A great outdoor activity is to grow your own herbs, which not only enhance a garden but can also be used for cooking. There is nothing better than using your own freshly picked herbs.
Herbs are great for all size gardens. Even people with small gardens or for those that only have a balcony herbs do very well growing in pots.
Basil does well in early spring and prefers being in a sunny spot, so a windowsill is ideal. Basil can be planted out into the garden in summer if necessary or Basil seeds can be sown directly into the garden later in the spring.
Basil leaves give food a spicy flavour and is used mainly in soups, sauces, omelettes as well as meat, chicken and fish dishes. Basil is also used as a basis for pesto.
Chives can be planted in spring or autumn and should be planted in rows 30cm apart and 1.2cm deep. Once the seedlings are established they can be thinned. Chives taste like mild onions and are great in salads, egg and cheese dishes.
They are also used in cream cheese, mashed potatoes and various sauces. The flowers can be cut up into salads, and you can eat them while looking at the latest NRL Premiership odds, or while relaxing on the couch.
Coriander is planted in early spring 30cm wide and 0.6cm deep. Dry coriander seeds can be ground and used on veal, pork and ham prior to cooking.
Coriander roots are used to add flavour to soup and as an accompaniment to avocado and is also used in salads.
Dill is planted in early spring 0.6cm deep and 25cm apart in rows. The seeds and leaves have a slight sharp, bitter flavour and can be used dried or fresh.
Dill goes especially well with fish, soup, salads, meat, chicken, egg dishes and potatoes.
Fennel can be planted in the middle of spring. The seeds must be sown in groups of three or four, 45cm apart and 0.6cm deep.
Fennel has a slightly sweet taste and goes well with fish dishes as well as pork and veal. It is also used in salads. Fennel seeds can also be used and have a sharper flavour.
Mint is planted in autumn or spring and must be planted 10 to 15cm of the root 5cm deep and 30cm apart. Mint needs to be watered regularly. Mint has a tendency to take over and a way of preventing this is to sink boards or bricks 30cm deep around the plants.
Mint can be used in tea and used as a garnish for cold drinks. It can be used fresh or dried and a good accompaniment to lamb dishes.
Parsley is sown in the middle of spring and can be picked in summer. If sown in autumn it can be picked in winter, so parsley is a great all year herb. The seeds need to be soaked overnight and sown thinly.
Parsley has many uses but especially in salads, soups, stews, casseroles and egg dishes. Parsley can be served fresh with meat, fish and onion dishes as is a popular herb used for garnishes.