Posted 5th May 2017
In celebration of International Herb Day, Ground Force star Charlie Dimmock has teamed up with herb sweets Ricola to share her top ten tips for growing and using herbs
1. True to their Mediterranean heritage, the medicinal herbs of sage and thyme love the sunshine and will grow best in sunny positions.
2. Lovers of basil should always water the herb before midday. This particular herb doesn't like its roots to get cold at night.
3. Rosemary is a versatile herb which can be used for topiary. It's great for seasoning meat - a top tip that few people know is that the long shoots make great skewers on a barbecue.
4. Don't let yourself be fooled into thinking you need a garden to grow herbs. Providing they're well looked after, herbs can work really well in small containers, as part of a window or balcony box.
5. Sick of flies in the summer months? Simply cut some branches from your sage and hang it by the back door to warn away any pesky invaders.
6. Did you know herbs could be frozen? If you start to accumulate too many cuttings, you can just pop them into the freezer until you're ready to use them. It won't harm their vibrant flavours either.
7. Peppermint not only has a great flavour for tea and other drinks but also medicinal properties - for instance it's an antidote for stomach cramps and can also be used to relieve cold and flu symptoms.
8. We love them toasted on the barbecue, but not many people know marshmallow is actually a herb, and is especially good at alleviating dry coughs.
9. Plantain can often be mistaken as a garden weed, yet is actually beneficial to the respiratory system, helping to relieve coughs and acting as an expectorant for inflammation in the mouth and throat.
10. Thyme can go a long way when you're cooking with it. However, this herb will need a light prune to maintain its shape and prevent it from becoming too brittle.
Text and image courtesy of Ricola