stack and grow herb Kit
Want to grow herbs for cooking or have an herb garden yet you keep putting it off? Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've all heard the excuses: "I don't have time.", "It's too expensive.", "I'll never use what I grow.", "I don't have a green thumb. They'll just die anyway so why bother really?", "I live in an apartment.", or "It's easier to just buy them at the store." Stop with the excuses already! By making excuses, you are sabotaging yourself. Herb gardens are an asset to your life, not a liability. They can provide you with inexpensive flavors and scents year-round that you can add to a variety of things; food, drinks, teas, oils, soaps, lotions, potions, and potpourris.
Here are some tips to squash those excuses running around in your head so you can 'Get Your Herb Garden On'!:
Herb gardens require very little time to maintain, once planted, when you plant smart. Using herb pots like the one pictured or planting in a raised garden with a garden liner eliminates time consuming weeding. Watering bulbs will keep your herbs hydrated and allow for less frequent watering.
How little or much you spend is up to you. Be creative in finding materials for your individual herbs or your complete garden bed if you are on a tight budget. Clay pots aren't the only thing you can plant them in. Anything that will hold dirt and won't leach unwanted chemicals into the soil will work as an herb growing container. While cleaning out your house for your next yard sale, set aside anything that you can recycle and use to put some soil and an herb plant or two in. Shop other yard sales for cheap materials too. Old glass wine goblets, old glass jars, etc. Avoid plastics though as plastics can leach chemicals.
For a large herb garden bed, scavenge for some scrap wood, enough to form a shape, if you can't afford to buy new wood. Pine is ideal for garden beds. It's cheap yet functional. Nail the ends of the boards together, line with garden liner, fill with soil, and plant. Just make sure the wood doesn't have any kind of chemical coating on the side facing the soil that could leach toxins. The outside of the boards can then be painted if you want to decorate your bed.
Using what you grow in your kitchen and elsewhere
Keep your herbs handy in a visible place inside or outside your home, in a place where you either frequent regularly or spend the most time so you don't forget about them. Plant your outdoor herb bed in the front yard near your front door instead of in the backyard. You are more apt to remember it while leaving and coming home, plus it's in a handier place. You can just reach down and pluck some fresh herbs for adding to dinner on your way inside the house after coming home from work if you need to.
Place your individual herb containers near a kitchen or dining room window, within reach of where you cook or eat. Add some of those fresh herbs to your olive oil, butter, salads, condiments, cooked or raw vegetables, stews, soups, casseroles, and meats. Do this often and it'll become a habit, requiring very little thought on your part.
If you like your afternoon tea in the living room, have your garnish herbs growing within reach near a living room window. That way all you have to do is pull off a fresh leaf or two and drop it into your cup without expending much effort at all.
Grow medicinal herbs near your bathroom window if you have one. Or grow them on a bakers rack placed near your patio door either inside or outside of your home.
Invest in a small, handheld herb grinder. They are more convenient, faster to use, cheaper, and less messy than countertop grinders. Keep it in a convenient location. I keep mine in a top drawer next to my silverware. These can be purchased through specialty garden outlets.
As long as you grow them in convenient places, you'll remember to use them. Don't make the mistake of placing your herb garden in an inconvenient place at the far end of your backyard where you rarely ever spend much time. The sun might be a bit better over there, but it won't do you much good if you are either too busy or too lazy to walk that far.
Green thumbs are myths as far as I'm concerned. Herbs are the easiest of all things to grow since many herbs are technically weeds. What do weeds do? Proliferate. So too will your herb garden. As long as you provide your plants with fertile soil, water, and sunlight, you shouldn't have a problem.
Herbs don't require a lot of space. Even apartment dwellers can have indoor herbs growing in small containers near windows or on terraced patios or in hanging planters. Lack of space is one of the poorest excuses I've ever heard for not growing herbs. A little creativity can go a long way in finding space!
Store bought vs homegrown
Fresh herbs, beyond your standard fare of basil, oregano, or thyme are hard to come by in the average grocery store. Good luck on that! Fresh is best for some herbs, especially in cooking. Many specialty or rare herbs you cannot find in stores. Not even in the dried variety. You miss out on the wonderful opportunity to experience rare and/or exotic herbs by limiting yourself to only store bought.
So you see, there really is no excuse for you to not 'Get Your Herb Garden On'!
Got any more tips or ideas to share or comment on?
stack and grow herb Kit
SUPPER CLUB PICK
My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an