Growing Your Own Herb Garden

My family has always been the one who likes to plant flowers and fruit trees. My parent’s fascination with plants has made our house filled with flowers and trees. And every time we went to our grandmother’s house, we won’t leave empty handed. My grandmother would always have some kind of plant for us to grow.

The view at the front of my house. The lawn wasn’t mowed at the time this picture was taken.

I for one share the same passion as well, though I don’t mend the garden a lot like my parents do but I still help around. Growing up, I always heard my grandaunt said that if I plant something, it’ll grow, added that I have ‘hot’ hands where everything I plant will grow. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not sure myself if I have that kind of hands. Some of the plants I planted or took care for, some grew healthily while some just wilt. Maybe it’s just some kind of superstition, I have no idea.

I for one share the same passion as well, though I don’t mend the garden a lot like my parents do but I still help around. Growing up, I always heard my grandaunt said that if I plant something, it’ll grow, added that I have ‘hot’ hands where everything I plant will grow. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not sure myself if I have that kind of hands. Some of the plants I planted or took care for, some grew healthily while some just wilt. Maybe it’s just some kind of superstition, I have no idea.

So, getting back to the topic, recently, I am into western dishes; salad, pasta and all that; and I would spend time surfing the internet looking for simple recipes that I can do. And when we would go to the supermarket, I would always stop by at the herbs section and picked out a bottle. Be it oregano, parsley or mixed herbs, I have them in my kitchen, getting them just in case the recipe that I found needs that kind of herb (and aside from the fact that I like my kitchen cabinet to look full with ingredients). Click here to find out about the recipes I made.

But sometimes, just having those bottles of herbs in your kitchen is not enough. I always wanted to have a herb garden at the back of my house, where when you need herbs for your cooking, you can just grab your scissors and cut a few stalks. So my quest for herb seeds starts. Every place that I go doesn’t have any type of herb seeds. I even went to Suria Sabah’s City Grocer but for a grocery store that supplies imported items, you expect (well at least I expected) for it to have herb seeds, but it has none!

So the quest continues and I found for types of herbs that I got from Servay Hypermatket, Putatan (all this while, the seeds that I’m looking for is just 10 minutes away from my house!) So I got thyme, sweet basil, dill and marjoram all for RM 3.90 each. I wish there’s more but that’s Servay has.

I even bought a bag of organic compound for RM 2.90.

Instead of getting small pots for my herbs, I opted for a more environmental friendly approach which I used instant noodle cups which I poke several holes on the base so water can flow through.

After that, put in the organic compound, plant your seeds (according to the instruction, marjoram and thyme needs to be 5mm deep, sweet basil 3mm deep and dill 6mm deep) and water. I used a water spray that I bought in a Japanese items store at 1 Borneo for RM 3.00 which I initially bought to water the cactuses inside my room.

Now, this is something that I got from the some craft site from the internet. Unless your seeds grow to have leaves and stalk, you don’t know what herb it is you’re plating. So comes labeling. There are lots of ways that you can (creatively) try to label your herbs. I used skewers, cellophane tape, pen and paper which look like this:

Since I’m going back to KL soon, my mum will take care of my herbs for me. You might think of your doing this, what’s in it for you? Well lot’s! Firstly, you can save money on grocery, improve your family’s health, and it is a form of outdoor exercise!

If you ever decide to have your own herb garden and confused on the instructions on the back of your seed packet which looks like this,

I apologize for the blurred picture.

(I take thyme for example) If you see the globe or region is marked with yellow suggestion a tropical climate. And the right side of the table contains two thick lines, grey and the other is black. The length of the grey line suggests that the time when you can grow your thyme and the black line suggests that when it’ll be ready. And since it’s almost the same length from February to November, our tropical climate makes it possible to grow thyme for almost the whole year.*

Under the table, first column indicates how much sun will your thyme needs. Second column, how deep you need to plant you seeds. Third column, how many days will your thyme start to grow its first leaf. Fourth, the distance needed between your thyme seeds if you decide to plant many. Last, how long will it be ready before it can be consumed.**

No confusion now, so happy gardening!

*&**Based on my own understanding. 

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