If your jarred spices are out-of-date and flavorless or if you’re frustrated by wasting store-bought fresh herbs that wilt before you can use them all, there’s one simple solution: Grow your own herbs. Here are some tips and advice from the experts at Epicurious to get you started:
Plant Outside, if Possible – Herbs grow best in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. So planting your herbs outside presents the ideal environment. This will also help you avoid the detrimental effects of a dry indoor atmosphere, which can lead to pests. To make an outdoor herb garden super convenient, plant them in pots right outside your kitchen door or mounted in a window box beneath your kitchen window. This will allow you to water and snip them for cooking with ease.
Plan for Proper Light Inside – If you need to keep your herb garden indoors—or if you want to grow herbs year-round—strategize ways to ensure they’re receiving the proper amount of sunlight. If you have an unobstructed south-facing window, set up your herb garden here. If not, set up a plant light on a timer to guarantee the proper amount of light. Even if you do have your herbs in a south-facing window, they’ll need this more intense dose of light in winter.
Start With Baby Plants – While it may be tempting to grow your herbs from seed, this route is only for serious gardeners as seeds need weeks to germinate in advance. Instead, start your garden with small herb plants purchased at the store.
Grow What You Eat – While there’s a plethora of interesting-sounding herbs you could plant, stick to what you actually eat most often. Otherwise, your efforts and space will go to waste.
Trim Properly – Herbs are just like any other plant, therefore, trimming them must be done with care. Don’t be tempted to simply chop off leaves indiscriminately for cooking. Do some research on your various herbs to find out when and how to trim them. A general rule of thumb, however, is to never let them bloom; as budding begins, the plant will send energy to the flower instead of the leaves, so be sure to trim blooms off as soon as you see them.
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