Growing kitchen herbs is a great way to conveniently procure fresh herbs for more delicious meals as well as an easy way to cut back on the cost of dried spices. Growing fresh herbs in the kitchen or in a small outdoor space is a rising trend among many household cooks and finding supplies for growing herbs is becoming easier than ever.
Here are a few easy tips on how to grow your own kitchen herbs.
Choose Your Kitchen Herbs
First, decide which plants you would use the most. If you make Mexican or Italian food regularly, you’ll probably want a cilantro plant, as well as some thyme and oregano. Basil, sage, thyme, dill, parsley and chives are also popular additions to all kinds of dishes. These plants grow easily in a variety of environments and are hardy plants that grow quickly and are difficult to kill.
Procure Your Herb Seeds
Once you’ve selected out your favorite herbs, it’s time to get planting! You can purchase seeds separately, or buy a packaged set like the Culinary Herb Garden, which features a collection of high quality heirloom herb seeds for cooking herbs including cilantro, sage, basil, thyme, dill, oregano, parsley and more with over 70 seeds of each plant. Each seed has been specially packaged to last and can be grown virtually anywhere. Since your family will be consuming these plants, be sure to choose non-gmo herb seeds.
Pick a Spot for Your Culinary Herb Garden
You’ll need to pick a good spot for your plants, preferably where they’ll get some sun. Either a window or an outdoor space will work. Find a spot safe from pets or kids and set up your space with small pots or a single large container for all of your herbs. Windowsill gardens are especially easy to maintain, since they are partially protected from the elements by being attached to the house and receive sunlight. If you don’t have a spot for your plants that receives sunlight, you can purchase a light to help your plants grow. You should also be sure to acquire containers that have good drainage, since overly damp soil can hurt many varieties of herbs.
Quality Soil for Quality Herbs
When choosing soil, opt for a nutrient-rich soil and avoid overfeeding after you plant. Herbs produce the most flavor in conditions with just enough nutrients to thrive. Over-feeding with extra fertilizer will produce bland herbs, and lack of nutrients will produce a stunted plant. Absolutely avoid all pesticides, since they can be toxic for cooking. Anything that goes onto your plant might eventually make it onto your plate; so if bugs are a problem, choose a low-toxicity formula for edible plants and rinse herbs well before cooking.
Taking Care of Your Kitchen Herbs
Once you’ve planned and planted, it’s time to talk maintenance. Herbs do well when they are regularly trimmed, so make it a priority to periodically trim off dead leaves and stems. Trimming will also encourage the plant to grow in an ideal shape. Pinching stems regularly also encourages herbs to grow. Annual herbs should be harvested before they flower, since that’s when the leaves taste fresh and have the most flavor. When your plants produce seeds that double as spices, dry them and grind them up for cooking later. Remember that dried herbs tend to have more concentrated flavor than fresh herbs. If you set leaves from your plants out to dry, you don’t have to use much to get the seasoning you desire.
Kitchen gardens are a wonderful, easy way to save money and add flavor to all your favorite foods from the comfort of your own home. With a little effort and maintenance, your kitchen garden will be blooming in no time.