Save Money, Add Flavor; Grow Your Own Fresh Herbs
Have you ever purchased fresh herbs from the grocery store and winced when you saw the price? If you’re
cheap frugal like me, it is just painful to pay $3 or more for a tiny package of dill or thyme. Herbs are fool-proof to grow. Seriously, anyone can grow them, with or without a green thumb. You can either buy a small plant or start from seeds. Both are simple and economical.
In Only Minutes…
Today I planted two flats of herbs, lettuce, kale and bok choy. Its been a long winter ( its only February) and I’m just itching to get into the dirt! The weather has been unseasonably warm here this week and spending this sunny afternoon on my deck is just what the doctor ordered. Growing most things from seed is a fun challenge and I enjoy doing it. It would be easier to buy plants at my local nursery, and I do choose to buy certain things there. That said, starting from seed allows more freedom in the varieties I can grow. I should mention that it’s also way cheap! Plus, it’s so much fun going through the seed catalog on a gloomy winter day with a hot cup of coffee, dreaming and planning what I might grow in the spring. It makes a winter day warmer somehow.
You have to be organized with timing when starting from seeds. Some things need to be started early and others later. For example, most herbs need to be started the latter part of February, while peppers should be planted in the first half of March, at least in my area. To keep things on schedule, I plan out what week I should plant each variety, according to the last frost date. A great book that keeps me on track is Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook. This book helps you calculate your specific dates, while also offering great advice from things like soil pH to the benefits of composting. It makes easy work of it…check it out! It requires some time investment at the front, but just a few minutes each time after that. Your good to go year after year once you calculate the dates this first time.
Herbs are like greens; they grow super fast. In a months time, I should be able to start stealing little snippets. In two months time, I’ll be the proud owner of fully usable plants. I love having fresh herbs on hand that can be cut as needed. I don’t have to worry about them going bad or having to preserve them so they don’t.
For amazing flavor, add pieces to anything you cook. You may want to grow several plants of the same variety if you have a favorite. I grow three huge pots of basil because I’m an addict. There is no substitution for fresh basil or dill. I think I need to go make a caprese salad immediately – my mouth is starting to water!
If you’re interested in improving the flavor of meals you cook at home, growing a few pots on your window sill is so easy…and frugal! Get growing!