Many of us are spending more time at home these days. Why not make the most of it? A new hobby or distraction can be just the thing to breathe fresh air into anyone’s day. Speaking of fresh air, why not bring a little life into the house with a tabletop herb garden?

You’re probably cooking at home a lot more frequently. Think how lovely it would be to have fresh herbs on hand to flavor any meal. Herbs and spices are what create the flavors of the world. Why not take a voyage to Italy by putting some fresh basil in your tomato sauce? How about a trip down Mexico-way with some cilantro for your taco night?

Herbs also bring freshness to comfort foods. A sprinkle of chives on a simple omelet can make breakfast feel special, and rosemary and thyme add savory goodness to a roast chicken with potatoes.

Most of us don’t use a lot of fresh herbs in our cooking because it’s inconvenient to buy them at the store. Often you have to buy too much, or they’re too expensive. And these days, when we’re all making fewer trips to the store, perishable and delicate things like herbs can go bad very quickly.

A tabletop herb garden is a perfect solution! You’ve probably seen online ads for top-of-the-line indoor tabletop herb gardens with auto-misters, but there are plenty of less expensive models out there. A planter box in a sunny windowsill and a few plants from the hardware or grocery store will also work well. Here’s a mini-class in how to do it!

Give them sunlight. Herbs need sunlight! Aim for six hours a day at least. A sunny window is great. No sunny window? Plant them in something portable and take them outside or consider an indoor garden kit that’s equipped with electric grow lights for your greens.

Keep them comfortable. Plants like to be warm. A room that stays above 65 during the day and 55 degrees at night is best.

Don’t let them get too wet. The biggest killer of houseplants is too much water. Drainage is crucial, or their roots will rot. Use a potting mix for indoor plants, and don’t overwater! You want the soil to feel moist but not wet.

Keep them fed. A simple fertilizer you mix in with their water will keep them happy. Organic is best. Feed them every two weeks for healthy robust growth. They need to eat if they’re going to put out new leaves!

Pinch off flowers. If your herbs flower, pinch off the buds to keep them growing more leaves.

Harvest your herbs when they are fully grown and look robust. Don’t take too much at once, and they’ll be happy all summer long for all your best dishes! If you have a bit of excess, dry them and have them in your soups this autumn. Let us know how it all goes on the Lazy Acres Facebook page, your home for great tips on senior living in Belton, Missouri!