Growing Herbs in Pots - Youll Never Buy Herbs in a Jar Again

Growing herbs in pots can be rewarding and an efficient way to get your herbs all summer long. After you’ve grown your own basil, you will never consider buying dried herbs again. The quality of your own herbs will feel so special and so rewarding because you grew and harvested them yourself. You’ll know how fresh the ingredients you’re cooking with are, and you’ll feel like you’ve really accomplished something with a simple garden in pots. Growing herbs in a pot not only lends itself to fresher ingredients, but healthier cooking as well. The process of growing herbs is simple and easy, you don’t need a green thumb to be successful.

growing your own herbsGrowing herbs is a great idea for anyone who is just starting out with a garden. They don’t require as much maintenance as growing fruit and vegetables, but you’ll still be able to reap the success of growing something fresh and with your own hands. You can choose to grow herbs indoors or outdoors which makes growing herbs in pots perfect for people who don’t live in a warm climate all year long. This really is the best way to start gardening and get your foot in the door. Here are some tips on how to grow herbs:

Herbs need about six hours of natural sunlight a day. If you’re growing herbs in pots indoors, you’ll want to provide artificial lighting to your herbs.

Be sure to purchase the right type of soil for your herbs. Potting soil is lighter than other types of soil and absorbs water and nutrients better.

Keep your pots somewhere where they won’t dry up from being in direct sunlight for too long. Many people choose to keep their potted plants on a patio. This makes them easy to bring inside and easy to move around so they can reach direct sunlight, but not be scorched by it.

You can combine the herbs into one pot. As long as your herbs need the same amount of moisture and sunlight, they can grow in unison together in one pot.

When growing herbs in pots consider using a recycled container. This will make your herb garden completely green friendly.

If your herbs have begun to grow, harvest them and keep the plant neat. The roots must be able to grow and they won’t be able to if the plant is holding heavy leaves which you can use to cook with or save.

Grow what you’ll eat! This may seem like a silly type but growing herbs in pots can make your dining experience so much more fun. You’ll use fresh ingredients straight from the garden to your table.

Many people talk about how great food is during the summer because the weather allows for better herbs and better vegetables. By growing herbs in pots, you’ll be able to enjoy that same fresh taste all year round. This lends itself to healthier cooking. Instead of needing to add extra butter or fat to a meal, you can add flavor with fresh herbs and spices. If you’re unsure what to grow, here are a few ideas:

Mint. Mint grows very quickly, if you plant just one plant of mint, twenty will follow. Mint can be used in cooking and even baking.

Rosemary. Rosemary is great because you can dry it yourself and never have to buy another expensive bottle of spices again which makes growing herbs in pots budget friendly. Rosemary is often used in holiday dishes, and as a rub for meat like turkey or chicken.

Basil. Like mint, basil grows very quickly and seems to multiply. Imagine making a fresh basil pesto, or adding it to a sandwich with mozzarella, olive oil, and tomato. You’ll be making gourmet dishes at a fraction of the cost!

Sage. This herb is similar to rosemary. It dries well and can be used in many rubs and savory dishes. 

Growing Herbs in Pots and How to Store Them

Once you have mastered how to grow herbs in pots or containers, you need to learn how to store them. Herbs that are fresh picked can be frozen, refrigerated or dried to increase their storage. Though some herbs can be stored in all three of these ways, others do not fair well in them.

Sage, dill, summer savory, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary, oregano and marjoram have sturdy leaves with low-moisture and work best when they are dried in the air. Leaves such as tarragon, basil, mint and lemon balm have high-moisture content, which means if they are not dried quickly they will begin to mold and spoil. These types of herbs should always be dried in a dehumidifier, oven or dehydrator. An herb that do the best in freezing are chives.

Tips for preserving herbs:

Dried herbs will dry best when they are pre-ground or used in a mortar.

Dry herbs on a cookie sheet with a cooling rack on top for air-drying or place crushed herbs in a dehumidifier to pull moisture from the herbs and dry them mechanically.

Herbs that are going to be frozen should be placed in vacuum sealed bags prior to freezing – this will prevent freezer burn and allow you to freeze those herbs for at least six months.

When you don’t have a vacuum sealer, place herbs in a storage bag made for freezing and use a straw to suck out any additional air from the bag.

Fresh herbs can be stored and used without having to dry or freeze them to maintain freshness. Fresh herbs, if stored right, can last up to two weeks depending on the variety. Immediately after bringing herbs home you will need to wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt and impurities. Pat them dry with a paper towel and then wrap in a damp paper towel. Place the loosely wrapped herbs into a storage bag and seal the bag to remove all of the air. Place the herbs in the refrigerator’s crisper, where the humidity is low and controlled.

Herbs can also be stored in fresh water by placing the stems into small containers with water toward the back of the fridge. Ensure your temperature in the fridge is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below, but ensure that liquids toward the back of the refrigerator do not freeze – this can spoil your herbs.

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