Sure, there's a science to growing herbs, but it's not hard to learn. Herbs are probably the easiest foods to grow if you've never gardened before and don't require much attention or space. If you have a sunny window or a small patio, you can grow multiple varieties and use them in your cooking throughout the growing season.
Follow these simple steps from Cynthia Sandberg, the founder of GrowBetterVeggies.com, to pack your meals with flavor without packing on the pounds.
You'll need . . .
A round, 15-gallon planter with holes in the bottom
A 1.5-cubic-foot bag of organic potting soil (try Organic Mechanics)
A container of liquid organic vegetable fertilizer (we like Terracycle)
Two baby plants each of any four herbs. Try basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme.
1) Plant your herbs. Think of the planter as a clock face: Place the first pair of herbs at 12 and 1 o'clock, the second pair at 4 and 5 o'clock, the third at 8 and 9 o'clock, and the last pair in the middle. Plant each at least an inch deeper than it was in its original pot. Handle the plants and soil gently, so you don't compact the soil.
2) Keep the herbs hydrated. A good rule of thumb: For their first drink, give the plants 10 gallons of water, split between morning and evening. After that, add a gallon of water whenever the soil 2 inches below the surface is dry--roughly every 2 to 3 days in warm weather.
3) Keep the herbs fed. A twice-monthly shot of diluted liquid fertilizer will help revive crispy or yellow-looking herbs.
Keeping soil loosely packed lets oxygen reach the roots so plants grow.
Still confused? Check out this easy video how-to:
For more tips on growing herbs, check out:
How to Start an Indoor Herb Garden
3 Ways to Keep Your Favorite Herbs from Going Extinct
Brew Healthy Tea from Kitchen Herbs