Growing Your Own Herbs Within Reach

herbsThe mark of a true epicure is the use of only the best and the freshest ingredients, including herbs. Snipping a few sprigs or leaves of mint, basil, dill or some other appropriate herbs for food or drink give epicurean fanatics a different high. The extra step can make a dish/beverage acquire an exotic appeal, which you can see, taste and smell.

Sylvie of Gourmande in the Kitchen says, “The fresh grassiness of a sprinkle of chopped chives over soup, the robust earthy flavor of fresh thyme leaves on roasted vegetables, and the heady aroma of just-picked mint in your tea are just a few of  the reasons it’s easy to fall in love with cooking with fresh herbs.”

In her guest post for Simple Bites entitled How to Grow Your Own Indoor Culinary Herb Garden, Sylvie motivates the readers to grow their own herbs indoors. She writes, “Fresh herbs offer us good looks, great flavor, and intoxicating scents. Luckily, these rewards aren’t limited to those of us with a garden; just a few pots indoors can supply you with a variety of flavor-enhancing culinary herbs all year long.”

Missing the Country Life

Living in the city has its pluses. One thing you can certainly miss when you live away from your childhood country home could be the gardens and the streams/ coastal waters where you use to forage or catch the freshest ingredients for the day’s meals. While not all of these can be done in the city, you can certainly still grow fresh veggies and herbs in your modest apartment or condo.

If all you have is a small lighted balcony or window, it should be enough to grow a small herb garden. Sylvie is encouraging when she said, “… it’s not hard to grow the same herbs indoors, even in a small space.” In fact, an herb garden is the easiest way to start the hobby.

Easy Start

Sylvie suggests that you grow those you often use in cooking, such as rosemary, basil, chives, oregano, thyme, parsley, sage, and mint. For more information on the herb’s special care, method of harvest and its culinary use, check out How to Grow Your Own Herbs for Cooking. Pick those you will plant indoors and enjoy watching them grow.

For more information about growing herbs indoors, you may turn this Chow post How to Grow Herbs Indoors: Easy? Maybe not. Rewarding? Hell yeah. In this post, the author admits that with just a little sunlight, even city-dwellers can enjoy a small herb garden that they can grow in a few weeks.

“Growing anything isn’t easy (and yes, you may kill off a few plants before you get the hang of it); just start with the simple stuff. Even if you won’t be able to brag about your heirloom tomatoes, you can still feel the satisfaction of putting your own basil in a cocktail or stir-frying with some fresh lemongrass.”

Caring Tips for Your Herbs

  1. Potting: Choose your kind of container. Make sure it is roomy enough to allow growth and has enough drain to effectively drain off the excess water. Start simple. Choose easy to grow favorite herbs and use high quality organic potting soil. If you are planting mint, it is best not to mix it with other herbs as it tends to proliferate fast like a weed.
  2. Light: Your herbs need to get sunlight for 6 – 8 hours a day. Being in the pot makes it easy for you to move it from one part of the house to another to get that much-needed sunlight. You would know when the herbs are not getting adequate sunlight when the herbs are growing long stems and the leaves are not as green.
  3. Water: Different herbs have different water requirements; it is most ideal to grow each herb in its own pot. If it is important that you mix them in a pot, make sure you understand what can be cultivated together, having similar requirements in terms of water and sunlight.  Learn a few rips from Garden Guides’ Herbs That Grow Well Together.  You would know if the soil is already dry and needs watering by inserting a finger into the soil.

Harvesting your herbs by clipping or snipping them stimulates them to grow more branches and leaves (but don’t cut off more than a third off). If you are a real epicure, no kitchen or balcony is too cramped or small for you. Growing an herb garden will offer you a rewarding experience and cooking with it a real epicurean delight.

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