There are many reasons why you'd want to start growing your own herbs, from motivating you to cook more, to saving money on your grocery bill. Many of the herbs you'll add to your meals will not only make your meals taste better, but the herbs have healing properties as well.
Now, especially, is a great time for window sill gardening. It can help relieve stress, and give you some sense of control over planting your own seeds, watching them grow, only to reap what you sow in a short period of time. It’s also a great teaching tool for children who may be out of school.
Reasons to Grow Your Own Herbs
Some great reasons to start growing your own herbs are:
- It's fun to cook with fresh herbs.
- Save money. Herbs can be a little pricey in the grocery stores.
- Food is accentuated by fresh herbs, and makes your dishes' taste stand out.
- Herbs smell great, and are beautiful.
- Many recipes call for fresh herbs.
- Herbs are simple to grow, and you don't need a patio or yard; you can grow them right in your kitchen.
What are the Best Herbs to Grow Indoors?
Some of the best herbs to grow indoors are:
- Lemon Balm
Lemon balm belongs in the mint family. It has a lemony flavor, and goes great in tea, iced or hot. Traditionally, lemon balm has been used to calm the nerves, soothe anxiety, and works like a mild antidepressant. It grows rather large, and requires little care.
Thyme is an aromatic evergreen herb often used in dishes like potatoes and chicken. However, it does a lot more than just season your dinner. You can gargle with it to eliminate bad breath and mouth sores. It also has antifungal and antimicrobial properties, so it could help ward off a cold or flu.
Sage is a popular herb that's been used medicinally for centuries. It has far-reaching benefits that range from sharpening cleverness to soothing sore throats.
- Holy Basil
Holy basil has been a sacred plant in India due to its array of medicinal uses and uplifting, calming nature. The flowers and leaves are a remedy for:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Lack of concentration
- Poor memory
While you can certainly cook with holy basil, it's far more tasty in elixir or tea.
Oregano is a multi-tasking herb both in and out of the kitchen. It's antifungal and antibacterial. You can make tea from its leaves, and use it to fight headaches and colds, or use it in homemade cleaning products. When you steep oregano in vinegar, you can use it to wipe your countertops down rather than the all-purpose cleaner.
We could all use a good cup of chamomile tea just about now. Chamomile tea can help to calm your nerves, and also lull you to sleep. And, there’s no need to buy it, when you can brew your own from fresh or dried chamomile flower heads. Chamomile is easy to grow, too. Once it’s firmly rooted, it’s a no-fuss herb to grow.
Steps to Growing Your Own Herbs
To grow your own herbs, follow these tips:
- Identify the best location for your herb garden. If you're growing your herbs indoors, you'll want as much natural light as you can find. Put them on a window sill in a sunny spot that receives a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day.
- Provide proper drainage. The best way you can harm your herbs is by letting them sit in water, which will make their roots rot. Use a liner, saucer, or drain pain to catch the water under the pot and protect your surface.
- Indoor herbs are just fine in regular indoor temperatures. Basically, indoor herbs live well in the same temperatures you do, which is usually around 65 to 70 degrees F.
- Grow your herbs in water. A simple way of growing indoor herbs is to grow them in a hydroponic (water-based) system. The herbs will grow right in the water, therefore nutrients and moisture are delivered right to their roots. You can use a grow light to provide your herbs with artificial sunlight.
Along with tasting delicious, fresh herbs also look great. They're simple to grow, and can fit in compact areas. Tending to an herb garden can be a pleasant and fun daily task that rewards you for your efforts. They will provide noticeable improvements in your grocery bill, cooking endeavors, and taste buds!