How to Grow Herbs in your Kitchen
Herbs are packed with nutrients. Unfortunately the nutrients are easily lost with long storage time. According to Dr. Brian Hetrich of Hippocrates Health Institute, “Half of the nutritional value of plants is lost within thirty minutes of harvesting,”
Fresh herbs and spices are best when it comes to taste and nutrition. So to ensure you do not miss out on the nutrients and flavour, you can grow your herbs indoors or in your backyard and pick just what you need.
3 things you need to grow your own herbs:
Light. Most herbs will require at least 6 hours of light so they are best placed on a window sill.
Soil. You will require a medium to grow the herbs in. Some soil that is rich in organic matter will do.
Container. You will need a container that is at least 6 inches in diameter but actual size will depend on the herb or quantity you want to plant.
Here are 11 herbs and spices that you can easily grow indoors.
1. Basil. Basil is a popular tender herb that is great to have in your garden. Its bright green leaves and delicate aroma makes it a great garnish for many dishes. The plant grows best in warm weather and soils should be kept with adequate moisture.
2. Rosemary. A striking, upright evergreen shrub, rosemary is one of those wonderful herbs that makes a beautiful ornamental plant as well as a welcome culinary seasoning. Its pine-like fragrance and pungent flavor of rosemary goes a long way to flavor meat dishes. Start with a cutting of rosemary, and keep it in a moist soilless mix till it roots. Place in a pot on a window sill with plenty of light.
3. Thyme. A hardy perennial herb of the mint family used for flavouring soups, stews because of its pungent minty, light-lemon aroma and pleasant flavour. It is best propagated by cuttings. It grows best in warm fertile soils with plenty of sunshine.
4. Parsley. A delicious and vibrant tasting herb with wonderful healing properties. Parsley is easy to grow, as it doesn’t need much sunlight or maintenance. It grows best in moist well drained soils and partial shade.
5. Sage. The herb has beautiful, hazy, pale green leaves that provide a lovely fragrance and flavour. Best grown from cuttings. It needs plenty of sunlight, good soil, and adequate watering.
6. Cilantro. Has aromatic leaves and flavorful seeds. It is grown from seed. It does best in well drained soils and full sunlight though it can tolerate partial shade. Thorough watering is more important than frequent watering. As it grows fast, plant a few seeds every two weeks.
7. Chives. This wonderful sweet, mild flavoured tasty herb with beautiful purple flowers belongs to the onion family. Easy to grow, it forms form neat grass-like clumps of tubular leaves. They do best in fertile well drained soils and don’t require much light.
8. Mint. This sweet smelling aromatic creeping plant is a real favourite for home gardening and container growing. It is grown for its distinctive aroma and medicinal value. It is a perennial crop with a creeping habit that spreads pretty fast and is best planted in containers. Mint is propagated using underground stolons or stems from existing plants. It requires quite a bit of sunshine and plenty of water.
9. Dill. There is no dilly dallying about this herb, it is a quick growing and low maintenance plant. It is well known for its strongly aromatic stems, leaves, flower heads and seeds. It is sown from seed and is a heavy feeder so requires fertile soil.
10. Oregano. The warm, balsamic and aromatic flavor of oregano makes it the perfect addition to any meal, especially Mediterranean cuisine. Plants may be started from seed, cuttings or crown division. Harvest leaves often to encourage new growth. Oregano needs only a moderately fertile soil to thrive in, though drainage is important.
11. Marjoram. An herb of the mint family with oval, inch-long green leaves with a pleasant aromatic odor and mild, sweet, oregano-like flavor. You can start from seed of cuttings. It requires a sunny location and moderately moist, well-drained soil.