Kitchen Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Kitchen Herbs at Home
Kitchen herbs are so much more than spices. Many common herbs that we grow in our kitchens, homes, and in our gardens are easy to use as herbal remedies. It is all too easy to forget that what we refer to as spices are in fact medicinal herbs which can help to improve our health when we make them part of our daily diet. However, buying already grown best herbs to grow in a pot, is not so cheap. But not to worry, there is an easy solution. Make up your own kitchen herbs list and start growing.
What Kitchen Herbs Are the Best for an Indoor Herb Garden?
You are probably wondering which herbs you should include in your own kitchen herbs list, and which herbs grow well in a kitchen. Of course, it all depends on the space and conditions in your kitchen. However, herbs are flexible when it comes to things like light and soil conditions, and you can easily make minor adjustments to accommodate your kitchen herbs.
The Ultimate List Kitchen Herbs List: Best Herbs to Grow in a Pot in Your Kitchen
Before you embark on your adventure to grow kitchen herbs, you may want to think about how much time you have to dedicate to your new adventure. Herbs are basically no fuss plants, but at the same time it is important to acknowledge something fundamental about herbs – they love being used.
If you are new to growing herbs in the kitchen, it could be a good idea to invest in a kitchen herb garden kit. Start looking around, and you will find that there are plenty of choices out there. At the same time, it is best to invest in one which contains easy to grow herbs in a pot. Now, don’t for a minute presume this is parsley. Raising parsley from seed is notoriously difficult.
Kitchen Herbs Easy to Grow in Pots
You are not very like to find Myrtle, garlic and scented geranium in most kitchens, but it is such as shame. Garlic is one the most versatile medical herbs and can cure anything from the common cold to a more severe bacterial infection. Myrtle looks beautiful, and brushing against those leaves can really set you up for the day. It also helps to prevent infections and make an excellent antiseptic oil for cleaning your kitchen. Scented geranium is a fantastic companion plant, and its leaves taste great when baked into a cake.
What Are the Best Herbs to Grow in a Pot?
It could be tempting to rush into setting up your kitchen herb garden, but you don’t want to start growing every herb on your kitchen herbs list at once. Start with the herbs which are the easiest ones to grow in a pot, and make sure that growing kitchen herbs is the right past time for you. Just like pets, herbs do like to be looked after.
Out of all herbs which are grown as kitchen herbs, basil, or sweet basil as it is also known, is one of the most popular ones. This herb which originate can be found in the wild around the countries of the Mediterranean is noted for its anise-like flavor and strong aroma. It does not matter if you dry it or use it fresh in your cooking, it remains one of the most versatile kitchen herbs.
Medicinal Use of Basil
In Mediterranean countries, Basil is used an insect repellent during the summer months and can be found in almost all homes in places like Spain, Italy, and Greece. However, it also offers other uses such as anti-arthritic drug and anti-inflammatory options to swollen joints. Simply add to a swollen joint, and enjoy the cooling effect of this evergreen herb.
When you add it to your diet, it will give you a healthy dose of vitamins C, K, and A. Basil is also a good source of the microminerals iron, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
How to Grow Basil
For the best result, grow basil from seeds in spring and if you would like to continue to grow it outside, you can put a pot outside after the risk of frost has passed. The lovely flowers are loved by pollinators, and it will help to filter and add oxygen to the air should you live in the city.
Time to Harvest: 10 – 12 weeks
Germination: 5 – 10 days
Light preference: Full sun but if you live in a very warm climate, you may want to give it a bit of a respite in shade.
In general, Basil is one of the best herbs to grow in a pot, but it does like garlic as a companion plant. It also does very well as an outside windowsill plant or any a city center terrace.
Do you on occasion get unwelcome visitors to your kitchen? In that case, you should make room for Chives in your window. Like other members of the Allium family, the herb chives can help to keep pest insects such as aphids and ants from your kitchen. At the same time, it looks very pretty when it blooms, and the pretty pink blooms can be added to salads. Not only that, but should you suffer from smelly feet, they make a good deodorizer when added to your foot spa.
Medicinal Use of Chives
Are you familiar with sulfur? If you have ever been prescribed antibiotics, you may have seen sulfur listed on the ingredients list. That is because it is a natural antibiotic and always added to make your antibiotic concoction that little bit more potent. Chives can, therefore, be used to treat common throat infections, and you can make a mouth gargle to treat health problems in the mount. Adding chives to your diet will help to treat inflammatory disease and improve your digestion.
When it comes to cooking with chives, it is easily added to bread, soups, stews, and potatoes. It is a great companion for many rice and vegetable dishes, and dogs with digestive problems often enjoy the taste of chives. Add it to their kibble, or even just put in their drinking water. Remember to change your furry friend’s drinking water daily, and top up with fresh cut chives. Also, add to oils and vinegar to use as a salad dressing.
How to Grow Chives
Chives are easily grown from seeds, and you don’t even need to worry about doing much maintenance. This user-friendly herb even seems to enjoy being a little bit overcrowded in its pot. It is a clumping herb so after all a couple of months, you can easily break up the root ball and pot on to extend your indoor herb garden.
Time to Harvest: It varies but normally in a month or so
Germination: 7 – 15 days
Light preference: Sun but tends to burn in full sun. Loves a bit of partial shade
This humble herb is seldom used in modern day cooking, and it is such as shame as you will never run out of onions as long as you have chives available in your kitchen. Out of all the kitchen herbs, chives is perhaps the most versatile herb and one of the most effective medical herbs in the kitchen. It can even be dried and made into a tea.
Cilantro or Coriander
If you like your food rather spicy and like to cook rice dishes, you may just want to keep a cilantro or tow in the kitchen. It is an easy to grow plant, and the taste sensation you get from cooking your food with coriander, or cilantro, is second to none. Cilantro is often thought of as a winter spice as it has warming qualities and perhaps this is the reason you will so often find it in dishes like curry.
Medicinal Use of Cilantro
In Middle Eastern medicine, cilantro has long been used to treat digestive upsets and inflammation of the stomach lining. You may even find that it is chewed after a big meal or added to tea. But that is not the health benefit of coriander. This wonderful green herb is packed with vitamin C as well as several vitamins and minerals. Consider using it as a salad vegetable, and a salad mix with both cilantro and coriander, contain many microminerals and vitamins than an ordinary green salad.
How to Grow Cilantro
Cilantro is one of the best herbs to grow indoors. It just loves to produce those green little leaves and is one of the best herbs to grow in a pot. Simply sow the seeds directly into the pots in the springtime, and leave in a sunny window. Make sure that not too many flowers develop. Once this happens, leaf production will slow down, and it is the leaves you need for your salads or cooking. Cilantro can easily suffer from fungus infections. In order to avoid them, you need to keep the plant tidy and pick leaves from the plant on a regular basis.
Time to Harvest: About 4 weeks
Germination: 7 to 10 days
Light preference: Loves the full sun, but if it is very warm, you may need some partial shade.
This lovely plant is a great addition to any kitchen herb garden, and if you are looking to create the best indoor herb garden you can, you should certainly add a couple of pots of cilantro, or coriander, as it is called in some parts of the world.
Lavender is perhaps not the most common of the kitchen herbs you would consider growing as an indoor herb, but it can be used as a seasoning and is very good herb to have on standby when you like to bake a lot. Next time you make an orange cake, add some lavender and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Medicinal Use of Lavender
Are you having trouble sleeping? Sleep disturbances are common, and lavender will help you to sleep better. If sleep is eluding you, all you need to do is go into the kitchen and pick a couple of sprigs. Put them on your pillow, and you will soon fall asleep. It is also easy to make a lavender tea, and extracting the relaxing oils of lavender is much easier than you may think.
How to grow Lavender
You can easily grow lavender from cuttings, and it is perhaps the best way to grow lavender in the kitchen. Just plant the cuttings in a mixture of compost and sand, and then lightly water them in. Lavender does not like too much moisture, and this is why you add sand to the mix. The seeds can take some time to germinate. That being said, lavender is not an expensive plant to buy, and you can normally pick a plant up for a couple of bucks. Lavender flowers in the summer and this is the time when the plant produces the most essential oils.
Time to harvest: Can take a long time, and you will have to count on at least a couple of months when you grow lavender from seed.
Germination: 14 – 25 days
Light preference: Always full sun
A great plant as a companion plant. Lavender will help to keep away bugs from the rest of kitchen herbs and is one of the easiest plants to grow in a pot. You can use lavender for so much more than cooking and seasoning, and if you enjoy making crafts, it is one of the plants you must have on your kitchen herbs list. You will soon realize how easy it is to make crafts using lavender.
On closer inspection of the mint family, you will find there are many different types of mint. When you don’t like the taste of one type of mint, you can always grow another type of mint. Even lemon balm is a mint, and if you enjoy lightly seasoned dishes, this could be the best mint to start with when you start growing herbs indoors from seeds.
Medicinal Use of Mint
Most members of the mint family have similar sort of properties. Mint has long been used to treat nerve damage and muscle tension. Lemon balm is warming and can be found as a component of massage oils and lotions which help to treat even arthritis. Stomach upsets can be relieved when you chew on mint leaves and chewing on the odd mint leave when you suffer a canker sore or mouth ulcer, will speed up the healing process. Mint is well-known for its strong anti-viral properties and can help to treat anything from the common cold and give relief from more serious viral conditions.
How to Grow Mint
Growing mint as part of your indoor herb garden is easy. Providing you have just a little bit of heat, mint can be sown any time of the year, and will soon become one of the most prolific plants on your kitchens herb list. It loves to be harvested, and as it is such a fast grower, it is one of the most satisfying herbs to grow indoors. It will even grow in a hanging basket.
Time to harvest: anytime when large enough – even within a matter of weeks
Germination: 7 – 10 days
Light preference: Full sun, but maybe a little of shade in the summer.
Mint is an excellent herb for your canine companion. Add a little bit of fresh mint to your dog’s water bowl, or in his food. Should your dog suffer from flatulence, it is a “must-use” herb as it will not upset your dog’s digestive system.
Greek cooking styles lend themselves to a plant based diet with ease. The many wonderful vegetables associated with Greek-style style vegetarian cooking such as zucchinis and aubergines absorb flavors easily. One of the best herbs to use if you would like to try a Greek meal at home is oregano. It may not initially look like much, but you can use both the leaves and flowers. This really makes another must-have herb on your kitchen herbs list.
Medicinal Use of Oregano
In Greece, oregano along with olive oil is used as a bit of a cure-all. In fact, modern research has revealed it can help to treat anything from a stomach upset to psoriasis. There is little wonder you can find Oregano growing everywhere in Greece. It is also a powerful insect repellant, and snakes are said to dislike oregano. It is not a fast growing herb, and it is a good idea to have several plants ready to be harvested.
How to Grow Oregano
Oregano is not difficult to grow from seed but the seeds do need a warm and sunny spot. One of the best ways to get oregano seeds started is to create a mini greenhouse. Oregano is a little bit picky and tends to do better in a terracotta pot. Simply sow your seeds in a pot, cover lightly with compost, water, and place the pot in a clear plastic bag. Tie it off and keep on an eye on it. Your oregano will be sprouting before you know it.
Time to harvest: About 12 weeks
Germination: 7 – 12 days
Light preference: Full sun with some shade in hotter climates.
If you put your put oregano outside during the winter, the roots can easily freeze. So, if you live in a colder climate, it is vital to bring this more delicate herb inside.
Parsley is of interest to many medical researchers. It contains a compound called apigenin which is associated with slowing down the growth of cancer cells or stopping altogether. As a herb, it is relatively easy to grow and will help to cleanse the air in your kitchen.
Medical Use of Parsley
First of all, a word of warning. Pregnant ladies should not eat parsley. It will cause uterine contractions and can even induce a miscarriage. On the plus side, it is a fantastic herb to use if you suffer from diabetes and will help to improve digestion in a very gentle way. Great when added to water and used as a refreshing mouthwash.
How to grow Parsley
Parsley can be a little bit tricky to get started, and it may be better to buy your initial parsley plant from a local grower. It loves to be harvested and after you have harvested the leaves, you will soon see new green leaves coming through. Once it is up and going, it is very much a no-fuss plant, but do ladies should be a little bit careful with overuse. It has been used to treat scant periods, and can indeed cause uterine bleeding.
Time to harvest: Up to 12 weeks if you grow parsley from seed
Germination: Very slow and sometimes does not germinate at all. Anything from 10 to 30 days
Light preference: Part shade, the leaves easily burn in full sun.
Once you have started to harvest your parsley, you do not any longer have a reason to buy parsley. Along with garlic and pine nuts, it will only take you a few minutes to make your own delicious pesto.
Sage is a wonderful herb for your indoor herb garden. It looks stunning when it flowers, and along with other popular herbs such as chives, you can create easily create a summer bouquet when you need to go to a birthday party during the summer. Of course, it has medical benefits, and if you like salads, you should not be without this wonderful herb. It is even great as a salad dressing when mixed with olive oil.
Medical Use of Sage
Sage is a hormonal balancing herb, and if you are going through the peri-menopause or menopause, you should make it part of your daily diet. It can put a halt to the dreaded hot flashes and will help to reduce of many of the other symptoms associated with the menopause. During the Middle Ages, it was often referred to as a Woman’s Saviour. Sage is also excellent when it comes to treating infections of the mouth and throat, and you can easily make your own home remedies from sage. Just pour hot water of a couple of handfuls of this plant, let it cool, and you have an excellent cure for a sore throat.
How to Grow Sage
Sage can be grown from cuttings, and if you want a quick result, this is one of the best ways to start the plant. Mature plants can be divided, and if you have a friend who has sage as part of her kitchen herbs collection, perhaps you could persuade her to divide her plant. Growing from seeds is not difficult, but it does take some time for the seeds to germinate. It loves to be cut back and will reward you with new shoots within days.
Time to harvest: About 1 weeks when grown from seed
Germination: At least 15 to 21 days
Light preference: Part shade with perhaps an emphasis on sun.
Sage is another herb that loves to be harvested. You can also great very creative with sage, and grow it in hanging baskets. It will grow happily in a small amount of compost, and once it is growing, it is one of the easiest herbs to look after.
The Best Herbs for Kitchen Gardens
The above are only suggestions for your kitchen herbs list. A herb garden in your kitchen is all about you, and what herbs you would like to grow and use as part of your cooking. When you sit down and think about your indoor herb gardens ideas, don’t forget kitchen herbs are also medicinal herbs. The best herbs to grow in a pot in your kitchen, are the ones which serve both culinary and medicinal purposes.