Dreaming of a Kitchen Herb Garden

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Dreaming of an herb garden in your kitchen windowsill? Let’s get growing with this super fragrant trio– oregano, rosemary, and basil… make cooking with fresh herbs a cinch!

kitchen herb garden, container gardening

Where To Begin

Never grown herbs before? Start with oregano, rosemary, or basil. You may also want to consider mint, parsley, and/or thyme. No worries! Most herbs need only basic care and are perennial, which means you’ll never have to buy them from your local grocery store again.

Side bar– Perennials are plants that live more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter-lived annuals (a plant that has only one life cycle/growing season and then dies). I could go further on defining perennials, but this all the information needed to get started.

Instead of growing herbs from seeds, save time (and the headache) and consider purchasing live herb plants online or at your local gardener center.

Here’s a quick review of the most common indoor grown herbs:
  • Basil is a popular culinary herb with a lovely fragrance. Tip– don’t chop the leaves, but tear them instead for the most flavor.
  • Mint has calming and soothing properties that make it a great air purifier that is often used in aromatherapy. It is also a go-to herb for nausea.
  • Oregano is rich in antioxidants making it a great choice for a healthy diet. Oregano helps build up your immune system and can help fight inflammation.
  • Parsley is extremely nutrient rich. It helps to improve digestion and boosts your immune system.
  • Rosemary is known for being a great air purifier. It also has the health benefit of anti-inflammatory compounds. Bonus– you may also notice an increase in memory and concentration!
  • Sage has a strong reputation for its healing properties including improving brain and memory function.
  • Thyme has great immune started benefits, packed with Vitamin C and A. The smell of thyme is also known to boost and improve your mood.
Live assorted herbs

What To Know

Herbs need lots of sun. Make sure you have a very bright window or use a hydroponics growing system. If growing in a sunny location inside is not an option, you will find them easier to grow outdoors.

Your herb plants will require good drainage. Although decorative plant containers are fine to use, it is important to make sure the roots never sit in water. You may want to consider with drainage holes to make things easier.

Note: If growing outdoors, avoid planting in heavy clay soil or wet wet spots.

Hydroponics Growing System
Indoor Herb Garden Kit with Grow Light

How Not To Kill

Keep the soil moist for the first weeks after planting. Then let the soil dry a little before subsequent watering, which causes root rot.

Plants require specific nutrients from the soil. The challenge is that your plants will draw those nutrients out of the soil, and they don’t magically restock themselves.

This is where fertilizer comes into play. Plants need fertilizer. Fertilizer is any substance or material added to soil that promotes plant growth. But go easy on the fertilizer. Fertilizing more than once a year makes herbs grow too fast, lessening the concentration of aromatic oils that give them flavor.

Hopefully this quick tutorial was just enough to get you started on your own kitchen herb garden. Happy gardening!

Indoor Herb Garden Starter Kit

By Dana Ash-McGinty

Dana Ash-McGinty is the Principal Broker of ASH | MCGINTY, a Washington, DC Real Estate Brokerage. This real estate maven has 15+ years experience in residential, commercial and land sales in addition to multi-state residential renovation, re-zoning, and condo conversion projects. A sought after real estate authority, she has been featured on CNN and in various real estate and financial publications. Dana is married to the highly esteemed Dr. Dana W. McGinty, a Washington, DC internal medicine physician and medical correspondent. They are often referred to as "The Danas".