How to grow Turmeric

Turmeric is a yellow colored herb used as a spice in Asia. It is best known as the yellow spice in the Indian cuisines. Turmeric is a tropical crop and is usually grown outdoors in the plant beds. The herb grows best in the warm climates, but cannot tolerate low temperatures.

Turmeric is different from other Asian herbs. You harvest the roots of the plant instead of leaves. It takes almost ten months to grow the crop. This post explains how to grow the turmeric crop in your garden.

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Growing the turmeric

The turmeric plant does not produce seeds, so you need to get its roots from the market. You can use the roots to grow the sprouts, or you can buy them from a nursery or online store. Once you get a rhizome or root, you can easily plant the root. You can plant the roots by burying them 2 to 3 inches below the potting soil in a container or plant bed.

If the root has knobs or buds, plant it in a way that they face upwards in the soil. Sprinkle some water to keep the ground moist but not too wet; otherwise, the roots may rot. The roots may take a month to sprout. The best time to plant the roots in the late fall.

Planting

The months of September and October are the best to plant the turmeric plants. Plant the rhizomes 6 to 7 inches deep in the soil on the ridges or in the pots. Plant the roots 30 to 40 cm or 15 inches apart as the roots will grow sprouts.

The rhizomes need sunlight and moisture to sprout and grow. Plant them where they can receive direct sunlight and sprinkle the water regularly to keep the soil moist but not too wet. Some rhizomes have many buds; you can cut them into pieces and make more roots.

Garden beds or pots

You can plant the turmeric plants in both the garden bed or pots as you like. If you live in a location where the temperature is moderate, it is good to plant turmeric in the garden beds. However, in the areas where the temperature usually remains low, it is better to plant them in pots.

The main advantage of growing turmeric in pots is that you can move the containers to sunlight and indoors as required.  Planting in pots is also beneficial in locations that receive heavy rainfall as the roots may get rot due to excessive water in the garden.

Maintenance and care

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Turmeric needs proper care like watering, fertilization, and protection from pests. Let’s check out how to take care of your turmeric plants.

Watering

Turmeric plants need consistent and adequate watering. Use a sprinkler to water the roots or plants. It is best to water them when the soil becomes slightly dry as over-watering may slow down the growth. They need more frequent watering if grown in the soil mixed with sand or in a low humidity area.

Fertilizing

You can use a general purpose vegetable fertilizer for turmeric plants. It is important to fertilize near the base of the shoots, but not close to stems. If the leaves of plants become yellow or burn at the ends, they are the signs of over-fertilization or overwatering.

Harvesting the turmeric

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You can harvest the turmeric plants after 8 to 10 months of planting. The yellowing of leaves or drying of the stem is the sign of mature turmeric plants. You need to dig up the complete plants with the roots. Wash the soil from the roots with fresh water and keep some rhizomes for replanting in the next season.

 

 

 

 

 

How to grow dill in containers

Dill is an herb which has been used in many kitchens to add flavor meats, especially fish and even directly as a garnish on the plate. Not just taste to the food; the yellow flowers on dill add beauty to the garden as well. Herbs like dill generally look good when planted in a pot. Scientifically called “Anethum Greveolens,” dill is the only species in the genus Anethum.

Dill finds its applications in the soap manufacturing as well. The industrialists extract its oil from the seed and distill it to get soap at the end. The oil is also extracted from its leaves and stems.

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The next time you cook fish or bacon and want to add dill for garnishing, take the fresh herb from your own yard and surprise everyone. If you don’t have dill in your garden yet, you should consider it! Dill grows well in containers and is pretty easy to care for once established.

Soil Conditions

Although dill can grow in poor soil conditions, it grows much better in sandy, well-drained, or loamy soil which is slightly acidic in nature. For dill to get adequate nourishment, the temperature of soil must be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spacing

The maximum height any dill herb can achieve is 3 feet. It does grow much wider as well. So you need not worry about the space that it takes. Anyone can easily afford a little space for something as great as dill.

Site Temperature

You need to protect dill from the gust of winds. Heavy winds can damage the herb in a matter of minutes. It grows much better when exposed to the full sun. Dill is such an excellent herb that it can survive temperature as less as 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Do It

Choose and Fill the Container

To grow dill in a container, choose a pot which is deep enough to accommodate the long roots of the plant. It should not fall down due to the weight of the plant. You can plant dill in your existing an existing herb box, a metal raised garden bed, or even a single planter

Sprinkle Seeds on the Soil

Fill the container with the soil and then sprinkle the dill seeds on the surface of the soil. Cover these seeds with a quarter an inch of the layer of soil.

Expose to Direct Sunlight

Irrigate the Seeds

Now water the soil so that it gets moist. During the germination period, make sure the soil stays a little moist. Keep it in mind that overwatering can cause significant harm to the plant. The best way to prevent overwatering is to make sure you are using a suitable potting mix if indoors or that the soil/depth combination in a raised garden bed is adequate to provide drainage.

Thinning seedlings

After about two weeks, you will be able to spot the signs of seedling emerging from inside the soil. Once you see the sprouts getting bigger, you will need to trim them. The thing here is that the lightest one must be removed so that the healthiest one keeps growing.

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Water Plants

If the pot is inside the house, you can re-water once or perhaps twice weekly. However, the ones kept outdoors need to be irrigated every day.

Fertilizing Dill

Note that it is crucial for dill to be fertilized to grow. Fertilizers, however, must not be applied directly to the seed. A soluble fertilizer in its diluted form must be sprinkled on the dill every four weeks. Excess of fertilizers can affect the plant from producing tasty leaves.

Harvest the Leaves

Dill leaves usually get ready to be used within the first two months of the plantation. You can also do it when you feel that the herb is long enough to be used for culinary purposes. Make sure you cut them close of the stem. It is preferred to harvest them when the temperature is slightly cooler.

Storing Dill

Once you have harvested the dill leaves and flower heads, it is necessary to store them properly, so they don’t lose the taste and aroma. To keep them fresh, a plastic bag or even a damp paper towel can be used.

How to make an herb garden for cooking

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Herbs are essential for cooking. They can make a simple dish flavourful and interesting. They are also healthier replacements for processed ingredients that you can buy in the supermarket these days. The only problem though is certain herbs are hard to find, and some are seasonal. They can be costly as well.

So growing your own herbs is a practical way to save money and to ensure you have fresh herb anytime you need it. If you want to start your own herb garden for cooking and don’t know where to start – then this guide is for you.

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Choose your selections of herb

Before starting your own herb garden, select first which herbs do you need. There’s no hard rule on selecting herbs. The most important thing is to start with something that’s handy, and you can use often.

To give you an idea, below are the easiest herbs to grow in your garden and their uses.

Basil

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Basil is a culinary herb belonging to mint family and is used for different cuisines worldwide. It is an essential ingredient for Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. It is a versatile ingredient and is known as the base for pesto, and it works well with pizza, salad, and sandwiches. Vinegar, oil, and dressings can be made from basil too.

Mint

Mint is another popular herb famed for its flavor. It is known to complement drinks and can be made as a stand-alone low-calorie drink. It is a great source of vitamins and minerals and known to aid digestion problems.

Dill

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Dill is an aromatic annual herb of the celery family. It is another versatile herb that is good for soup, salads, cream cheese, pickles and as an ingredient for drinks. It has a piquant fragrance that reflects on its flavor. It is most popular in Central Asia and Northern and Eastern Europe.

Parsley

Parsley is one of the most common herbs used for garnishing. It is also known for boosting the taste of a dish without adding an unhealthy amount of salt or sugar. It also a good source of vitamins, minerals and is known to have the highest concentrations of Myricetin. It’s a flavonoid that helps prevent certain cancers.

Thyme

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Thyme is a popular herb that compliments soups, stews, meats, and sauces well. It is an herb of the mint family. It has subtle minty flavor and dry aroma. The uses for thyme extend to its health benefits including antibacterial properties and acne-fighting ingredients. Storing thyme is not a problem. You can either freeze it or dry it to use for future cooking.

Cilantro

Cilantro is also known as coriander or Chinese parsley and considered as one of the oldest herbs in history. It is used mostly for salads, pasta, stir-fry, soups, chutneys, and stews. It also a good source of several vitamins, minerals, and antibacterial properties.

Lemongrass

A personal favorite, lemongrass is an herb known for its subtle lemony aroma and citrus flavor. It is a popular ingredient for Southeast Asian cuisines. Lemongrass is a popular stuffing for anything roasted. A glass of lemongrass tea will also change the way you look at tea.

Where to plant herbs

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You can plant most of these herbs in a pot in your garden. If you don’t have a garden or has limited space, you can also place the pots in a balcony, window chills or any space in your kitchen where the plants can get sunlight. Most herbs are low maintenance plants, and they don’t require too much space to grow.

What do you need

  • herb seeds/ plants
  • small size pots
  • well-drained potting soil
  • compost
  • trowel

How do you make an herb garden for cooking

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The process of planting herb is easy even for beginners. Below are the step-by-step process of making an herb garden for cooking.

1. Choose the herbs that you will often use as a starter.

2. Select a location where you can place your herb containers or pots. Make sure the herbs get at least 6 hours of sunshine so place it in a south-facing window to get enough sunlight if you are planning to place it indoor. Like all the plants, they thrive better with an adequate supply of sunlight. If it’s winter, use fluorescent lights as alternative light.

3. Prepare the soil. Fill the container with potting mix. Herbs grow better in the well-drained soil so make sure to choose the proper soil for your herbs. Add compost to supplement the soil nutrients and for the herbs to grow better and faster. Make sure to use individual containers/ pots for each herb, so it gets specific care that it needs.

4. Sow seeds. Each herb has a different planting depth so check the seed packets for instructions.

5. Water the seeds right away after sowing.

Proper care for the herb garden

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1. Some herbs require watering every 2 to 3 days while others require daily especially for the herbs planted outside. To ensure that the herbs get proper care, always check the soil. If the soil is getting dry, then it’s time to water the plants.

2. Contrary to popular belief, herbs don’t die when you harvest from it often. In fact, it encourages the growth of the plants. So try to harvest as often as possible.

3. Remove weeds occasionally.