Growing your own herbs is one of the easiest and tastiest gardening projects you can undertake.
Stepping out the back door to pick your own fresh basil or rosemary can bring you and your friends and family some sweet and savory satisfaction.
It can also save you a lot of money in the long run, since herbs bought at the grocery tend to be pretty pricey.
Start with some basics, choose your plants and follow these helpful tips.
Happy, happy plants:
Before you even plant a seed, prepare your soil. Organic compost is one of the simplest ways to improve your soil. However, don't mix garden soil into containers. Instead mix organic hummus and organic potting fertilizer for a loose, well-drained mix.
Let the sunshine in:
Most herbs love, love, love sunshine, so pick a spot where they will get plenty of it. Only a few herbs need shadier areas – like cilantro and mint.
Although realistically, mint is the Gengis Khan of herbs. Shade or sun, this herb grows like a weed and can take over the entire garden. Plant it separately or in a area where you will want the coverage it can give. It's a perennial, so make sure to look for it each year when it pops back up in the spring.
Just a sip:
Only water every few days when the top inch of soil feels dry. Herbs thrive better in a semi-dry environment.
It also helps to plant them in area of the yard or containers that drain well and don't hold in too much water.
Easy on the fertilizer:
You should only fertilize once a month at the most. Too much fertilizer can make the herbs overproduce and the flavor will be dulled.
Lots of times, just adding garden compost to the top layer of the soil is all the fertilizer your herbs will need throughout the growing season.
Harvesting your herbs promotes their growth and keeps plants in a growing cycle instead of maturing and going to seed. Snip and clip a little to prep up some delicious meals sprinkled with fresh herbs every night and your herbs will last all through the spring and summer.
On the other hand, don't go to town and harvest it all, it will take a few weeks for your herbs to replenish.
What's Twinkle growing?
This year I've planted a salsa garden - cilantro, peppers, tomatoes and other herbs. Check back for tips on growing your very own!
Twinkle VanWinkle has over 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks. She baked apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and has appeared on Food Network's "The Best Of..." Along with producing dynamic lifestyle content for LIN Media, she is a mother, urban gardener, chef, musician and social media fanatic.
While some people who live on Oliver Street said they want to move, many others said they are staying put and aren't afraid of the crime.
Officials have been attributing the rise in violent crime to gangs, guns, and drugs. There's about a dozen known gangs. Many members teenagers.
A family was reunited with Charlie, an American Bulldog puppy, after they say he was stolen out of their house.
Recordings released of 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting show dispatchers urged panicked callers to take cover and asked about the welfare of the children as the boom of gunfire could be heard at times.
Tuesday's shooting has been ruled a homicide, bringing the count for 2013 to 44, matching the all-time high set in 1997.
Democratic Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz says an internal document obtained by her office shows Republican Gov. Mike Pence's new education agency is trying to strip her of power.
School districts across the state are set to receive $14 million under a settlement finalized Tuesday between the state's largest teachers union and the secretary of state's office.
State officials are seeking a federal major disaster declaration for central Indiana's Howard County because of damage during last month's wave of tornadoes and severe storms.
The gas price roller coaster shows no signs of stopping as the cost for a gallon of regular unleaded dipped to $2.97 at some Fort Wayne stations on Wednesday.
Four workers at a University of Notre Dame campus bar will soon be sharing a $10,000 tip.
The Indiana Department of Transportation opened the intersection of Union Chapel Road and Auburn Road at around noon on Wednesday.
Tuesday night, Fort Wayne City Council members voted on the initial approval to use Legacy Funds for the Embassy Theatre renovations.
A local couple received a special honor Tuesday night. Rose and Denny Beuchel are the recipients of the 2013 Neighbor of the Year award.
IPFW hosted a cupcake eating contest Tuesday as part of the university's week-long Homecoming celebration.
Eastside High School was locked down Tuesday after police discovered a man on school property with two loaded guns