6 Healthy Herbs to Grow in Small Spaces
The popularity of herb gardens is growing almost as fast as the herbs themselves. People are learning the difference fresh herbs can make flavoring their recipes. And best of all? You don’t need a lot of space to grow them. Herbs are also proven to be a vital part of healthy eating. Most are rich in essential vitamins C, A, and K, and they’re loaded with antioxidants.
Herbs take on special importance during the Covid-19 pandemic because herbs are known to boost a person’s immunity. Common herbs like ginger and garlic are linked to healthy immune systems, as are less common herbs like elderberry and coneflower. The verdict is still out, but scientists in China are researching whether astragalus might help in the prevention of Covid-19.
Herbs are easy to grow in limited space, so they can make your time at home productive even if you don’t have. If you’re an apartment dweller with little or no land space, you can create an herb garden on your patio or balcony – or even on your windowsill! And adding fresh herbs to all your kitchen creations makes them all the more flavorful and fresh!
You don’t need a green thumb or huge plot of land to be an herb gardener. You just need basic tools, a few containers, and a bit of space by a window. Always follow the planting and care instructions. Most herbs can be used fresh in cooking, but you can also dry the leaves for storage. Dried herbs are best used early in the cooking process, so the flavor has time to infuse the dish. Herbs are an almost a perfect gift from nature. They provide aroma, taste — and are good for you!
Everyone loves mint for its sweet fragrance and zesty flavoring in tea or recipes. It comes in a huge assortment of flavors ranging from spearmint and peppermint to lavender and chocolate. Catnip is a mint, too. Grown in the open, mint spreads like a weed, but it behaves itself nicely in a patio pot or indoor container.
This herb from the Mediterranean has a sweet yet bitter flavor that makes it popular in a host of dishes, from chicken to pasta to squash. It’s almost a must-have in Thanksgiving dressing. Sage will grow almost anywhere it can get well-drained soil and lots of sunlight. It’s better to grow it from clippings than seed but is happy in a container.
Think of dill, and you probably think of pickles, but dill adds its sweet, flavor to fish, lamb, and stews. You can grow dill in a deep container, but make sure it gets plenty of sun. Dill is an annual, so you’ll have to replant each year.
This herb is a favorite of French chefs for its slight onion flavor. Soups, salads, fish, potatoes, eggs — chives add flavor to all of them. It’s also a great source of Vitamin C and beta carotene. Chives thrive in a patio pot or on a windowsill with sunshine or partial shade.
As the name implies, this herb is great for seasoning anything that needs a lemony flavor. It’s an excellent addition to tea but also works well in a lot of Asian dishes and in marinades and salads. Lemongrass makes a great indoor plant, especially in cooler climates. Grown outdoors in warmer weather, it gets huge.
6. Bay Leaves
Chances are your mom used bay leaves to flavor roasts and stews. Bay can stay on the patio in the warm months and be brought inside when it gets cold. It does like a lot of compost in its container. Although you can use the leaves for flavoring, they’re not edible because they’re prickly and hard to chew. Some cooks remove them before serving.
Even if you’re growing your own herbs, there’s risk of contamination from birds, dirt and fertilizers. Wash them thoroughly with Eat Cleaner Triple Action Fruit + Veggie Wash before enjoying.
To your health!
Written by guest blogger Maria Ivanov
Maria Ivanov is a fitness trainer with a passion for foods — the healthier, the better. She grows her own vegetables, herbs, and as many fruit trees as she can on a half-acre plot.