Contrary to popular belief, fall is actually one of the best times to grow herbs. And with all the holiday cooking you have coming up, there’s never been a better time to have fresh herbs to work with – and right at your fingertips. Step up your fall and winter (it starts on Dec. 21) feasts with some fresh flavors from your very own garden.
Whether you’re working with an apartment balcony, small backyard or even just a window sill near your kitchen, there are plenty of ways to grow a successful herb garden – no matter how limited your space is. Go traditional with mini flower pots labeled with each herb, or maximize your space with a multi-tier hanging herb garden. If you want to get creative, convert a door hanging shoe rack into a vertical garden.
No matter what your setup is, you’ll want to stock up on these herbs that will thrive during the coming fall and mild winter months:
Chives: Members of the Onion Family
Prized for their delicate taste, chives are a great choice when it comes to adding some greenery to your space. They flourish best in full sun, so choose a spot where they will receive maximum exposure. Make sure you plant your chives in moist, yet well-draining soil.
Add an element of surprise to your traditional holiday sides with these chive-friendly recipes: from Rasa Malaysia
- Garlic chive butter roasted potatoes from Rasa Malaysia
- Brie and chive biscuits from The Gracious Wife
- Carrots with lemon-chive butter from MyRecipes
Cilantro: A Distinct Flavor
While the origins of this herb are unclear, cilantro’s distinct taste leaves no question. Encourage the growth of fuller body plants by pinching back young cilantro plants an inch or so. You should also clip off any developing flower buds or seedpods to ensure continued leaf growth. Have an existing flower bed? Cilantro can be added as an edible edging around your current garden.
Celebrate the season with a flavorful feast complemented by this polarizing herb:
- Pumpkin kale patties with coconut cilantro rice from Will Frolic for Food
- Cilantro lime sweet corn from Once Upon a Chef
- New potatoes with garlic and cilantro from Genius Kitchen
Mint: Not Just for Mojitos
The benefits of mint go far beyond its refreshing taste, making it a great addition to any garden. This fragrant herb requires a light mulch and minimum care, perfect for the black thumb in your family. If you’re growing mint in a confined container, however, consider topdressing it with a light layer of compost or organic fertilizer every few months.
Shake things up with these refreshing seasonal side dishes:
- Cranberry-Orange Relish with Mint from Epicurious
- Roasted sweet potatoes with Chile yogurt and mint from Bon Appetit
- Roasted squash with red onion, oregano and mint from Food & Wine
Parsley: Rich in Vitamins K,C and A
The crisp taste and distinct texture of parsley make it an obvious addition to any herb garden. In addition to being planted in a rich, moist soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.7, parsley should be regularly fertilized with a liquid plant food to boost future growth. Parsley can also be added to an existing flower bed.
Perfect your hostess game with these parsley-inspired recipes:
- Pumpkin hummus with fresh parsley from Vegan Heaven
- Roasted carrots with parsley-yogurt from Deliciously Organic
- Lemony asparagus with parsley from MyRecipes
Rosemary: A Member of the Mint Family
Rosemary is often smelled before its seen. This low-maintenance plant will make even the most novice gardeners feel like pros. All rosemary needs is sunlight, ample air circulation and good drainage to thrive. While rosemary can survive in mild winters, make sure you bring it inside if temperatures get below 30°F.
Add a rich taste to your Thanksgiving feast with these unrivaled rosemary recipes:
- Pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt from Drizzle & Dip
- Grilled Thanksgiving turkey with rosemary butter from Thanksgiving & Co.
- Mushrooms with rosemary and garlic from Happy Healthy Mama
Sage: A Pinch of Flavor Across the Globe
Sweet yet savory, sage provides a pinch of flavor to a variety of meals. It thrives best in medium to full sun, so if you’re growing it inside, make sure you choose a window that gets lots of light. Be sure to water your sage regularly, especially after first planting it to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
This culinary herb can serve as the superstar and side dish in your next flavorful meal with these seasonal recipes:
- Sage apple cranberry dressing from The Complete Savorist
- Butternut squash orzo with feta and sage from Mighty Mrs.
- Chorizo sage stuffing from The Kitchen
Thyme: For When You’re Limited on Time
While there are many different varieties of thyme, the majority are drought-resistant, so you’ll only need to do a thorough watering session when the soil is completely dry. Use your thyme as a companion plant with rosemary and other herbs that flourish in the sun.
Get ready for some timeless and tasty recipes:
- Roasted pumpkin soup with brown butter and thyme from Serious Eats
- Garlic thyme roasted mushrooms from Rasa Malaysia
- Lemon thyme pan-seared turkey breast cutlets from Flavor Mosaic
- A simple dash can transform a dish. So here are some simple ways you can dry herbs at your apartment.
- How should you store your herbs after you grow them? Here are a few food storage hacks to try.
- What kind of containers should you use to grow your herb garden? Here’s an idea.
- Some Greystar communities have gardens where you can grow herbs. Check out Pallas at Pike & Rose in Bethesda, Maryland.
- Don’t have the energy to grow your own herb garden? Check out your local farmers market.
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