I will confess, I don’t write many articles on herbs.
My cook while growing up was from a very small town in Kentucky. She never once used an herb cooking our meals. Our main flavoring was the leftover grease that she saved. Fried chicken, gravy, pork chops, roast beef, corn, green beans and baked beans didn’t need herbs to make them taste good. Bacon and pork chop grease was all she used.
This is not the time to be thinking about planting herbs outside, but if you are an herb lover, there is a way that you can grow fresh herbs on your windowsill during the winter.
Today, with a little help from fellow garden writer Niki Jabbour, we will discuss growing herbs in water inside your house. Now you can have fresh tasting herbs while others will have to buy the lesser tasting dried ones at the grocery store.
The first thing you are going to need are containers. You can use mason jars, drinking glasses or vases. We seem to have a shortage of drinking glasses around our house. Well, it’s not that we have a shortage, but my wife won’t turn on the dishwasher until it is completely full. If every glass we have only fills the top shelf, I have to cup my hands below the spigot to get a drink of water.
The next thing that you will need to do is fill your containers with water. Should you use tap water, it is best to let it sit for 24 hours to get rid of the chlorine. It is also suggested that you don’t use distilled water, because it has no nutrients.
Of course, you are going to need cuttings, about five stems per glass. Where you would get them could be a problem this time of the year. Either purchase plants, or if your herbs haven’t frozen yet, use cuttings from them. Basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, mint, parsley, cilantro and sage can all be grown inside in water.
Take about a 6- to 8-inch cutting, right below a node. Remove all leaves that would be in the water, and stick the stems in the glass and place it on a sunny windowsill.
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What’s nice about growing in water is there are no fungus gnats flying around your kitchen. You also won’t be spilling potting soil everywhere.
That’s another problem around our house. I spent my life working in dirt. My wife spent her life working in the very sanitary kitchen of Jameson Hospital. When I come in the house from gardening, I leave a path. She is probably Clorox and Lysol’s biggest customer.
The cuttings that you have put in water will eventually get roots. Some will take longer than others. It is best to change the water about once or twice a week. You can plant the rooted cuttings, but you may make a mess. Just call my wife, she’ll clean it up and sanitize your whole house.
If your herbs start to bloom, just remove the flowers.
Dirt isn’t the only thing that my wife and I disagree on. She likes 25 to 30 side dishes with a meal, I only want a slab of meat. I prefer my meat burnt, she wants hers barely cooked. Lots of times I have to put up barriers between us when eating, so I don’t have to look at that disgusting stuff. She watches TV, I can’t stand TV.
Outside of that, we get along wonderfully, until Saturday mornings after she reads my articles.
Make your space a green space.