Recently I’ve been obsessed with growing indoor herbs. Now that the great growing weather is upon us, gardening centers at major retail hardware and gardening stores, and even most grocery stores have opened up.
There are so many options for indoor plants, why focus on an herb garden? First, from my personal experience, many of the “fresh” herbs from grocery stores packaged like the ones shown are not always fresh. Sometimes the herbs are wilted and are not as flavorful as you’d like. Second, they’re fairly expensive. So growing your herbs at home helps limit your dinner budget. I find that when I have the right herbs for my meal preparation, I feel more confident that the food I make will taste delicious.
Now that I’ve convinced you to grow your own herbs, what are some good herbs for your indoor garden?
One of my favorite herbs especially for Greek recipes is parsley. It can be pureed into sauces, pestos, and dips. Parsley can be pricey in the grocery stores, and I usually don’t use enough to purchase the large stalks they sell, but at home parsley is easy. I like to water mine often as the topsoil I use dries out often. Healthy parsley leaves are green but if I put it in direct sunlight the leaves can turn yellow. Place it in a sunny area but away from direct sunlight.
Another fantastic herb to grow at home is oregano. It works fantastic for bread, pizza dough, and lots of meats such as chicken. If you’re feeling fancy, oregano can be paired with mozzarella cheese, and tomatoes. I prefer using fresh oregano to dried as it is more fragrant. It also does well indoors in the shade. I found that when I put my oregano in direct sunlight it would wilt. Many people have hydroponic gardens where herbs, especially oregano, can be grown in sand, gravel, or liquid. Typically these herbs need to be well hydrated so make sure you water often!
Rosemary is such a versatile herb; it can be thrown into soups, salads, and stews as well as other proteins to reduce the strong scent of pork, lamb, or other game meats. I love my rosemary with steaks as it has a pungent flavor profile. I used to use dried rosemary (with the sprigs detached) and the flavor wasn’t the same. Fresh rosemary is easy to care for in the home. Rosemary should be placed near a window and have good drainage at the bottom of the planter. Many planters have no holes for drainage and can be a problem for many plants so choose the planters carefully!