Every plant-lover wishes they could grow their own fruits and vegetables organically in the backyard. Especially if it means saving money at the grocery store, avoiding harmful pesticides and the convenience of walking outside to collect ingredients for dinner.

However, we also know it’s not that easy. You need ideal growing conditions like weather, a large outdoor space and good soil. My home in Florida has none of these, so I had to redefine my idea of “home-grown” crops.

These days I’m limited to herbs, which are some of the most underrated plants you can grow in the smallest of spaces. Not only can they serve medicinal purposes, they can also completely transform your meal. Adding Rosemary to your potatoes, Basil to your egg sandwich and Oregano & Thyme to your chicken are game changers.

Before we get into growing your herbs, let’s talk natural medicine. These plants have been around for centuries- long before the prescription drug companies ruled the medicinal world. Not to mention there’s an endless number of natural substitutes for go-to items in your medicine cabinet. Here’s a cheat sheet on healing benefits for a few herbs that you can easily grow at home:

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Now, let’s talk growing your herbs. While growing from seeds sounds like the most pure and cost-effective way to start, it’s also the most difficult. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve planted seeds and nothing has happened. I’m not saying I have the “greenest” of thumbs, but I’m not a complete plant-killer.

The easiest way to start your herb garden is to purchase starter plants. They cost about $4 each and trust me, the convenience is worth it. Also be sure to purchase potting mix-not potting soil, a well draining pot and some fertilizer (optional). If I’m being honest, I went for a 4-in-1 planter because it was pretty, but it’s also nice having my herbs planted separately all in one place.

ROSEMARY, BASIL, PARSLEY, THYME
If the medicinal benefits alone don’t have you ready to start your own herb garden, hopefully the food benefits will. Let’s be real, nothing beats fresh cilantro in your salsa and guacamole.