Growing your own herbs is a simple way to add fresh, natural, and even organic flavor to your favorite dishes. Plus, maintaining a small garden or a few containers on your patio yields a high reward for a little work. There are numerous varieties of edible plants that don’t require a lot of room to grow. Herbs can be grown and used fresh or dried and stored for later. Not to mention, you’ll save money by avoiding pre-packaged seasonings from the store. Plus, herbs can be grown indoors or outside, allowing you to maintain crops all year long. Just make sure they receive six hours of sunlight per day and a little TLC. Here are four popular herbs that you can enjoy from container to kitchen.
It’s best to purchase a couple basil plants at a nursery when just starting out, as this herb can be somewhat tricky. Replant them in a one-gallon or slightly larger plastic container. Keep the soil moist and provide plenty of sun because basil loves both water and light. The plant will take about 3 weeks to reach six inches in height. At that time, you can harvest the leaves.
Oregano is rather easy to grow, so it’s an herb you can start from seed if you have the time, just plant the seeds about six weeks before the last frost. It also does well in a container and indoors, making it a good option for a patio garden. Since it grows so easily, there’s not much need to fuss over fertilizer or composting. For best results, give oregano a full day’s worth of sun and water only when the soil is dry. Also, make sure oregano has plenty of room to grow, as it is a high yield herb. The stems must be four inches tall to harvest.
Mint has so many uses, it’s definitely worthy of a place in your herb garden. It’s also very easy to grow, so it thrives in many environmental conditions and is the perfect herb to transfer from outside to indoors. Mint does spread quickly; therefore potting it is the best option. You’ll only need to add one or two seedlings per container. When you’re ready to harvest, don’t take too much off the top set of leaves. The flavor will be better and it also allows the plant to continue to branch out.
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It is very simple to grow copious amounts of lemongrass. The best way to start it is by purchasing a few stalks at your local farmer’s market or nursery. To prepare them for growing, you’ll want to peel off the green blade. Then, all you do is stick the stalks into a jar filled with water and wait about a week for roots to form. After that, transplant the stalks to a pot with soil and keep the soil moist. Like mint, lemongrass is a prolific spreader, so it’s best to keep it contained. Let the blades grow about one yard tall before harvesting. Just make sure to keep lemongrass indoors during the colder months.