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How to Grow Your Own Indoor Herb Garden

There's no substitute for fresh herbs in that special dish you love to make, but fresh herbs are hard to get during winter seasons and expensive to boot. Take a hint from MIX! and grow your own indoor herb garden.

Hint #1: Choose your herbs - Choose herbs that you're most likely to use, but if you're looking to expand your pallet, try something new. Here are the most common herbs:

Basil is a member of the mint family. It has a strong sweet flavor and is used in a lot of Italian and Southeast Asian cuisines. 

Mint has a warm sweet flavor with a cool after taste and has more uses than culinary, such as teas for stomach pain.

Oregano has a warm and bitter taste, but is actually more flavorful when dried. Oregano is used in Italian-American and Mediterranean cuisine.

Parsley has a fresh crisp taste used in many European dishes as well as Middle Eastern cuisine. Flat-leafed parsley is more desirable for cooking while curly leaf parsley is used more as garnish.

Rosemary is highly aromatic. It looks similar to pine needles with a woody flavor used commonly for stuffings, meats and Mediterranean cuisine.

Sage has a soft grayish green color, but a strong peppery flavor. It is used in flavoring fatty meats and sauces, but because of its strong flavor it should be used sparingly.

Thyme has a stick-like stem with small leaves sprouts that produce an earthy flavor best used with meats, soups and eggs. Thyme is a main ingredient in French cuisine.  
Hint #2: Choose your planter - Most importantly your pot should have drainage holes in the bottom. Besides that, you choose whether you want to plant in individual containers or save space by planting several herbs in one pot. Some herbs may grow better together than others; for example, mint grows much like a weed and should be placed in a separate pot.

Hint #3: Light - During a sunless winter your herbs will need all the light they can get. Otherwise just find a nice sunny spot for the warmer seasons.

Hint: #4: Water - Don't overwater; check soil for dryness before watering. Water whenever leaves look droopy. If leaves turn yellow, that is a sign of over watering.

Hint #5: Clipping/Trimming - Your herbs will need regular clipping to prevent flowering and foster growth. Also when clipping off leaves for cooking, pick from the stems or leaves on the top.

Check out more Helpful Hints in our archives.

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