Packaged versions can last up to three days, but if you want fragrant herbs at your fingertips whenever you cook then why not try growing your own herb garden?
If you want fragrant herbs at your fingertips whenever you cook then why not try growing your own herb garden?
Potted herbs can last one to three weeks after purchase and can then be transplanted to a larger pot, or your garden, for regrowing.
Marina Gómez-Caro González, grower at Lincolnshire Herbs UK, is responsible for growing potted herbs and making sure they’re in healthy shape before they hit ASDA supermarket shelves.
Here she shares her top tips for making your own herb garden last longer:
Remove the plastic sleeve
Potted herbs should be treated like other pot plants, so remove the plastic sleeve when you take them home to encourage the airflow around the stems. Some crops like coriander or dill can flop when the sleeve is taken off, but they should come back once they have been watered.
Repot your herbs
Healthy plants need to have healthy roots. Use a compost mix to give your plant extra nutrients and replant your herbs in a bigger container, or your garden, within a few weeks of purchasing to give your roots more space to grow. Repotting can be a stressful episode for plants so don’t be disappointed if they don't look great straightaway: they’ll need a few days to recover.
Keep your herbs outdoors
If you have space, keep your perennial herbs like rosemary, thyme, tarragon, sage and mint outside in a pot or plant them in your garden. The best time to do this is in spring or summer with milder temperatures, but they do need some time to adapt to their new conditions before they start to thrive.
Water your plants every other day
Overhead watering can cause mouldy leaves so you should water your plant from the bottom every other day. If there is a large amount of water leftover, this means that you’re watering your plant too much. More drought tolerant crops like rosemary or thyme need less water compared to chives or mint, which grow best in moist conditions.
Choose a spot near natural light
People usually put their pots in the kitchen, however it’s best to keep them away from damp spots like next to the sink. Place your herbs near natural light, but away from extreme heat.
Trim your herbs
When selecting herbs for cooking, trim don’t pick your herbs. This will encourage your plant to branch. Try to leave some older leaves in the plant and don’t overharvest the pot as it will take more time to recover.
Remove the flowers buds
Most plants flower to reproduce themselves. If herbs flower then they’ll stop growing leaves, so if you want to keep seasoning your dishes, simply remove the flower buds.