A great way to use your green thumb is to grow and store herbs. We’ve had fun with starting mini herb gardens right on our kitchen windows. They’ll be so much tastier than the ones you buy at the store, and it’s a great hobby to enjoy. Plus, a lot of them smell great too. You can’t beat your own home-grown herbs for flavor and variety.
Growing herbs in a container works great for herbs like basil, rosemary, thyme, and parsley. Plus, it’s not difficult to get started. They can be close to your kitchen, on the porch, or even the window sill. In some cases, if you have a wall that gets great sunlight you can grow them inside right on the wall.
* Sun and More Sun – You need lots of sun to grow most herbs. This is because many of them are from the Mediterranean countries which are very sunny. Put them in a place that will get at least eight hours of sun a day. Even if they’re inside you need to put them by the window – preferably one that you can open.
* Starting with Seeds – When you start with seeds, you’ll need to start them indoors and wait until you have a good-sized plant before moving them outside. Start about two months before the last freeze and then move them outside after the last freeze. The best thing about seeds is that you can find more of a variety.
* Starting with Plants – You can start with plants too, but you likely won’t find as many varieties as you will when you use seeds. You can order through the mail or buy locally. Typically, you won’t find them until it’s okay to replant them outside. Ensure that you have good drainage for each plant.
* Use Potting Mix – This is the best thing to use for your herb garden. It’s going to have the right nutrients in it and work better than potting soil for helping your plants be strong and healthy. You may want to read up on the specific herbs you’ve decided to plant to ensure you have the right nutrients for each.
* Water – Of course, you should water your plants. One problem today with water is that most of our water is treated and has a lot of chlorine in it. This can be bad for plants if there is too much in your area’s water. In addition, if you live in an area with hard water, you need to filter the water first. Don’t use a saline water softener, though, as the salt will also kill things.
* Fertilize – You’ll need the right fertilizer for your type of herbs and your soil or potting mix. You’re in a catch-22, because watering is needed but it also washes away nutrients from the soil. So, you will need to add fertilizer. You can use an organic slow-release fertilizer at planting time, which will work great. Whatever you do, don’t use flowering fertilizer because you want lots of leaves – it’s what you use of the herb.
Most of all, experiment with different types of herbs. You can grow a lot and dry them, freeze them, and use them in a variety of ways to ensure that you have the right herbs for all your favorite recipes and for gifts all year long.