Grow your own.

One of easiest ways to boost your gourmet skills and create more flavorful dishes is to use fresh herbs. Luckily, they’re super easy to grow.  If you want a simple home herb garden in time for summer, get started now! Here’s how:

Purchase a few small terracotta pots, salvage old empty pots from your garage or shed, or even use plastic pots you may have leftover from previous plants that didn’t make it (shhhhh… we won’t tell). Buy a bag of potting soil (did you know they’re sold at grocery stores now?). This next step is where we separate the brave from the, um, beginners. (Just kidding, either method is easy for beginners.) You can plant seeds or plant small baby plants you get from your local nursery or garden center. Seeds really are easy to grow, but the downside is it’ll take a bit longer. Since it’s already summer, we suggest skipping right to the young plants. Our most versatile favorites: basil, thyme, parsley, rosemary and cilantro.

Place the planted herb pots in a kitchen windowsill or near the kitchen sink. This way you can add water any time you see the dirt getting a little dry. As they grow larger, you may place the pots just outside, close to the kitchen, or maybe on your picnic table as a natural centerpiece. As you cook, you can run outside to break off a few sprigs of fresh herbs. If you’re making pesto, you can bring the entire basil plant indoors to make preparation even easier.

We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to grow herbs and start using them in your everyday cooking. The improvement in taste (over dried supermarket herbs) is nothing short of amazing!

Happy growing!

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