Let’s say you don’t have a space in your lot property for an outdoor garden or you want something a little easier to manage, then consider starting with an herb garden. Below is a list of the best herbs to grow and plant indoors by yourself and how to take care of them so read along.
With the amount of time that spend at home nowadays due to the pandemic, it is so easy to get tired of the same old routine that we do every day. The same tasks, the same chores, and no variety at all and sometimes it’s exhausting. So, the quick solution is that a lot of people are leaning towards finding a new hobby. There are tons of things to choose from that you can get yourself interested in and keep you occupied. One of the most common activities that a lot of people pursue as a hobby is gardening. Let’s face it, although gardening is a very therapeutic activity to do since you are immersed in nature, it also requires a high level of maintenance and knowledge. As with all things, if you really are interested in doing something but aren’t sure if you can commit to it, you can start gardening on a smaller scale.
What is an Herb Garden?
Starting an herb garden that you can grow indoors is easier and more manageable than cultivating a huge garden in your yard, but what is an herb garden anyway? An herb garden, regardless of the size that you prefer, is an outdoor or an indoor garden that is mainly planted with herbs that are used in cooking and other uses. Growing an herb garden in your own home is a nice idea for a lot of reasons. Dedicating a space for your herb garden would not only give you something to appreciate and spend your time on, but it would also be useful in your everyday life.
If you’re planning on making your own herb garden, it is best to plan first and research about the plants that you wish to grow and the procedures on how to successfully plant them and maintain them before you start. Making an indoor herb garden requires a perfect location. Finding the right location for your herbs to grow properly is important. Most of the time, people who cultivate their own herb garden places them near the service area or the kitchen. The kitchen is the perfect spot for your herb garden because it is where your herbs would mostly be used so it is easier to harvest them, it is also easier to take care of them in the kitchen since it is very accessible to a water source for watering. Just make sure that in placing your herb garden, it still gets enough sunlight and the soil is well-drained despite being located indoors.
In starting an herb garden, you must know how you will start. Are you going to start from a seed or with saplings? Knowing the procedures for starting an herb garden would make your project successful on the first try.
Enough with the explanations, let’s talk about the herbs. There are a lot of herbs that you can choose from but here are ten of the most commonly used herbs in Philippine cuisine that you plant in your indoor herb garden.
10 Best Herbs to Grow in Your Garden
Parsley is a biennial herb which means that it grows every two years so planting one in alternating years would secure a grown plant every year. Parsley is one of the most common herbs that are used in most recipes so having a ready-to-harvest parsley plant is a must. Parsley germinates slower than other herbs so soaking the seeds in water for a night before planting would help speed the process up.
Having a parsley plant is a good idea since it aids in digestion, is a good source of Vitamins A and C, and is low in calories. Studies also show that parsley also is beneficial in treating conditions such as allergies, inflammatory diseases, and high blood pressure. It is considered as one of the strongest disease-fighting plants besides its nutritional value.
Every Filipino probably knows what oregano is. Oregano is one of the most commonly grown and cultivated herbs in the Philippines. They are popular in the Philippines because the country’s climate is the perfect temperature for the oregano to thrive, warm and arid. Sometimes oregano plants showcase their pink flowers and it usually grows in the wild. Oregano is an herb that is easy to take care of and can be grown indoors as well. The oregano plant is also an effective insect repellent so planting one near your vegetable garden would help to keep your plants healthy and pest free.
Oregano is usually used to add a little more flavour to food and is also a main ingredient in homemade cough remedies due to its health benefits. The oregano plant also helps with digestion and with reducing bacteria and viruses. Oregano has a strong minty scent that could be recognized easily.
The coriander plant is also one of the best herbs that are used in the kitchen so having a plant of coriander or sometimes called cilantro or Chinese parsley, is a good idea. The coriander plant is considered a versatile herb and can be used to add flavour to soups or for garnishing meals. Taking care of a coriander is also easy, they take weeks to germinate so in maintaining one, you must water it regularly as well as harvest it from time to time to encourage better growth.
The coriander herb also has impressive benefits to our health. Coriander is known to help lower blood sugar, so the intake of this herb should be carefully done since its powers of lowering blood sugar might get too strong. Coriander is also abundant in antioxidants that boost the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also good for keeping the heart healthy and the brain protected from serious ailments.
The Rosemary herb is probably one of the most fragrant herbs. With evergreen leaves that grow all throughout the year, rosemary is a favourite in the kitchen, especially for soups and seasoning meat. The best thing about rosemary is that it is easy to take care of. For rosemary to grow at its best, it needs full sun coverage but should be sheltered. It can thrive on loam soil but also on sand and chalk.
The rosemary herb, besides being essential to so many dishes, also has a lot of impressive health benefits. The rosemary herb provides a good amount of calcium and iron, as well as vitamins B-6. The herb has been utilized since ancient times and still has the same amazing properties even up to this day. The rosemary herb is believed to help reduce muscle pain, improve and boost the immune system, help with hair growth, and reduce memory loss. Rosemary is also used for treating indigestion. Although the rosemary herb has a lot of impressive properties, huge doses can lead to side effects so make sure to only take in low doses of rosemary.
Not only does basil works well with meals, but the herb is also often used to add flavour to drinks. Planting basil is also easy to do and for maintaining it, all you need to do is to trim the tip when the plant is fifteen centimetres high for better growth. You can plant basil when the weather is warm.
Basil is rich in minerals and vitamins, as well as numerous antioxidants. Traditionally, the basil herb is used in a lot of common illnesses such as colds since it helps alleviate the inflammation in the nasal passages. Basil also has calcium and antioxidants which are what our body needs to eliminate free radicals. Basil is also used to treat other diseases but it’s also good for keeping the skin young and healthy since the herb has properties that hydrate the skin and keeps it from being rough and aging.
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Thyme comes from the mint family of herbs and is also pretty common in dishes. Thyme is one of the most versatile herbs as it can be used in various ways. The thyme herb has been present and used since ancient times as a fragrance ingredient and incense. Thyme has a distinctive taste that’s why it’s a favourite herb to be used in cooking but besides being wonderful in the kitchen, thyme is also wonderful for our health.
The thyme herb can help in preventing high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol, boost the immune system, for lightening up your mood, fighting annoying acne, help treat cough with its oil, and more.
Dill is common in Asian and European dishes. As with most of the herbs in this list, this is also used to add flavour to a lot of dishes and sauces. The dill herb has a slender appearance and fine leaves. Dill is also rich in nutrients and vitamins such as iron, manganese, folate, and vitamins A and C which are important for maintaining our well-being.
One of the amazing properties of dill is that the herb is also an antioxidant that is helpful in the protection of our cells against free radicals. Dill is also believed to be beneficial in maintaining a healthy heart for the herb has flavonoids, which are compounds found in plants that are known to help strengthen heart health. Dill is also believed to be essential in fighting bacteria that are harmful to our body, improving our bone health, and helping on relieving pain from cramps brought by menstruation.
Chives is an herb that came from the family of onions, garlic, and leeks. Chive plants are tolerant to drought and can grow up to ten to twelve inches tall. Chives thrive in a sunny location and can grow in different types of soil. Chives are commonly used in giving flavour to food such as salads, soups, dips, stews, and more. Chives are grown outdoors but can also grow indoors if planted correctly by watering the soil regularly to keep it have uniform moisture.
The chives herb has a lot of varieties, including popular ones such as the “Grolau” chives which has a stronger flavour and thicker leaves, the “Staro” chives with darker leaves, Garlic chives, and “Nelly”chives with bluish leaves. Chives plants are also rich in nutrients and vitamins and other medicinal benefits. Chives contain choline that helps with memory-enhancing, boosting the mood, and other nervous system benefits.
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Lemongrass is an herb that grows mostly in Asia, especially in the Southeast. It is commonly used in giving a fragrant aroma to many cuisines and dishes. Besides being a cooking essential, lemongrass can also be used to make herbal tea. The lemongrass herb also helps on fighting free radicals and reduce inflammation because of its compounds such as chlorogenic acid.
Drinking lemongrass tea has amazing benefits to our health. It relieves anxiety even by just smelling it. Lemongrass also boosts oral health by chewing it because it has properties that eliminate bacteria that causes the formation of cavities in our mouth. Lemongrass tea can also boost the level of red blood cells.
10. Bay Leaf
Bay leaf is a type of herb that comes from the laurel plant. Although bay leaves are commonly available dried up and ready to use, having your own plant in your home is more organic and cost-effective. The plant where the bay leaf can be harvested thrives in warm climates. Laurel trees can grow into huge plants that won’t be possible to keep in your home but there are potted laurel plants that you can keep and maintain inside your home. Bay leaves are used to flavour food to give them a little bit more spice and fragrance. They are an ingredient in a lot of recipes but they are not eaten.
Some studies state that bay leaf can possibly help in decreasing the chances of cancer cells from thriving inside your body. Not only that but bay leaves are also being studied for their properties that could potentially help treat diabetes because the herb contains polyphenols which are known to be powerful antioxidants.
Starting your very own herb garden indoors is a good idea for a hobby. Having something to take care of and maintain inside your house can keep you occupied and away from exhaustion from daily routines. Not only that, starting a home garden is beneficial to you and your family; it can save you money since they can get quite expensive and you don’t have to go to the store to buy these herbs anymore. Taking care of your own herb garden is also sustainable since they are grown by you and rest assured that these herbs will always stay fresh because they’re freshly picked from the comfort of your home.
Written by Rashid Mansan