Save money by growing your own herbs

close view on fresh herbs bunch
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Adding fresh herbs to your foods can enhance flavors and aroma, but purchasing cut herbs at the grocery store isn’t always cost-effective. Plus, it can be frustrating to buy a $5 pack of basil only to have most of it go bad after a few days. And then there’s the single-use plastic packaging, adding to the world’s waste problems.

Common varieties of herbs, like basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro and parsley, can easily be grown at home for a fraction of what they’d cost at a store. A home garden allows even beginners to cook with fresh herbs anytime — there’s no running to the store last minute. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about herbs going bad before you use them.

The best herb garden kit comes equipped with everything a beginner needs: seeds, soil or potting soil discs. Some eco-friendly kits offer biodegradable pots or burlap bags instead of plastic pots.

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Pick Easy-To-Grow Plants

While it will depend on what herbs would be most useful in your kitchen, basil, sage, thyme, chives, oregano, parsley and mint are all considered to be easy for everyone to tend, including those born without green thumbs.

How To Find The Best Herb Garden Kit

You can find kits online and in stores. If your kit doesn’t come with containers of any sort, you can plant the seeds in one large pot or divvy them up into several small ones. As long as there is good drainage, the plant should do well.

If organic and non-GMO seeds are important to you, you should be able to select from an assortment of options. Check to see if your kit has an expiration date on it.

If you’d rather not do too much of the work yourself, consider an electronic herb garden that features LED grow lights. Some even have self-watering functions that keep the plant properly hydrated. These are more expensive, but take the guesswork out of plant care.

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Kits can be started any time of the year, but if you begin in the spring, you’ll likely have fresh herbs for many months to come.

Check out our selection of the best herb garden kits that have been vetted by a team of experts.

Tips For Growing Fresh Herbs

Herbs like lots of sunlight (six or more hours per day is best) and prefer infrequent, slow watering. If you have a south-facing window option, try that first. Just give each plant a small drink of water two to three times per week, without drenching the soil.

When it comes time to harvest, snip or pinch just a few leaves at a time. Avoid hacking off more than a quarter of the plant at a time, which can cause harm.

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If you have small children in the house, invite them to get involved. Some kits are geared toward kids and come stocked with paint and brushes for container decorating.

In addition to the satisfaction of growing useful fresh herbs at home, you also create more indoor greenery — and sometimes fragrant scents — when growing your own herb garden.

About the Author
Emily O'Brien

Emily is a freelance writer who loves connecting the dots among facts and finding obscure little details to weave in throughout her work. Whether she's interviewing Olympic athletes, small business owners, dessert cookbook writers, or world-renowned architects, she's passionate about shining the spotlight on good people doing remarkable work. More.


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