Fresh Herbs Add Color in the Kitchen and Zest to Any Meal
Here are some tips to help your herb garden thrive and some recipes so you can enjoy the harvest.
Choose the right spot
You’ll want to select a space that’s convenient enough to snip herbs while you’re cooking but won’t be in your way. Be sure to protect your counter or windowsill from water or dirt that might escape from your herb pots. And keep some distance between tender plants and your oven to avoid heat injury.
Err on the side of sunny
Most plants need sun to thrive and herbs are no exception. A sunny kitchen window is the ideal home for your herbs. If you don’t have space with direct sunlight, consider a grow light or another artificial lighting source to keep your plants healthy.
Herbs need their space
Another reason to consider giving herbs a window seat is to allow for air circulation. Help them breathe by keeping adequate space between pots and letting some fresh air in if possible.
Most herbs can get by with once-a-week watering but check periodically and adjust as needed. Plant just one type of herb in each pot to accommodate different water requirements.
Pick the right pots
You can buy ready-made herb garden kits or fashion your own from small pots, jars, and saucers. Terra cotta pots are a pretty color contrast to green herbs, but plastic works just as well. Choose pots with a drainage hole in the bottom to keep plant roots from getting waterlogged.
Use a good potting mix
You can make your own potting soil by combining peat, coir, bark, vermiculite, and bone meal, but most indoor potting mixes include a combination of all these ingredients in the right proportion. The first three ingredients keep the right amount of moisture and nutrients in the soil. Bone meal and bark provide nitrogen and phosphorus — must-haves for healthy plants.
Enjoy your Herbs in These Easy Recipes
Easy Caprese Skewers
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Mini mozzarella balls
- Fresh basil leaves, cut in half if large
- Skewer sticks
- Optional Balsamic Glaze
- Thread a mozzarella ball, basil leaf, and tomato onto a skewer.
- Repeat in order on the remainder of the skewer.
- Sprinkle with salt & pepper or balsamic glaze if desired.
Simple Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- Combine all ingredients in a baking pan or large casserole, toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer.
- Roast for 35–40 minutes until tender and golden Stir halfway through roasting.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (optional).
Perfect Parsley Pesto
- 1 cup toasted walnut halves
- 2 cups chopped parsley (leaves and some stems)
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Put the walnuts, parsley, grated cheese, and garlic in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse again.
- While the machine is running, drizzle in the olive oil to combine; about 20–30 seconds.
The pesto will last several days when chilled. Use on toast, pizza, sandwiches, and pasta.