Want to Lower Your Sodium Intake? Try Growing Your Own Herbs At Home With These Tips

by Elizabeth Liew
LIFESTYLE  |  May 28, 2018
  • Season with herbs instead of salt to lower your sodium intake
    1 / 6 Season with herbs instead of salt to lower your sodium intake

    There are so many ways to season your food beyond salt and pepper. If you’re thinking of cutting down on your sodium intake, turn to herbs that aren’t just healthy but give your dishes amazing depth of flavour too. And don’t just buy dried ones – growing your own herb garden at home is actually really easy.

    The experts from Edible Garden City and Little Green Dot share their top tips.

    A version of this article first appeared on www.womensweekly.com.sg.

    Photo: karandaev/123rf.com

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  • The easiest herbs to grow in Singapore are…
    2 / 6 The easiest herbs to grow in Singapore are…

    “Those that are native to Singapore and a tropical climate,” says Militza Maury, founder of eco-lifestyle blog Little Green Dot. “Lemongrass and mint are good examples.” Head of Gardens at Citizen Farm by Edible Garden City, Sandy Chen, also recommends mint, as well as basil, Indian borage, aloe vera and mustard greens.

    (Also read: 7 Plants That Work As Natural Air Purifiers For Your Home)

    “In Singapore, we have several exotic mint varieties, like chocolate mint, apple mint, ice mint and pineapple mint!” she says. “Thai, holy and Italian basil grow easily – keep them in the shade when germinating before gradually introducing them to the sun. Indian borage can thrive in both shade and sun, and few pests bother it, while aloe vera only requires watering once a week. The tatsoi variety of mustard greens are full of vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and potassium, and thrive in sunlight.”

    Photo: zerbor/123rf.com

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  • Some herbs are difficult to grow because…
    3 / 6 Some herbs are difficult to grow because…

    “They’re just not suited to Singapore’s climate,” Sandy says. Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, lavender, sage and thyme are more susceptible to stem and root rot, she explains. “Fragrant and versatile rosemary requires more care in the tropics, preferring well-drained soil and lots of sunlight. Take care to water the soil and not the leaves, and keep the main stem dry to prevent overwatering and rot.”

    Militza advises: “Prune your herbs regularly, especially if they are like mint, which grows quickly and can look a bit straggly”

    Photo: Pixabay

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  • Herbs should be watered…
    4 / 6 Herbs should be watered…

    “Regularly, but whether it’s every day or every other day depends on the type of soil you use and how much sun your herbs get. If the soil is dry, water it; if it’s wet, wait until tomorrow. Make sure to water the soil and not the leaves, as wet leaves promote fungal disease,” Sandy advises.

    (Also read: 5 Best Places In Singapore To Get Plants And Flowers For Your Home)

    Photo: Pixabay

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  • The best part of the home to grow herbs is…
    5 / 6 The best part of the home to grow herbs is…

    “In an area that gets direct or indirect sun for four to six hours a day, such as your balcony, by the corridor or by a window,” Sandy says. Militza suggests starting with one herb at a time: “Bring it home, get to know it and slowly build up your herb garden”.

    Photo: jodiejohnson/123rf.com

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  • The best way to grow herbs in a small home is…
    6 / 6 The best way to grow herbs in a small home is…

    “In vertical planters or racks,” says Sandy. “Just make sure they have enough soil and are easily accessible for pruning and maintenance.” Militza says, “Healthy herbs begin with healthy soil, so always re-pot your store-bought herbs into rich, healthy soil.”

    (Also read: 8 Tips For Growing a Garden in Your HDB Home)

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