Whether you want to grow a kitchen herb garden as a hobby or to save money or just for healthier eating, there are plenty of herbs you can grow in your back yard, on your patio or even in your windowsill.Fresh herbs make recipes taste even better and are great to have around for soups, stews and salads.
In picking a place to grow your herbs, keep in mind that they need a good four to six hours of sun daily. There are many herbs that you can grow to enhance your cooking. When you plant a kitchen garden, don’t only plant the herbs you know, take a chance on something else. You might just be surprised.
Here are fresh herbs and other plants you can grow that are great to have handy in the kitchen.
1. Holy Basil /Tulsi
Tulsi is a revered plant in India, worshipped in almost every Hindu household and temple. A bit fussy to nurture but once it gains roots, it grows with its caregiver and becomes a companion and lasts years. Instructions: •Clip the branches periodically when the plant is young but strong and not in a delicate stage. This encourages lush growth and the plant becomes healthier and lush. •Pluck the dried seeds off the plant and just bury them in the soil. Soon you will have baby plants that you can propagate and distribute once the saplings are fairly strong and healthy to be transplanted. •The plant needs lots of sunshine so take care not to grow it in shade. Do not deprive it of water. Tips: Apart from being extensively used in all Hindu religious rituals, Tulsi is also known for its medicinal properties. Its soothing fragrance almost instantly cleanses your senses and bronchial tubes! Crush a bunch of Tulsi leaves with ginger to make a paste and mix it with honey, swallow a teaspoon when you have a cold. Boil Tulsi leaves in water with spices and herbs to make a decoction to fight colds.
Read healthy benefits of Tulsi
Parsley is a mild bitter herb that can enhance the flavor of your foods. Many consider parsley just to be a curly green garnish for food, but it actually helps things like stews achieve a more balanced flavor. As an added benefit, parsley can aid in digestion. Parsley is often grown as an annual, but in milder climates it will stay evergreen all winter long. Parsley plants will grow to be large and bushy.Parsley is a good source of Vitamins A and C.
There are several varieties of mint. You can use it in drinks like mojitos or mint juleps. Or add some mint to your summer iced tea. Mint freshens the breath and will help to calm your stomach. But if you grow mint, remember that it’s considered an invasive plant. Mint will spread and take over your garden. It’s best grown in containers.
Whether you choose large leaf Italian basis or large purple sweet basil, this plant is popular in many cuisines but is a feature in Italian cooking like pizzas, salads, sauces and pesto. Some people think basil is great for planting alongside your tomatoes but there’s no real evidence that it makes your tomatoes taste sweeter. Basil has health benefits of antioxidants and is a defense against low blood sugar.
Rosemary is one of the most flavorful herbs and is great for adding to things like poultry, meats and vegetables. Around Christmastime you’ll see tree shaped rosemary bushes for sale. You can bring them home and keep them for planting in the spring. The fragrant plant is a delightful scent and is sometimes used in floral arrangements. Rosemary likes its soil a bit on the dry side, so be careful not to overwater. Allowed to flourish, a rosemary plant will grow into a full-sized bush.
Cilantro is also known as coriander leaf or Chinese parsley. Cilantro is perfect for adding into spicy foods like chills, and Mexican, Chinese, Southeast Asian and Indian cuisines. The seeds of cilantro are known as coriander. The plant grows early in the season and doesn’t like it when the ground becomes too warm.
Fennel is very flavorful and aromatic, and along with anise is a primary ingredient in absinthe. Fennel is native to the Mediterranean region and does beset in dry soils near the ocean or on river banks. The strongly flavored leaves of fennel are similar in shape to dill. The bulb can be sautéed or grilled, or eaten raw. Fennel bulbs are used for garnishes or sometimes added to salads.
Grown as a condiment and for use in salads and dressings, lavender will give most dishes a slightly sweet flavor. Lavender syrup and dried lavender buds are used in the United States for making lavender scones and marshmallows. Health benefits include the soothing of insect bites and headaches when used with herbs and aromatherapy. Lavender plants will survive in many growing conditions, but does best in full sun in warm, well-drained soil.
Like other mints, peppermint is known for aiding digestion and freshening the breath. But peppermint is also a good source of calcium, potassium and Vitamin B. Peppermint is a hybrid mint, being a cross between water mint and spearmint. Peppermint oil can be used for flavoring, but is also useful as a natural pesticide. It has been shown to reduce the effects of irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint prefers rich soil and partial shade. Like other mints, it spreads quickly, so consider planting it in containers.
Read green tea benefits
10. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is known for its soothing properties for burns or skin problems. Many people keep an Aloe Vera plant handy in the kitchen for incidental burns. But taken orally, Aloe Vera will also help with digestion, circulation and weight loss. There are over 250 species of Aloes. Most of these are native to Africa. Aloe Vera plants are very succulent and are as much as 95% water. That means they are very sensitive to frost. In warm climates, they should be in full sun or light shade. But you may have more success with this plant by keeping it indoors in a sunny window.
Read benefits of aloe Vera gel.
Lemongrass stalks can provide antioxidants such as beta carotene and a defense against cancer and eye inflammation. Lemongrass has as strong lemon flavor. You can brew it in tea as well as use it as an herb seasoning. To grow this outdoors, you need to live in at least Zone 9. Outside it can grow up to six feet high, but will be notably smaller if you grow it indoors
Thyme is a delicate looking plant. It is often used for flavoring egg, bean and vegetable dishes. Thyme is frequently used in Mediterranean, Italian and Provençal French cuisines. Pare it with lamb, poultry and tomatoes. Thyme is often added to soups and stews. Thyme is part of the mint family. The most common variety is garden thyme which has gray-green leaves and a minty, somewhat lemony smell.
Sage is an aromatic herb that is great for seasoning meats, sauces and vegetables. But be careful because sage will have a tendency to overpower other flavors. Sage also helps to relieve cuts, inflammation and helps with memory issues. It was once thought to be a medicinal cure-all. Sage is an easy herb to grow and is relatively easy to care for. It’s great in your garden for attracting bees.
No, this isn’t the Disney princess. Jasmine is part of the olive family and is native to the warmer and tropical climates. Known for the fragrant flowers, jasmine is used in tea, often as a base for green tea. It is also used as a flavoring for syrup. Jasmine plants need a trellis or a fence to climb. Making your own tea with jasmine can be a long process. You may find that it’s best to grow jasmine for the fragrance and beauty of the flowers but to purchase your tea already processed.
Oregno is easy to propagate from cuttings or by division. Take a few cuttings at the end of summer and root out in a cup of water. Fresh oregano is much milder than dried. Use it at the end of the cooking process so that its flavor is not lost.
16.Curry leaves/Kadi Patta
A popular ingredient in almost every Indian kitchen, this has been tamed by obsessive gardeners to grow in a reasonably sized container for home gardens. Growing Instructions: • Get a healthy sapling from your local nursery • Even though it’s a hardy plant, it can be fussy at times. Diluted & leftover curd or buttermilk serve as excellent home produced fertilizers that promote its growth! Tips: Known for its distinct flavor, curry leaves also possess medicinal properties and grandma says it encourages hair growth.
17. Ajwain (Carom)
The ajwain plant is very easy to grow and is equally good to look at. You could grow it as a hedge in a small garden as it is quite prolific and fills up really fast, but be careful as it can overrun other plants. Most people will not be able to differentiate the ajwain plant from other ornamentals in a garden, so you can actually use it as an ornamental foliage plant and in your food. The beautiful ridged leaves of the ajwain plant are edible and an easy home remedy for tummy upsets. Add to raita and chop into salads for a herby, fresh taste or chew a few leaves for an instant natural mouth freshener!
Ginger is a basic in Chinese herbal medicine and it serves a natural remedy for nausea, heartburn, migraine headaches and menstrual pain. Ginger is very easy to grow and you might even be able to find a start at the grocery store. Look for a rhizome (ginger root) with eye bud swellings. Keep in mind that ginger likes warmth, partial shade and most, rich soil.
Onions are actually vegetables, not herbs, but are used much the same way as herbs. Onions add anti-bacterial benefits to the cardiovascular and digestive systems and can be helpful in preventing or limiting cancer. Onions are often chopped or sliced for recipes or sometimes they can be the main ingredient in French onion soup or in onion chutney. Easy to grow, onions are great for planting into a spare corner of your garden or along the edge.
Garlic is always handy to have around in case of a vampire outbreak. Garlic is part of the onion family. It has been used for over 7,000 years and was known to the Ancient Egyptians. Garlic has a pungent flavor and is used for seasoning or as a condiment. Garlic is a main component in many parts of the world. Often paired with onion, tomato or ginger the flavor. Some studies show that garlic may reduce the risk of several types of cancer. Garlic is easy to plant and easy to care for.
Hope you all like to read this and inspired. grow your favorite herb’s at your home and share your experiences with me and don’t forget to like and share.