freshen up your cooking…
growing your own herbs

Spring is in the air, and along with it come images of springtime gardens, fresh produce, and the scent of fresh herbs. There is something incredibly satisfying about growing your own fresh herbs; it’s easy, and can be done indoors or out. There is no space so small that you can’t grow a few fresh herbs for culinary use. All you need is a sunny spot, and you’re ready to go. If space is really tight, you can even grow herbs in a reclaimed wine bottle. Want your herbs the easy way? Try growing fresh organic herbs right in their own bag.

Growing your own herbs is certainly more economical than buying them at the grocery store, but that’s not the only advantage. When you grow your own, you have an abundant supply of the freshest herbs possible, right at your fingertips. Even better, you know exactly what went into them—so you know they’re all-natural, organic, and free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. And dried herbs just can’t match the freshness and flavor of fresh. Growing indoors also allows you to grow herbs all year long, so you can have that fresh-from-the-garden taste any time.

Start with a selection of easy-to-grow herbs. Mint is super easy to grow, and grows year ‘round, so will oregano. Other herbs are perennial, like basil and cilantro, meaning they will grow for a season, then go to seed and finally die. If you collect the seeds, you can replant and keep the cycle going.

Herbs like sunlight, so find a bright, sunny window for them. Watch the temperature and make sure the window isn’t intensifying the sun on the tender young leaves and burning your plants. Shoot for 8 hours of bright, direct sunlight every day. If that’s not possible, consider adding artificial light—the results are worth it!

Surprisingly, most herbs don’t like rich soil. Most herbs do best in a moderate, well-drained soil that isn’t fertilized. If your soil is very heavy, or otherwise “bare”, mix in some compost to add organic matter, nutrients, and lighten the soil.

Once your herbs have grown up a bit, make sure to pinch them back regularly. That will encourage fuller growth, and keep you in fresh herbs for longer.

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