Growing up I always would watch my mom go outside and do her gardening. As a child I didn’t understand her fascination with gardening. Since my only real job outside was to weed, I didn’t have the same love affair as my mom. But as I got older, the image of her being outside became one of my favorite images of my mom. Her garden was a world she created. It was beautiful, practical, delicious.
My mom has an amazing green thumb. From indoor plants, to her lawn, to bushes, to garden vegetables – she can do it all. So you can imagine my disappointment when I discovered that I didn’t inherit the green thumb gene. Time and time again I discovered a very hard reality:
I have a brown thumb.
Now, I think anyone can learn how to garden. But between my lack of knack for it and the fact that we were always either living in an apartment style home or renting, I didn’t have a lot of options to improve my gardening skills. After awhile I just gave up on trying to grow my own things – the only time this really stung is when I wanted my own delicious (and non-GMO) produce. I’d watch as others pulled ripe tomatoes from their garden or delicious fresh basil to add to their homemade dish.
I finally decided to give another try to growing things. And I’m proud to announce that I have had some success – with herbs!
Why grow your own herbs?
There are countless reasons to grow your own herbs. The biggest one for me is that I love using herbs in our cooking. Fresh herbs add so much more life to any dish. Basil, mint, parsley, mmmmmmm…. Having my own fresh grown herbs at hand whenever I need them not only makes life simpler (no quick trips to the store to find what I need) but let’s be honest – homegrown is always better.
But beyond the mere culinary reasons for growing your own herbs, there are other things to consider when thinking about gardening herbs.
Some of my favorite reasons for adding these easy to grow herbs in my home include:
Herbs have great health benefits.
Plus there are some great health benefits to herbs and having them at hand and at home has me using them more then I have ever before. Herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals and offer a host of goodness to your body. Growing your own herbs in a nutrient rich soil is a definite way to thank your body.
Herbs are perfect if you are tight on space.
The other thing I love about growing my own herbs is that I don’t need fancy garden beds to have thriving plants. I don’t have to have a ton of space in our yard or have a green house – I can grow them all inside my own home! Talk about perfect for this brown thumbed girl. You can hang them from the ceiling, grow next to a window, or create some fancy devices to make any space work. (Seriously, just search for DIY herb garden on Pinterest and see what I mean).
(Exciting news: we just FINALLY moved into our own home with a *gasp* yard! So I’m excited to take my skills to the next level. Wish me luck.)
Growing your own herbs saves you money!
Herbs can be expensive when you buy them at the store. Plus you usually have to buy a whole bunch that you might not use right away. When they are in your kitchen just snip off what you need and save the rest for later. So much cheaper to grow your own.
Including herbs can beautify our home.
I love adding color to my home wherever I can. Adding live, green plants add so much life to my space – figuratively and literally. There are a dozen cute herb garden planters these days. Adding herbs isn’t just a culinary experience, it’s a design experience. For this wanna-be interior designer, herbs are a fun additions to my home.
Herbs are stress reducing.
Something about gardening is so zen. Taking the time to nurture and nourish the plants so that they in return nourish your body is such a satisfying feeling. Plus the green colors of the plants helps reduce stress, too.
5 Easy To Grow Herbs You Can Grow Indoors:
After experimenting and trying different herbs out I have come up with a list of the 5 easiest herbs you can grow indoors. And trust me – if I think they are easy to grow, then anyone can do it!
Who doesn’t love adding fresh basil to a pizza or pasta dish. I mean, it’s just so yummy. For this gal who loves cheese, basil just seems like a perfect fit.
Basil has some great health benefits from fighting cancer, acting as an anti-inflammatory, helps reduce stress, and contains antibacterial properties. Basil can be grown as an annual or short-lived perennial. But if you are growing them inside then try the smaller globe types of basil as they won’t take as much space.
Not sure what to do with your newly grown basil? Here are some of our favorite recipes that use basil:
I still remember my first experience with chives. It was at a restaurant with some fancy baked potatoes. I was hooked. These days I still like to make loaded baked potatoes with chives. I also love it potato and cheesy soups. So yummy!
Chives contain quite a lot of nutrients! They are high in iron, calcium, vitamin A, and C and more! Plus chives have been shown to help alleviate a stuffy nose and colds. Chives grow just about anywhere, just make sure when you harvest them you only harvest one third of the bunch at a time and cut from the bass (like grass).
Here are a couple of our favorite recipes highlighting chives:
I find that people either love or hate cilantro. I’m on the loving side. I love adding it to salsa and fajitas, among other things.
Cilantro is an herb that is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. Cilantro is also full of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and vitamins. While cilantro is short lived it’s still easy to grow. If you want to keep a good supply try a few cilantro seedlings about two or three week intervals.
There are so many recipes that highlight cilantro and these are some of our favorites:
My husband’s favorite! He’ll sprinkle dried oregano on pretty much anything. We used to buy a lot of it before we made our own. (And you can always dry your own fesh herbs, too!)
Oregano is not only a great herb to add to a lot of different recipes but is a great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal. Oregano is also super easy to propagate simply but cuttings or division. Take some cuttings and put it in a cup of water and watch it grows.
Need more ideas on what to use all that delicious and fresh oregano? Try out these recipes:
Adds a pretty touch to any plate, but it’s also super tasty. Parsley isn’t just a garnish to throw away. Not only is it super tasty in recipes but has some great health benefits. Parsley is high in vitamin K, C, and A and is also a great source of iron. Be sure to cut the outer leaves when harvesting as this will help new growth from the center. Parsley can also remain productive for several months or more!
Try these delicious recipes for your homegrown parsley:
Are you ready to try these easy to grow herbs?
I hope so! If you’re totally new to gardening, I know that even the idea of a few small herb plants can be daunting. Trust me, I get it. But with all the resources we have available these days, there’s really no better time to try adding your own herb garden then now.
Here are a few helpful articles to get your started:
For those with brown (or black!) thumbs, my advice: Start small. Pick one favorite. Once you feel confident that you can keep the plant alive, try another. There’s no need to plant all the things right away. Little steps.
Add a little green to your diet and your home and enjoy the feeling of growing your own food. In time you’ll discover that anyone can have a green thumb.
Tell me – what’s your favorite herb to grow (or eat)? If you’ve never grown your own herbs, are you ready to try?