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Short on space? Without an outdoor garden or patio? Not to worry. There are plenty of various types of fresh herbs that can successfully be grown in your kitchen. With a little research, patience, and sunshine, you can easily grow some of your favorite herbs from the comfort of your own kitchen.

 When growing indoors, light is key, and most herbs do best on a sunny windowsill that gets at least four hours of direct sunlight a day. You'll then want to turn your herbs every 3 days or so to keep them from growing unevenly. Without a sunny windowsill? No worries. Most herbs will thrive under a grow light, and these are readily available online or at your local garden center. Simply position them to light the area over your herbs for at least 4-6 hours a day. You should have fresh herbs in no time.

Fresh herbs add pizazz that makes even the best chef's cooking better, and growing them yourself can be a highly rewarding and satisfying experience. Don't let limited space get in the way of your green thumb. It's easy to have all of the flavor and variety of a fresh herb garden right on your windowsill. Your kitchen is always full of possibilities!

img_1273Big Chill 30" Electric Wall Oven, Bungalow Hood, and Retro Microwave posing for a picture with a kitchen-friendly herb garden.

1.) Basil

Basil is easy to grow indoors and its unique flavor makes it an imperative herb for cuisines all over the world. With fresh basil in your kitchen, you can easily pinch off individual leaves and pair them with tomatoes for a classic combination, or add fresh leaves to salads, sandwiches, or sauces. You can purchase small basil plants or plant the seeds yourself, just be sure to give it a good spot on the windowsill as basil loves heat and bright light. You can expect to keep and use your basil plant for about several weeks, or until the stems start to grow brown and stiff like wood.

2.) Rosemary

The needled leaves of rosemary are an essential herb that pairs well with multiple dishes and flavors. The earthy fragrance of the classic herb will fill your kitchen with an aromatic scent that will transport you to a lush Mediterranean garden. Rosemary can tolerate hot, sunny, and dry locations in the summer months, and will soak up the sun on your windowsill. In the winter, rosemary prefers cooler temperatures (between 40 to 65 degrees F), as long as the natural light is still strong. 


3.) Thyme

Thymes tiny leaves and dainty trailing stems give it a natural houseplant appeal that will decorate your kitchen as well as flavor it. Thyme and its many varieties make it a key ingredient in various cuisines around the world, making it an essential herb for your sunny windowsill. Thyme does well in a fast-draining soil mix thas is watered only when the soil is dry. Like most herbs, thyme prefers to be placed in front of a sunny window.


4.) Mint

Palette cleansing and refreshing, mint is available in dozens of flavorful varieties that are worthy of their own garden. Spearmint? Peppermint? Orange mint? Chocolate mint? The choices are plenty when it comes to choosing the right mint for your kitchen. Simply snip mint leaves and sprigs for adding to mixed drinks, teas, desserts, or whatever your heart desires.

Mint plants are beautifully aromatic and their fragrant stems make them attractive houseplants. Just be sure to keep the soil moist and provide them with moderate to strong light. 

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5.) Parsley

Parsley adds a unique flavor and bright color to salads, soups, and sauces. It's essential in cuisines around the world and is seen as more than a flavorful necessity than just a garnish. Parsley comes in curly or flat-leaf varieties, and in general flat-leaf parsley has a more robust flavor while the curly variety is typically associated with decoration. Harvest individual leaves by pinching the stems off near the base of the plant. Like most herbs, parsley prefers rich potting soil and strong light.



6.) Chives

This onion-flavored herb adds a mild kick of flavor to soups, salads, eggs, and various other dishes. The spiky leaves of chives also make pretty garnishes to add at the end of your cooking. You can either use scissors to snip off individual leaves or chop the leaves evenly all at once to keep any floppy leaves at bay. Just be sure to leave at least 2 inches of growth so the plants are sure to resprout.

Chives are best started with a purchased plant and grow best in bright light.


7.) Oregano

Oregano is a member of the mint family and is must for Italian, Central American, and Middle Eastern cuisines, among others. Strip the fresh leaves from snipped steps and add to soups, tomato sauces, salads, and various dishes from all walks of life.

Oregano is grown just like any other mint. Water mint when the soil is dry but be sure not to let it dry out. Mint plants prefer moderate to strong light. 


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