Do you enjoy cooking flavor-filled dishes? Do you only opt for fresh ingredients? Then you should plant your own herb garden!
A great feature about planting your own herbs is that they’re low maintenance and they don’t have to be planted in the ground– herbs can be conveniently planted in pots right outside of the kitchen. Few things are more satisfying than a Caprese salad with basil pulled right from the backyard.
Any herb can be grown at home, but a few that I recommend are rosemary, chive, parsley, basil and thyme. These five ingredients are a staple in several spring and summer recipes and the fresh flavors are irreplaceable.
For the most part, no. Much of the work will take place at the beginning when the herbs are first being planted. Some plants don’t even need to be planted every year, so they require even less maintenance.
Plants such as rosemary and chives are perennials– one of those low maintenance plants that survive even through winter months. They don’t need to be replanted annually. Initial planting can be done with seeds. These cost-effective herbs can grow as tall as 3-4 feet and do well in large pots.
Parsley and basil are planted from seeds that can be purchased at a store, and do need to be replanted annually. Specific planting instructions are included on the seed packet. It is best to wait until warmer weather because they flourish in warm soil. Basil usually grows to 2 feet high, while parsley reaches 1 foot.
As for thyme, seeds can also be scattered. This flavorful perennial plant can grow up to 2 feet high.
Herb planting pots can be made from either plastic or clay. No matter which kind of material is chosen, it is important that there are holes in the pots for drainage. The holes are critical to plant health because it allows water in the soil to drain and make oxygen available for root growth.
Soil can be placed directly in the pots and packed down for proper drainage. Chive, parsley, basil and thyme will grow in typical garden soil. However, rosemary does better in gritty soil because it is a woody plant. A fertilizer should also be purchased for all herbs. An organic herb or vegetable fertilizer is recommended, but any type will get the job done.
Rosemary prospers in a sheltered sun location. This means you can place planted rosemary against a house or under a porch. Locations like this will help protect the plant from damaging wind.
Thyme, chives, and parsley thrive in full sun. Exposure to the sunlight for at least 6 hours a day will advance growth tremendously.
Basil needs at least 3 hours in the sun and should be watered when the soil is dry to touch, or in the morning when the weather is going to be especially hot. The soil should be around 70°F for best growth.
Planting herbs near the kitchen is a simple task that goes a long way. Your friends and family will thank you when they experience the bursting flavor in your warm weather recipes!
Kendra is a content writer with a BA in literature from Wilkes University. When she’s not reading up on the latest home decorating trends, Kendra is busy designing her future home, library included.