Since there is less gardening to do outside at this time of year, there is more time for growing herbs inside. Most herbs that grows outdoors can be grown indoors on the kitchen window sills where you can harvest as you need it.
In late fall fragrant herbs can be started from seed or by dividing a perennial from an outdoor garden. As long as they get at least five hours of direct daylight per day in a room that stays at 60 to 70 degrees F. Many herbs will do fine indoors.
Annuals such as basil, coriander (cilantro), dill, summer savory, and perennials including catnip, chamomile, chives, lavender, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme, can started from seeds indoors in the fall or winter.
To start herbs from seed, plant seeds directly into containers in loose, well-drained soil. A mixture of coarse sand, peat moss and loam works well. Place seeds on soil surface and cover with soil about twice the depth of the diameter of the seeds. Keep in a 65 to 70 degrees F. room temperature.
Water each pot gently, daily, preferably with a spray bottle of water. Cover with a wet paper towel until the seeds germinate, to prevent mold or fungus infections. Remove the wet paper for a couple of hours and expose them to fresh air.
Once herb seeds sprout, put them in a cooler area with indirect light. Turn the containers daily to keep them growing straight. When the seedlings have two sets of leaves, thin them to about one and one-half inches apart or transplant them into their final home. Dill with a taproot, does not transplant well. Fertilize lightly with a well balance fertilizer.
TOMATO SOUP WITH FRESH HERBS
Delicious soup bursting with flavor.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
5 cups diced fresh tomatoes (2 pounds)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 1/4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoon sugar
Fresh herb sprigs for garnish
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano or basil and thyme and cook, stirring often, until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in broth, tomato paste and sugar. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered, 15 minutes. Process soup in food processor until smooth.
Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with fresh herbs.
Rosemary and Thyme
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