Water-Smart Herbs For Your Braai

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Water is a scarce commodity and has to be used in the most efficient way to get the most out of every drop. One of the easiest ways to conserve water is to grow plants right next to your braai that you can pick fresh to add flavour to meals and by having them in containers, very little water is used.

Wick Watering

There are containers available now that have a very efficient watering system that uses a wick – usually a rope or fabric – to carry water from a reservoir to the roots of the plants where it’s most useful. It works using capillary flow that can move water slowly from the water source upwards. These types of wick watering systems mean that plants are often able to last without watering for weeks at a time.

Container Growing

Containers are a great way to grow herbs, veg and fruit and manipulate the soil medium to use as little water as possible. By using good quality potting soil with added water-absorbing crystals, vermiculite and good compost, you ensure that watering times are reduced, but the plants are still happy. Also grouping plants with similar water needs will go a long way in reducing water consumption.

Handy Herbs Use Less Water

Making the right herb choice is another way to save water. These are just a few tasty herbs that need little water.

Rosemary – needle-like leaves are a sign that a plant is drought-resistant. Rosemary is one of those plants that once established needs very little water. In a container, it needs watering when the soil is just dry on the top.

Thyme – this herb thrives on neglect which includes minimum watering. Also, the more you cut thyme, the more it grows.

Origanum – another tough herb that grows well with rosemary and thyme for a mixed container. It will trail over the sides of the pot for a great effect.

Herb Tip:

Rosemary stems make the best skewers for meat, fish or vegetables imparting a subtle herby taste to the ingredients as they cook. Look out for the Rosemary Barbeque variety which has straight stems perfect for use as skewers.

The Gardener