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Garden-fresh greens without the garden

This soilless planter lets you grow your own herbs indoors all year round.

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry when my friends tell me they just spent $7 for a package of "fresh" basil. Me, I just head to the backyard with my kitchen scissors and cut off a handful of leaves. The seeds I planted about a year ago cost me 89 cents. The pot was $1, and the soil was about $3. So for less than the cost of a single package, I've got myself a permanent supply of truly fresh herbs.

Got dirt? These planters don't. Prepara

But I live in Houston, where year round gardening is no problem. You might live somewhere with actual seasons, somewhere where 65 degrees is not considered cold enough to leave you bundled up in blankets, as I am right now.

So you might be interested in the Prepara Power Plant Mini soilless indoor garden. If you have a kitchen window that gets good light, set the container on the sill and let air, nutrients, and water do the trick. You can use any seeds with the Power Plant, and if your first garden goes well, you can upgrade to the Pro size for more growing options.

The low-maintenance system can keep you supplied with fresh herbs (or vegetables, or even edible flowers) all year long. No green thumb necessary.