ACHIEVERS SPOTLIGHT

No green thumb required!

Vitamins and Supplements

Shop-bought herbs rarely last long enough to make it into the pan, so why not start your own indoor herb garden?

Fresh herbs add natural flavour and aromas to your cooking, and come with excellent benefits, including the potential to cut back on salt by adding natural seasoning to your food, add essential vitamins to your diet, and act as powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

It doesn’t require much space or much of a green thumb – you can find herb seedlings and potting soil at your local nursery. Herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and mint will add a bit of zing to every dish you make.

Planting and growing

Place your herb garden in a spot in or near the kitchen that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. Choose pots with enough space to allow roots to expand and with sufficient drainage holes. Loosely fill the pots about three-quarters full with soil and water just enough to moisten but not drench.

Remove the seedlings from their containers and, taking care not to damage the roots, loosen the soil at the root base. Place the plant on top of the soil in your pots and add enough soil to cover the roots. Lightly pat down and water, again being careful not to drench your plants. Over-watering is one of the main reasons that herb plants don’t survive.

Harvesting and caring

Your herbs can be harvested 4-6 weeks after planting. Clip as much as you need, but no more than a third of the plant at a time. Make sure to harvest often enough that the plant doesn’t begin to flower, as it will focus its energy on blooming and will produce little foliage, and it’s the foliage we want!

If it does begin to flower, pinch off the blooms and clip the stalks back by about a third. Herbs do well when they are clipped regularly, so if you can't keep up with your plant, clip as much as necessary and preserve. You can chop your herbs into an ice-cube tray, then cover with water and freeze, dry them by tying them together and hanging them upside-down for a few days, or make flavoured butters.

While you’re waiting

Want to boost your daily herb intake while you wait for your garden to grow? Pour yourself a lovely cup of bodykeyTM Herbal Tea. Flavoured with lemon grass, green tea and nettle, it is low in calories and delicious.

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