Recognizable? If you buy such a beautiful green herb plant in the supermarket and there is nothing left of it within a few days or even hours. How is that possible? It has everything to do with how the plants are grown. Two experts explain how to keep them alive for up to six months.
Supermarket herbs are ideal if you also want fresh herbs out of season. However, they are grown in such a way that they do not survive very long, says Olle van der Weide, horticulturist at Het Blauwe Huis, who has been a specialist in the cultivation of organic herbs since 1976. “Because the herb plants from the supermarket are grown quickly, they are not sturdy enough. The plants grow in ideal conditions in terms of climate and lighting and, once outside the greenhouse, cannot take much. If such a plant develops very quickly, they are the cells are larger and there is more moisture in them. This often does not benefit the taste. ”
That’s right, says garden expert and garden writer Romke van de Kaa. “The plants come straight from the greenhouse and are not used to much.” Both experts recommend repotting the herb plants once at home. Pay attention to the following things:
- Carefully tear the roots of the plant apart.
- Place the plants a little further apart, so they have room to become firmer.
- Use garden soil or potting compost for repotting.
With good potting soil, herbs can go on for six months. If you want to keep them in the pot longer, you can repot them and provide them with new potting soil.
Harden off plants
If you plan to put or plant garden herbs outside, spring is a good time to harden off herb plants, Van de Kaa knows. “If you gradually get them used to the outdoors, you can use supermarket herbs in the garden or on the balcony. You can harden the plants off by placing them outside in a sheltered spot for a few days during the day. the plants also stay outside at night. Only plant basil outside when it is warmer than 10 degrees at night “, the garden expert advises.
“Mint and parsley can withstand some frost. The temperature difference between day and night can even contribute to the development of the aroma. ”
Romke van der Kaa, garden expert
After ice saints in mid-May, the chance of night frost is very small and in principle all herbs can go outside, explains Van der Weide. “Mint and parsley can withstand some frost. The temperature difference between day and night can even contribute to the development of the aroma.”
A place under the sun
If you place the plants on the windowsill, make sure that they are not in full sun. “Vulnerable plants burn quickly behind glass. Rosemary and verbena can withstand this, but with other varieties preferably choose a place with indirect sunlight”, according to the horticulturist. Outdoors, herbs that have been hardened can withstand the sun well. Parsley can also have shade, adds Van de Kaa.
Preferably water the plants from below, for example by placing them on a saucer with water. If you water plants from above, do this at the edge of the pot. “If you wet the leaf, you attract fungi,” warns Van de Kaa.
If you don’t have a green thumb yourself, it may be wise to opt for herbal plants that are given more time to grow on their own. For example, herb plants from a garden center or herb nursery. These plants can take more and are easier to keep alive.
Source site www.nu.nl