The officinal sage is a small shrub: it is advisable to place it in a fairly large pot, with rich soil, slightly clayey, but also with good drainage. It is best to mix garden soil and flowering plant soil in equal measure, then add a few pebbles and a little bit of two handfuls of sand. Let’s keep in full sun and water only when the substratum is dry.
For the rest, it is autonomous: it only wants a fairly low pruning at the end of the winter: we will get a little woody individual and many new leaves.
Harvesting can be done at any time, choosing small and healthy leaves. The aroma goes well with meat and vegetables, but is also good for seasoning first courses.
- The Perovskia atriplicifolia is a perennial herbaceous variety that develops a woody shrub, native to Asia. It produces woody or semi-woody stems, quite branched, which give rise to a very small amount of wood.
- Phlomis, narrow relatives of sage and lavender, are rustic shrubs of Mediterranean origin; about ten species are known. These species produce large, well-branched shrubs, with branches of different kinds….
- Sage splendens, or shining perennial herbaceous plant, native to South America, grown in the garden as an annual. It has small dark green leaves, with a velvety appearance, of a floral nature and a…
- The Salvinia minima is an aquatic fern native to Central and South America, the other species of this genus, about ten, are native to Europe, Asia and Africa. This plant has a very good …
Oregano is a spontaneous shrub that is very common in the Mediterranean.
It requires a pot of at least 20 cm of diameter and a rich, but draining, substratum. We suggest mixing garden earth, flowering soil and sand in equal parts, creating an excellent drainage on the bottom. The ideal position is full of sun and wants occasional irrigations: let’s give water only when the soil is completely dry.
The collection of fresh leaves can always be done: they are used to flavor cheeses, in salads or raw on fish.
In summer it produces long inflorescences: let’s collect them in bunches and put them to dry in the shade. They are very fragrant and ideal for flavouring pizza, meat, fish, vegetables and fresh cheeses.
Basil is an annual herbaceous plant with triangular stems and small oval leaves, rich in essential oils.
The cultivation, in the summer, is very simple. We recommend to start from seed: we fill a pot with a mixture of compost, flowering soil and sand in equal measure. We distribute the seeds and cover with a light layer of soil, always keeping it moist. At germination we thin out; we wait for three pairs of leaves and proceed with the trimming.
We water regularly. The ideal exposure is sunny in the morning and shady in the afternoon. We regularly take the tops to avoid that they go to seed.
The leaves can be used raw on cheese and vegetables or for tomato sauces. Of course, they are the main ingredient of pesto: we prefer the smaller ones and use a mortar by hand for the realization.
Mint is a herbaceous plant found in fresh, clayey soils. We recommend to buy jars in the nursery: it is easy to find many varieties with aromas from the most intense to the sweetest and most fruity.
The cultivation is simple if we simulate the natural conditions of development: large pot, to expand quickly and heavy substrate: we use mainly garden earth to which we will add a good amount of compost. The exposure should be sunny only in the morning.
The leaves can be taken at any time during the growing season. The ideal is to use them fresh: the substances contained are capable of giving a particular sensation of freshness, ideal in combination with vegetables, fish, meat and fresh cheese. However, it can also be used in the composition of omelettes and, when fresh or dried, for making herbal teas and drinks.
Aromatic starter pack: the 5 aromatic plants to keep on the kitchen balcony: Parsley
Parsley is a biennial herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean basin.
Sowing is not difficult, but growth is quite slow. We recommend buying seedlings from a nursery: the price is modest and we will get results quickly. Let’s transplant in a deep and wide container filled with garden earth, rich soil and a bit of sand. We keep in a very bright area, but avoid the sun of the middle hours of the day. Let’s irrigate regularly, without stagnation.
Harvesting can be done as needed by taking only the leaves or stems from the base (we will stimulate renewal).
You can freeze it, but the ideal is to eat it fresh, raw: at the last minute on fish dishes, on vegetables, on fresh cheeses. It is an indispensable component of many accompanying sauces.
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