You can use fresh herbs to add extra zest to any dish, to flavor beverages or to scent your home. Raising these plants by yourself is fairly easy and the results are very rewarding.
Here is my best advice for first time gardeners as well as a list of my favorite herbs to grow.
Decide on the herbs you want to buy. Do you eat a lot of Mexican dishes? Buy cilantro. Do you enjoy Italian cuisine? Purchase flat-leaf parsley. Do you want a plant that gives off a great fragrance? Get lavender.
Choose which space you want to use and determine how much sunlight that spot receives on a daily basis. Each herb has its own “sun schedule” which is usually stated on the plant’s tag.
Make sure you have the right materials: you are going to need medium- sized containers with drainage holes (unless you are using a plot), gardening gloves, a hand shovel and potting soil.
For beginners and those who want faster results, I would recommend buying blossoming plants and not seeds.
Set a watering schedule. Especially in the summertime, these plants need to stay hydrated in order to flourish.
Mint: the “garden weed”. Mint grows quickly so make sure you are ready to use or store it almost daily. My main uses for mint: flavored water, boiled in tea, blended in smoothies and of course, MOJITOS.
Oregano: plenty of sun will keep this herb producing all summer long! Add a sprinkle to any salad dressing or sauce for extra taste and a delightful aroma.
Cilantro: guacamole, salsa, tacos, infused olive oils, stir fry. The list of uses is endless with this herb! Great for indoor or container gardening.
Lemon Thyme: a very fragrant herb that thrives during colder weather and will lighten up any space. It is great for seasoning chicken and seafood.
Rosemary: an evergreen, which means it will stay green year-round. You can use its sprigs to enhance poultry dishes during the holidays or accessorize a cheese board.
Basil: smells delicious and tastes even better. My pasta dishes have reached a whole new level with this as a garnish! Another plus is that it is a mosquito repellent—so if you plan to plant outdoors then basil should be your first pick.
With these tips and a little extra research, get ready to get your hands dirty and plant some herbs! It is cost-efficient, environmentally-friendly, educational and you will be thanking yourself when you have an available supply just a reach away.