Growing your own home garden with useful plants and herbs that you can use for your kitchen and other things can be quite satisfying in so many levels.
Aside from that, a mini-garden in you balcony, patio, window sill, deck, fire escape or front steps is also a wonderful way to design your flat and get that homey feel. So no matter the size of your HDB flat, you can still find a way to have your herb garden – that is, if you have the patience of a gardener.
We’ve listed down our10 favourite herbs and plants that we want to grow in our mini garden at home.
Photo credits: Alexander Baxevanis via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Basil is probably one of the best herbs to grow in your home garden because of its many uses in the kitchen. You can use it in your sauces, salads, soups, and with pasta, fish, meat and poultry dishes.
Got skin blemishes or acne? Basil oil, with its potent anti-inflammatory property, is known to help clear skin blemishes. Incorporate it in your favourite recipe.
Growing tip: Basil can easily thrive anywhere, but it’s best to grow it under full sun and in moist soil. Water it every day or every other day. If you’re planning to grow other herbs in your mini-garden, you can try to grow basil together with thyme and parsley in a large enough pot container with at least 5 gallons of soil.
Photo Credits: F_A via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Mint is quite useful and helpful to us in so many levels – to refresh our breath, to aid in our digestion, alleviate nausea and headache, and to help ease some respiratory problems including asthma, skin problems and etc.
It can also be used to decorate and refresh our drink. Want some naturally flavoured water? Put a slice of lemon and a few leaves of mint in your glass or pitcher, and there you have it. Preferably, drink within the day.
Growing tip: this perennial herb grows so fast and can easily take over your mini garden. So watch out for it. To help control it, put it in a contained pot under a full sun or in partial shade.
Photo credits: Katherine Morozova via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Don’t be deceived by this pretty evergreen aromatic herb because it contains compounds such as carnosic acid that can reportedly help fight cancer cells. Feeling forgetful lately? Just a smell of rosemary can also supposedly improve your memory.
You can also add rosemary flowers to your fruit salad, pasta or rice dishes.
Growing tip: Rosemary thrives well in a container pot with quick-draining soil, under the full sun and with frequent watering. When grown indoors, keep the soil moist but not too soggy. Plant it somewhere where you can easily brush it when you walk by because rosemary releases its fragrant aroma with just a touch.
Photo Credits: cookbookman17 via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Oregano gives off a pungent flavour that is just perfect for many Asian and Mediterranean dishes, including in pizza and tomato sauces. This shrubby perennial herb has medicinal uses also; take a tablespoon or two of its juice to treat cough and colds.
Growing tip: Grow under the full sun and in a quick-draining soil. Grow it in a pot container with rosemary, sage and thyme.
Tiny Thyme (Photo Credits: Don Whitaker via Flickr, Creative Commons)
Steamed pudding with honey and thyme plums (Photo credits: Amelia Crook via Flickr, Creative Commons)
Thyme is also one herb that has many uses in the kitchen as well as for medicinal purposes. It has an antiseptic property and is even used as key ingredient in the commercial mouthwash, Listerine.
You can include thyme in just about a variety of dishes you can think of – from soups, salads, meat and seafood dishes, and even in champagne.
Growing tip: You can plant this outdoor or indoor, but make sure it gets lots of sunlight and put it in a well-drained soil. Avoid over-watering it.
Parsley (Photo credit: Nate Steiner via Flickr, Creative Commons)
Not a lot of people know that parsley is more than just a pretty garnish on the side of your plate. It has actually full of nutrients such as vitamins A and C, and a few leaves of parsley can already meet half of our daily recommended intake of vitamin K ,which is essential for healthy blood clotting.
Growing tip: Parsley is not a high maintenance herb. It thrives best on partial sunlight, but make sure it’s soil remains moist. Compared with other herbs here, parsley grows slower.
Photo Credit: Isaac Wedin via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Sage is a favourite culinary herb, especially in poultry dishes. Even the beauty industry loves to use this perennial herb because of its antiseptic and antioxidant properties, which are useful in the fight against early aging.
Like rosemary, sage is also thought to enhance memory and to help ease anxiety and fatigue. Some even rub it in their skin as insect repellent. You can also burn a few leaves inside a room to remove bad lingering odours from cooking fish or smoking cigarettes. Other uses include as a moth deterrent when dried leaves are hanged inside the closet.
Growing tip: Sage is a bit of a high maintenance herb, but it grows fast. Put in a quick draining soil with lots of sunlight. Water it ever other day.
Photo Credits: yevkusa via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a favourite herb in many Asian cuisines. Its tangy leaves or dried ground seeds (coriander) are rich in fibre and iron.
Growing tip: Thrives well under the full sun. It has deep taproot so make sure that you grow this in a deep container that is at least 12 inches deep.
Photo Credits: a.pitch via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Chives, part of the onion family, is also another popular culinary herb in many Asian dishes. It’s tasty and aromatic leaves are usually added to dishes just before serving.
This perennial herb is said to help boost the immune system and to lower the risk of developing prostate, stomach and breast cancers.
Growing tip: Chives thrives best under full sun and in well-drained potting soil container garden.
- Chilli/ Chilli Peppers
Photo Credits: Ben Salter via Flickr (Creative Commons)
If you love spicy food, then you can add chilli peppers in practically all of your dishes. There are many varieties of chili peppers as there are many uses for it in food and medicine.
It has been reported that a compound in chilli peppers called capsaicin can help fight prostate cancer cells.
Growing tip: Thrives best under full sun and good drainage. Make sure to keep the soil moist, but not too wet.