April showers bring May flowers…and fresh herbs! Spring is in air, which means that now is the perfect time to start that garden you’ve always wanted. However, if the idea of planting a big garden seems daunting, then there are other ways to warm up to the world of gardening. One is to make a kitchen herbs garden in recycled jars.
This herb garden, which can be placed on a windowsill, won’t be affected by the early temperature fluctuations of the spring season. It’s a simple way to satisfy your green thumb while growing delicious, fresh herbs that can be regularly incorporated into your recipes and used in other ways around your home. Not to mention, you’ll save money and time by having fresh herbs on hand.
The steps to making an at-home garden are simple and can be modified to make the best at home garden for your needs.
What you’ll need
- Pint-sized mason jars
- Potting soil/mix
- Small rocks/pebbles
- Herb seeds of choice
Depending on how many different types of herbs and how much of each you want you can adjust the size of the jar you use. If you can, use jars you have lying around at home, but if that is not an option then these smaller half-pint jars are a great way to fit on your windowsill and to test out how different herbs grow. Make sure to use a store-bought potting mix as the natural food web from soil from your yard will be damaged as soon as it is brought indoors.
The set up
Mason Jar DIY gardens are incredibly easy to set up. Start off by labeling each jar using twine and tags of choice. Use dry-erase or chalk labels so that they can be reused if you switch your herbs later on. Next lay down a couple-inch thick layer of small rocks at the bottom of each jar. This layer will help drain the excess water and keep the fragile roots safe. After this, add your potting soil of choice up to two-inches below the rim of the jar.
Next, arrange your seeds according to the packet instructions (very important!) for each labeled jar. Top the seeds with another thin layer of potting soil and then lightly water (a good mist will do).
Be sure to place the jars in a location that gets at least six hours of sunshine per day (window sills are perfect) and rotate the jars as needed. Don’t forget to water each herb according to the packaging instructions!
Which herbs to use
Deciding which herbs to grow will be the hardest part of the whole process! Truly you cannot go wrong, but the best way to make this decision is to simply think of which herbs you usually use in your cooking. If you’re used to using spice mixes and do not really know exactly which herbs you frequent, you can choose based on the type of cuisine you typically cook.
Here are some common herbs used in each type of cuisine:
Italian—basil, oregano, thyme
Mediterranean—mint, parsley, rosemary, dill
Mexican—cilantro, chives, marjoram
Having your own herbs on hand will also push you to try out new flavors and recipes that you may have never explored before, so let your garden lead the way!