Fresh herbs add an extra kick to tea and can be a decorative eye-catcher for guests or a cosy wellness evening. Spring is the right time of year to grow many of these popular green revitalisers. If you don't have a garden, a plant pot on your balcony or windowsill is usually more than adequate. There are however a few things to bear in mind. Some herbs like the sun, but some prefer the shade. Some like sandy soil while others like damp, nutrient-rich earth.
This annual spice plant needs a warm, sunny spot with plenty of water to thrive and unfurl its aromatic leaves. Indian basil which is held in high regard in Ayurveda healing, also referred to as Tulsi and actually native to topical regions, can also be grown in the European climate. A plant pot that can be moved indoors in cold weather is best suited since Tulsi is susceptible to frost.
Did you know that there are over 20 different varieties of mint? Each variety has its very own characteristic flavour. The best-known is probably peppermint - valued for its refreshing effect as a result of its high menthol content. Mint plants love humus-rich soil and damp ground in sunny to semi-shaded spots. It is advisable to grow mint in flower tubs since they form underground offsets and are inclined propagate through the garden in an uncontrolled manner.
Sage: common sage is one of the oldest medicinal herbs in the European region. It is native to the sparse, sandy soils of Italy, which is why this plant variety thrives particularly easily. Sage loves the blazing sun and meagre soil. Sandy, calcareous soils enriched with lava or pumice are ideally suited. Sage seeds should only be lightly pressed into the soil because they need light to germinate. After approx. two weeks you will see the first seed leaves.
Lots of water and plenty light is the motto of this refreshing herb. Lemon balm unfurls its most potent aroma in sunny or semi-shaded and wind-protected corners. Waterlogging should however be avoided in order to prevent any of the roots forming mould. A clayey, nutrient-rich soil which is loose and permeable is best suited. You can also mix a little sand or mineral-bearing compost under the soil. Lemon balm usually grows very quickly, meaning you can harvest the luscious leaves several times a year.
One more tip:
Herbs are best harvested in the morning because it is then that the plant is at its freshest and has the highest essential oil content.