We add herbs and spices to our food to improve its taste. Apart from improving the taste, these herbs aid digestion. These herbs have volatile oils, and this is the reason they act therapeutically on the digestive system. They also have antimicrobial properties which prevent food from pickling or drying.
Herbs are not actually spices. Herbs are young stems and leaves of herbaceous plants. Most spices grow in the subtropical and tropical parts of the world, so it may be challenging to grow them in temperature regions. Nevertheless, you can grow some spices in the comfort of your warm home. We present you with some of the spices that can be grown indoors:
Ginger originates from South China and it is usually referred as ginger root. Ginger is used in herbal teas, both for its taste and its medicinal values. It is also used in baked goods, and in savory curries.
Grow Ginger in this Way
The rhizome of ginger has new shoots as it spreads and grows. It can be easily grown form 1 or 2 pieces of a rhizome, but they need to have at least one growing bud.
Take a large container and fill it with rich and well drained potting soil. Put some pieces of ginger, they need to be 6 inches from the surface of the container. Cover the pieces with an inch of sand and press down strongly. Place the container somewhere well lit. Water it on a regular basis and feed it with a general purpose fertilizer once every two weeks. Ginger is treated a perennial plant when grown indoors. Dig in the soil and take only as much rhizome you need.
You can easily cultivate ginger outside in USDA zones 10 and above. You need to pick a location which is partially sunny and make sure it has a regular water supply. If you plant in early spring, it will send up aerial stems throughout the summer, still its leaves may become yellow in the fall. Cold weather can rot the rhizomes, so ginger which is garden grown is considered an annual plant. Dig up the whole plant, remove the aerial stems and harvest the rhizomes.
You can pickle, candy or dry ginger for future use.
In order to dry the ginger, put the rhizomes in boiling water and then peel and slice them prior to putting them to dry in the shade. Put the dried slices in a jar which is airtight or make them into powder by grinding them. A mixture of honey and powdered ginger is powerful against cough.
You can prepare pickled and candied ginger in vinegar and sugar syrup respectively. They are used in small amounts for improving digestion and controlling nausea.
Turmeric originates from India and it can be grown indoors in a similar way as ginger. It has anti-tumor and antimicrobial properties.
Grow Turmeric in this Way
You are going to need some rhizomes if you want to plant turmeric. You will need pots or containers filled with well-drained potting soil. Stick the turmeric pieces and then cover them with an inch of a soil. Water them well. This plant needs plenty of sunlight so place it somewhere sunny.
You can grow turmeric outside in USDA zones 9 and onwards. You need to till the beds two times in order to facilitate drainage and good root run. One the leaves start to wilt in fall, you can harvest it.
Boil the rhizomes for about 35 to 45 minutes and dry them afterwards. This will increase the shelf life and will enhance the color. You can make powdered turmeric from the dried roots or store them.
The spice coriander are the dried seeds of the Coriandrum sativum plant.
Grow Coriander in this Way
You can grow coriander inside at any time. In order to grow it from seeds, break the coriander seeds in half by rubbing them between your palms. Sow 3 or 4 of these into large pots. Make sure that the soil is evenly moist. Once the plant matures, finely divided lacy leaves are going to appear. Once the seedlings fall over, you need to coverthe bases with soil and pat them down.
Coriander likes cool weather so you can sow it in early spring or even in fall if the place has a milder climate. If it is grown outside, it will grow as an herb throughout the cool season, still once the temperature rises it will bolt sending up a long stem which carries the flowers which will eventually become coriander seeds. You can induce bolting in indoors plants by not watering the plants.
When the majority of flowers have become green globular fruits, watch as they change their color. Next, cut the stem and put them in a brown paper and let them dry. Once the fruits get detached, place then in the sun so that they can dry and store them in jars. You can also grind the dry coriander.
It originates from the Mediterranean and it is a popular spice. This herb can be grown easily outdoors in USDA zones from 5 to 10.
Grow Cumin in this Way
You need to sow the seeds in large pots for indoors or in your garden somewhere sunny. Make sure the soil is moist, however good drainage is necessary. It will take 4 to 5 months until the plant is ready for a harvest, but drought and heat can make the growth phase shorter. Harvest the fruits before the fall off. Dry the flowers in paper bags. Dry the fruits in the sun. Next, clean them by blowing.
Garlic also known as Allium sativum can be easily grown both outdoors and indoors. All you need to do is separate the cloves and stick them into moist and well-drained soil.
Grow Garlic in this Way
Any time is good for indoor planting, but if you want to plant them outdoors, the best period is fall. These plants develop good-sized bulbs if planted in longer growing season. Make sure to keep the soil moist, but too much water can rot the root. You can use the leaves of the garlic as an herb, but the size of the bulb can be affected by cutting them too often.
Once the leaves begin to wilt in the summer, you can harvest the bulbs. You can pickle the garlic cloves in vinegar or you can dry them on the sun and then make powdered garlic.
Onions are considered vegetables and dried onion is an amazing spice which can be added to all types of foods.
Grow Onion in this Way
Onions can be grown form sets or seeds. You need to plant them in tubs which are filled with rich potting soil and make sure to keep them moist. While the bulbs are developing underground, they make their way through the surface of the soil and they show when they are ready to be harvest. You need to wait for the leaves to drop and the bulbs are allowed to reach maximum size.
Dig up the onions and put them somewhere to dry. Cut them in slices and dry them. Make it in a powdered for and store in in air-thigh bottles.
Saffron is a really expensive plant. It is for the best to grow them indoors. Crocus bulbs rot in wet weather.
Grow Saffron in this Way
You will need crocus corms if you want to plant saffron. Fill the pots with gravel or sand in the bottom in order to ensure proper drainage. Add a potting mix which is rich and well drained on the top of the sand layer. Put 2 or 3 crocus corms ibn the soil and then put more soil and sand on top of them.
Place the pots somewhere cold and make sure it is exposed to sun a few hours every day. The crocus plants are going to start to sag after a while. Then, transfer the pots somewhere warmer. The warmer environment is going to induce flowering. Pick the flowers and dry them. Place them in a container and use it for adding some flavor to your food.
Grow Paprika in this Way
In order to grow the peppers inside you need a sunny and bright area. Sow the seeds in a rich and well-drained soil or in a starting tray. The chili will be ready for a harvest once they become bright red and ripe. Hang them up so that they can dry. Grind the chilies until they are powdered, then leave them to dry again. Make sure to store the dried chilies in air-thigh jars.
Foeniculum vulgare dulce or Fennel is a spice with a wonderful taste. You will need plenty of space if you want to grow in inside.
Grow Fennel in this Way
Sow the seeds into the pots directly. Fill the pots with rich and well drained potting mix and press 2 or 3 seeds into the soil. The leaves, and the bulbs are edible, but you need the seeds for your spice. The flowers are going to appear after three weeks and the ripe fruits quickly follow. Cut the stem and collect the flowers using a paper bag. Dry them in shade and put them in air-thing jars.
Mustard comes for the cabbage family and it is really easy to grow it at home.
Grow Mustard in this Way
Start by sowing the seed in a shallow tray first and then move them in pots once they have developed two sets of leaves. Use the seeds and the young leaves as greens and thin them if necessary. Place the pots somewhere sunny and make sure to water them regularly. Harvest the long seed pods before they burst open.
You can use the whole seeds or you can use them with vinegar and make a mustard sauce of your own.