Spring is here! So let’s take advantage of the season to renew our garden. A great way to start is by growing our own vegetables and herbs with all the benefits of organic agriculture! Today, let’s begin with the easiest herbs to grow, which are ideal spices for those who love to cook. They are also perfect for the home, balconies, gardens and apartments!

First, choose a great location for your herbarium. You may place it close to the kitchen and near a window that gets daily sunlight for at least 6 hours.

Think about the substratum you will use. If you plan to work with flowerpots or flowerbeds, use soft and fertile soil suitable for food. Add fertilizer for better growth. The fertilizer can be purchased or you can make it yourself with used tea bags, egg shells, etc.

When you plant your garden, prepare the soil by using good drainage practices. You can include coarse peat or sand. It is important to always plant in the early morning or late evening to avoid the sun’s intense heat.

 

At the home supply stores you will find seeds, fertilized soil and tools which are called a “greenhouse kit” for beginners. These plastic or cardboard kits usually come with pads of soil (Which can be purchased separately), and serve to plant different types of seeds in multiple pods suitable for plant development. When your plant starts to sprout and grow roots, you can transplant them to a bigger flowerpot! If you purchase plastic pots, do not expose them to the sun! Direct sunlight can melt the pot and literally “boil” the newly sprouted plant!

 

Always follow the instructions for each type of herb and seed. This includes: Space and depth of the plant, development stages and the amount of light and water required. Irrigate your buds with abundant water and approximately one inch of water during the growth process.

When the herbs are mature, you need to harvest, but do it little by little. Do not fight the plant because you may end its life! It is best to harvest in the morning.  It has better flavor before the plant flowers.
These are some general tips to grow a successful herbarium at home. Now, I will share some special conditions needed to grow 5 of my favorite herbs! Will you join me?

 

Rosemary

Aromatic, delicious to accompany potatoes and lamb, this herb is contains compounds like carnosic acid, shown to fight cancer cells and improve memory!

Rosemary grows best in full sunlight with frequent irrigation.

 

Basil

Nothing could be more delicious! From sauces, soups, pestos, Italian recipes with lots of olive oil, mozzarella, tomatoes and even meats and cereals.

Basil has a warm and spicy taste! It is ideal to plant near a window or greenhouse at the start of spring. Then, transplant to a garden at the start of summer.

 

Thyme

This herb is a little sweet but perfect for mash potatoes, onion soup, salads and generally any boiled vegetable!

Thyme has been used as a remedy for respiratory ailments like bronchitis. It also has antiseptic properties.

It adapts very well to indoor cultivation (exposed to the sun), and it doesn’t grow too big. The flowers are small but very pretty.

 

Mint

There are countless uses for mint! Teas, cold drinks like lemonade, desserts, for use in Middle Eastern and Indian recipes as an antiseptic and of course to make mojitos!!  It should be planted during fall or spring, and generally prefers less light than other herbs.

Mint is a plant that grows horizontally, so it is recommended to plant in a wide flowerpot with at least 20 centimeters of depth to give it room to grow! If you plant it directly in the ground, it is advisable to cultivate it by itself.

 

Lavender

Helps you relax and puts you to sleep! This is why I include a few lavender buds in my green tea at night. This plant grows big and it is best to place in the garden exposed to lots of light to help it bloom! If you plant it indoors, use a flower pot with good drainage.

Follow these simple tips and have a healthy harvest!