Spring onions are the leafy part of the onion plant. They add a fresh, pungent flavor to any dish or can be chopped up fresh from the garden and added as a delightful topping for any dish. As spring onions grow from onion bulbs, you’ll need to grow onions in order to get spring onions.
To plant onions, prepare the soil by weeding and adding fertilizer or compost several months before planting as they do not need much nitrogen. Onions grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. They also prefer sunny or partially shaded spots. Onions can be planted through 2 ways: either with the sprouting bulbs (also known as sets) or through the seed. However it is easier to grow onions from sets as it has already sprouted and they also require less work and maintenance, not to mention that you get your harvest sooner. Plant the sets into the ground by digging a little hole, with only the green sprout exposed. They should be planted approximately 30cm apart. Onions do not require much watering as too much water may cause them to rot.
Spring onions can be harvested 2-3 months from the date of planting. Harvest spring onions by cutting them from the base. They will grow back in another 2-3 months.
Parsley is one of the most popular herbs that are grown in English and Mediterranean herb gardens. Parsley is used primarily in western cuisine. Parsley can be used to add flavor or as a garnish. It is also a good source of nutrition and can be used for neutralizing strong smelling breath. Parsley can be planted from the seeds or from a single potted plant that can be found in nurseries and as a seasonal crop in supermarkets.
When growing from the seed, parsley takes about one month to sprout and up to 2 months from sowing before they are ready to be transferred to the ground. Single potted plants can be grown directly into the soil. De-weed the soil and loosen it prior to transferring and take special care to not damage the root. Parsley should be planted around 6-8 inches apart from each other. Parsley does not need fertilizer; as it will cause it to grow huge but flavorless, so add them sparingly once a month. The soil should be moist at all times so they have to be watered daily as well. Parsley is ready for harvesting from around 3 months from the day they are sowed.
Curry leaf plants are hardy plants with aromatic leaves that are widely used in Malaysian, Indonesian and Thai cooking due to its intense aromatic flavor. It is used to give curry its distinctive flavor and aroma. The leaves are usually not eaten, as they are very hard and tough. Curry leaf plants usually grow from plant cuttings or from seeds.
Both plant cuttings and seeds need to be planted in a temporary container with soil and compost to germinate them before they can be transplanted to the ground. It will take around 3 weeks for the seedlings to take root and once they do, they are ready to be transplanted to the garden. Curry leaf plants require lots of sunlight and water as well to grow well. Prepare the soil by loosening it up, adjusting it with fertilizer and de-weeding it. Plant the seedlings 12 inches apart from each other and water generously. Water the plants once a week. The plant should mature in around 2 months before its leaves can be harvested for cooking purposes.
Basil is a wonderfully fragrant leafy herb, which can be added to sandwiches, salads and pasta dishes. It has a distinctive aromatic flavor that makes it popular in both western and eastern cuisine. Basil plants grow from seeds or from plant cuttings.
Prepare the soil by loosening it up and removing any weeds present. Water the soil a day before sowing the seeds or plant cuttings, as they require moist soil to germinate and grow. They also need adequate sunlight to grow properly. Sow either the seeds or cuttings in the soil around 1-2 inches apart. Cuttings will generally grow faster than the seeds. More compost can be added after sowing the seeds or cuttings. Water the plants regularly as they require a lot of water. Pinch off flowers when they start to appear, as it will cause the plant to bolt, and produce fewer leaves in the process. This also causes the leaves to lose its distinctive flavor. Basil can be harvested at around 3-4 months after planting, when the plant is strong and well established.
One of the best known flavors in the world, mint gives a refreshing and sharp flavor to cocktails, desserts as well as savory foods. They are also a nice, refreshing addition to salads as well. Mint grows from a single plant instead of seeds. Mint plants can be bought from nurseries or grocery shops that may sell them as seasonal produce.
Mint can easily take over a small plot of land, so be sure to allocate a certain plot of land for them to grow without disturbing other plants. Mint is a hardy plant that grows easily and spreads very fast over a short period of time and can grow in any soil and any condition. After planting, water them daily, as they require a lot of water. Mint is ready for harvesting at any given time, especially when the initial plant has started spreading.
Coriander is an aromatic yet versatile herb popular in Asian cooking. Both the seeds and the leaves of the plant can be used, and they offer two distinct flavors. The seeds have a slight lemony flavor; they are often ground and used as a spice. The leaves (also known as cilantro) have a slightly bitter taste and can be chopped up and added to dishes or used for salads.
Growing coriander is quite simple. Coriander prefers sunny places with a little bit of shade, but they are at the same time very sensitive plants and tend to produce seeds instead of leaves when stressed out. Too much sun or unfavorable conditions will trigger them to produce more seeds but very little foliage, which is not a good idea if you are planting them for the herb itself. It is also because of this that they should be grown from the seeds and not transplanted. To plant them, prepare the soil thoroughly by digging it over, removing any weeds and incorporating organic matter, such as well-rotted manure or compost. Rake the soil so it’s level and sow seeds 4cm apart in drills 1cm deep.
Coriander takes up to 3 weeks to germinate. Give the plants a gap of 20cm apart to allow them to grow to their full size. Water them in dry periods and ensure the soil never dries out. If flowers develop remove them immediately – this ensures the plants focus their energy on growing new leaves. It is not normally necessary to feed coriander if the soil is well nourished. However, if the plants appear to be suffering give them a liquid organic feed to perk them up.
Leeks are part of the onion family and need similar conditions to grow properly. They need cool temperatures, rich soil and lots of water especially during the early stages. This vegetable is grown from seed and then transplanted to the garden. The seed will take 2-3 months before it is ready to planted to the garden.
To grow leeks, sow seeds in a seed bed for transplanting later on. Optionally, they can be sowed directly on the garden bed. Seeds should be sowed thinly in pre-watered drills 0.5 cm deep, and covered with a fine layer of soil. Thin seedlings to 10 cm stations. When the plants are pencil thick transplant them to their final position. Use a dibber or trowel to make the holes 15 cm deep and 15-23 cm apart, and puddle them in by filling the planting hole with water until the soil is snug around the leek. Water regularly in dry conditions and keep the area free from weeds.
Blanch the leeks (to increase the size of the edible part of the plant), by pushing the soil up around the plants to increase the soil depth by about 5 cm each time. You can also use collars or old toilet roll holders to get the same effect. This greatly improves the flavor of the leek.