The idea of using fresh plants or greens while cooking and using the just picked herbs in cooking & throwing them into the pot or pan right away is so very exciting. If you love the sight & smell of fresh herbs then planting a simple & fresh kitchen garden is for sure possible for quick kitchen access.
In US & Europe growing & using such small indoor kitchen herbs has been going on for a while but in India it was not so earlier except having Tulsi (Indian basil used as medicinal or religious plant) or curry leaves plant (for cooking) generally but now with more & more people travelling overseas & liking Continental, Italian & Mediterranean cuisines, people have started growing various herbs & this idea of owning a nice kitchen garden full of fresh herbs is fast catching up here.
Herbs are the best & easiest of plants to grow. Normally for kitchen gardens pots are used for planting. Let’s check the steps to make a nice kitchen herb garden.
Choose a location to set up your garden:
It should be either in the kitchen balcony or inside the kitchen on the bright windowsill or space outside the kitchen window or a place in kitchen where plants can get at least 5-6 hours of direct sunlight.
In case the natural light is more limited & plants starts looking leggy & start wilting then you can move the plants for some time to the sunny corner of the house.
Selection of Soil & containers along with placement ideas:
Indoor herbs & plants should be grown in containers or pots, which are ideally at least 6 inches large so that they have drainage holes too. The larger the size of pot or container, the bigger the plant can grow. Although due to lack of space very small containers & pots are used for growing indoor kitchen herbs. Choose a premium potting mix for ensuring better growth of the herbs.
Selection of the right kitchen herb plants & their qualities & uses:
If we can get our hand on every fresh which we can just pick right from the plants, it will just wonderful but that is not easily possible so we can look out for the plants which can be grown more easily. Best way is to transplant from baby plants than directly planting from seeds.
Here is a list of “Oh! The herbs I definitely need in my kitchen” list
- Mint – It’s a plant, which grows very fast and becomes a lot rapidly so try to use a bigger container or pot for growing this herb. Very fragrant & makes the air around minty & fresh too. Its contains an antioxidant rosmarinic acid which helps in preventing allergies, great for anti-inflammatory qualities, helps prevent common cold & indigestion or stomach aches. Mint oil helps in soothing skin against any rashes or irritation.
Uses: Iced tea, green tea, mojitos, chutney & Biryani.
- Coriander – One of the easiest herbs to grow and fast to expand. Looks beautiful as garnishing & makes the recipe more delicious. Helps against skin disorders, in maintaining low cholesterol, bone health, salmonella protection, helps prevent anemia & mouth ulcers, blood pressure, diarrhea.
Uses: In Indian cooking, used in most of dals (lentils), curries & veggies, actually in almost used in every thing cooked, in chutney & not to miss the Mexican guacamole.
- Basil – this herb plant likes a lot of sun & warmth so place it on such corners or windows where it can get ample of it. The whole aroma around this plant is so great that it makes the kitchen space feel very fresh. In growing this plant remember to pluck off the flower heads so it keeps growing. It’s known for various qualities like helps in cold & cough, has antibiotic properties, helps in controlling blood sugar & stress reduction. Also known to work for stings & bites and ear infections.
Uses: Basil is widely used in pasta, pesto, and sauces, in masala tea, salad & of course in mozzarella caprese. Can be used dried too.
- Thyme – easy & low growing herb and belongs to the mint family. Its smells good & delicious, sets the mood right. Thyme oil is a natural cough remedy, helps in lowering blood pressure & helps to strengthen body immunity. It is a very good addition to all veggies, eggs & bean recipes. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C & A, iron, manganese & dietary fiber.
Uses: it is used in grilling marinades & for stew, mostly favored largely in Italian, French & Mediterranean cuisines.
- Sage – This herb needs a lot of sun too so try to place it in a place full of sun light. This too belongs to the mint family. It has a soft savory taste. Have anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidant qualities, help in arthritis & bronchial asthma.
Uses: salad, pizza, seasoning, omelet, frittata, mixed with yoghurt, in baking chicken & fish.
- Rosemary – it’s an easy growing herb with very aromatic leaves. It helps in soothing stomach & helps with stomach-aches. Also helps in joint aches, eczema and skin irritations.
Uses: it is used as a culinary spice, goes very well with Parmesan cheese, in pizza. Chicken & meat & egg recipes
- Parsley – its leaves & roots are best known worldwide as a condiment or garnishing. It is highly rich in Vitamins and helps in kidney function as flushes out all excessive fluids from body. It helps to controls blood pressure and helps in good heart health. Its oil massage reduces hair loss. It has anti-inflammatory properties so helps in joint pains.
Uses: widely in culinary area, used as oil for massage, one can pretty much use it in anything being cooked.
- Chives – It is every ones favorite; it helps give a nice taste to all dishes & tastes great too especially in eggs.
Uses: use it at the last minute to retain the taste, they are great as garnish & widely used in yoghurt, dipping’s, baked potatoes, quesadillas
- Oregano – This herb grows gently & does not expand to widely. It is a wonder herb used as medicine & its aromatic flavor is best suited for cooking. It is full of anti-oxidants for helping immune system, has anti-inflammatory qualities, it has anti-fungal & anti-bacterial qualities, helps in fighting cancer. Its used primarily Mediterranean cuisine but more known to world as pizza seasoning.
Uses: in pizza & sauces.
Tips for growing Herbs:
Select the right required varieties.
Choose a good sunny location.
Select correct containers or pots with good drainage.
Water & fertilize regularly from time to time.
Harvest in the right manner & time
Well if you want to enjoy using fresh herbs, pluckked straight from your kitchen gardens, then you need to start growing them.
Post by Parul Khanna
Categories: Appy Blog