Growing your herbs indoors – instead of buying bundles at the grocery store – is cost efficient and creates less food waste, as you’ll only pluck exactly what you need. We sat down with Caitlin Boyle and mapped out the best and easy-going herbs that will be perfect for any house with taste buds craving fresh herbs.
To get started, scout your house for the perfect growing space. Your kitchen windowsill may be ideal, but remember that most herbs need about four to six hours of natural light. You also don’t want your herbs to get too hot or too cold; during the winter, for example, you may need to move the box a few feet away from the window (but still in the sun). Different herbs need different amounts of water, but a good green rule of thumb is not to overwater or let the soil become dry.
If you want fresh herbs immediately, head to a local gardening center for tiny plants. Growing herbs from seeds can take months. Place your plants in the largest pot possible (at least six inches). Double check the pot includes drainage holes before filling it with a high-quality organic potting soil. You may also want to consider using an organic fertilizer to provide your indoor soil with important nutrients.
As your herbs grow, be sure to prune regularly and freeze extra herbs. If the plants become woody or leggy, it may be time to pull that herb and start over, as the flavor will be impacted.
Here are some classic herbs for your indoor garden:
Basil: Add fresh basil to salads, smoothies, or on top of pasta sauces. You can also use basil to make fresh pesto! Basil needs a lot of sunlight and grows quickly.
Chives: This mild, garlicky and grassy herb tastes amazing in cream cheese, on top of salads, on salmon and in potato or chicken salad.
Parsley: This easy-to-grow herb is a wonderful component to a marinade for beef or chicken, tastes great blended into hummus and maximizes the flavor of a frittata. Try the flat-leaf Italian or the curly-leaf version.
Rosemary: Another hardy kitchen herb, rosemary has a strong flavor – a little goes a long way. Try it cooked into pasta sauces, on meat or baked on focaccia bread.
Mint: This aromatic perennial herb (try peppermint or spearmint) can be steeped into a hot or iced tea.