Kitchen Herb Garden Basics

One of the best ways to enhance the flavors of your home cooking is with a kitchen herb garden. Growing your own herbs will not only be a fun and rewarding project, but will save you money on those expensive store-bought varieties. Read on to learn the basics of creating your own kitchen herb garden.

Choose Your Herbs

When planning your garden, determine which herbs you use on a consistent basis or are most likely to use. Go through the recipes you love and record the ingredients you notice more than once.

Once you have a list, it’s time to do some research. Find out information like how easy or difficult the herb is to grow, how large it becomes and its requirements for sunlight, water and soil.

The most commonly homegrown kitchen herbs are:

  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Sage
  • Chives
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Parsley

Pick a Location

Most herbs are sun-friendly and thrive in mostly sunshine, so you will need to place your herb garden near a window. This way, you can also control the amounts of sunlight using blinds, shutters or curtains.

Make sure you have enough space near your window to locate all your planters. If you don’t, find another spot in the kitchen and make sure you rotate each plant into the sun each day.

Plant Your Herbs

To actually plant your herbs, you will need:

  • General-purpose fertilizer
  • Seeds or cuttings (cut stems from existing herb plants) of the herbs you prefer
  • Pots or planters

Use medium to large planters to allow the plants’ roots room to grow. Use a different planter or pot for each different herb, or use a long planter and space the herb seeds with about one foot between each one.

Cover the seeds with about a ¼-inch of soil and pack it down. Pour water over the soil to moisten it. Within about a week, your plants should begin to sprout.

If you are using cuttings, simply transfer the plant into the pot full of soil, pack the soil around it, and water it. Be sure the planters you use drain well.

Maintain Your Herbs

Keeping your herbs healthy is all about sunlight, water and how often you use them. When you notice the soil becoming dry, add water directly to the soil.

Use a sharp knife to remove the leaves and use them right in your cooking. Be sure to remove dead leaves and any flower buds. Leaves will be the most flavorful when they are young and bright.