Thirteen Herbs Worth Growing Yourself
They add delicious flavor to your dishes, and they’re surprisingly easy to grow, even indoors. All you need is a bright space and some enthusiasm. Buying already grown plants will make the process much easier than starting with seeds, it can sometimes even put you a year ahead. They’ll thrive in a light-filled space, where the temperature hovers between 55 and 75oF.
Here are thirteen herbs that will add great taste to your meals, even when grown inside.
Basil: It can be annual or perennial. The “Genovese” type has classic aroma and flavor while the “Lemon” type has a hint of citrus and the “Siam Queen” has a slightly spicier taste.
Bay: It may be slow to grow at first, but it will eventually reach the bush/small tree stage. For a head start, buy a 1-2 foot plant.
Chervil: Also called French Parsley, it has some of the same traits as parsley with an extra hint of anise. Snip the outer leaves and stems to harvest, or gather a few sprigs together and but one or two inches above the soil.
Chives: A perennial that boast a light onion flavor, chives are known as windowsill growers. Cut bunches of leaves right at soil level to encourage new ones to sprout.
Cilantro: Otherwise known as Chinese Parsley, this short-lived annual has a distinct citrus flavor, although this one is best to start from a seed. It grows fast but does not regrow once harvested.
Dill: An annual plant with aromatic leaves. The “Fernleaf” variety is smaller and ideal fro growing inside.
Marjoram: In the Oregano family, this Mediterranean herb is distinctively sweet. Sweet marjoram has the classic delicate flavor, while Italian Marjoram has an interesting blend of sweet and spicy.
Mint: Peppermint or spearmint are always good varieties to grow indoors. Make sure it has its own container though because it’s known to take over other herbs.
Oregano: Growing up to 12 inches in a pot, Greek oregano delivers the authentic flavor. Harvest leaves often to encourage new sprouts. The plant can stay productive for up to two years, after which it should be replaced, when it becomes woody.
Parsley: Italian flat-leaf and curly-leaf parsley both do great indoors. Cut only the outer leaves to harvest, which will encourage new growth from the center and keep it productive for several months.
Rosemary: Even though rosemary tends to prefer dry conditions, its crucial that the soil is never completely dried out or the plant will die. It is a perennial and can be quite compact, if you go for the “Taylor’s Blue” or “Salem” varieties.
Sage: Dwarf sage is best for indoor growing, offering the same flavor but only growing to 10 inches high.
Thyme: Lemon thyme or French thyme are both good choices with great flavor. For something original, try the creeping “Oregano” thyme with its oregano undertones.
Use your fresh herbs in our Vegan & Vegetarian Recipes!
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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