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One of the easiest ways to improve the quality of your cooking is to work with the freshest ingredients available, and the best way to have fresh ingredients throughout the year is to create an indoor herb garden in your kitchen. The process is relatively straightforward, but there are a few details to keep in mind before getting started. Most pots will work fine, but not all plants are ideal. Here’s what to pay attention to when starting a kitchen herb garden.
Almost any pot that offers six inches of depth will do the job nicely. For the sake of keeping track of everything, it’s a good idea to plant each species of herb in a different pot. In some cases, especially with plants that are very similar to each other, such as marjoram and oregano, indoor gardeners should also label the pots clearly to avoid any confusion. In some cases, even old cans can be used, although you should check whether the soil and plants might interact with the metal before planting anything.
Plants take up space and require a suitable location in order to grow. Finding a good spot for your indoor herb garden is important, and one way to better account for your plants’ needs is to install a garden window. If you’re looking do a smaller garden, and your home’s existing windows offer enough space, you may be able to use existing windows or counter space.
While it’s wonderful to have a wide variety of plants available for use within a kitchen, proper selection is still important. Some plants simply need too much sunlight or space in order to grow, and they’re not always suited to the indoor environment. Likewise, some plants might give off unpleasant odors that some homeowners may not want in a kitchen space.
When in doubt, you should consider sticking with the most common herbs that people plant in indoor gardens. For example, oregano, mint and marjoram are all genetically close and thrive indoors. Dill is a superb ingredient, and it’s also suitable for this purpose. Basil and bay are not only good for indoor growing, but give off pleasant smells. Sage, rosemary and thyme are also an excellent trio to add to any indoor herb garden.
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Photos: Jess Pac, Home Depot, Modernize.com
Jane Blanchard is a blogger, home design geek, and graphic designer from Savannah, GA. She currently writes for Modernize.com.