Top 5 Herbs You Should Grow at Home in Houston

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One of my favorite things about spring and summer is getting to eat fresh fruits and vegetables at just about every meal. Herbs are a great addition to any dish and during the spring and summer seasons, they bring out the wonderful flavors of freshly picked produce.

Sherri Harrah of Plants for All Seasons on 249 says that several different herbs can grow in one container together, making it easier for you to maintain them, but you need to maintain other environmental factors to keep them alive.

"Houston is the land of the air conditioner," Harrah says, "and they need the difference between day and night. They need the humidity, and it is too controlled inside."

Herbs also grow quickly outside. Harrah says they're like a haircut: The more you pick the herbs, the faster they grow.

Here are five herbs you can easily plant and take care of all on your own. No need to buy bottles of herbs to season your food.

5. Lemon Garden

Sandra Killough, owner of Bonnie's Greenhouse in Waco, says that she loves to make a lemon garden filled with lemongrass and lemon balm. Not only will these herbs keep mosquitoes off of your garden, but lemon balm is a wonderful lemony green herb that adds a fresh flavor to fish, chicken and vegetables. Lemongrass is a great addition in Thai cuisine or other Asian dishes.

4. Rosemary

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs to use in cooking. Just add a little bit of it to a chicken dish and you can transform it from plain to outstanding. Killough advises against over-loving your rosemary, though. "It will thrive on the grass," Killough says. "I kill my rosemary by loving it too much with water. It is a good herb for cooking -- use it for skewers."

3. Thyme

Killough recommends growing thyme by itself and says that a strawberry jar is best for growing the herb. Just like other herbs, thyme needs at least five hours of sun a day and it shouldn't be overwatered. If you stick your finger into the soil and notice that it's wet, then don't water the pot.

2. Mint

Harrah says that mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow. You can definitely have a variety of mints grow together in one location or pot. Harrah notes that some will grow well in a shady environment rather than in the sunniest spot. So make sure that your pot of mint gets more shade than other herbs, otherwise it will shrivel in the sun.

1. Basil

There's nothing better than a fresh chiffonade of basil added to a beautiful caprese salad, which is one of my all-time favorite summer dishes. Harrah says that basil is a must in an herb garden.

"It grows through the summer like a weed," Harrah says.

Basil is an essential component in an herb garden and can grow with other herbs. Everyone should definitely plant basil in his or her herb garden for a fresh touch to any spring or summer dish.

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