
Some soft stem herbs such as sage and mint will benefit from pinching out as they grow to make them bushier. This is a great activity for children as it helps them with fine motor skills.
Herbs which are shrub-like such as lavender and rosemary will need cutting back after flowering, once a year, to stop them becoming too woody.
The youngest growth on most herbs is the tastiest so pinch out the tips with your child to encourage lots of new shoots.
Herbs are always best used fresh. However, they can be very successfully frozen as long as they are kept in airtight containers.
Children can snip their herbs with scissors or simply tear them to add to their favourite dishes.
Have you ever grown herbs?