Starting an edible garden is probably one of the most practical things you can do since not only is it a calming activity, but it's also quite sustainable. Harvesting your herbs is beneficial to both you and the plant—you get natural flavoring for your dishes, which the plant is pruned and encouraged to grow better. Pick from any of the five we’ve listed below to get you started. After all, there’s nothing like knowing exactly where you get your ingredients from. 

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Basil

Basil loves sunlight, which is why they’re perfect outdoors or by your kitchen ledge where it can get at least six hours of it a day. It grows on well-drained loam soil and is only watered once it’s dry to the touch.

There are seed packets you can buy in groceries or online, but basil can also grow out of cuttings—simply place it in water and allow to root. Remember though, that you have to regularly prune your plant to keep it healthy. Weekly trimming can give you a good handful of mature leaves perfect and ready for the kitchen.

FN Tip: Try adding basil and tomatoes to your grilled cheese sandwich for a hearty breakfast!

Parsley

There are two kinds of parsley: curly-leaved, and flat-leaved. Flat-leaved parsley is usually what you find in most dishes, as the curly-leaved variety tends to have a more bitter taste.

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Unlike basil which easily sprouts as long as it’s kept it a nice, warm environment, germinating parsley will need a bit more time—21 to 29 days, according to The Spruce—which is why if you’re a bit impatient, you’ll want to get already grown plants from seedling banks instead.

Parsley that’s ready to be harvested are around six feet tall. Make sure to cut stems for the base for better growth, but don’t over-prune.

Dill

Dill cream sauce is super yummy in fish dishes, most especially in salmon, so this really is a versatile herb that you’d want in your home. You’ll want to have one dill seed in a two litter pot, but if you’re growing them in rows, make sure they’re at least 18 inches apart.

Your dill will sprout after 10 to 14 days. Once it grows more than five leaves, you can start pruning. A full-grown plant can regularly provide you will dill stalks for your kitchen.

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Dill loves warm spots, so make sure that it’s always under sunlight!

Oregano

Oregano is probably one of the easiest herbs to propagate in the Philippines. A cutting can go a long way, and it’s hardy enough to grow indoors and outdoors.

There are two kinds of oregano: the Mexican variety which is more lemon-y, and the Mediterranean variety, which is more minty. Either or, they’re propagated the same way.

You can opt to buy seeds from the grocery store, but cuttings are the easiest way to grow oregano, and there’s probably no lack of it in your neighborhood. Simply allow the cutting to take root in water before transferring to soil under sunlight. Don’t over-water, but make sure it’s well hydrated especially during the scorching dry months—then let it grow as it will! Oregano needs very little tending and will easily adapt to its environment. Once it has comfortably settled in and propagated, feel free to simply pull off leaves as needed.

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Oregano is great for so many dishes like pasta and lemon chicken, but is also known to help manage itchy cough when mixed with lemon and honey.

Rosemary

Rosemary grows beautifully in pots, so if you don’t have space for a garden in your home, this will make for a perfect choice.

The simplest way to grow rosemary is to do so with a cutting, as it can take too much time to grow it from seeds. According to the Bureau of Plant Industry, you’ll want to get cutting that’s around 7.5 to 12 cm. below the leaf node, which you’ll dip in rooting hormones. Rooting rosemary may take four to six weeks, under indirect sunlight.

Once rooted, you can already transfer it in your pot of choice, preferably one with a diameter of 30 cm. You’re free to repot once it has outgrown its current one as this herb can display considerable development year upon year. Rosemary needs ample sunlight and good air circulation to grow. You can harvest it by trimming the top part of the plant.

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Rosemary can go with so many dishes, such as roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, and pasta.

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