Toss the jars! Grow your Own Herb Garden!

December 18, 2013

Toss the jars! Grow your Own Herb Garden!

In case you haven’t noticed many of your favorite recipes call for herbs, especially if you are planning on making Italian. While it is way more convenient to just pick up a few jars of your favorite herbs and have them on hand at all times, they just aren’t nearly as flavorful as fresh herbs. Rather than spending money each week you can try planting an indoor herb garden so you have all your favorites ready when you need them! Herbs are one of the easiest things to grow, even someone with as much of a black thumb as I have can easily get a flourishing herb garden started! The first step to growing your indoor herb garden is deciding how you want to grow them. The easiest is simply putting a planter in a sunny window. You should try finding a south facing window that gets about 6 hours of sun a day. If this isn’t an option you can also try a hydroponic set up which is available in many gardening supply store. This uses special lights and liquid nutrients to help the plants flourish.

Once you figure out how and where you are planting, it’s time to get started! You can start with seeds or store bought plants. If you go with store bought plants you will have herbs sooner just make sure you check for bugs before bringing them home!  Next you want to make sure you give them space. While it may be tempting to cram in as many plants as you can, they won’t have room to grow and you will get less of a harvest than you would with a few bigger plants. Make sure you are watering them regularly and that they have the ability to drain. More herb gardens die from sitting in stagnant water than they do from being watered infrequently! If you’re like me and have the ability to kill any plant let in your care look for a self water glass bulb sold in most garden centers. Just make sure to refill it!

To make sure your plants grow evenly turn them every few days so they are evenly exposed to the sun. Don’t go overboard on the fertilizer, herbs actually prefer poor soil quality and will thrive without the excess nutrients! Put down the scissors! As tempting as it may be to start using your herbs right away you want them to get to be at least 6-8 inches before you try harvesting them. Make sure to only take ¼ of the plant or less at a time. After you have harvested a good amount you want to give the plant time to regrow before harvesting again. All you rosemary lover buy more than one plant!  With a little patience and some TLC you should have a well stocked her garden in no time! Herbs are expensive; why waste your money buying jars that lack flavor! Home grown herbs will add a burst of flavor to you favorite meals and your wallet and taste buds will thank you!


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