The kitchen is the heart of the home and creating a fantastic meal for your family or entertaining is even better when you use fresh herbs. Herb gardens can be started and maintained in both indoor and outdoor settings and add some flair to your recipes. But you don’t need to be an experienced chef or gardener to grow herbs yourself. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are a few tips for growing your own herbs and getting creative in the kitchen.
Choose Your Herbs
When deciding on which herbs are right for you, consider if you want to grow indoors or outdoors based on the climate of your region. If you reside in a cold location, keeping herbs indoors might be best. Also, consider how much time and attention you have to make your herb garden a success. Some of the easiest and most popular herbs to grow are basil, rosemary, chives, parsley, tarragon, lavender, dill and mint.
Starting and Maintaining Your Garden
Once you have chosen your space and which herbs you are going to grow, the gardening process is fairly simple. Herbs need to be planted, watered and harvested frequently for the best results. Many herbs like oregano, chives and parsley can be grown in pots or containers indoors or planted in a well-lit soiled area outside. Deciding when to harvest depends on the herb, but they generally should be harvested before they flower. Removing approximately 1/3 of the growth with scissors will keep herbs growing at a more bountiful rate and better quality.
Once you have your herb garden up and running, it’s time to head into the kitchen to put your homegrown herbs to use. Knowing which herbs to pair with certain foods can be tricky, but some of our favorites are using basil for making homemade pesto, rosemary herbs for grilled pork loin and dill for salmon. Some other options include using parsley, chives and tarragon for making herb butter to grill steaks or sea bass.
More Than Just Food
Your homegrown herbs can be used for other household items in addition to food. Get creative outside of the kitchen by using lavender and cilantro to make bath bombs, soap, baking soda or decorations, or rosemary to make fresh herbal hair rinses. Rosemary and mint can also be used as an insect and mice repellent to keep unwanted pests out of your kitchen.
We encourage you to stay healthy and safe while gardening by stretching and wearing protection for your knees when gardening outdoors. In addition to our safety tips, Live Well can help you with a variety of nutritional support and services. Contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling at 513-285-7682 or send us a message.