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Winter can be disheartening for the green-thumbed among us.
As temperatures drop and days get shorter, it can be a struggle to keep plants flourishing, let alone find the motivation to spend hours outside in crisp winter air. Luckily, some plants prefer the colder months and will even thrive indoors.
Here are our top three winter herbs to grow this season:
Coriander grows best during the cooler months of the year. In summer the plant transitions from leafy to seedy too quickly and it's hard to make use of the leaves. In autumn, winter and spring it stays leafy for longer.
Coriander grows well garden beds, pots, and even indoors but it loves a lot of sun so make sure it's near a bright window if it's indoors. Good quality potting mix will make all the difference for potted coriander. It likes regular fertilizer (feed it with liquid or soluble fertilizer monthly) and regular water, so try and keep the soil lightly moist by watering it about twice a week.
Mint is one of my favourite herbs to grow at home because it's such an energetic little herb and thrives under all sorts of conditions. It's also great in cocktails, which is just an added bonus.
Mint grows well indoors and is happy in indirect sunlight. Make sure you have a pot or container with decent drainage and a good quality potting mix. Plant the mint and water it well then place it by a window where it will get about 4-6 hours of sunlight per day. Keep the soil lightly moist, but not overly wet.
You can even grow mint in a glass of water! Just take tip cuttings (about 10-15cms in length) from a healthy mint plant. Pull off the bottom leaves and place the cuttings in a glass of water/bottle/vase. Keep it in a sunny window with at least 4-6 hours of light each day.
Tip: Rotate the mint plant every few days so the light is evenly distributed, or the plant will end up lopsided.
Dill prefers cool weather (the Australian autumn and winter are perfect) and it's relatively easy to grow indoors. Dill leaves will usually be ready to harvest in 6-8 weeks.
Plant dill seeds in a deep container to allow for the long roots. Make sure the container drains well and the soil is compost rich. Dill loves sun, so it really needs to be near a window with about 6 hours of sun per day.
For best results, water the dill regularly. Water until the soil is moist and don't water it again until the top soil is completely dry. Fertilize dill every 6 weeks with a half strength liquid or fish fertilizer.
Why grow your own?
By growing produce at home you reduce CO2 emissions from the food supply chain in areas including transport and processing. Herbs are a great place to start when it comes to growing your own food because they're relatively easy and resilient!
[image from Shutterstock]
What you can do
Growing Thing... Gardening Is Good
It’s fun and rewarding to grow some of your own herbs and vegies, especially if you use them in your own cooking. Even just a pot or window box with tasty herbs is a good start. But imagine growing your own tomatoes, lettuce and carrots.