Norwalk, Conn. (PRWEB) March 10, 2008
As the organic food trend grows stronger worldwide, more people have decided to grow their own produce at home. Edible flowers, vegetables, fruits and herbs are among the favorites. At Home Rewards (SM), a leading discount membership program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC, reports that although herb gardening is less complicated than flower or vegetable gardening, there's still a learning curve.
Herb gardening is a good way for non-experts to start a garden, whether in a yard or in pots placed on a sunny windowsill. Selecting which herbs to grow is the first step, one that should be taken seriously. The garden should be composed by easy-to-grow herbs that can also serve as a complement for the dishes prepared at home. Pizza lovers will pick basil, parsley is a favorite of Italian dishes fans, and those who go for Mexican or Indian cuisine will choose cilantro first and foremost.
Once the herb choices are made, what's next? AtHomeRewards has put together a simple list of tips to have in mind before and during the growing process at home:
-- The beginning. Visit the local garden store or the closest nursery to find seedlings or seeds of the herbs you've chosen. Try your luck with two or three different kinds.
-- Initial treatment. Soak seeds in water prior to planting them in the soil. Another trick is to place them between wet paper towels and into plastic bags for at least four hours.
-- Well-grounded. Make sure to get the best potting soil, perlite and peat moss. A good potting mix is one that allows for fast draining, because all herbs need a well-drained soil.
-- A place to grow. Purchase clay or plastic window boxes or pots, and look around the house for containers you can recycle as pots. Clay pots are recommended because they provide better air circulation for the roots. Those who might forget to water the herbs frequently should pick plastic, metal or ceramic containers.
-- Let it drain. As important as the material of the pot is the drainage it provides. Herbs need a lot of water and a drainage hole for the moisture to escape as needed.
-- Enough sunlight. Indoor herbs need five to six hours of direct sun each day. Some expert gardeners recommend placing the pots on top of the refrigerator while the seeds sprout, then moving them to a sunnier spot once they have germinated.
-- Ideal pH. Measuring the pH of an herb garden sounds more complicated than it is. Hardware stores carry easy-to-use pH and fertility testing kits for beginners and experts. 6.5 is the ideal pH of the soil, which is slightly acidic.
-- Dry and use. The leaves have the best flavor, so it's recommended to remove them from the stem before drying. This will avoid later contamination of the flavor and aroma. Rinse them in cold water, and let them air-dry in a cool spot (two weeks for drier climates, three to four for humid areas).
Herbs make a healthy and flavorful addition to cooking and also serve medicinal and aromatherapy purposes, concludes At Home Rewards.
AtHomeRewards is a leading membership discount program offered by Adaptive Marketing LLC. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Adaptive Marketing is a category leader in membership programs, bringing value direct to consumers through an array of benefits in healthcare, discounts, security, personal property and personals. Members may access their benefits at AtHome-Rewards.com. With broad online and offline distribution capabilities, Adaptive Marketing offers its corporate client partners effective tools to enhance market presence, strengthen customer affinity and generate additional value through programs such as At Home Rewards.