Seed Tape Mixed Herbs - Seed
Fresh Chives, Dill and Basil from the garden!
These chives, dill and basil seed tapes require no prior treatment and are ready to use.Sowing
Sow under glass in March - out in the garden, end April, beginning of May.
Sowing in the garden, choose a partly shaded spot, April to end July. Loosen the soil with a fork to at least 30 cm. Draw a furrow 1 cm deep and label the row. Lay the seed tape and cut off at the correct length. Cover with 0.5 cm soil, press carefully down and sprinkle with water. Extra rows, 20 cm apart.
The seeds will germinate in 14-21 days (under glass and at 20° Centigrade, one or two weeks). Do not allow the seedlings to dry out.
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) originally emanated from Northern Asia and Europe. Nowadays it is used all over the world as flavour enhancer for meals. Chives are part of the garlic family (Alliaceae). The small flower bulbs may well survive in the winter and will come back next year. The small flower bulbs may well survive in the winter and will come back next year.
The annual herb dill (Anethum graveolens) is a lovely, delicately leaved plant. The dill flowers with yellowish-green blooms from June to September. You must try and prevent it flowering if you want to keep harvesting the leaves. A summer flower bed does look nice with these flowers though so feel free to let it bloom. Dill is one of the Umbelliferae and is thought to have its origins in Asia, brought to Southern Europe by the Romans. Monks are thought to have spread it further through Europe and encouraged its use.
Basil (ocimum basilicum) is originally from India but we know it more from the regions of the Mediterranean. Also an annual, basil flowers in the summer months with pink/red flowers. Try to prevent flowering if you want to keep harvesting the leaf. Basil is very good for you and is used in herb lore too as it apparently works as an aid to digestion.
Chives have hollow tubular leaves that keep their shape even after cutting. Chive rings look very decorative in salads. Chives have been used since way back, as a herb in meals, especially salads and sauces. It does not store well but you can pick it fresh almost the whole year through. It does freeze well. All onion (types) are health giving and contain lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Freshly picked dill is delicious when used in various recipes but should not be cooked - only used raw - as it otherwise looses its flavour. Great with fish and in sauces for both vegetable or meat dishes. Frequently used with fresh cucumber and vinegar, but also for pickling cucumbers or gherkins. Dampen fresh leaves to keep them good for several hours. Dried slowly in the oven and pulverised in a mortar they can be stored for longer but will lose some of their distinctive aroma.
Basil really is best freshly picked and is part and parcel of the Southern European kitchen. Great with pasta dishes and in sauces and salads (raw). Makes an attractive edible garnish on soups, sauces etc. Some recipes describe chopping basil leaves and mixing with some olive oil and using it like that over various dishes and salads, it must then be kept in the fridge! Basil can also be added to red or white wine for an added touch of style and flavour! 'Chartreuse' is a special liqueur that uses basil. You can also make tea with it! There is no easy manner of keeping basil for longer. Fresh leaves can really only be dampened for use a few hours hence. Drying in the oven and pulverising in a mortar does work but a lot of the aroma will be lost.
Water extra in dry periods. Keep the bed free of weeds - the plants will thrive better. Some fertiliser once a month will ensure lush plants and a larger harvest.Harvesting
Chives can be picked 6-8 weeks after sowing, usually from April until well into the autumn. Dill can be picked 6-8 weeks after sowing, usually July-November. Basil can be picked 6-8 weeks after sowing, usually July-September.
Harvest your herbs per stem or leaf but never touch the heart of the plant. Best is to use scissors or a sharp knife. Or pinch off between thumb and forefinger, taking care not to pull the plant out of the ground! Do not harvest too much from the one plant. As long as new leaves are forming, keep picking. This way you can pick from the same plants for months on end!