How to grow herbs in your kitchen
Bring the garden inside when you grow herbs in your kitchenFeeling blue or stressed-out? Or maybe itís been a long winter and you are yearning for spring. Psychology Today highlighted a study that showed indoor plants can improve attention, reduce stress and more. Growing an herb garden in your kitchen is a fun way to add living plants to your home. Your mind will enjoy it and youíll be able to enjoy the flavors of summer all year long.
There are many great herbs to choose from and cook with. So customize your garden according to what you enjoy most. You can plant basil, oregano and rosemary if you make a lot of Italian food. If Mexican is your favorite, grow cilantro, oregano and sage. Or, if you are always trying new recipes, add some thyme, bay, parsley or tarragon into your garden for variety. Seed companies have great tips and resources for building your list. Review their suggestions, consider your needs and choose your seeds.
Now that you have the perfect selection of herb seeds, itís time to decide how to contain them. Here are ideas that work well on their own or can be mixed and matched to compliment your style.
Mason jars are extremely popular these days Ė and not just for canning fruits and vegetables. A great use for these jars is your herb garden. Pint size jars are a perfect size for setting on a windowsill to catch the sunlight. To keep track of which plant is in the jar, write the name on a tag and tie it to the neck of the jar with some twine.
Recycle empty cans by turning them into cute planters. Peel off the labels, give them a thorough wash, and voila Ė you have planters. The outside of the cans can be painted in colors that coordinate with your kitchen. Asking children to help with the painting is a great way to make it fun and get them involved. When the paint is dry, write the name of the herb on the outside with a permanent marker.
Hanging pots are nice if you have a window with good light, but no space for a typical planted pot. Purchase a few curtain rods and small containers that can hang from the rods, such as small plant containers with handles or painterís buckets. Next, install the curtain rods across your window, allowing enough space for a pot to hang from a rod without interfering with the rod below it. Since the pots simply hang from the rods, itís easy to move them around, bring them down for cooking or re-plant as you wish.
The All-In-One Pot
Sometimes the best choice is a stand with a wide planting bowl. This option minimizes floor space, requires no counter space and can be easily moved when necessary. Purchase a stand that best matches your style. Next, select a wide bowl that can probably hold five to six herbs Ė and to help prevent future messes, choose a bowl that has contained drainage, such as a deep saucer or integrated system. To help remember where each plant is, write the name of each plant on a Popsicle or craft stick and push it into the soil near the seed or plant.
Planting the Herbs
The keys to successful plants are good seeds, good soil, good light, a little water and love. In most cases, plants thrive with a layer of pea gravel in the bottom of the container for drainage with a layer of soil above the gravel, the seed or plant and then another layer of loose soil above the seeds or roots of the plant. With enough water to keep the seed or plant moist without being too wet, your plants, your home and your cooking will benefit for years to come.
The Pioneer Settler