A DIY potted herb garden is cost-efficient, environmentally-friendly, and educational. And, having fresh, garden herbs on hand should be considered an essential for any household: they can be used to add extra zest to your meals, flavor beverages, or to provide a natural scent in any space.
The good news is, raising these plants is fairly easy with the right tips and tools. Below I have provided my best advice for first time gardeners as well as a list of my favorite herbs to grow year-round.
- 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 or seed pouch.
- Make sure you have the right materials: you are going to need medium- sized containers with drainage holes, gardening gloves, a hand shovel, and potting soil.
- Set a watering schedule. Especially in the summertime, these plants need to stay hydrated in order to flourish. I usually set timers or make a note in my daily planner to water my plant babies!
Mint: the “garden weed”. Once it has started to grow, mint spreads 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 season 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. Great for garnishing pasta dishes or even cocktails. Another plus is that it is a mosquito repellent—so if you plan to plant outdoors then basil should be your first pick.
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