Fresh herbs can make any meal taste even better. Think about how delicious a salad of tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella with a lasagna dinner would be. Or maybe baked chicken sprinkled with fresh rosemary, served with a side of steaming mashed potatoes. Your local grocer may not always have the fresh herbs you need for your meals, but the good news is that you can grow them yourself!
Unlike a vegetable garden, an herb garden is easy to maintain, and it doesn’t take much space. You can even grow herbs indoors on your windowsill. And planting a herb garden is a fun activity to do with your kids.
Here’s what you will need to plant a basic indoor herb garden:
- A long planter or a wide, shallow flower pot
- Basil, bay leaf and/or oregano seeds
- Potting soil
Fill the planter or flower pot with soil to about an inch below the rim. Water soil until very moist. Poke holes with your index finger about 3” deep, and spaced 2” apart. Place two or three seeds in each hole. (Do not mix plant varieties in the holes. Use a separate hole for each kind of seed.) Gently fill the holes with additional soil. Cover planter with cellophane to trap in the moisture, and poke a few holes in the plastic to let the air circulate. Place planter in a sunny spot.
You should begin to see sprouts in about a week’s time. Once the sprouts are clearly visible above the soil, remove the cellophane. Keep the soil moist by watering every few days, but do not over water. As the herb plants get bigger, you can help them thrive by pinching them back every week or so--simply pinch off the stems a couple of inches from the top, or pinch off some of the larger leafy branches. In a few weeks’ time, the plants will grow tall and full, and you’ll have plenty of herbs to use in the kitchen!