Creating your own kitchen herb garden is a fun and economical way to enjoy fresh herbs all year round. Don’t wait until spring when you can start your own mini-greenhouse today!
Growing your own herb garden is a time-saving and cost-effective way to incorporate a burst of flavour into your dishes. No more running to the store for that cilantro garnish or purchasing an entire bunch of basil when only a few leaves are needed! Fresh herbs in your kitchen makes a nice accent to the space, too. Just follow these three simple steps and get growing!
1. Choose your herbs
What herbs flavour your dishes regularly? Which herbs are you purchasing fresh from your grocer? Some of our favourites to grow are:
- Basil: Fragrant and easy, this tasty herb is one of the most common in a kitchen herb garden. It’s a wonderful addition to soups, tomato based recipes, pizza or in a salad among other things.
- Rosemary: A pungent, piney herb with a woody stem and needle-like leaves. It’s often used to punch up chicken, meats, bread and beans or as a skewer for kabobs.
- Cilantro: This popular herb is a global favourite. It’s commonly used to enhance Asian, Spanish, American, Mexican and Indian dishes.
- Italian parsley: More flavourful than its bland cousin the curly parsley, the slightly peppery taste of Italian parsley can be a great accent to soups, stews, meat dishes and Middle Eastern cuisine.
- Thyme: A strong flavourful herb that is commonly found in gardens. This herb lends its flavour to poultry, lamb and beef dishes, eggs, soups and tomatoes, just to name a few.
2. Get planting
The quickest and easiest way to have your own herb garden is to purchase your plants already grown from your local garden centre. Simply transplant them into your own pots — make sure the pots have holes on the bottom for drainage — add potting soil or compost as needed, and you’re ready to go. Another option is to grow your own from seeds. To kickstart your herb garden, use a greenhouse tray that’s been prepared with peat pellets. Just water, poke your seeds into the pellets and watch them grow. Follow the package instructions for optimal results.
3. Take care
Not all of us have green thumbs, but fortunately a herb’s needs are minimal. They need a sufficient amount of sunlight, so find a location where your herbs will get at least six hours of sun per day. They need regular watering, so keep the soil moist — but be wary of over-watering. Regular pruning from the top of the stems will keep your herbs growing to their full potential and prevent them getting “leggy.” If you’re using your herbs several times a week, pruning is taken care of.
That’s it! Three simple steps and you’re ready to enjoy the wonderful taste of fresh herbs straight out of your own kitchen.