Looking to up your growing skills? Here's everything you need to know when growing herbs at home
Brought to you by Mash Direct
These simple steps will help your herb garden thrive.
For some of us, the pandemic brought with it an unexpected interest in all things gardening, including growing our own herbs and vegetables.
And while we all do our best to give our plants a fighting chance, you're not alone if you're struggling to keep your herbs alive and well.
Mash Direct are experts when it comes to growing your own herbs and veg, and have given us some much-needed advice for growing your own food at home.
As part of their Grow Your Own campaign, Mash Direct are giving away some amazing gardening tools to help you bring your herb garden to life. Keep reading for more details on how you can win this amazing prize!
But first, whether you're a skilled veg grower or a newbie who struggles to keep plants alive, everyone can learn something from these herb garden tips and tricks.
Choosing what to grow
You should take your circumstances into account when choosing what herbs or veg to grow.
If you're a beginner or live in an urban area, consider growing watercress, lettuce, herbs, spring cabbage, shallots or broccoli. These are good options to start out with as they grow quickly and easily, and don't require much attention or sunlight.
If you've decided to grow herbs, you can germinate seeds in an old egg carton, putting one seed in each space. To germinate, a seed just needs water, oxygen and the right temperature.
Mash Direct says the placing of the seeds is often where people go wrong when growing veg and herbs. Their experts advise all seeds are spaced out from each other, as too many seeds in a confined space leads to disease.
The best time of year to sow seeds is between the beginning of March and the end of April so, if you're just starting out, you might have missed this window.
It's still worth giving it a try though! Plants are powerful things and may still thrive over the upcoming summer months.
Using the right soil
The best kind of soil includes composted organic materials, so consider investing in a compost bin if you don't already own one. Wood ash, coffee grounds, bananas, tea leaves and egg shells are examples of organic matter suitable for growing herbs and veg.
It's best to place your herbs somewhere that gets lots of sunlight, be that a garden or a windowsill. If we get any unexpected heatwaves this summer, consider using mulch in your herb garden to help retain water. You should also bring your herbs indoors on cold nights.
Your plants need to be watered twice daily to reach their full potential. For certain veg such as cabbage and lettuce, you should net these to keep caterpillars and other pests away.
To keep insects away, plot some alliums such as onions, shallots or garlic with your other veg, as these can keep away any insects that are attracted to the herbs' scent.
Mash Direct is an award-winning independent company started by Martin and Tracy Hamilton at their family-run farm in Comber, in 2004.
Mash Direct are giving you the chance to WIN your very own Grow Your Own Kit or Gro-zone Greenhouse! Simply pick up a promotional pack in store and enter the unique code from the reverse of the sticker at www.mashdirect.com/growyourown to be entered into a weekly prize draw!
For more information on Mash Direct and on how to Grow Your Own, click here.
Brought to you by Mash Direct