Growing your own herbs is one of the easiest and tastiest gardening projects you can undertake.
Stepping out the back door to pick your own fresh basil or rosemary can bring you and your friends and family some sweet and savory satisfaction.
It can also save you a lot of money in the long run, since herbs bought at the grocery tend to be pretty pricey.
Start with some basics, choose your plants and follow these helpful tips.
Happy, happy plants:
Before you even plant a seed, prepare your soil. Organic compost is one of the simplest ways to improve your soil. However, don’t mix garden soil into containers. Instead mix organic hummus and organic potting fertilizer for a loose, well-drained mix.
Let the sunshine in:
Most herbs love, love, love sunshine, so pick a spot where they will get plenty of it. Only a few herbs need shadier areas – like cilantro and mint.
Although realistically, mint is the Gengis Khan of herbs. Shade or sun, this herb grows like a weed and can take over the entire garden. Plant it separately or in a area where you will want the coverage it can give. It's a perennial, so make sure to look for it each year when it pops back up in the spring.
Just a sip:
Only water every few days when the top inch of soil feels dry. Herbs thrive better in a semi-dry environment.
It also helps to plant them in area of the yard or containers that drain well and don't hold in too much water.
Easy on the fertilizer:
You should only fertilize once a month at the most. Too much fertilizer can make the herbs overproduce and the flavor will be dulled.
Lots of times, just adding garden compost to the top layer of the soil is all the fertilizer your herbs will need throughout the growing season.
Harvesting your herbs promotes their growth and keeps plants in a growing cycle instead of maturing and going to seed. Snip and clip a little to prep up some delicious meals sprinkled with fresh herbs every night and your herbs will last all through the spring and summer.
On the other hand, don't go to town and harvest it all, it will take a few weeks for your herbs to replenish.
What's Twinkle growing?
This year I've planted a salsa garden - cilantro, peppers, tomatoes and other herbs. Check back for tips on growing your very own!
Twinkle VanWinkle has over 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks. She baked apple pies for the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and has appeared on Food Network's “The Best Of...” Along with producing dynamic lifestyle content for LIN Media, she is a mother, urban gardener, chef, musician and social media fanatic.
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