Growing An Herb Garden Of Your Own
Growing an herb garden of your own will make your homemade meals taste incredibly fresh and flavorful! Herbs can be planted indoors when there is danger of frost outside. You can enjoy your favorites all year long. Like any other plant, you just need some sunlight and water, along with some patience and guidance.
Selecting Your Herbs
Hands down, my favorite herb, fresh or dried, is basil. Leaf for leaf, nothing beats its flavor and versatility in the kitchen. When I have fresh basil on hand, I have it as the star in my marinara, adding just a can of crushed tomatoes and fresh garlic and onion. My oldest will eat just about anything if I put pesto on it. And his mama’s is his favorite! I love using basil in this fresh Avocado Caprese Salad or this mouth-watering Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich with Walnut Pesto. When selecting which herbs to plant, think about your favorites and how often you use them. Will a small plant do or do you need to plant it outdoors in a larger pot? In my mediterranean dishes, like this Lebanese-Inspired Okra Beef Tomato Stew or this easy weeknight Garlic Cilantro Oven Baked Salmon, cilantro is an oft-used herb. But it’s a short-lived plant and I use huge bunches at a time, so I’m better off buying it at the market. Understanding how you’ll use the herbs will help you with selection.
Know Your Herbs
Did you know….?
- Fresh Oregano is much milder than dried.
- Many herbs can be grown just from cuttings!
- Although less popular, Italian parsley is much more flavorful than curly parsley
- Most herbs prefer lots of sun; cilantro loves shade
Where Should Herbs Be Planted?
Depending on how often you cook with fresh herbs and the season, you’ll need to decide whether to plant your herbs indoors, outdoors, or both. Once you decide, you’ll have to find a sunny location for most plants. If it’s an indoor herb garden, you’ll need to select a location near a window for sunlight. If your herb garden is outside, you may be wise to segregate your herbs from the rest of your garden, or plant them in pots. Some herbs grow rapidly and spread, such as mint.
Containing Your Herbs
If grown inside, the herbs should be placed in a container and watered whenever the top of the soil looks dry, about every two weeks. When selecting a container, get creative! Use decorative pails or recycled coffee cans. Whatever container you use, make sure you plant the herb in a fertilized rich soil. For your outdoor garden, choose a pot based on the size of the plant and how much you have to cut each time. Some herbs make lovely border plants and produce pretty flowers, like chives.
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Using intense flavor in cooking such as herbs gives food great flavor without having to add extra sodium and fat. Consider planting an indoor garden for fresh herbs all year long. If you plan on growing your own garden following our guide, tag #feelgoodfoodie on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!