Fresh kitchen herbs, such as cilantro, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and any other fragrant spices, are a hot commodity in the kitchen.
For many gardeners, it’s enticing to grow your own herbs, especially if cooking is a pastime you enjoy as well. Wouldn’t it be nice for your kitchen to be supplied with fresh herbs the whole year through, without the hassle of planning your meals around trips to the grocery store?
Fresh herbs offer culinary dishes a flavor profile that can’t be rivaled. Some of the best dishes are topped or infused with herbs, taking a simple meal and turning it into restaurant-quality. In addition to the flavor they provide, herbs contain healing benefits. They could be the answer to poor digestion, reducing stress, anxiety or inflammation, treating arthritis, relieving gas, healing rashes or treating depression.
What Is a Kitchen Herb Garden?
What exactly is a kitchen herb garden? It’s simply an herb garden at home, either located indoors or outdoors. The purpose of growing herbs for a kitchen herb garden is to be able to use fresh herbs for cooking, whenever you need them.
Your kitchen herb garden isn’t required to be in your kitchen, it should be located wherever the optimal growing conditions are, which brings us to our next segment.
Growing Herbs Indoors or Outdoors
Herb gardens are most successful with full sun, so if possible, growing your kitchen herb garden outdoors is your best bet. Most herbs need at least six hours of direct sunlight to thrive, with ideally seven or eight hours of sun. With that said, it’s not impossible to grow kitchen herbs indoors.
A windowsill setup can work perfectly fine with the right conditions. Grow herbs in containers near a window that gets a lot of sun. If your home doesn’t provide enough sun for an indoor kitchen herb garden, there’s always the option of using a timed light.
Best Conditions for Growing Herbs
We already know growing herbs require full sun, but gardeners should also know about soil, watering and fertilizing best practices.
Well-drained soil is needed for a successful herb garden. Classic garden soil can be used when growing herbs, as long as it has good drainage. However, it’s important to know which herb plants should be grown together, since some varieties need drier soil conditions, and some require additional watering needs.
As a rule of thumb, the soil in your kitchen herb garden should be moist. Different herbs will have different watering needs, but none of them should have soggy soil. Herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary have less watering needs than herbs like mint or parsley, which need to be damp at all times. An herb garden pro tip is to grow the herbs together with similar watering needs.
Fertilizing is not as important when growing herbs compared to growing other types of plants, but herbs can benefit from organic matter like compost especially when grown in containers. Organic matter can be mixed with potting soil before planting. If your herbs appear to be struggling once established, a little liquid fertilizer will go a long way.
Know How to Trim Your Kitchen Herb Garden
The way you trim your kitchen herb garden has a direct correlation to its success. Trimming a little at a time is what you should anticipate when growing herbs, so don’t expect an extra large yield at any given time. For best results, trimming them often will promote growth. Generally, trimming the leaves off of herbs will signal them to keep them growing healthy.
Conclusion to Growing Herbs for the Kitchen
Fresh herbs are versatile for cooking – even garnishing cocktails like mojitos – and can pack a powerful punch of flavor. A kitchen herb garden is on many homeowners’ wish lists, and with the right knowledge and preparation it can be an achievable goal.
Now more than ever, with many people opting to leave their homes as least as possible, growing herbs at home even more desirable.