March 12, 2017

Tips for Creating a Culinary Herb Garden in Your Kitchen

Let’s face it: While store-bought dried herbs will work in a recipe, there’s nothing quite like fresh herbs in home cooking. Whether it’s rosemary on baked chicken, roasted vegetables with chopped thyme, or chopped chives in potato dishes and soups, freshly cut herbs bring an incredible depth of flavor. A mint leaf or two can be the ideal finishing touch for an Indian dish or as a garnish for your tea.

While you can buy fresh herbs at some grocery stores, growing your own isn’t difficult to do. You can even grow them indoors, right in your kitchen. A home culinary herb garden means freshly harvested herbs are always on hand at a fraction of the cost of store-bought.

The Basics

To start, you’ll need some free space in your kitchen or dining room near a window that gets a decent amount of sun. Some of the herbs you might consider planting could include:

Sage: The potent flavor of sage should be used sparingly, but it can make meat and side dishes unbelievable.   

Thyme: Thyme features aromatic green leaves on woody stems. It’s a must for French cuisine and can take cooked vegetables, meat and egg dishes to new places.

Italian herbs: If you make a lot of Italian dishes, you’ll definitely want to grow oregano, Italian parsley and marjoram.

Basil and mint: These herbs are in the same family and are also delicious in Italian cooking. Thai basil or holy basil is a must for Thai cooking. As for mint, peppermint has a stronger flavor profile than spearmint.

Rosemary: Rosemary is a potent herb that tastes delicious with poultry dishes, Mediterranean cuisine or as an addition to freshly baked bread or rolls. It grows year round and doesn’t need too much care or watering to thrive. 

Chives: Chives and garlic chives are a grass that’s part of the onion family. They’re excellent for use in canning, pickling and flavoring seafood, soups and dips.

Planting Your Herb Garden

Use a broad container with ample space and depth as well as drainage holes underneath. Use quality organic vegetable potting soil and take steps to plant herbs requiring similar care close to one another.

Care and Harvesting

Water your herb garden when the soil is dry, but don’t overwater it. Some herbs might require different levels of care; for example, basil tends to need more water, while rosemary needs much less. Follow the directions on each seed packet.

Clipping your herb garden regularly will keep it healthy and promote continued growth. It’s also the best way to enjoy fresh herbs in all your favorite dishes! Clip herbs back about one-third on a regular basis. For best results, herbs should not grow long enough to flower between each harvest.
Have you tried planting an herb garden at home? Share your photos and recipes with us on social using #HelloWallisRanch and tag @Wallis_Ranch.

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