Growing Organic Herbs in the Riviera Maya

Living in Mexico offers many benefits. One of the benefit is the beautiful environment that is perfect for grow an organic herb garden right in your own home. Adding fresh herbs to your meals is an easy and effective way to improve the taste of your food and its nutritional value without adding more calories. With so many different flavors, it is easy to use herbs to bring your favorite recipes to a new level. However, you might find that local shops carry a limited variety of fresh or dried herbs.

If you love fresh organic herbs, it is easy to grow them in the Riviera Maya. Even in a limited space such a terrace or a windowsill. Something to keep in mind is that soil is very scarce all over the Yucatan Peninsula. If you start digging a garden in your yard you will probably find yourself hitting a huge limestone slab.

Your organic garden will have to be planted in pots, a flower bed or using the traditional raised bed methods used by the Mayans: the Canché. Here is a list of herbs that can be grown in the Riviera Maya.

Growing Organic Herbs in the Riviera Maya:  Basil (Albahaca)

Basil, commonly referred to as the queen of herbs is an anti-inflammatory thanks to its components such as oils, citrus and natural compounds. It is commonly used in pastas, soups, or teas. It would also make a great edition to many of your favorite dishes.

Basil should be planted in moist soil, and keep damp without waterlogging the plant. Keep it in an area with full sun or partial sun.

Growing Organic Herbs in the Riviera Maya: Oregano (Oregano)

Traditionally, it is used to flavor pizzas and pastas, but oregano can also be combined with stewed potatoes, grilled meats or vegetables.

The Riviera Maya climate is very suitable for this plant, which only needs sunlight to develop. There is also a local version of Oregano, used only for medicinal purposes (Lantana_camara) to cure digestive ailments.

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Growing Organic Herbs in the Riviera Maya: Cilantro (Cilantro)

Cilantro is a Mexican food staple! Adding a little cilantro to your traditional Mexican meals is an effective way to improve your foods flavor. You can add cilantro to any sauce recipe you want to prepare. It is also great in vinaigrettes and dressings, or simply add a sprig of cilantro to add a touch of flavor to a dish.

Cilantro needs to be planted indoors, as it needs slightly cooler temperatures. Make sure the plant gets plenty of light, maybe place it by a window. The plant needs regular watering’s but avoid over-irrigation as it can cause the roots rot and die.

Growing Organic Herbs in the Riviera Maya: Ginger (Jengibre)

Ginger is known as a powerful digestive and anti-microbial grass that also helps maintain a correct and balanced metabolism.  It is possible to grow ginger in the Riviera Maya, both in the ground or in a plant pot.

To keep a healthy ginger plant, you will need to keep the soil moist and place in an area with plenty of light. To use your ginger, you need to let your plant grow for about a year and then dig and cut the roots.

Growing Organic Herbs in the Riviera Maya: Mint (Menta/Yerbabuena)

The properties of mint go beyond simply making your own delicious mojitos or enhancing the flavor of your food. Mint is used as an aid for digestion, a remedy for colic and other symptoms associated with poor digestion.  Often taken for the same plant, there are actually two different species from the same family: the only difference is that mint has a green stem and that yerbabuena has a red stem.

To have plenty of fresh yerbabuena, your plant needs to be in an area with plenty of indirect light and watered daily but avoid waterlogging as it will kill your plant.

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Growing Organic Herbs in the Riviera Maya: Rosemary (Romero)

Rosemary is not only delicious, but it also has antioxidant properties that help balance the body’s defenses. Rosemary is an easy plant to grow, as it will take almost any kind of soil and it’s rarely attacked by insects or diseases.

Rosemary requires plenty of sun with little exposure to wind. Make sure to keep the soil with minimum moisture without getting dry, the key for watering your rosemary is moderation.

Growing organic herbs in your home is easy and convenient. If you want to learn more about growing herbs and vegetables or purchasing organic herbs, there is a local NGO offering workshops in the Riviera Maya area.

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