Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or are all thumbs instead of a green thumb, you can grow fresh produce in the form of an indoor herb garden in just a few simple steps. With a little TLC, an indoor herb garden is easily maintained and provides your home with fresh greens even during the coldest winter months.
If you don’t have one already, purchase a pot for your herb garden; longer rectangle-style pots are more effective for growing indoors. Be sure your pot will have good drainage, as you don’t want your garden to be overwatered; this can be remedied by placing small rocks and pebbles or terra cotta shards in the bottom of your pot or placing your pot in a tray to collect excess water seepage. Another quick solution to quick and easy indoor herbs is to go to your local gardening store to purchase a herb kit. Turn pots often to keep plants growing evenly.
Good light is integral for the growth of your garden. If you have a well-lit living space, leave your garden in a place (such as a windowsill) where it will get between six and eight hours of natural light. If you live in an area where getting the required amount of lighting isn’t possible, artificial light can be used but 14 – 16 hours is required. Some indoor gardeners will purchase lighting that can be suspended directly above their garden releasing sufficient light. Different herbs will require different amounts of light so be sure to do a little research on the herbs you plan on growing to ensure prime growth. The optimal temperature to encourage growth for your indoor garden is between 15 and 21
Watering your garden carefully is important as you don’t want to over or under-water your garden. In drier climates it’s recommended to mist your garden with a spray bottle. Also keep a soap and water spray mixture available to dissuade pests from inhabiting your garden. Keep a ratio of no more than one per cent soap to water to keep from damaging your plants.
Plant away! Indoor gardens can either be started with starter plants brought from an outdoor garden or gardening store or can be grown from scratch with a seed packet purchased at your local gardening or home improvement store. When working with store bought starters, be sure to purchase plants that are thriving and don’t show any sign of pests. Some of the more popular herbs to plant include basil, chives, cilantro, dill, oregano, rosemary, parsley and mint. Once your little garden starts to flourish it’s important to use your herbs often as cutting or plucking leaves encourages new growth.
Although fresh herbs contain more nutrients, a way to further sustain your gardens new offerings is to dry them. Cut or pluck the herbs, wash them thoroughly then hang to dry or dry in the oven. Drying methods will change from herb to herb so consult your local gardening store or friend or family member with herb experience for more information.
Share any of your Herb Garden tips in the comments below.