Have you ever wondered how convenient it would be to have an herb garden of your own? Where you could just cut fresh herbs as you need them to cook a delicious, fresh easy meal? Did you also know you can use them for so many different things other than cooking too? It may sound like hard work but in reality its so much easier than you may think. I was surprised to find out my self how simple it can be. Even though I have never been much of a gardener, or you know the saying “green thumb” ya well I really don’t think I’ve ever had a “green thumb”!
I have previously tried growing herbs such as basil, cilantro, parsley, etc. My first time growing basil went really good until I forgot to water the basil for a couple days and I also had them outside at the time. NOT smart when you live in Vegas and the poor basil plant was getting blasted by the scorching summer sun all day long with no water…I was pretty upset with myself! I tried growing herbs a few more times after that, problem was I didn’t start from a seed and just purchased small plants (cilantro, parsley, basil, and fennel). Yes people its okay to cheat haha its not really cheating though but for some reason when I put in the work to grow my herbs from a seed, I think I gave them more effort to keep them alive. Needless to say the pre-grown plants died shortly after and I literally did the same thing 3 times back to back and kind of gave up for a while. I felt useless and that I couldn’t garden. I didn’t think I would ever try again. My mind set has changed in every aspect in life since then and I feel like if you really try and put your mind to something you can do it.
I am seriously determined to have an indoor herb garden this time so I started by purchasing some organic seeds (Quite a few of them actually) and I planted them early in May. They seem to be doing great and I make sure to water them daily, I am also keeping them in my kitchen so I can see them and remember to water them daily but only until I can move them into larger pots and find a more permanent spot for all of them. The watering takes me 10 minutes tops, and it probably could be shortened even more yet I really try to be careful since the water sometimes pushes the plants down which is why it takes me a bit longer. Then I just put them in the sun from my back window (I have put them outside for some fresh air a few times as well), then on occasion I also place them under the florescent lights in my kitchen. That’s its! so simple. It will take a bit of work and time to plant and transplant but its totally worth it.
Benefits of Growing Your Own Herb Garden at Home
I know you may be thinking, oh why not just drop by your local store and purchase some herbs… well for quite a few reasons actually.
1. Its cheaper to grow your own
2. You can have herbs that are extremely fresh for cooking. At the store you don’t know how long ago they picked them *farmers markets are great options too* Fresh is always better than dried 🙂
3. Herbs can be used for so many different things such as household cleaning, cooking, medicinal purposes, natural hair care, beauty care, herbs are also excellent in juices as well as smoothies and are extremely beneficial for your body
4. You can make your own spices and spice mixes by dehydrating your fresh herbs *also can dehydrate them for other uses*
5. Its a learning experience for growing other fruits and vegetables down the road
6. Its kind of relaxing and its so rewarding to know you grew something.
What is the process of Planting
It was more simple than I thought. I did so much research before I decided to plant them and I really learned a lot.
1. Purchase good quality seeds, I found a lot of great places online to purchase organic seeds, even heirloom seeds and they were pretty inexpensive
2. Purchase good quality dirt. I was able to find organic potting soil at a local store, also I ended up using vermiculite to help with moisture but organic matter can help as well
3. This one is important- Do research on everything you plan to grow. The organic seed packets I purchased were very helpful. I also separated my seeds based on how much water they need and sun. Some herbs require more water and sun than the others. I found out that rosemary and Italian parsley doesn’t like being moved/transplanted so I purchased large and deeper pots to plant them in and keep them in when they are mature.
4. Label before you plant- I used popsicle sticks to temporarily label my herbs since most of them are in starting containers. I did this before I even planted them to avoid mixing them up you can also label how much sun and water they need if that helps you remember which ones to water more or put out in the sun longer etc.
5. Fill up the pots or starter containers with soil base. I found it easier to fill all of them up half way and added more depending on how deep each seed needed to be planted
6. Plant seeds 1 type at a time and make sure to pay attention to how deep and how far apart to plant them (add a bit more soil if needed like I mentioned above)
7. Add a small layer of vermiculite or organic matter
8. Gently water
9. It may be helpful to loosely cover them with plastic wrap to retain moisture
10. Continue to water and allow sunlight based on each herbs needs.
What Herbs did I plant?
2. Italian Parsley
3. Curley Parsley
14. Pepper Mint
When planting small seeds gently sprinkle them over the soil then cover Larger seeds you can make small holes with your finger in the soil and plant 3-4 seeds per hole (depending on growing directions) Don’t give up, I felt a little discouraged since my rosemary still has not sprouted but when I did a little more research I found out that rosemary can take up to 8 weeks to sprout so its just a waiting game.
I plan on doing another post once I transplant them and they start getting more mature to where I can use them in cooking. I seriously can’t wait!
Since I keep them indoors and my house does not get very good sunlight I water and move the pots in the sun every morning I also on occasion let them sit under my kitchen fluorescent lights for a little extra light
I plan on posting my progress in a few months and going over new tips and ideas I learn along the way.