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I dig trees how to grow basil and coriander in your kitchen
How to grow basil and coriander in your kitchen
Step 1: Pick a pot
Choosing the right home for your herbs is vital. Coriander plants have long taproot, so pick a pot that's deep enough. If there's one thing coriander hates, it's being moved, so your pot needs to be large enough to house the fully grown plant.
For both plants, make sure the put has sufficient drainage. Finally, sterilise your pot before planting using warm water and washing up liquid.
Step 2: Get to planting
Fill the pot with a mixture of soil and fertiliser and add some water - you just want it damp rather than sodden. Spread your seeds evenly over the soil, making sure to give each one enough room. Add another half an inch of soil and cover them up. For your basil, you might want to add an organic fertiliser.
Keep your soil loose, don’t pack it too tightly as this will make it difficult for your plants to take root. It does best in soil that drains well: the soil from your garden might not be the best bet, so purchase a coarse soil from a garden centre.
A good tip if you want a continuous supply is to only use half of your planting pot to start with, leaving room for seeds that can be planted a week or two later, thereby allowing you to always have fresh leaves.
Step 3: Find the right spot
Both plants need as much sun as possible, so find a good spot on the windowsill or in a conservatory. Make sure it’s somewhere where they’re easy to keep an eye on: you don’t want the soil drying out because you’ve forgotten about them.
Coriander will run to seed if the conditions are too hot, and once it’s seeded it won’t produce any leaves.
Keep an eye on your basil - it’s slightly trickier than some other herbs in that it doesn’t do well when the temperature is too cool. If it’s placed in a spot where the air is too cold the leaves will droop and fade.
Step 4: Watch them grow
Make sure the soil is kept damp but not sodden - use a mister rather than pouring water so as not to dislodge your seeds.
After a week or so you should begin to see signs of growth. If flowers develop snip them off immediately as they take up energy that is better used growing new leaves.
With your basil, you’ll want to thin your plants out once your seedlings have two pairs of leaves. You can either snip the basil off at the soil, or remove the extra plants at the root if you want to replant them in another pot. Keep an eye on the size of your remaining basil plants: they can grow quite large, so at some point you may want to transplant it to a bigger pot.
Step 5. Time to harvest
Once the coriander stems reach 4 to 6 inches, it's ready to be harvested. Younger leaves have a better taste - older leaves can be a little bitter. Snip your basil leaves off at the tip of the plant. Remember to keep both plants trim to encourage new growth. And, of course, remember replant the seeds that each plant produces in order to produce a continuous harvest, meaning you always have lovely fresh herbs!
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