In celebration of International Herb Day (Saturday 6th May), Charlie Dimmock, of Ground Force fame, has teamed up with herb sweets Ricola, to share her top ten tips for growing and using herbs.
1. The medicinal herbs of sage and thyme simply love the sunshine and will grow best in sunny positions.
2. If you're growing basil, always water it before midday. This particular herb doesn't like its roots getting cold at night.
3. Rosemary is a very versatile herb. Not only can it be used for topiary, but it is also great for seasoning meat. The long shoots will also make great skewers on a barbecue.
4. Don't be fooled into thinking you need a garden to grow herbs. Provided they're well looked after, herbs can work really well in small containers as part of a window or balcony box.
5. If you're sick of flies in the summer months, you can simply cut some branches from your sage and hang it by the back door to ward off pesky invaders.
6. Did you know you can freeze herbs? If you start to accumulate too many cuttings, you can pop them in the freezer until you're ready to use them. This won't do any harm to their vibrant flavours either.
7. Not only is peppermint a great flavour in tea and other drinks, it also has medicinal properties that make it an antidote for stomach cramps, and can relieve cold and flu symptoms.
8. We love to have them toasted on the barbecue, but most people don't know that marshmallow is particularly good for alleviating dry coughs. A convenient excuse to have some...
9. Plantain can often be mistaken for a garden weed, but it's actually beneficial to the respiratory system. It helps to relieve coughs and can also act as an expectorant for inglammation in the mouth and throat.
10. Thyme can go a long way when you're cooking with it. However, the woody herb will need a light prune to keep its shape and prevent it from becoming too brittle.
To find out more visit Ricola.