How to grow herbs: Use ‘toilet roll tube trick’ for seed starting – ‘will decompose’

B&Q offer advice on how to plant herbs in a container

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The taste of homegrown herbs is unbeatable, and growing them at home is the easiest way to enjoy a range of flavours all year. Whether looking to fill a windowsill with colour or brighten up the garden patio, there are plenty of herbs which require little care. According to the team at Baby Bio®, basil, chives, mint, parsley, and thyme are great to grow for beginner gardeners.

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Select your herbs

The experts said: “The first step is to choose which types of herbs you want to grow.

“Be sure to consider factors like where you will be placing your plants, and whether you’ll be growing them from seeds or cuttings before making a decision.

“Keep in mind that some herbs are easier to grow from cuttings.”

This includes rosemary and mint, while basil and coriander are “delicately easy” to grow from seed.

Sow from seeds

The experts continued: “If you’re growing your herbs from seed, try the toilet roll tube trick to make transferring seedlings easy.

“Simply snip toilet roll tubes in half, line them up in a tray filled with compost and sow your seeds.

“We recommend sprinkling two to five seeds per tube to ensure they have plenty of space to grow.”

Once the seedlings are ready to be moved into their own pots, the entire toilet roll tube can be transferred without disturbing the seedings.

According to the experts, it “will decompose” eventually, making it eco-friendly too.

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Grow cuttings in containers

Some herbs can be grown from seeds, but it is often easier to take an established or even shop-bought plant to give herbs a head start.

Baby Bio® experts explained: “Using a clean pair of scissors, take a cutting by snipping just below a leaf node, so that you have a stem a few inches long.

“Prune away the bottom leaves, and simply pop your cutting into a glass of water and leave to root.

“Once roots have developed, you can plant your herb into a container of compost, firm down soil with your fingers, water and watch it grow.”

Pick a sunny spot

While you don’t need access to a garden to grow herbs, the “key” to growing herbs successfully is all in the positioning of the pots.

A windowsill or window box can work just as good as container pots in the garden, although the majority of herbs prefer full sun.

The experts said: “A south-facing spot is ideal to ensure your herbs get six or more hours of direct sunlight per day and are protected from any unexpected chilly winds or draughts.”

Herbs also require extra nutrients to grow and need herb food to keep healthy.

Most varieties of herbs require plenty of watering, so water generously once a week.

Baby Bio® experts recommended watering in the early morning or late evening, adding a few drops of fertiliser every two weeks.

Harvesting herbs

When herbs are ready to harvest, simply pinch the tops or snip them with scissors.

The experts added: “Make sure you nip out the leaves at the top to encourage the plant to bush out and grow.

“The more you pick off and cut back, the more you will stimulate fresh growth and be rewarded with bushier plants.

“You can also freeze leaves for use in the winter months. We recommended chopping them and packing tightly into an ice cube tray with water, then simply pop in the freezer.

“These can then be popped straight into hot or cold water for cooking or drinks, or added straight to hot pans if you’re making soups or sauces.”

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