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Herbs provide a plethora of uses for the home gardener


Herbs have many uses. Sometimes homegrown herbs can simply liven up the taste of food while others are grown for medicinal purposes, insect repellents, beauty treatments, disinfectants and cleaners.
Meanwhile, inside the home, herbs can provide a pleasant, clean scent to your rooms.

Basil and green onions in raised bed outside. Photos: Ann Johnston / LFN

Growing herbs inside requires at least six hours of sunlight from a sunny south- or east-facing window. If this is not available, consider using an electric “grow light.”

A bed of oregano, dill and other herbs.

Herbs enjoy water, but not being soggy. Be sure the pot drains well. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, chives and mint grow well indoors, and often ultimately grow too large and need to be moved to a larger pot or outside.

If grown outside, herbs still need their six-plus hours of sunshine. Also, protect them from the wind outside and drafts inside.

A layered herb drier.

Suggestions: A normal-sized plant can be kept outside with a small pot fully separated from the parent plant to keep in your kitchen window close to the cooking area.

Hints: When trimming, never take more than 1/3 of the total plant so it can continue to grow.

Inside one layer of an herb drier.

• Fertilize with liquid fertilizer every 1-2 months.

• Store extra herbs by drying or freezing

Dill growing in a flower bed among other bushes.

Look for: There are many websites written about storing, growing and caring for herbs. Check these out for more information.

Come back next week for more things to look for, hints and suggestions in the Garden Gate.

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