GUIDE TO THE CULTIVATION OF AROMATIC HERBS
The Cultivation of Aromatic Herbs is very simple, just like planting Basil. Get some pots, universal soil and pumice stone, or expanded clay, to allow proper drainage, mix them in the percentage of 90% soil and 10% pumice stone, fill the pots with this mix and place the seeds about half a centimeter of depth and moistened with a light watering, keep everything in the shade until the seedlings appear. The very important thing is to respect the Sowing Months recommended below, follow them if you sow in pots on the terrace or in the vegetable garden, if you sow at home you can do it practically all year round, remember to keep the pots near a bright window. The seeds were produced during the last summer in Pistoia, Italy, by myself Carlo Martini, therefore the Seeds are 100% Made in Italy and very fresh, they will remain viable for at least 2 years from when you receive them, to keep them you can keep them in the dark inside a drawer, if you put them in the fridge at 4 degrees Celsius they will become practically immortal. You can replant the seeds born from these plants getting the usual results.
Let's go into the specifics, here is the description of each single variety of Aromatic Herbs on SemiStrani.it :
Genovese Basil: the classic Italian Basil in the best variety, the one that comes from Genoa, the cradle of Genoese Pesto that has made the Italian Cuisine famous in the World. Exquisite in Pasta, Pizza, Tomato Sauces, Caprese Salad and many other dishes. It is planted indoors from February, March preferably April and outdoors from May to July. On the SemiStrani.it website you will find 8 types of Basil in addition to the Genovese: Giant of Naples, Lime, Greek, Cinnamon, Violet and Thai.
Sage: it is the most used aromatic herb in Italy after Basil, it is used in the kitchen for many dishes ... but do you know what the taste of Butter and Sage Ravioli have if you make them with Sage planted directly by you? Simply delicious! Known and used since the time of the Romans, who gave it a name that means "save, health". Sowing is recommended from March to July.
Oregano: it is one of the most used herbs in Mediterranean cuisine due to its intense aroma. It is used in countless preparations of Meat, Fish, Salads and Pizza. It is planted from February to July.
Rosemary: its countless qualities have been known for thousands of years, from culinary to ornamental to medicinal. Sowing is recommended from April to July.
Parsley: appreciated and known for its Aromatic and therapeutic properties, it is used in the kitchen for hundreds of dishes. It is a biennial plant and sowing is recommended between late March and the end of June.
Thyme: goes well with Meats, Fish, Vegetables, Mushrooms and Aromatic Vinegars. As with Oregano and Rosemary, the scent of Thyme after drying, instead of losing aroma, gains it. It is considered useful against asthma, colds and headaches, it is also used as a natural remedy for tired skin and oily hair. It is sown between the end of March and April. Withstands cold temperatures well.
Chives: tasty Herb to be eaten fresh just removed and shredded to garnish and enhance the taste of Crepes, Sauces, Flavored butters, Soups and sometimes even Fish dishes. Chives are rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, iron and potassium and rich in vitamins B, Pp, A and C. It has antioxidant, antiseptic and bactericidal properties, it is used to treat acne, insect bites and sunburn. Sowing is recommended from March to June.
Fennel: This plant has also been known for hundreds of years for its many culinary and healing properties. In the kitchen it is used to flavor foods, prepare liqueurs and sausages. In medicine it is considered an excellent diuretic, especially in case of abdominal swelling, and an excellent anti-inflammatory. Sowing is recommended from March to June.
Mint: exquisite perennial Herb, excellent for preparing various dishes and cocktails such as the famous Mojito. Considered a medical plant by the ancient Egyptians and Romans, it is also a natural tonic. Sowing is recommended from March to June.
Lavender: beautiful plant with very fragrant and relaxing lilac flowers. Lavender in aromatherapy is used as an antidepressant, tranquilizer, balancer of the nervous system, as a decongestant for colds, to reduce blood pressure problems, digestive problems, back pain and earache ... in short, a Pharmacy in one plant. Lavender flowers retain their aroma for a long time even if dry, it is in fact customary to use them to perfume linen. Finally it seems that it was used for the preparation of talismans and good luck charms linked to magical practices. Sowing is recommended from the beginning of April to the end of June.
Chamomile: beautiful plant with white and yellow flowers that boasts numerous uses in the homeopathic and culinary field: it is an anti-inflammatory and a mild sedative. It is used by making an infusion of flowers. Sowing is recommended from March to May.
Valerian: its roots are used to make infusions that notoriously give relaxation and tranquility ... a curious note: it is said that the leaves exert a great attraction on cats that seem to remain bewitched. Very cold tolerant, it is planted from March to November.
Cumin: it is a Spice that is obtained from the Seeds of this beautiful plant native to Asia. It has many properties and is rich in precious substances for our body. Indians have been using it for centuries as a natural remedy in Ayurveda. Its seeds have multiple uses in the kitchen thanks to the intense and slightly spicy flavor, it is widely used in Indian cuisine as an ingredient in Curry. It is planted from March to June, in open fields also in October.
Coltivated Rocket: it is a famous Aromatic Herb loved all over the World with a strong taste, it is used for Salads, Pesto, Pizza, Meat and Rice. Already very widespread in Roman times it is known to be a panacea for the stomach and the entire digestive system. It is sown in spring, generally from March to September.
Coriander: it is an Aromatic Herb also called Chinese Parsley, it is used in the kitchen by drying the leaves and Seeds to flavor Meat, Fish and Vegetables. It is planted during a temperate climate generally between March and May.
Marjoram: it is an Aromatic Herb similar to Oregano but with a more delicate aroma and taste, it also boasts beneficial antidepressant and antiseptic properties. It is planted in spring generally between March and May.
Lemon Balm: is an Aromatic Plant that attracts Bees a lot, it is used in the kitchen to flavor vegetables and Meats and to flavor liqueurs. It is considered a remedy for anxiety states and menstrual pains. It is planted from March to May.
Anise: is one of the most ancient Aromatic Herbs, used by the Greeks, Egyptians and Romans to give flavor to chicken, pork, vegetables, food and digestive Biscuits. It has a sweet taste, with an aroma similar to Fennel Seeds but with a slight aftertaste of Mint. It is very beneficial for the intestine. It is planted from April to June.
Tarragon: it is an Aromatic Herb that is used in the kitchen for its characteristic flavor, but which is also an interesting natural remedy. It is planted from March to May or from September to November.
Sicilian Caper: it has been used in gastronomy for millennia, the flower buds, commonly called Capers, are collected to be put in salt or vinegar. It is used in Pasta Sauces, Pizza, Meat and Fish. It is perhaps the only Aromatic Herb a little difficult to cultivate, a very draining soil with a percentage of draining material such as perlite or lava stone of 50% is recommended. Sowing from April to June.
Mustard: the flowers of this plant produce pods inside which there are about twenty seeds, these Seeds are used to be eaten pickled, toasted to season dishes or ground and mixed with other ingredients in order to produce the famous Mustard Sauce, particularly loved by the French, white mustard is a little less strong than yellow mustard. A position in full sun and sowing from late March to late June is recommended.
Onion: inevitable in any self-respecting garden, especially that of Tropea, it can also be grown in pots. It is a summer onion so it can be sown from March / April directly into the ground. While the Giant Onion is sown in October / November.