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Growing an Easy Herb Garden for Everyday Cooking

Tags: plant herb herbs

You buy the freshest basil and mint from the store, only for the Herb sprigs to dry out or become slimy in the fridge, despite your efforts to keep them fresh. You might want to start an herb garden out of frustration or just because you want to cook up a storm using herbs that you’ve grown by yourself. From the fresh flavor of your very own homegrown herbs to saving a few extra dollars, there are many reasons to grow your own herbs. Most herbs can be grown in your garden or even in your kitchen. So gear up, and in a few weeks, you could add your freshly grown rosemary to your lamb leg roast or that T-bone steak from the IGA catalog.

How to Start an Indoor Herb Garden

Start with Plants, not Seeds

Growing herbs from seeds require a lot of effort and perseverance. Purchase a little Plant from the grocery or garden store if this is your first time growing herbs. You don't have to worry about germination weeks in advance, and it's cost-effective. With more practice, you’ll be able to reseed your herbs and grow them from scratch.

Know Your Plant Combinations

While certain herbs, like mint, chives, and basil, require liberal watering, others, like rosemary, lavender, and thyme, flourish in drier soil. Growing plants with various watering requirements in the same box is a common error beginner herb growers make, leading to uneven development. Purchase separate pots for plants that don't require identical growing conditions and only group species that do. If you are planting any plants together, especially those with invasive tendencies, keep this in mind as well.

Learn How to Trim

Many herbs benefit from some shaping and care in order to grow a more resilient plant. Although each herb is unique, it is generally recommended to never let it flower. Snipping plants as soon as you notice them blooming will assure better leaf growth since plants will focus their energy on the bloom rather than on leaf growth. If you're unsure of what to do, Google the best way to trim your particular herbs for whatever you decide to grow.

Best Herbs to Grow for Cooking

Having your very own herb garden is exciting, but before you try new things, your best bet is to start with growing what you eat. Here’s an idea of some herbs that you might want to grow:


Parsley comes in two types; flat-leaved and curly. The best one for cooking is the Italian flat-leaved parsley because it’s great for sprinkling over salads, chicken, and pasta, among other dishes.

Parsley is fairly easy to grow; it just needs regular moisture and some sun. When you’re starting out, you will want to harvest the outer leaves first. This encourages more new growth from the center of your plant and helps to keep it alive.


Rosemary grows slowly, but once you have harvested it, you will reap the benefits of its fresh and vibrant flavor. Grow this herb from a cutting, and place it in a container that is placed by a south-facing window. Rosemary does not need that much moisture- it thrives in slightly dry soil, so it’s best to water it sparingly.

This herb is best for roast chicken, vegetables, or homemade focaccia.


This Mediterranean herb is another one that grows better when placed in a container by a south-facing window. It will need lots of sun and warmth, and require the soil to be kept slightly moist.  There are also several different types of basil for you to try. If you want a hint of citrus, try lemon basil. If you want something with a stronger flavor, you could try Genovese or Spicy Globe basil.


Thyme is great for chicken dishes and marinades. It’s perfect for an indoor garden because it's low-growing and drought-tolerant. Thyme thrives in dry-ish soil and full sun.


Everyone loves sour cream and chives dip. This is a great addition to a herb garden, and it is the easiest herb to grow. All it needs is full sun or partial shade. It will also look great in your kitchen (due to its grass-like plant) if you’re worried about aesthetics.


Mint is great for cooking and drinking, but with its versatility comes special instructions. Although it grows well indoors, mint is better planted by itself because it can easily suffocate other plants. It doesn't require as much sunshine as other herbs do and likes to grow in slightly damp soil. Just be sure it receives some sunlight every day.

How to Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden

Tools you will need:

  1. Small garden trowel
  2. Scissors

Materials you will need:

  1. Planting pots
  2. Potting/Gardening soil
  3. Herb seedlings


  • Choose the right location: If you can provide an indoor herb garden with a sunny site (or similar artificial light), slightly cool circumstances with slightly higher humidity, and good air circulation, it will flourish. Aim for a place with about 6 hours of sunlight in a south-facing window.
  • Prepare the pots: Choose large containers that have enough space for the herbs to grow, and are deep enough for root growth. Once you see roots from the bottom of the pot (through the drainage holes) you will know it’s time for a bigger pot. Do research on the type of soil required for each herb and fill the pots accordingly.
  • Plant and look after your herbs: Plant your seedlings and water each herb plant as required. Place the pots on the windowsill or under growing lights with a tray underneath to catch any dripping water. However often the plants need watering, make sure that you allow the soil to dry before watering.
  • Trim and harvest: Most herbs can be harvested when they have grown up to a few inches tall. Try to prune the plants at least once a week to keep the herb plants thriving.

Best Herbs to Grow Indoors

Every herb has its own requirements to thrive, so make sure to do research on every single herb before you start planting. You need to know the light, air circulation conditions, and humidity requirements for each plant. Not all herbs can be grown indoors, but the best ones to try are thyme, chives, oregano, sage,  dill, basil, mint, coriander, sage, and creeping savory.

This post first appeared on ExpertEasy, please read the originial post: here

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Growing an Easy Herb Garden for Everyday Cooking


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