From Windowsill to Plate

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Step Up Your Meals With Home Grown Herbs

Everybody is going green, so why not take some of that greenery to your plate? Who wouldn’t want to serve a gourmet meal, and be able to top it off with, “All of the herbs come from my garden”? Your friends and family will light up in disbelief and utter amazement; not to mention, everyone knows how delicious fresh picked herbs are! So, what are you waiting for? Here’s how you can start stepping up your meals with your very own homegrown herbs.

  1. Buy your favorite herbs. There are tons of herbs to choose from, but some of the most commonly used ones are basil, cilantro, mint, and rosemary.  You are more than likely to find these little green guys at any local grocery store already growing and ready for a new home.
  2. Buy a planter and soil. The little containers that your plant comes in won’t last the test of time. Plus, they’re usually getting too small for your new herbs roots. So, now is the time to shop for fun, but small little planters. You can find these in the gardening section of any home improvement store, like Lowes or Walmart. You’ll also need to pick up some potting soil. The “Moisture Control” soil for potted plants is hands down the best. This will help you from over or under watering your new housemate.

Here are some things to think about when picking out your planter.

Plan out where your garden is going to go. If you have a patio, then that’s great! But if you’re not fortunate enough to have an outdoor space, then a window will work just fine. Measure the space you want to use to make sure the pot will fit.

Ask yourself, am I going to have each herb in a separate pot, or am I going to plant them in the same pot? If they are separate, you’ll want to find a pot that’s about the size of a large soup bowl for each. If you use a larger pot, then the plant is going to spend all of its energy on making the root system, and not the delicious leaves you’re after. Your little herb can always graduate to a larger pot if he takes off.

Make sure there’s a reservoir for the water drain. If your planter doesn’t come with one, there are small plastic ones you can buy.  This way, you make sure to water your plant, not the floor.

  1.              Re-pot your herb. Take your new pot and fill it 3/4ths of the way with soil. Move the dirt around in the center to make a shallow hole. Gently remove your herb from the plastic container. Squeeze the sides a little and he’ll slide right out. Place him in the small hole you made, and fill the rest with more soil.  Give him a good drink of water, and Voila! You’re a gardener!
  2.              Keep him alive. Easier said than done for some. Usually, the death of a houseplant is from overwatering. On average, you should water your herbs about every 2-3 days with just enough water to sit in the reservoir. Also, pinch away! You won’t hurt him. Herbs love to have their leaves pinched off. This encourages new growth and more branches, which is all the better for you!

You can cook to impress any crowd with your plate, bursting full of flavor. Not to mention, a touch of greenery ads so much life to any living space. It’ll be a beautiful and useful addition to your apartment. Even an ordinary dish becomes fancy with fresh herbs. Now, invite the neighbors over, and get cooking!

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