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Humble though it may seem, an herb garden is truly a wonder of nature. Many herbs offer compounds known to ward off ailments and illnesses, ranging from memory loss to stiff joints. 

Using culinary herbs to flavor food can also improve the healthfulness of our diets by helping us reduce our intake of fats and salts. Flavoring dishes with the savory taste of homegrown herbs is a treat!

Growing an herb garden offers a huge bang for your buck, as fresh culinary herbs are often expensive to buy, but cheap to grow.

Here are a few of my favorite herbs, and tips on how to grow them….

 

Step 1 – Choose your herbs

These herbs are particularly easy to grow: Sweet marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, many varieties of Mint and  Basil, Cilantro, Sage, and Oregano.

 

Step 2 – Decide on the location for growing herbs

Different herbs require different conditions to really get growing, and while some love the sun,  others prefer shade.

 

Step 3. Plant your herbs the right way

You’ll need a large pot with holes in the bottom for drainage, some gravel, compost, and a watering can. 

Take your pot and pour gravel to one-fourth of the depth of the pot as this will help water to drain out, and then fill the pot with multi purpose or soil based compost to three-fourth of the pot’s remaining depth. For its water retention properties, a soil-based compost is best for pots and window boxes.

After squeezing the plants from their containers and teasing the roots from the root balls,  place the plants in the large pot leaving 6 inches between each stem.

Water thoroughly, until the water drains from the bottom of the pot (this may take up to one gallon initially). Then continue to water over the coming months or when the soil seems dry;  in hot weather it is best to water daily.

Happy Growing!

Carmen Keith, MD, IFMCP

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