Cooking with fresh herbs gives your homemade food that organic je ne sais quoi, which will delight your next dinner party. If your living space does not include a sizable backyard for gardening purposes, opt for a small indoor herb garden. Your cooking will reap the benefits and you don’t need anything special to flourish an abundance of herbs.
There are a few factors that need to be address first before setting up an herb garden.
Light: Herbs, like all plants, need a certain amount of light each day in order to grow. You do not need a special lighting system for your herb garden, simply 14-16 hours of either natural sunlight or indoor lighting in your home.
Temperature: No matter where you live, the balance of having the optimal temperature will affect your herb garden results. The green rule of thumb is to keep the room in which you garden at a mild 60-70 degrees.
Soil/Fertilization: Feeding your herbs is a key element in providing a healthy and stable environment for them to grow. Using a nourishing soil such as Miracle-Gro Organic Choice 15 lb. All Purpose Plant Food ($16.48, Home Depot) will give your garden the backdrop for thriving and promoting root development. In addition, invest in a good fertilizer such as the Osmocote 10 lbs Osmocote Outdoor and Indoor Flower and Vegetable Food Granules ($26.97, Lowe’s).
Once you have the key ingredients to a successful herb garden, it’s time to purchase your herbs and get started. The AeroGarden Gourmet Herbs Seed Kit ($15.99, Target) is ideal for first-timers and encompasses an interesting selection of seeds including thyme, genovese basil, dill, mint, globe basil, oregano and lemon basil, each of which are organic and do not contain pesticides, herbicides or chemicals.
Then all you need is a few recipes and you are on your way to becoming a culinary expert! Author and cooking teacher Lynn Alley explains how to incorporate herbs into your kitchen in her Cooking with Herbs: 50 Simple Recipes for Fresh Flavor ($7.99, Amazon) cookbook. It is filled with mouth-watering recipes and will teach you how to add distinct flavors to your meals without any confusion.
So, put aside your naysayer thoughts about crafting an herb garden – it’s simple to create one inside your home.