What's the Deal: DIY herb garden in a bucket

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Fresh cut herbs in the store can cost up to $5, a small package, but a local dietitian says she knows how to get a summer's worth for about $20 in a Do-it-Yourself garden that fits almost anywhere.

"This is just the standard bucket that you can get in a bright color," says registered dietitian, Kimberly Wolf.

Wolf says you don't need a fancy pot, a plastic dollar-store storage tub is fine.

Herbs don't like wet feet, so drill holes in the bottom, or put in 2 inches of gravel for drainage. Pour in about 3 or 4 inches of potting soil - it retains moisture and has nutrients ordinary dirt doesn't have.

Then, plant your favorite herbs, like cilantro.

"It's excellent for salsas and of course guacamole," says Wolf.

Rosemary is good with meats.

"Fresh fish, chicken, it's also good for potatoes," says Wolf.

Basil is a must for pastas, pizza and sauces and parsley is good in salads and sauces.

Wolf says if you have fresh herbs handy, you're more likely to use them.

"Flavor your food without adding a lot of sugar or salt or fat," says Wolf.

Many herbs have antioxidants, plus nutrients such as vitamins A, C, K, potassium or iron.

Once the herbs are planted, Wolf says there's very little maintenance. Keep the soil moist - not wet, and be sure to give them lots of sun.

"Most herbs need 6 hours of sunlight," says Wolf.

And snip a little from each at least once a week.

"That's when they start to grow again. The more you snip, the more they will be inspired to grow," says Wolf.

She has one bit of caution on mint.

"It likes to spread a lot, so you want to contain it in its own pot and soil," says Wolf.

If you don't want all herbs, Wolf suggests microgreens for salads. A small packet of seeds will produce a lot and they grow in 7 to 20 days.
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