Have you ever thrown fresh herbs into a dish and just taken a moment to inhale that amazing aroma? I love to cook with fresh herbs. They bring a balance and uniqueness to a dish that you just can’t get with dried herbs. For a long time, I purchased them in the store every week. I’d spend several dollars each on individuals packs of rosemary, thyme, basil, and sage. Eventually, I realized how much money I was racking up just buying fresh herbs. I knew there had to be a better solution! I decided to learn how to grow my own mini herb garden right inside my kitchen.
Now, let me stop you there before you tell me you don’t have enough space for an herb garden. Believe me, I don’t either. My kitchen is barely big enough for two adults to stand in it at the same time. If you have a windowsill or even a shelf by a window, you can make this work!
It took me a while to develop a green thumb. If you feel like you always kill plants, don’t let that stop you! Herbs are surprisingly easy to take care of. They require very little care and maintenance, especially if you’re cooking with them on a regular basis!
How to DIY an Indoor Herb Garden
The nice thing about fresh herbs is that a little goes a long way. You don’t need large pots, which means you don’t need a lot of space! Fantastic! The kitchen is the best place to grow herbs, so you can just snip off whatever you need as you cook. However, any sunny spot in your home will work.
1. Find the Best Spot
Herbs need a lot of natural light. If you have a south or southwest facing window, that’s ideal. East or west-facing windows also work, just avoid a north-facing window. North-facing windows just won’t give enough light and your herbs will struggle.
2. Purchase Supplies
Purchase some small terracotta pots, potting mix, and your favorite herb. Pot the herbs in the pots, using your potting mix. Be careful not to pack them in too tight.
3. Check Drainage
When you purchase your terracotta pots, make sure they come with a saucer or liner so that the water can drain out of the herbs. You don’t want them sitting in too much water for a long amount of time. Sitting in water allows the roots to rot out. Having a saucer helps prevent this as well as also protects your windowsill from water damage.
You may notice that during the winter months, your herbs seem to require more water. That’s okay! Just like our skin dries out more in the winter, herbs need more water too. The air is drier, so they have to work harder to keep their moisture.
4. Establish Temperature
Your herbs will adapt to the indoor temperature you establish. If you keep your house between 65 to 70 degrees like most people, your herbs will be happy! Try to keep them from touching glass just in case the windowpane gets chilly overnight. We don’t want your adorable little herbs to get damaged by the cold.
Which Herbs Should I Buy?
Honestly, most herbs work really well indoors. A few of the best are chives, marjoram, oregano, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme. As a general rule, the herbs you’d buy at the supermarket will easily grow in your kitchen.
The only common herb that can be more challenging to grow in an indoor herb garden is basil. If you have a really sunny, warm place for it to grow, it will likely do really well. But if it’s in a cold spot or doesn’t receive enough sun, it’ll become droopy. I had this happen when I first tried to grow basil. I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t thriving when all of my other herbs were! I moved it to a sunnier spot outside of my kitchen and a bit closer to the heater. This meant the temperature was warmer and the basil did much better there.
Herbs are a really fun way to spice up your cooking (pun intended) and it’s a cheap, easy way to do so. You’ll be thrilled with using fruits of your own labor as you cook dinner, and your bank account will smile at all the money you’ve saved! I’d say that’s an herb garden win all around.