Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Plant your own Herb Garden!

Anyone who is passionate about cooking deserves a home grown herb garden. Fresh herbs not only wake up home cooked meals, but also give you a sense of pride when you are eating something you grew with your own hands. The beauty of an herb garden is that it doesn't require a lot of space. As long as you have a spot in your home that gets a reasonable amount of sunlight you can grow your favorite herbs.

I recommend keeping your herb garden simple and healthy using a couple of rules:
1. Don't grow something you don't eat!
Why purchase, plant, and tend to marjoram if the very smell of it makes you gag??? Plant things that you will use in your food. Favorites for me are basil, Italian parsley, cilantro, and rosemary. These are ingredients I used frequently so it gives you extra motivation to nurture something you cant wait to taste.

2. Buy pre-sprouted plants.
Seed packets are fine too but why not get a head start? Just buy pre-sprouted herbs and replant at home. Do this buy buying a pot slightly larger than the size of your herb. Remove herb from its plastic container, give the roots a squeeze and place in new pot with a nice layer of dirt on the bottom. Fill dirt around plant and water thoroughly.

3. Pay attention to the watering requirements.
Certain herbs are very thirsty and can dry out easily where as others are content with just one watering a week. Use this simple rule of thumb, if you press on the soil with your finger it should give a bit and feel damp NOT WET. If its hard and dry you waited to long to water. If its squishy and muddy you are over watering.

4. Pick a spot that gets a decent amount of direct sunlight for at least a couple of hours a day.
Herb Gardens lend incredibly well to indoors conditions. Just make sure the plants are in a spot that gets some good sunlight each day and avoid placing plants in front of air currents (i.e. directly in front of an a/c vent.)

5. Use plant food made especially for edible plants once a month. Just a little bit goes a long way. Don't over feed. It is important that you purchase feed that is food safe. Look for vegetable or tomato feed.

Growing an herb garden can be both simple and rewarding. Give it a shot yourself and you'll soon see just how fulfilling it can be to sprinkle home grown oregano into your next Sunday sauce.

Still need a little help?? Check out these links for some great kits that will help you get started.

Ready... set... GROW! then CHOW!