Perk Up The Indoors With Easy To Grow Herb Plants
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Indoor herb gardens provide herbs for your cooking and bring fresh produce to your table year-round. Many herbs used for cooking are easy to grow and don't require a lot of space or care. Fortunately it is easy to grow herbs in a kitchen, even a tiny kitchen. All you need is one big pot or many small pots, a few herb plants, and plenty of direct sunlight. Use containers with good drainage for your herb plants. Also make sure you have a plastic or ceramic tray under the pot to keep drained water from dripping on the floor.
Make a list of the herbs you use regularly. Look at the spice collection in your kitchen and note the ones you use the most. Even if you have little gardening experience cultivating an indoor kitchen herb garden is easily done, makes a great addition to a kitchen; herb plants look fantastic in a kitchen and many smell good.
Add potting soil, a soil mix, or garden soil to the pot. Drainage is very important. In the bottom of the pot add small rocks, perlite, or gravel. Add the soil and lightly water, mix to create mud not dripping wet soil, and then plant your herbs in the pot. Loosen the soil around the plants root. Put the plant in the hole and pack dirt around the root and the top of the root, smooth loose dirt to finish filling in the hole and around the plant. Place in a sunny spot and water with the leaves look droopy.
One Pot Herb Garden
A variety of herbs can be planted in one pot. Choose a large deep pot at least 7 gallons or larger. To arrange the plants in the pot be aware of how the plant grows.
Some ideas of herb plants to plant in the same pot: Plant sage, thyme and basil together in a pot together. Plant thyme at the edges as this herb plant is a creeper and will cascade over the sides. Plant basil (bushy herb plant) and sage (grows tall) in the remaining areas of the pot.
Plant rosemary, basil, oregano, and thyme can be planted in a pot together. Plant the rosemary at the top on a mound so that this plant does not get over watered. Plant thyme along the edges of a pot so it can tumble over the edge. Then plant the basil and oregano (grows about 7+ inches) in the remaining areas.
Parsley, chives, thyme, basil, oregano, and mint can be planted in a pot together. Plant the thyme around the edges of the container so it can grow and tumble over the edge.
Chives can be grown from seeds or small plant. Chives are a member of the same plant family as onions and leeks with a mild onion-life flavor and can be used for a substitute for scallions in many dishes. Chives are easy to grow indoors and it makes a great flavor addition to pizza, baked potato, salads, sauces, vegetables, and many other dishes.
Mint herbs are grown from seeds. They are an invasive and spreading plant, a good place to grow mint herbs are in a pot alone as it will crowd out other plants. Mint is a fragrant fast-growing herb that compliments fruits, vegetables, and meats. It likes to be kept moist but not overly wet. When the soil at the top of the pot becomes dry watering is needed. Mist between watering. Fertilizer is not usually required. If you do fertilize use an all-purpose, water soluble fertilizer or fish emulsion. Mix the fertilizer at half strength. Harvest mint sprigs before the plant flowers. If you dry mint leaves store them in air-tight containers away from other herbs as they have a strong overpowering scent. Try growing peppermint and spearmint.
Mint has a wonderful aroma. Crush the leaves to release the oils and the pleasant flavor. Tie a few sprigs together and crush to release the fragrant oil. The sprigs can be hung on a ceiling fan or in a room to freshen the room with a fragrant smell. Boil mint leaves and vanilla in water for a fragrant smell all through your home. Mint leaves are edible and can be used for cooking or as a garnish for drinks and desserts. Freeze washed mint leaves in ice trays with water to add to cold drinks; teas and punches. Place a few mint leaves in a cup of hot cocoa and stir for a flavorful taste. Stir mint leaves into butter and use on potatoes or peas. Brighten up a salad with peppermint; peppermint leaves, lettuce, vinaigrette dressing, with a roll or French bread. Experiment and find many uses for mint herbs that grow in a pot in your kitchen.
Oregano is a popular herb in Italian and Greek dishes. This herb is easy to grow. Plant small oregano plants, cuttings, or seeds or begin your indoor oregano herb. Greek oregano is an excellent plant for indoor gardens and has an excellent flavor that is idea for use in cooking.
Parsley grows in clumps. Grow in indoors to have fresh parsley for salads and main dishes. Parsley can be grown from seeds but they require weeks to germinate. Start your indoor parsley from a small plant or clump from your yard. Parsley requires little maintenance just be sure to snip the leaves regularly before they turn yellow.
Rosemary needs to be planted in a large pot so it will have room to grow. It is propagated by cuttings. For a compact variety of rosemary, grow Blue Boy as it reaches only 24 inches. Rosemary is a finicky plant. This plant likes bright light but not hot windows or heat sources as it prefers cooler temperatures (around 60 degrees Fahrenheit). Water the rosemary plant when the soil becomes dry, add enough water to moisten the soil, don't over-water so the soil becomes soggy as root rot is an issue with over-watering rosemary. To keep a rosemary plant healthy don't mist it.
Sage is a favorite herb to grow indoors. A compact sage variety is 'Compacta"(Nana) that grows about 12 inches tall. Sage is a plant that does will indoors in bright light. Enjoy sage year round in an indoor garden, it can added to an indoor garden with small plants, seeds, and from cuttings. Trim shoots from a sage plant. Snip off the bottom leaves from the stem. The cutting can be placed in a glass of water or dipped in a root-inducing powder and planted in a mixture of perlite and peat moss. Moisten with a spray bottle so that the mixture is lightly damp and not wet. When the cutting has established roots transplant to a plant container.
Thyme prefers full sun. Thymus vulgaris is the species grown most for use in cooking. Add thyme to your indoor herb garden by planting a small plant, seeds, or by dividing the roots of a plant. Thyme is easy to grow and likes soggy soil, allow the plant to dry slightly between each watering. Thyme leaves have the best flavor just before flowering. Add thyme to stuffing, meats, soups, vegetables, and many other dishes.
Cooking With Herbs
The Betty Crocker website recommends using three times the amount of fresh herbs as you would dried herbs; a 3 to 1 ratio. For example 3 tbsp. of fresh herbs would be a substitute for 1 tbsp. of dried herbs. Join for Free and log in. For great information from Betty Crocker.
Herb flavors can be subdued by high heat or a long cooking time. To get the maximum herb flavor chop herbs and add them toward the end of the cooking time.
Let your taste buds be your guide.
Growing Herbs Indoors
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