Would you like to enjoy daily fresh food and better health? Grow an indoor herb garden! Herbs make food taste better with less salt. They also have many wonderful health benefits for your whole family. Here’s how to start an indoor herb garden that will supply you with an abundance of beautiful, aromatic and tasty herbs year round.
Choose Herbs That Grow Well Indoors
- Parsley is a basic for indoor herb gardens. It adds a zesty flavor to food, freshens the breath after a spicy meal and is also used as an edible decoration on many dishes.
- Sage has a very strong taste and a little goes a long way. It is used most commonly in stuffing and sausage recipes. Some hearty soups and stews may also benefit from a little sage.
- Rosemary is an excellent choice for container gardening. It is hearty and grows well in most conditions. Commonly used in Mediterranean dishes, rosemary is also considered a good luck herb in many cultures.
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- Thyme has a very intense smell and is often used in Italian and French cuisine. It grows easily in most conditions and requires only basic care to give you a pot overflowing with thyme vines.
- Basil is often one of the first herbs people experiment with when starting indoor herb gardens. It grows easily and provides an abundance of leaves from just a few seeds. It smells wonderful and is perfect for Italian cooking
- Chives have a slight onion-like taste. They grow together in large groups that look like grass, except when their delicate purple chive flowers bloom. They are used in potato dishes and as a topping for anything that needs to be a bit more zesty.
- Oregano is used extensively in Italian cooking and has a strong scent. Like thyme, it will take very little effort to produce a pot overflowing with oregano. You may have to separate it out into more than one pot if your crop starts becoming really bountiful.
Containers and Potting Soil
Use a basic clay pot for each herb that is large enough for the herb to grow into and that has a large drainage hole on the bottom. Pots need plastic trays underneath them to catch the drainage when you water your herbs. Use high quality organic potting soil in your pots and mix it with a little compost or commercial plant food for extra nutrients to give your herbs a healthy environment.
Place your herb pots somewhere in your house that gets six to eight hours of direct light each day. Rotate the pots once a week so that the herbs don’t grow leaning in one direction, since herbs will grow toward the sun.
Cellular shades are excellent for use in your herb growing room, since these shades can filter out cold air at night and in the winter that can be damaging to delicate herbs. They can also filter brighter sunlight in the summer to a less intense brightness so herbs don’t wither from too much direct UV light. Choose the shades that best meet these herb growing needs.
Proper Care for Indoor Herbs
Water herbs regularly as needed, but don’t overwater. To see if watering is needed, stick your finger into the potting soil down to your middle knuckle. If the soil is moist, don’t water. If it’s dry, water the plant until the soil is nicely moist but not saturated. Never overwater your plants. Empty drainage trays daily to prevent excess water from damaging your herbs.
Clip your herbs regularly. Clipping makes them branch out and become fuller. Don’t clip more than a third off the top of a plant or you may damage it. Clip before the herbs start to flower to get the best results.