We have been thinking of having our own herb garden for a while. We love home-cooked food and homemade drinks, and herbs are an ideal way to flavour without a ton of sugar. Perviously we would use the prepackaged fresh herbs from the supermarket but as there was just the two of us, we never finished it before it all wilted. So being the cost-efficient Singaporeans that we are, we decided to start our own herb garden journey!
Time to do our own farm to table, or rather windowsill to kitchen. 💪🏻
We got all excited and enthusiastically researched everything from seeds versus plants, how do we take care of and nurture them, how to harvest without killing them and much more!
The big day when we became plant parents soon arrived. We chanced across Lemon Balm and Sweet Basil plants at Tiong Bahru’s NTUC Finest and they looked really good! At $3.25 per pot, we thought it was an excellent bargain compared to buying the seeds at $2.80 (excluding shipping) from Qoo10 or from nurseries, where the cheapest we could find was a whopping $9.90. Just in case we had no green thumbs, at least our pockets wouldn’t be too burnt.
To set ourselves up for success, we placed them in the kitchen windowsill so they could get sunlight while protected from direct heat. They were also conveniently near the toilet so we would remember to water them twice a day. We could also within reach while cooking 🙂
Our first cooking experiment was with the lemon balm leaves, which we chiffonade and added to fish fillets for dinner (about 10 leaves for 2 fillets). It was delicious!
We also added about six leaves to 330ml of water and left to infuse overnight. The result was just amazing! It had a refreshing mint and lemon taste, which is definately a great help us one of us hates the taste of plain water. Try it for yourself too 😊
In case you want to embark on your own journey, we attached some useful tips:
- Many experts write that beginners should start with plants / seedlings instead of seeds. After looking up the germination process, we agree. It’s a long wait and doesn’t make sense price-wise.
- These herbs need sunlight and moist soil, about 50% soil and 50% sand.
- Water them twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. If you’re lazy to, follow these directions to make yourself a self watering pot.
- You can buy seeds with soil, sand and nutrients from Qoo10, which was the cheapest we found.
- Plants can be found at Noah Garden Centre or Far East Floral (3in1: oregano, rosemary and thyme)
Events and communities
- Gardeners’ Day Out every third Saturdays of the month at Hort Park
- Herb tour at Oh Farms
- Benefits of lemon balm
- How to use lemon balm
- Benefits of and how to use basil
Thyme, mint, basil and rosemary are our favorite herbs! ❤️️ We will share more recipes as our plants mature on My Herb Garden Journey 🌿. As we get better at nurturing our plants, we intend to grow more herbs and try all kinds of flavours. We also hope to move on and grow spices and vegetables.
Hope you have fun growing your own herbs too 😉