One of the best ways to add flavor to your food is to learn how to grow your own herb garden. Fresh herbs are not cheap at the grocery store and once you buy them, they go bad fairly quickly. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to grab the cilantro only to find that it is slightly slimy and no longer usable. There goes another $1.00 right into the compost bin. Herb gardens are a very easy way to ensure that you have fresh herbs right at your fingertips whenever you need them. Not only do you get fresh flavor in your recipes but herbs are incredibly easy to grow and require very little attention once planted and established. If you would like to get started on growing your own herb garden, here are a few tips that I have found helpful. I am also going to include a few affiliate links for products you may find helpful.
How to Grow Your Own Herb Garden
1. Plant your herb garden close to your kitchen. I tend to scurry around the kitchen at the last minute going &*% I forgot to grab the basil! At this point I usually hand the kitchen shears to the teenager and tell her to go snip some off as quickly as possible. Place several pots on your patio filled with organic garden soil and plant your herbs there. That way you will always have fresh herbs on hand when you need them and don’t have to run barefoot through the back yard to get to them!
2. Keep in mind what herbs need: Most herbs need only three things to grow out of control. They need lots of sun, rich soil, and plenty of drainage. Growing herbs in pots is convenient since you can up and move the pot TO the sun if need be. I find myself moving a few of my pots all over the yard chasing that much needed sunlight. Use a soil designed for pots (potting soil, not garden soil) and make sure your container has lots of holes in the bottom.
3. Know which herbs are perennial. Some herbs will come back year after year, making your job significantly easier. Others will come back for 2 or 3 years in a row, then start to get woody and scraggly looking. I had a sage plant that lasted for 3 years and just lost my 5 year old rosemary bush to extreme temperatures this winter. Make sure you plant your herb garden in an area that wont be disturbed for a while if you are planting perennials.
4. Harvest your herb garden frequently. One of the most important things you need to know about how to grow your own herb garden is that you can NOT neglect it! Picking your herbs will encourage fresh and abundant growth. You can learn how to dry your herbs in a dehydrator if you don’t need them. Turn your basil into pesto and store extra in the freezer. Give extras from your herb garden to friends and neighbors. You will become extremely popular with friends, believe me! Just keep picking regularly for continued growth.
5. For maximum financial savings, don’t start with baby plants. My local nursery sells potted herbs for almost $5 EACH. That is a lot to spend on a plant when you can pick them up at the store for significantly cheaper than that. Consider starting from seed to help save money on your herb garden. There are quite a few herb garden kits online that will help you get started growing herbs with very little work.
Now that you know how to grow your own herb garden, start thinking about what sort of delicious creations you can make with them. Here are a few you may want to consider:
Creative Uses for Fresh Herbs
White Wine Sangria Recipe with Fresh Herbs
Have you ever tried growing your own herb garden?