If you love cooking with fresh herbs, or even if you are just a beginner, you can easily grow your own herbs and use them for all of your favorite dishes. You actually do not have to be an expert gardener and you don’t even need a garden area. You can plant an herb garden in containers on your patio or even in your kitchen window. Many avid cooks choose to have their own kitchen herb gardens during the winter months so that they can enjoy flavorful dishes all year through.
There are no special skills needed to grow tasty herbs and you don’t need to run out and buy anything but your herb seeds. We have compiled a list of the best herbs for growing indoors or on your patio that will give you a good idea of where to start. The herbs on our list grow easily and require little care so you can have delicious dishes with minimal work.
Who doesn’t love adding fresh garlic to their favorite dishes? Garlic is a very versatile plant and it grows easily practically anywhere you plant it. Many add it to their vegetable gardens between other plants or some even plant it with flowers. It can grow in shaded or sunlit areas which is why it is a favorite for growing indoors. You can plant garlic cloves in your patio or indoor herb garden during the late summer months and enjoy it through fall. Since garlic cloves are long-lasting once harvested, you can enjoy your fresh garlic throughout the colder winter months as well.
Anyone who plants a kitchen or patio herb garden has to include chives. These plants are very versatile and easy to maintain and the chives themselves offer great flavor for a number of dishes. Chives are very easy to grow and the only maintenance is snipping them back from time to time so that they do not become so top heavy that they topple over.
No turkey meal is complete without sage for the stuffing. This is a great herb to add to your garden. Sage can be used to cure sore throats and help reduce the symptoms of the common cold when made into tea and flavors poultry dishes as well. There are different varieties of sage so pay attention to what you are getting. Most grow well in a kitchen herb garden and if you are planning to start your own, sage should definitely be one of your choices.
Thyme is an excellent herb for those indoor or outdoor herb gardens. It also comes in a wide variety of types and any of them would be perfect for your garden. Thyme packs a lot of flavor in a tiny herb which makes it perfect for seasoning various meats and soups and it has a few medicinal purposes as well. Seeped into a nice tea, thyme can ease many of the aches and pains of the flu as well as the common cold.
Whether you are Italian or not, you likely love the taste of homemade spaghetti sauce, pizza and other flavorful foods. Oregano not only tastes great, it adds beauty to your herb garden. Greek oregano offers a really intense flavor and gives you beautiful mauve or white flowers as well. It grows very well in container gardens so it is the perfect choice for your patio herb garden.
Not many people cook with tarragon which is really a shame. This is a very versatile herb that can be grown in the kitchen or on the patio and is excellent when added to eggs or other dairy dishes. A bit of dried tarragon will really liven up those omelets and it is considered to be an excellent choice for comfort foods like soups and even chicken dumplings. It grows easily and requires very little maintenance.
Peppermint, chocolate mint, spearmint, wintergreen – the list goes on and on. There are so many different varieties of mint that you could actually create your own mint herb garden all by itself. Peppermint is an excellent choice if you love tea. Fresh peppermint makes a very tasty tea and helps to ease the common cold and other winter illnesses. You can grow mint in containers and because most varieties prefer shaded areas, this is a great choice for kitchen window gardens.
Marjoram is good for pairing with oregano because it helps to eliminate the bitter taste that oregano an often have. This versatile herb will grow beautifully in your kitchen window or on a shaded patio. It grows easy and is very hardy so little care is required. It is a perfect choice for first time gardeners that want to plant a successful garden but are not quite sure how to care for their herbs.
Ok, so parsley is a must if you like to dress up your dishes. Preferred for its beautiful garnish, parsley can also be used as a natural breath freshener. Just chew on a piece of fresh parsley and you get better results than with the leading mouthwash. Parsley is also an easy to grow herb and can thrive in partial sunlight so it is perfect for patio gardens or even a kitchen window container.
Rosemary grows perfectly in containers so it is a great choice for indoor gardens. It does require a bit of sunlight so you will need to place the containers in the window or if you are planting a patio herb garden, ensure that you allow a bit of sunlight time each day. Rosemary is a good herb for seasoning soups, stews and red meats and is a beautiful plant while it is growing. If you are looking to bring a bit of natural beauty to your kitchen, be sure that you add rosemary to your herb lineup.
What You Need to Begin
Once you have decided on the location of your herb garden, you simply have to have a few containers and some herb leaves. You can purchase an herb garden container at most hardware and home improvement stores or simply make your own using plastic bowls or planters. Just add a good, rich soil and plant your seeds. It really is easy to get your kitchen herb garden going and you will soon have a wide variety of fresh herbs to add to your favorite dishes. Remember to water your plants regularly. A good rule of thumb is to add water whenever the top surface of the soil seems to feel dry. Make sure that your containers have holes in the bottom for proper drainage and you are set. When the leaves are large enough to pinch off, they are ready to use. Use them fresh from the garden or you can dry them out for use later. We even recommend freezing a few if you want just so you will always have a few available. Herbs are easy to grow, easy to maintain and make the perfect addition to any kitchen or patio.
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I am an American writer who is currently pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature. I have, over the past 5 years, been published both online and in print magazines. I enjoy writing about anything and everything related to home and family including home décor and design, women’s health and providing others with tips for enjoying some down to earth family time. I love helping gardeners to plan their landscapes and offering advice on a number of home related topics. As a mother and grandmother, I have plenty of experience to share.