Easy Herbs to Grow for Earth Day

Herbs and spices make a huge difference in a dish. They can take your meal from “so-so” to “so good” and add that extra kick that makes people ask for seconds.

But why buy expensive grocery store herbs or the bland, dried variety when you can easily plant your own organic herb garden? Whether you live in the city or the country, herb gardens can be as small or as large as you want. Use a windowsill or acres of land–either way, you’ll have delicious, fresh herbs all year-round for a fraction of the price of the grocery store.

Growing fresh basil and easy recipes


Basil needs a lot of sun so position it in a spot where it receives at least six to eight hours of sunlight a day. Sow the seeds under a thin layer of soil and put multiple seeds in each pot. Instead of using hazardous chemicals, use a small amount of natural compost from your own kitchen. Once it starts to sprout, pick off a few leaves whenever you need them and leave the rest on the plant.


Fresh basil is a great addition to tomato sauce, pesto or sandwiches. Serve it with mozzarella and tomato for a simple summer Caprese salad. Besides tasting great, basil also has health benefits. Antioxidants reduce blood glucose levels and cholesterol, and rubbing the leaves on a painful or itchy insect bite can treat the problem.

How to grow cilantro and use in sweet or savory dishes


Cilantro is good is sweet or savory dishes. The seeds (called “coriander”) need to germinate under a thin layer of soil several inches apart. For best results, the temperature shouldn’t exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the leaves appear, they will only last six to eight weeks so use them quickly.

Mexican dishes really benefit from the addition of cilantro, whether added to tacos or sprinkled on top of tortilla soup. It’s believed to aid digestion, stimulating the appetite and helping secrete acidic juices. Cilantro leaves can also be used as a fungicide.

Grow lemongrass to cook a Thai curry


A fantastic complement to Thai cooking, lemongrass has a sweet scent and citrus flavor. The seeds need a lot of sun and will grow to 12-inch tall blades before being ready to harvest.

Scientists from Israel’s Ben Gurion University found that lemongrass has anti-cancer properties, killing cancer cells. Indians use lemongrass to relieve coughs and nasal congestion. Try making a delicious Thai curry or brew lemongrass tea with the leaves.

Fragrant rosemary is easy to grow


Rosemary plants need frequent watering and lots of space (two to three feet) in between them. Fully-grown plants can reach up to six feet in height. Once grown, clip off a few sprigs whenever wanted.

Make an Onion and Rosemary Focaccia that will give the entire house a pleasant aroma. A mild antidepressant, rosemary is also good brewed into tea; add two teaspoons of dried rosemary to nearly-boiling water and let steep. It’s common to find rosemary in beauty products like shampoo, soaps and perfumes. Rosemary soap is easy to make and smells great.