By Daniel Parotte
Going green and eating healthy are both things that are incredibly important to most people; however, it often seems out of reach. But it doesn’t have to take much space to grow your own herbs. Here are some plants you can grow even in a small apartment. As they don’t require much space or care, you can bring a freshness to your table and some nice greenery to your home.
Tomatoes are a staple to many different forms of cooking, though most notably used in Italian food. While you will likely not grow big heirloom tomatoes, bush varieties (such as cherry tomatoes) will grow easily and be great to use in a salad or a sauce. To successfully grow tomatoes, you need to place them in a sunny area of the house, whether that is a balcony or simply in front of a sunny window; though you may have to supplement with artificial lights if you keep them indoors. It’s also important to have a deep enough pot or planting bed so the roots of the tomato bush can comfortably grow and to keep the soil moist, but not soaked.
Basil, like most other herbs, is easy to grow in almost every environment, provided that you give it basic care. Similarly to tomatoes, this simple plant requires at least six hours of continuous sunlight, though this can be fixed using artificial lights. If you live in a particularly warm and dry environment, be sure to water your basil plant regularly, or it might dry out. Additionally, you want to make sure you actually harvest the leaves it produces, and snip off any flowers you might see sprouting.
Unlike our two previous examples, mushrooms require a bit of extra attention, but they are good for those who might want to step up their gardening game. As wild mushrooms may be dangerous, it is highly recommended to buy dedicated mushroom growing kits that include all the necessary tools to safely grow mushrooms you can eat. Once you’re ready to start to start growing your mushrooms, prepare the kit and put it in a dark space, such as a closet or a cabinet. Then, make sure to monitor the humidity in the area and constantly mist it to keep it moist but not wet or soggy. After that,you should have some beautiful sprouts you can use in your cooking.
Mint is arguably one of the most versatile herbs, working just as well in savory foods as in sweet ones. However, it also differs from other herbs in that it does not need that much sunlight. In fact, just making sure it gets sunlight in the morning and partial shade the rest of the afternoon should be sufficient, or else it is prone to drying out. If you plan on adding pint to your flower bed, make sure to keep it planted in a separate container before planting the entire container in the soil, as it tends to have very long roots that will likely overtake anything else you might have growing. Similarly to basil, it’s recommended that you harvest it regularly and that you trim the flowers when you see them to extend the harvesting season.
Whether you decide to grow these plants in a small apartment or an entire garden, they are a small detail that can add freshness to any meal. Growing your own food is a simple way to take care of your diet because it makes sure you know exactly what’s in your food; plus it’s a fun hobby! If you decide to take up gardening, be sure to spread the love and share your harvest with your family and friends.
Cover Image: Janelle Hewines