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If you’re looking to boost your health and improve your food, you can’t go wrong with adding herbs to your dishes. How can you keep fresh ones on hand all the time?

Having an herb garden is a great way to make sure you’ve got the freshest and best ingredients on hand all the time. Even if you don’t think you have a green thumb, there’s at least one herb you should be able to grow.

Don’t be intimidated by the thought of keeping fresh herbs alive. Our seven tips for growing herbs will have you going green in no time!

1. Decide on Indoor or Outdoor Garden

You can grow herbs almost anywhere. Before you decide which ones you want to grow, you need to figure out if an indoor or an outdoor garden works best for you.

Indoor gardens are great for small spaces and apartments. You can also have an small window herb garden if you don’t want to devote a lot of space to your plants.

If you’ve got the space, consider an outdoor herb garden. With more land, you’ve got a bigger area to grow different kinds of herbs.

2. Pick Your Plants

Deciding which herbs are best for your garden depends on a few factors. We talked about how much space you have to grow herbs but there’s other things to consider before you pick your plants.

For example, what kind of meals do you like to make? Certain cuisines call for certain spices, so you might want to start with those that you find yourself frequently cooking with.

Garlic, cilantro, hot chili, and basil are common herbs in many popular American dishes. They’re versatile and many times easy to grow.

Another thing to consider is your skill level. Some plants need more TLC and attention to flourish so if you’re not sure about your gardening skills, stick with easier herbs to boost your confidence.

3. Use a Grow System

Want to make things even easier on yourself? Skip the dirt, water, time, and space and and go with an automated grow system.

You can set your plants with this easy system and forget it. Grow systems take the hard work out of cultivating an herb garden, making them the best choice for those with limited time and space.

After pouring water in the system and setting up your seeds, it won’t take long before you start to see green. If a more complicated garden seems like too much for you, make it easy on yourself.

4. Planning Your Outdoor Garden

If you decide to plant an outdoor garden, it’s important to put it in the right place. Herbs can grow without a ton of sun but you should still find a place that gets sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon.

Certain herbs need their space as well. The basic rule of thumb is to allow between one and four feet of space between plants so that they don’t crowd each other out.

Some herbs play together better than others. Herbs like mint need the most space as they tend to overtake other plants.

Rosemary, oregano, and thyme can even be grown together in one pot. Basil and parsley prefer moister soil than rosemary etc. and can grow together.

5. Water and Drainage

Herbs need consistent watering but don’t overdo it. And as we mentioned before, some herbs prefer more moist conditions than others.

Determine if your herbs are the thirsty type and need frequent watering. Adjust your schedule accordingly and doubly so if the weather is hot and dry.

The other part of the watering equation is having proper drainage. Most herbs like to be moist but not consistently wet.

This works for container gardening as well. Make sure herbs that you keep in pots and containers have adequate drainage.

6. Keep them Growing

When it comes to your herb garden, fertilizer isn’t always your friend. Using a lot of it will produce plants that shoot up and produce a lot of leaves but aren’t as tasty.

The trick to growing flavorful and fresh herbs is to give them a shot or two of liquid fertilizer during the growing season. Keep en eye on plants that can choke them out and strangle your fresh herbs.

Keep your herbs happy and healthy. Don’t over-fertilize them and make sure your garden is bacteria-free.

7. Pruning and Harvesting

Pruning your herbs is an important part of helping them grow the right way. They need it so that they look their best and produce more herbs for a longer amount of time.

Cut down your herbs at least once a month. This will also keep them from flowering, although if you want to try growing new plants from your existing ones, you can allow them to produce seeds a few times.

Some perennial plants need to be divided every year. Herbs like thyme, mint, and marjoram need to be taken out of the soil, split down the middle, and then re-planted.

Check out the best way to harvest the herbs that you’ve planted. Not all of them can be cut the same way.

A good basic rule of thumb is that once the plant reaches six to eight inches tall, cut off around 1/3 of the branches. Don’t cut too low on the branch so that the plant can eventually regrow.

More Tips for Growing Herbs

Now that you’ve grown them, what can you do with them? If you have a ton of herbs, consider drying them to use for later.

Sprinkling fresh herbs in your food will boost their flavor and make your dishes healthier. You’ll never go back to store bought herbs after tasting the real thing in all of your meals.

Remember how we said you can divide your perennial herbs? By splitting your plants, you can propagate them and create new plants that you can then replant or give away to friends and family.

No matter what you decide to do, you’re going to have a lot of fun with our tips for growing herbs. If you want to try your hand at vegetables, fruits, flowers, or other greenery, check out our other tips and tricks.

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