This year, I started my herb garden quite by accident. One day in late April, I was in the mood for pesto, and I went to my local supermarket in search of enough basil to make the tasty dish. I found out that a sizable box of basil leaves was expensive, and just as disappointment was starting to get in, the produce guy approached me and said, “Buy a basil plant. They’re $2 for a big, bushy one. You can cut the leaves off and stick the root in the ground.”
My first herb plant
The tip proved invaluable. I bought a plant, made my pesto and stuck the remaining stem and roots in a decorative pot. I can’t say that I expected much, but I liked the looks of the plant sitting on my porch and the possibility of the plant that it would become. Within a few weeks, the basil plant started growing, yielding luscious leaves in leaps and bounds. I was so excited that I went to Walmart’s garden center and bought several different varieties of basil plants, plus Italian parsley, oregano, lavender, rosemary and tarragon plants.
Cooking with herbs
Having a herb garden right outside my front door has helped me step up my game in the kitchen. My dishes are more delicious than ever before. The nice thing about having fresh herbs so quickly available is that I can use them to enhance breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes. I toss basil leaves on top of breakfast omelets. I add tarragon to lunch-time tuna and chicken salads and chop Rosemary to sprinkle on dinner-time curries.
How to plant a herb garden
I’m convinced that you can grow a successful herb garden, even if you believe that you have black thumbs, or that you don’t have time to mess around with plants. To get a quick herb garden going, all you need are a few decorative pots, a bag of potting soil and a small shovel. Visit your local gardening center to buy your favorite herb plants already started in plastic or recyclable containers. Fill your pots about two-thirds of the way with the potting soil, put the herb plants in the pots and finish filling them with soil. Water the plants and you’re done.
I also purchased a small bottle of all-natural liquid fertilizer for house plants. I’ve only used it once on my herbs since I planted them, which was enough to boost their growth. I water the herbs every other day as needed. I recommend putting the pots in a place where they can catch the rain, if possible.
It’s not too late to start a herb garden, even as the summer draws to a close. Herbs do famously well indoors as long as they have light and water. Just place the herbs on a plant shelf with wheels to relocate them around your home and on your deck, balcony or patio as desired.