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Grow Your Own Herbs
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by: Celebrity Recipes Magazine

Lately, there has been a growing interest in cooking with herbs. Unfortunately, although some herbs are readily available in most supermarkets, local wet markets, and organic markets; some herb varieties are hard to come by. Moreover, since cooking with herbs usually just require a pinch or a leaf or two of the herbs concerned, most cooks are a bit way of buying in bulk.

The solution to this is to grow the herbs right in your home. However, there are considerations. Here are some of them:

Do you have space?
Fortunately, you do not need to have hectares of land to grow herbs. Some herbs are quite content in huge terra cotta pots especially those which are almost perennial in nature. Indeed, you can even grow herbs in pots right on your windows sill as they do not require much space.

How about an herb garden?
If you have enough space in our yard for an herb garden, however, some investment with regard to its maintenance is required. Most herbs are by nature soft and are easily damaged if children and pets can get to them. As such, installing a wire fence would be ideal.

Since most herbs are delicate by nature, it would be best to locate the herb garden in that part of your yard that is easily protected from the elements such as the wind, which may break the branches o these delicate plants. Be sure to let in enough sunlight in that section though, as herbs need sunlight in order to grow well.

Which are the most suitable herbs to grow?
All herbs are useful whether for cooking or for making homeopathic medicines. As such, all of them are ideal to grow. It really depends on ones interest though. Certainly, if you enjoy cooking with herbs, it would be best to grow those which one uses often for cooking. These include rosemary, parsley, sweet bails, oregano etc.

On the other hand, if your intent is to grow them for medicinal purposes, then by all means, grow those which are useful for making cures. These include local herbs like lagundi, alagaw etc.

Where can one buy herbs for propagation?
Fortunately, there are a lot of places in Metro Manila where one can buy herbs for growing. Some stalls at the Manila Seedling Bank for instance, specialize in selling herbs. The same goes for some specialty gardens along Mother Ignacia St. in Quezon City that sell hard-to-find herbs locally.

If one is more adventurous, an interested herb-fancier might go all the way to Silang and Tagaytay where some herb gardens are located. Of course these herb-growers nurture these plants to sell to ready buyers, so be ready to cajole and plead if need be, to get a specimen of the herb you desire.

Lastly, herbs for propagation (those sold in plastic pots ready for transferring) are not cheap. Nonetheless, some herbs can be bought for P50 to P100 pesos at the most.

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September 23, 2017

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